The Metamorphosis Concept
For over 10 years, the Metamorphosis innovation has been deeply embedded within Montblanc watch history. The timepiece literally transforms itself, revealing two faces with distinctive high complications that allow the wearer to appreciate the time in different ways. It took over five years to develop the timepiece, from the initial idea to the final timepiece. This complex mechanism, which is unique in the horological world, was imagined and created by Montblanc’s engineers in Villeret who pushed the boundaries of fine watchmaking. A master watchmaker, Frederic Kehrli, who has worked at the Manufacture for over 12 years, spent thousands of hours creating the prototype and then trained experts from the Haute Horlogerie workshop in Villeret to assemble it. Due to the complexity of the timepiece, only a few watchmakers have the expertise and experience to create timepieces at this level.
Exo Tourbillon Concept
First introduced in 2010, the patented Exo Tourbillon complication is a key pillar of the Montblanc watch collection. The idea was to position the large balance wheel, beating at the traditional low frequency of 18’000 oscillations, outside of the tourbillon’s rotating cage (explaining the term “Exo”). This offered a spectacular view of the tourbillon in motion while improving the precision of the timepiece.
The Montblanc Star Legacy Metamorphosis Limited Edition 8
Montblanc unveils the Montblanc Star Legacy Metamorphosis Limited Edition 8 in a sparkling blue colour. This innovative timepiece literally transforms itself by revealing two different faces. A number of fine watchmaking complications come into play, which are driven by the hand-crafted Manufacture calibre MB M67.60, a highly complicated movement. The transformation between the two faces is highly complex and involves more than 320 individual components, all of them meticulously crafted by hand, and which move at the same time. In addition to this, the Exo Tourbillon construction contains over 100 components alone and the whole timepiece is composed of no less than 718 components, all traditionally hand-crafted at the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret.
The mechanism is activated by a sliding lever on the side of the case (similar to that of a minute repeater mechanism) that is connected to a dial. It is comprised of a fixed part and moveable shutters, which can be opened and closed depending on the desired face.
When the shutters are closed, the watch’s face displays a worldtime function at six o’clock in the form of a turning, domed Northern-Hemisphere globe surrounded by a 24-hour scale and a day/night indication. At 12 o’clock, the rhodium-coated balance wheel with blued hairspring and 18 screws, beats at the traditional frequency of 18,000 oscillations per hour.
When its shutters are opened, the dial reveals the beauty of Montblanc’s patented one- minute Exo Tourbillon, held in place by a sapphire crystal bridge, and representing the sun at 12 o’clock. This was feasible thanks to the construction of the complication, which allows the balance wheel to be positioned outside of the cage and below the shutters. A jumping date disc appears around the Exo Tourbillon.
At six o’clock, a realistic, three-dimensional moon with its exact position in the sky, as viewed from Earth, turns constantly around the globe in a gyroscopic way, exactly as it would make its journey around the Earth. The moon is presented against a backdrop of aventurine that shimmers like a starry night sky. The astronomical moonphase complication is highly precise and only needs to be adjusted by one day every 122 years.
In addition, all the functions powered by the high-end mechanism continue working irrespective of the chosen face. The hours, minutes, seconds, worldtime and moon phases remain active independently of the watch face.
Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition 18
The Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition 18 perfectly demonstrates the mastery of a classic and traditional artisanal aesthetic combined with an innovative spirit.
The patented Suspended Exo Tourbillon complication was developed entirely in-house and required three years of development. The “Exo” is derived from the Greek for “external” or “outside” and refers to the large balance wheel which is positioned outside of the tourbillon’s rotating cage.
The Montblanc engineers’ idea, when developing the innovative patented Suspended Exo Tourbillon, was to create a one-minute tourbillon that would be more visible, further revealing its beauty. This particular patented construction allowed them to keep a large and impressive balance wheel, eliminating the need to increase the size of the movement or the case. The massive balance wheel is raised 3.2 mm higher than the dial and appears to be floating above it. This suspended position has been made possible thanks to a dedicated tourbillon bridge with only one arm which is curved, creating a three-dimensional look and a fine watchmaking aesthetic.
Thanks to its asymmetric construction, the alignment of the Exo Tourbillon bridge, with its solitary arm, represents a horological challenge. The complexity of the patented Exo Tourbillon comes from the dimensions of the long axis that need to be extremely precise, along with the complication construction itself, which requires that the balance’s axis must be perfectly perpendicular to the movement.
In terms of performance, the Exo Tourbillon saves more energy than a conventional tourbillon as the cage is smaller in size and free of the weight of the balance wheel. It is also balanced by two gold pillars that equilibrate the cage. The fact that the balance is positioned outside of the rotating cage also means that it isn’t affected by the inertia of the cage.
The large balance wheel, beating at the traditional frequency of 18’000 oscillations per hour plays an important role in the performance of the timepiece thanks to its impressive 18 screws.
Following pure horological tradition, the Manufacture movement calibre MB M16.68 is entirely decorated in the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret with hand-crafted finishings such as Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining, beveling and a mirror- polished pawl with the hand-finished Minerva arrow.
The entirely polished 44.8 mm case comes in 18 K white gold and features a sapphire crystal on the case back which reveals the beauty of the hand-finished manually wound movement calibre MB M16.68. It also provides a totally transparent view of the Exo Tourbillon from the front to the back.
The sophisticated three-dimensional dial of the Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition 18 is constructed in eight different parts that have been decorated entirely by hand using traditional watchmaking techniques. The base is in 18 K gold and has been highlighted with a hand-made guilloché pattern in places, and a sandblasted decoration in others, with polished steps framing the different finishing techniques. A refined guilloché pattern completes the aesthetic. A silvery-white dome at 12 o’clock, with an azuré decoration in the centre, houses the hours and minutes counter, mirroring the three-dimensional effect of the outstanding Suspended Exo Tourbillon.
This exclusive Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon is limited to 18 pieces, paying tribute to the year the Montblanc Manufacture was founded in Villeret in 1858. The timepiece comes fitted with a blue alligator leather strap and a triple folding clasp with security pushers.