Precise, legible, and robust for use in extreme conditions, the legendary professional Minerva chronographs from the 1920s and 1930s were conceived for military use.
Reinterpreting these historical timepieces that were inspired by the Spirit of Exploration, the Montblanc 1858 watches are designed and conceived as tool watches, linking the past and the present through history, complications, and style.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858 in a Desert Colour Scheme
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere is one of the key icons of the Montblanc 1858 line with its two distinctive domed turning hemisphere globes and in-house worldtime complication. Inspired by the explorations of legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner, Montblanc unveils the new Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858 that pays tribute to his five-week solo trek across the Gobi desert in 2004.
Reproducing the rocky terrain colour scheme, the timepiece harmoniously combines a micro-blasted bronze case with a special engraving on the case back, a bi-directional shiny brown ceramic bezel, a smoked brown and beige lacquered dial, and a matching vintage- brown Sfumato calf strap.
Inspired by Reinhold Messner’s 2004 trek, the case back unveils a unique engraving that shows the Gobi Desert’s famous Flaming Cliffs, also known as Bayanzag, that were on Messner’s route across Northern Asia. The cliffs are famous for the significant paleontological discoveries that have been found there, especially those unearthed by the American palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews, who in 1920 found fossilized dinosaur eggs and specimens of Velociraptors. Roy Chapman Andrews gave the name to the location, referring to the red or orange colours of the sandstone cliffs that light up like fire at sunset. The case back also depicts a wind rose compass with a decoration representing the wind whose patterns are inspired by traditional Mongolian ornaments.
Montblanc uses a very special technique to highlight the Gobi desert on the back of the watch giving it an authentic rendering in 3-dimensions, providing depth and realism as if it was a photograph. Made of titanium, the metal must first be structured, which means that the decoration will be engraved by laser, taking into consideration the relief of the drawing. Then the desired finish (matt and shiny) is also achieved by laser. Finally comes the colouring phase. The colours are created with laser-generated oxidation. It is the level of oxidation that determines the final colour obtained (and desired). Montblanc is one of the most advanced Swiss Maisons to use this technology on such a large surface. This innovation is in line with the brand’s spirit of exploration.
Special attention has been paid to the dial with smoked brown to beige. A lacquered finishing combined with warm rose gold-coated elements, such as hands and applied indexes, complete the overall design of this modern tool-style watch. For great readability, the day/night indicator, the cathedral-shaped hands, the indexes, the compass indications, and the hemisphere globes are all coated with beige-coloured Super-LumiNova® that has been applied by hand.
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858 is powered by the Manufacture automatic Calibre MB 29.25. This distinctive complication displays two hemispheres that bring an instinctive way of reading different time zones. The timepiece has two domed turning hemisphere globes at six and 12 o’clock, which are surrounded by a fixed scale with the 24 time zones and include a rose gold-coated and brown day/night indicator (for both the Northern and Southern hemispheres). The longitude reference meridian for both hemispheres is highlighted with a black line coated with Super-LumiNova®. Furthermore, a second time zone, used as a home time indication, is located at nine o’clock and a date aperture (linked to the local time) is located at three o’clock.
The mechanism is easy to set. In crown position 2, the user first adjusts the turning hemispheres by aligning the GMT/UTC line to London time (highlighted as a black colour line on the domes) then adjusts the minutes. The two globes are then synchronised. The Northern hemisphere turns anti-clockwise and the Southern one clockwise. The next step is to set the hour hand in line with the local time (in crown position 1, with the quick hourly increment adjustment system / the globes are not turning), this also adjusts the date. Finally, the second time zone, which can be used for the home time, is located at nine o’clock and can be set via a corrector positioned at 10 o’clock.
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858 is completed with a vintage-style brown Sfumato calf strap with beige stitching.