Montblanc introduced its first Orbis Terrarum models in 2014 as members of its Heritage Spirit collection, originally called “Meisterstück Heritage” after Montblanc’s signature line of luxury pens. This year, having further streamlined and revamped its collections, Montblanc now brings these attractively designed world-time watches to its “Formal Elegance” family, the Star Legacy collection.
The Star Legacy collection, the third major pillar in Montblanc’s contemporary portfolio along with the Heritage and 1858 collections, takes many of its signature design elements from the 19th century pocketwatches made by the historical Minerva watch firm, which is now part of Montblanc — like the pebble-shaped cases, leaf hands, and big onion crowns. Also emblematic of the Star Legacy family is the “exploding” guilloché pattern on the dials, based on Montblanc’s five-sided star emblem. Joining this year’s Star Legacy Date and Chronograph Day/Date are these two new Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum models, one in a steel case and blue-dominant colorway, the other in rose-gold with a palette of light and dark browns.
Both models’ cases measure 43 mm in diameter and are equipped with a world time function that is simple to set, intuitive to read, and represented spectacularly on the dials, which depict a polar view of the Northern Hemisphere as it would appear on a globe or world map (“Orbis Terrarum” being a Latin term meaning, roughly, “globe” or “world”). Surrounding the dial is a scale with 24 world cities representing the 24 time zones, along with a 24-hour numerical scale divided into daytime and nighttime sectors (light and dark blue, respectively on the steel model, and light to dark brown, respectively, on the gold watch). Montblanc has designed its world-time mechanism so that the wearer can use a single pusher to set the time as well as view the time in every other world time zone simultaneously: the wearer’s local time zone aligns with the red triangle at 12 o’clock.
Compared to their 2014 predecessors, this Orbis Terrarum’s dial has been redesigned to allow higher visibility. The uppermost of the dial’s two overlapping disks, which rotate to the timekeeping rhythm of the movement, is crafted from partially transparent sapphire with rhodium or rose gold metallic coating (depending on the model) applied directly to its surface to form the continents and the global meridians. Underneath this layer is the “day and night” disk which changes from light to dark (in blue or brown) as day turns to night across each of the world’s time zones. Its center, embellished with the “Star”-inspired radiating guilloché technique, more properly called flinqué-froissé, lends the ocean areas their own wavy 3D motif, as viewed through the transparent upper disk.
The movement, the self-winding Montblanc Caliber MB29.20, enables easy setting: Using the pusher at 8 o’clock, move the city ring so that the local time zone is positioned under the red triangle at 6 o’clock. Then pull out the crown to set the hour and minutes hands accurately for that time zone. As you do so, the remaining 23 time zones around the dial will follow suit. Once the hands are correctly set, it’s simple to adjust the time zone when traveling by simply pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock to shift the local time in one-hour increments, along with the city ring, day-night-scale, and the polar-view dial map. Both versions of the Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum are mounted on color-coordinated Sfumato leather straps made at Montblanc’s own leather atelier in Florence, Italy.
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|Functions:||Hours, minutes, world time, day-night indication|
|Movement:||Montblanc Caliber MB29.20, automatic, 28,800 vph (4 Hz), approx. 42-hour power reserve, 26 jewels, flat hairspring, flat hoop balance|
|Case:||Stainless-steel or 18k rose gold case, domed sapphire crystal, sapphire exhibition caseback, world-time pusher at 8 o’clock, water-resistant to 50 meters|
|Bracelet and clasp:||Blue or brown Sfumato alligator leather strap with triple folding clasp in steel or rose gold|
|Dimensions:||Diameter = 43 mm, height = 13.84 mm|
|Price:||$6,800 (steel), $20,800 (rose gold, limited to 500 pieces)|