Last week, I wrote about the large number of new, blue-dialed timepieces seen at SIHH 2019 from brands like Vacheron Constantin and Baume & Mercier. This week, I’m focusing on the latest watches to sport green dials that were announced during the annual Geneva showcase. While we didn’t see quite as many green dials as we have in previous years, SIHH still had a number of releases worth discussing, including the latest updates to the Montblanc 1858 Collection.
The 1858 Collection was reintroduced at SIHH 2015 as a platform for vintage-focused design that leans on Montblanc’s shared history with the erstwhile Minerva manufacture. In 2018, Montblanc sought to build the collection out in earnest by adding a number of entirely new references, including the 1858 Automatic, the 1858 Chronograph, and the 1858 Geosphere. This year, Montblanc is outfitting those three models with bronze cases and khaki-green dials to add an ever greater dose of outdoor aestheticism.
Many of the key, identifying details remain consistent from last year’s releases. Each model features large Arabic numerals as well as cathedral shaped hour and minute hands that have been injected with Super-LumiNova. There’s a vintage Montblanc logo found at 12 o’clock (3 o’clock for the Geosphere) on each of the khaki-green dials and each watch comes on a khaki-green NATO strap from Montblanc’s Pelleteria in Florence. On the technical sides of things, each movement used inside the Montblanc 1858 Collection is subjected to the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, which consists of three weeks of non-stop testing that effectively simulates the first year of life for a Montblanc timepiece. The caseback is made of bronze-coated titanium with Montblanc’s “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” engraving in relief. Finally, all three of these new green-dialed releases are limited editions of 1,858 pieces each.
The original 1858 Automatic from last year featured a stainless steel case construction with a bronze bezel and a champagne-colored dial. Montblanc has segmented that concept into two new watches, one with a fully bronze case and khaki-green dial and another non-limited version with a full stainless steel case and a black dial ($2,410). The time-only release is sized at 40 mm and uses automatic Calibre MB 24.15, which is based off a Sellita SW200-1 and offers up a 38-hour power reserve. A thickness of 11.07 mm, the lack of a central seconds hand, and the watch’s overall wearability make this watch the most authentic interpretation of a field watch within the 1858 Collection. Price: $3,050
When the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph was introduced last year, its bi-compax design with old-school pump pushers combined with its attractive sub-$5,000 price point to check off a lot of boxes for enthusiasts. That concept has been enhanced in 2019 with the khaki-green dial and bronze case construction for only slightly more money at $5,000. Check out my review of the 1858 Automatic Chronograph here for the rest of the specs and details.
The 1858 Geosphere was undoubtedly the hero piece for Montblanc in 2018 — it even graced the cover of our Nov./Dec. print issue! Inspired by the Seven Summits Challenge — which involves climbing the highest peak in each continent, a task less than 500 climbers have achieved — the watch takes an unusual approach to a typical world-time complication by using two separate hemispheres that each make a full rotation every 24 hours. The Northern Hemisphere at 12 o’clock turns counterclockwise, while the Southern Hemisphere turns clockwise. Each globe is surrounded by a scale with the 24 time zones, along with a day/night indication in contrasting colors (dark green, night; bronze, day). The small red dots on the hemispheres represent the highest mountains on the seven continents (the Seven Summits). The ratcheting bidirectional bezel can be used for navigation during daylight. Finally, the subdial at 9 o’clock can be used to track an additional time zone. In our opinion, the new khaki-green colorway helps elevate an already intriguing watch into a more appreciable aesthetic territory. You can read WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Roger Ruegger’s recent review of the 1858 Geosphere here for the full breakdown on how it works. Price: $6,300
Don’t miss out on the rest of Montblanc’s 2019 novelties! Click here for our look at the latest updates to the Heritage Collection.