Under the leadership of Davide Cerrato, the Montblanc Watch Division has become a reference point for the watchmaking world. Drawing heavily from Minerva’s rich watchmaking heritage, the brand has created several masterpieces over the last few years that have gone on to become popular with watch collectors and enthusiasts. One of them is the sporty Montblanc 1858 Geosphere that was originally released in 2018. The highlight of the explorer watch is its novel world time complication with two rotating globes that represent the northern and southern hemispheres. While the original 1858 Geosphere was available in two case options of steel and a limited bronze edition, Montblanc has revealed a new iteration of the timepiece for 2020 which arrives with a new case material along with several other aesthetic changes that give it a more contemporary appeal.
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere was created with the idea of being the perfect companion on adventures, especially mountain climbing expeditions. The watch pays tribute to the Seven Summits – the most grueling climbing challenge to conquer the highest mountains on each continent, which includes Mont Blanc. The reference to the Seven Summits is notably on display with the engraved caseback and all the seven peaks marked on the rotating globes with dots. The original version launched in 2018 came with strong vintage-inspired design elements, including faux-patina treatment on the dial and the use of bronze as the case material. The latest version wears a more modern look with its blue color, which according to Montblanc is meant to evoke the colors of glaciers, ice, and snowy mountain environments. The faux-patina has also been replaced with soft white coloring treated in Super-LumiNova. However, the timepiece still retains several heritage elements like the 1930s Montblanc Logo, the typeface of the numerals, and the cathedral-style hands.
The dial is finished in smoke blue that features a gradient effect going from light in the center to dark on the edges. The two turning domed hemisphere globes that make a full rotation in 24 hours offer a clutter-free way displaying world time. Both globes are surrounded by a scale with the 24 time zones and a day/night indicator in contrasting colors. A sub-dial at 9 o’clock displays time in a second zone. On the opposite side is a date window, linked to the local time. The continents on the globes along with the numerals, indices, and the cathedral-style hands are treated with hand-applied lume.
The latest version of the 1858 Geosphere features a case in grade 5 titanium, which makes it far more practical as an explorer/climber watch. The titanium case is lighter which should make it much more comfortable to wear as a sporty watch, while the material is also quite resistant to scratches. Montblanc also states that titanium also has a low thermal conductivity which prevents it from being affected by temperature change. The bi-directional compass bezel is made from stainless steel with a blue ceramic insert and a knurled edge. The dimensions of the case remain unchanged and it still measures 42mm in diameter and 12.8mm thick.
Since it is an explorer watch and comes with an engraved caseback, the movement powering the watch stays hidden inside the case. The MB 29.25 movement is based on Selllita SW 300-1, with Montblanc adding its own world-time complication to it. The automatic movement beats at 28,800vph and offers a power reserve of 42 hours. The new timepiece comes with two strap choices: a blue Sfumato calfskin strap with white stitching and a bi-material bracelet made of steel and titanium. Either configuration will also come with a woven blue NATO strap in the box. The watch will be available from September 2020 and carry a price tag of 5600 Euros (leather strap) and 5900 Euros (titanium bracelet) respectively.