Since its launch in early 2018, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere has held a central spot in the brand’s vintage-influenced 1858 collection, and also served as a de-facto flagship for some of its most innovative designs and concepts. This week at Watches & Wonders, Montblanc unveils the latest Geosphere with a distinctive design inspired by adventure and exploration: the 1858 Geosphere LE 1858.
Like previous Geosphere watches, the latest edition features a hardy case construction and the dial’s signature double-hemisphere display, which assists the wearer in reading multiple time zones on either side of the equator. New to this edition is its unique colorway, which draws its influence from Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner, and his five-week solo trek across the Gobi Desert in 2004. The arid desert-toned dial pairs with the brushed bronze case and its commemorative, engraved caseback. This is the second Geosphere to take inspiration from Messner’s adventures, the first being a blue-dialed model in celebration of “Messner’s List,” which is recognized as the most difficult variation on the Seven Summits Challenge in which mountaineers attempt to scale all seven of the world’s highest peaks.
The 42-mm case, at 12.8 mm in thickness, is made of a special bronze alloy and primarily satin finished throughout, with a touch of polishing for contrast. The 100-meter water resistant case as a whole is relatively simple, flourished only slightly by its knurled, logo-engraved crown. Its “slim curved horn” lugs connect the case to a calf leather strap secured via a bronze-coated, steel triple-folding clasp. On top of the bronze shell is the first signature of the Geosphere, namely its bi-directional bronze bezel with a brown ceramic insert, engraved with each cardinal direction and filled with Super-LumiNova.
Beneath a domed, anti-reflective sapphire crystal is the desert-inspired dial, sporting a smoked-brown-to-beige fumé style. A rosy-colored railroad minute track curves along the edge, providing the outline for the applied and lume-filled rose-gold-colored hour markers, the bevel-outlined 3 o’clock date window, and the second-time-zone indicator at 9 o’clock. The Geosphere’s namesake double hemispheres are configured in a vertical fashion, its two rotating half globes representing the Northern hemisphere at 12 o’clock and the Southern hemisphere at 6 o’clock. The current time is indicated via a set of gold-colored cathedral hands, which recall the origins of the 1858 collection and serves as one of its visual signatures.
The most explicit reference to Messner’s 2004 trek appears on the caseback, which features a unique engraving showcasing the Gobi Desert’s famous Flaming Cliffs, also known as Bayanzag, which Messner encountered on his route across Northern Asia. The caseback also features a wind rose compass, with a decoration representing the wind whose patterns are inspired by traditional Mongolian ornaments — and which have served as a common symbol in the compass-inspired Geosphere series.
Behind this ornate case back and powering the timepiece is the Montblanc Caliber MB 29.25, which is based on a Sellita SW 300-1 and fitted with an in-house module, developed by Montblanc, for the Geosphere’s emblematic dual-time indication. As for its technical specs, the automatic movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph, hosts 26 jewels, and holds a power reserve of 42 hours, in effect making it a solid, standard caliber.
As its name indicates, the new Montblanc 1858 Geosphere LE 1858 will be limited to 1,858 total editions, with each priced at 5,950 euros, or just below $7,000 at press time.
The model is available now via Montblanc and authorized boutiques, with more information accessible via the brand’s website, here.