The pioneering spirit of the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret honors the legacy of one of history’s greatest explorers. For 157 years Villeret’s master watchmakers have traditional Swiss watchmaking with the same combination of innovation, precision and determination that guided Vasco da Gama on his historic expedition. Their voyage into the uncharted territories of the watchmaking world continues with the Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama.
This new timepiece just released at the SIHH 2015 unites —for the first time ever— a cylindrical tourbillon and unique, functional worldtime indication. Strictly limited to 18 pieces, the Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama is a revolutionary timepiece that pushes the boundaries of fine watchmaking with utmost performance and spectacular artisanal beauty. The precisely beating heart of the Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M68.40 —Minerva based— is a 1-minute tourbillon. Revolving around its axis once a minute, the tourbillon is driven by a cylindrical hairspring. Each of the spring’s individual turns is wound on top of the other and is of equal diameter, thus not increasing in width like conventional balance springs wound side by side. This eliminates the slight eccentricity of the center of gravity which is crucial to regularity of the watch’s rate. The cylindrical spring is manufactured and regulated entirely in house in the Montblanc Manufacture but probably sharing the know-how and technology from other Richemont brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre.
The horological creativity evidenced by the Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères and its cylindrical balance spring also characterizes the three-dimensional dial of this timepiece. Under the cylindrical tourbillon with a double-infinity bridge shaped like two overlapping horizontal eights, the central hour and minute hands display the local time —above the spectacular scenery of the double worldtime indication.
Connecting the Northern and Southern hemispheres —as Vasco da Gama did with his journey to India— worldtime is displayed on two three-dimensional globes with hand-painted “peinture miniature” and day/night indications. Two discs with 24 time zones simultaneously revolve around the two fixed globes. They are covered by two sapphire crystal spheres, which show —synchronized with the two worldtime discs— the course of day and night around the world. All three —local time, hometime and worldtime— are set together via the crown. Without losing the minutes the local time can be adjusted with a pusher at 8 o’clock.
Representing the world’s time zones, 24 cities are engraved around the sapphire crystal back of the 47 mm case made of 18K red gold. With all components hand-crafted by Montblanc’s master watchmakers, this timepiece combines the full intricacy, sophistication and elegance of finest Swiss watchmaking with the legendary journey of Vasco da Gama. Snailing and circular 'Cotes de Geneve' are part of the intricate decoration of this movement.
Now, regardless that this is a Montblanc timepiece, this watch comes with a steep sticker shock price. While we understand the advancements and evolution of the brand thanks to the purchase of Minerva and thanks to being part of the Richemont group, paying a quarter million dollars for a Montblanc timepiece is still a little bit too much. We'd say go to Jaeger-LeCoultre and get the best bang for your buck. At the end all ends in the family. This watch is a limited edition of 18 pieces.
Sticker Price $250,000 USD. For more info on Montblanc click here.