Well folks — that’s quite a mouthful for the name of a watch!
So what’s the deal here? We need to lay down a bit of historical background to set the scene.
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160 Years of Fine Watchmaking Heritage
One of the historical watchmaking names that forms Montblanc today is Minerva, whose heritage and legacy dates back to 1858 when it was founded by Charles-Ivan Robert.
The Montblanc Star Legacy Collection takes its inspiration from the Minerva heritage and pocket watches from the late 19th century and early 20th century. Some of the movements were cased in wristwatches. As early as 1880, the manufacture started to specialise in watches that could be wound with a crown rather than a separate key. Minerva became successful quickly.
In celebration of Minerva’s exceptional 160 years of history and heritage, Montblanc presented a new reinterpretation of its iconic Star collection of watches. Within the Star collection is our featured watch…
Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition 58
The Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition 58 demonstrates classic and traditional artisanal aesthetic while pushing the envelope for fine mechanical watchmaking.
They took three years to develop and patented the Suspended ExoTourbillon complication that was developed entirely in-house at the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret. The term “Exo” is derived from the Greek for ‘external’ or ‘outside’ and refers to the large balance wheel with screws, which is positioned outside of the tourbillon’s rotating cage.
When you consider that all other tourbillons are inside the cage, this is really thinking outside the box. All to make the one-minute tourbillon more visible and revealing its beauty.
The massive balance wheel is raised 3.2 mm higher than the dial and appears to be suspended above it. This new floating position was made possible by a new tourbillon bridge with only one stainless steel arm, which is curved and mirrors the domed hour circle at 12 o’clock. It creates a three-dimensional look and a new fine watchmaking aesthetic.
Those in-the-know are practically quivering with excitement about the 18 screws around the balance wheel — two of which can be adjusted, and 16 of which are fixed — further improving precision and following the purest fine watchmaking tradition.
By traditional methods, the movement calibre MB M16.68 is decorated at the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret with hand-crafted finishings such as Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining, beveling and a mirror-polished bit with the hand-finished Minerva arrow.
The polished 44.8 mm 18K red gold case has a transparent sapphire crystal back to reveal the beauty of the hand-finished manually wound movement calibre. It also provides a totally transparent view of the Exo Tourbillon from the front to the back. At this level, it is all about the amount of Light and Air provided.
The three-dimensional dial of the Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition 58 is constructed from eight different 18K gold pieces that have been decorated entirely by hand using traditional watchmaking techniques. The hand-made guilloché pattern and a sandblasted decoration, are highlighted by polished steps framing the different finishing techniques.
The 18K red gold hands display the hours and minutes and a small seconds indication with a blue arrow is on the Exo Tourbillon itself.
A small plaque shows the timepiece’s limited edition number.
This exclusive Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon is limited to 58 pieces, paying tribute to the year the Montblanc Manufacture was founded in Villeret in 1858.
The Euro 120,000 / USD 147,000 timepiece comes fitted with a black alligator leather strap made by the Montblanc Pelletteria leather workshop in Florence, Italy and is equipped with a triple folding clasp.
To prove reliability and performance, the watch is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500; that is 500 hours of testing, folks….
A limited Edition of 28 is also available with a case set with 54 baguette diamonds of 2.35 cts.
To that, you can add the cost of the extra diamonds to the base price….it’s a lot but “The true cost of luxury is the choice that it affords.”
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).