One of the new 2012 Timewalker models from Montblanc was this Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC watch. It faithfully follows in the (rather large at this point) Timewalker collection tradition offering a new flavor to the table. There is actually nothing in this model that hasn’t been offered in one form or another previously in the Timewalker collection, but the ChronoVoyager UTC offers a different look and price category for fans of the timepiece family.
This Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC is placed in the upper price point of Timewalker watches that do not contain in-house made Montblanc movements. The last Montblanc Timewalker piece I reviewed was the Timewalker TwinFly Chronograph. That piece did contain an in-house made Montblanc movement and actually has the same features that you’ll find in this watch. The Timewalker TwinFly Chronograph will cost over $1,000 more than the ChronoVoyager UTC – so if you are interested in a chronograph watch that also contains a GMT in the Timewalker collection, you can read on to see which is right for you.
The Timewalker collection continues to be one of Montblanc’s top sellers as evidenced by the fact that it continues to improve and supplement the collection with new pieces and variations. At its core the Timewalker is a 43mm wide watch (often in steel) that has a really nice bowl-style case. Unique here is the Timewalker metal bracelet which actually got a rather significant upgrade a year or two ago. If you’ve had one of these watches with the bracelet before, you might want to see what the new bracelets are like. They don’t look radically different, but the new bracelets feature a better design, more closely connected links, and some other quality improvements.
Most people who buy Timewalker watches opt for a leather strap – as they look beautiful on these. However, the metal bracelet is not to be overlooked. One of the first Timewalker watches was a chronograph with a Valjoux 7753 automatic that has a tri-compax chronograph layout. This with a silvered dial and brown strap made me fall in love with the collection. After that they released models with the time and a GMT hand. Now you can get those two complications together in the ChronoVoyager UTC. While the in-house TwinFly Chronograph has a calibre LL100 automatic movement, this piece contains a modified Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750. It has been modified to incorporate the GMT hand. GMT and UTC are the same thing. While GMT stands for “Greenwich Mean Time,” UTC stands for “Coordinated Universal Time.” For all practical purposes they are the same thing.
As there are so many Timewalker watch models out there you have tons of choices if you want one with a chronograph or GMT hand. Like I said, the ChronoVoyager UTC is just another variety to choose from. However, only the most expensive TwinFly Chronograph has both a GMT hand and chronograph. In addition, both of these models feature these displays in different ways. So when it comes down to it, your personal legibility tastes will prevail.
This Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC watch has a sunburst polished silvered dial and rose-gold toned hands and hour markers. Something about the dial also looks a bit brownish to me. That could be the inclusion of the gold-toned elements or a slight brownish tint to the dial. The dial’s flange ring is sloped and features the 24 hour time scale for the GMT hand. An interesting detail is the non-even placement of the “day/night” indicator on the ring. To be slightly more accurate, the GMT scale is dark from 7pm to 7am – which is usually 6pm to 6am on other watches which have a two-tone scale like that.
The recessed chronograph subdials are attractive and have a hard-to-notice snailed texture. The result of the subdials being on a different level is pleasant to the eye. I also like the gold hands and hour markers, but feel that Montblanc designers used a bit too much red on the dial. In my opinion just a little bit less red would have resulted in a more timeless look. Having said that, it is a very legible and attractive dial. It also feels a bit more instrumental than some of the more fashionable Timewalker dials.
As is the fact on all Timewalker cases, the lugs are partially skeletonized from the dial and the case is comfortable on the wrist. I would have however liked the water resistance to be more than 30 meters. Over the dial is a domed sapphire crystal that has an excellent amount of AR coating to prevent too much glare. The large crown has the Montblanc star logo placed in it.
Who is a chronograph with GMT function watch good for? Montblanc already knows in how they title this Timewalker watch. True enough, chronograph GMT watches are ideal for travelers (voyagers) who want to keep track of multiple time zones as well as how long their trips will take. However, I would like to see mechanical chronographs that can measure 24 hours or more in the future. That, or some totalizer function that tells you how many times the chronograph has reset itself back to 0 so that you can easily count the total elapsed time. Why is that useful? Well in today’s world where people’s travels around the world can take more than 12 hours, it is good to be able to “time your voyages.”
The Montblanc Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC watch comes in a few versions and is already supplemented by a range of other Timewalker models. Montblanc seems to like options and this one certainly fits a niche in the Timewalker family being an enjoyable and useful timepiece. Retail price is $6,730.