Like its predecessors in stainless steel, the rose-gold Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic bears the aesthetic influence of a vintage stopwatch, the Minerva Rally Timer, which was used to time early motor races. (Minerva is now owned by Montblanc.)
The sunburst black background of the dial contrasts starkly with the minute track, the dauphine hour and minute hands, and the applied indices, all rose-gold-plated, while the vertically aligned 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph subdials call to mind the dashboards of classic racing cars. A central red hand records the chronograph seconds and features a tip that has been sculpted in the form of the Minerva arrow, a nod to the historical Minerva brand’s legacy. The hands, indices, and 5-minute markers have been coated with Super-LumiNova for maximum nighttime legibility.
The 18k rose gold case, which measures 43 mm in diameter, has been satin-finished, both to achieve an “automotive” look and to better resist scratches. The unidirectional black rotating bezel — which can be used to indicate a second time zone — is knurled on the flank and made of shiny high-tech black ceramic, a robust, durable material that is also highly scratch-resistant and non-oxidizing. The lugs have carved flanks and have been semi-skeletonized to resemble the air inlets of a car’s body. The black DLC crown, which features the Montblanc star emblem in relief, has been knurled like a vintage car radiator cap for better gripping.
Other auto-racing-inspired touches: the exhibition caseback, whose smoked sapphire crystal is reminiscent of the glass windows that routinely cover race cars’ V12 engines, and the black calf leather strap, whose perforated look echoes that of the leather driving gloves used in the early days of racing, when steering wheels were made of wood and needed to be firmly gripped. The strap fastens to the wrist with an 8K gold triple folding clasp that has been developed specially for the Montblanc Time Walker Collection.
The “engine” inside the 100-meter water-resistant case of the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic is the self-winding Caliber MB 25.07, which stores a 46-hour power reserve and has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, an evaluation process that simulates real-life wear for the fully assembled watch for more 500 hours in order to ensure optimum reliability and performance. The watch is priced at $19,500.