Thursday, March 10, 2016

MONTBLANC – VILLERET Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch Edition

MONTBLANCVILLERET Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition White Gold NEW

During the golden age of travel across the Atlantic Ocean, the world’s best passenger ships competed against each other for the prestigious Blue Riband Award. This distinguished accolade — symbol of peak performance and precision in nautical navigation — was given to the liner with the fastest crossing westbound against the challenging Gulf Stream. Even though there was no official trophy, the Blue Riband was respected on both sides of “The Pond” as the ultimate recognition for speed and performance, and the record holder would tie a blue ribbon around its mast for all to see and admire.

These record-breaking performances were representative of the innovations occurring at the time, with new steam turbine engines and sophisticated navigational equipment that included marine clocks with cylindrical hairsprings. These marine timekeepers enabled navigators to master nautical navigation and helped them to achieve these outstanding speeds.

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To celebrate the Maison’s 110th anniversary, Montblanc has chosen to honour travel across the Atlantic Ocean and the ultimate precision of marine chronometers, both essential parts of this pioneering spirit, with two unique horological creations: a limited edition of eight Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watches 110 Years Edition and a one-of-a-kind Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch & Navigator 110 Years Edition. Like the revolutionary marine chronometers that guided navigators across the ocean over a century ago, these highly collectible Montblanc limited edition timekeepers push the boundaries of fine watchmaking by combining ultimate performance with artisanal aesthetic. They represent the highest level of traditional craftsmanship with hand-engraving, hand-painting and Grand Feu enamelling.

Montblanc continues with these exceptional creations to celebrate innovation and tradition in the true spirit of the Maison’s 158 years of fine watchmaking heritage.

Montblanc Collection VILLERET Tourbillon 
Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition 8 pieces

Montblanc presents a limited edition of eight pocket watches that follow the pioneering spirit of the ships crossing the Atlantic and their precision marine chronometers, capturing the essence of travel, both past and present. The choice of eight pieces is in reference to the year the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret, the former Minerva Manufacture, was founded back in 1858.

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The Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition – 8 pieces features some of horology’s most innovative complications, including a tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring, a triple time zone indication, and a worldtime with both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

The Tourbillon with Cylindrical Hairspring

For over a century, marine chronometers with cylindrical hairsprings have been highly regarded by navigators for their incredible precision and reliability, even in the most violent of storms. Although far more complicated to produce, their accuracy over long periods of time became an essential element of navigation and survival at sea, allowing mariners to determine their exact longitude at any given time.

Today, cylindrical hairsprings continue to embody ultimate precision. Like a conventional balance spring, a cylindrical balance spring is a concentrically wound elastic metal wire. However, instead of being wound around itself, at increasing distances from a common centre and all on the same plane, its individual turns are of equal diameter and are wound above each other. This eliminates the slight eccentricity of the centre of gravity.

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The challenge for Montblanc’s watchmakers in the fabrication of this balance spring was to miniaturise the cylindrical hairspring, which was obviously much larger and higher in traditional marine chronometers. However, thanks to the expertise of the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret, its specialists were not only able to fabricate a miniature cylindrical balance spring, but they found solutions to include two Phillips terminal curves as well. These upward curves at each end of the spring significantly improve the regularity of the balance spring’s breathing, thus further improving isochronism and resulting in utmost precision.

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Few manufactures nowadays have the know-how and skill to fabricate their own balance wheels and hairsprings like Montblanc. It is thanks to the Maison’s 158 years of fine watchmaking expertise that it was even possible to develop such a technical cylindrical hairspring for the Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition – 8 pieces.

The Triple Time Zone Indication

The hand-wound one-minute tourbillon calibre MB M68.40 — with its 281 components (91 components for the Cylindrical Tourbillon and 77 for the Worldtime complication) and 48-hour power reserve — features a number of unprecedented functions, including a triple time zone indication. Local time is represented by two 18K red gold hands in the centre and the home time is indicated by a Fleur-de-Lys hand that sweeps around a three- dimensional 12-hour compass rose at 12 o’clock.

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For the worldtime, a pair of three- dimensional globes depict the 24 time zones in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, along with the passage of the days and nights. The 24-hour worldtime and day/night indicators make a full rotation in 24 hours around the fixed globes. The disc for the Northern Hemisphere turns clockwise, where its counterpart in the Southern Hemisphere turns anticlockwise. This configuration allows an instant view of the day and night on both sides of the world. With the aid of the meridians of longitude, the user can also read the current hour in any desired part of the world by following the 24-hour worldtime display on the two discs.

Montblanc Collection VILLERET Tourbillon 
Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition Unique piece

Operating the Pocket Watch

The indicators on the Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition can be set via the crown and the two inset correctors on the case’s flank at 2 and 10 o’clock. After pulling the crown outwards, the owner can set the local time and simultaneously adjust the worldtime display along the two globes’ 24-hour scales. The corresponding correctors on the case are used for the fine adjustment of the local time in the centre and the home time in the compass rose at 12 o’clock, which runs along with the local time.

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Once all indicators have been correctly synchronised, a new local time in a different time zone can be set simply by pressing the inset corrector at 2 o’clock. Operating this corrector advances only the hour hand in single-hour increments. It does not affect the minutes, which are shown from the dial’s centre, nor does it alter the home time at 12 o’clock or the two displays along the globes. When travelling, the user then only has to press on the inset corrector at 2 o’clock until the new local time zone is reached, without affecting the other indications. This simple correction enables the user to read the local time in the centre, the home time in the compass at 12 o’clock, and the time anywhere else in the world by simply glancing at the two 24-hour discs around the hemispheres.

The Aesthetics of the Dial

The large sophisticated three-dimensional dial, constructed in different parts and on different levels, features a number of traditional artisanal decorations. Starting with the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, this intricate high complication draws the eye into the timepiece, thanks to its three-dimensional arcing, convex tourbillon bridges, which are slightly curved to match the contours of the globes. It takes more than two weeks just to hand- bevel and polish the top stainless steel bridge, an art that only a few watchmakers still carry out by hand in this artisanal way today.

A slice of aventurine provides a dramatic backdrop to the tourbillon, accentuating its presence even further. And the details do not stop there, as behind the tourbillon cage,

Montblanc has chosen to decorate the main plate with a traditional circular graining pattern, a rare know-how, which is still done by hand in the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret using traditional methods.

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The two hemispheres are also of particular interest, as they have been crafted using a combination of engraving and miniature painting that shows the continents in relief with their outlines, borders, longitude and latitude lines, seas and oceans. The names of the 24 cities in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are indicated in a domed flange encircling the dial, along with a precise minute track embellished with red gold-plated applied indexes, lozenges and triangles. Other noteworthy features include a three- dimensional 12-hour compass rose, made out of four 18K red gold hand-bevelled parts that indicate the home time with a blued Fleur de Lys hand, and 18K red gold hour and minute hands that indicate the local time, all while flying above this spectacular scene.

Since the very beginnings of fine watchmaking, engraving has held an important role in horological aesthetics with hand-engravings on the movement, cases and even on the dials, as seen on the dial of the Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition. This decorative work requires a clear artistic and aesthetic approach, combined with exceptional dexterity and know-how.

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With extraordinary virtuosity, the hand-engraver delicately carves a miniature sculpture out of the 18K white gold dial by incising the metal to create elegant and unique wave patterns that depict the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean, bringing depth and refinement to the dial.

The Movement

The engraver’s art continues onto the back of the hand-wound movement calibre MB M68.40, which is on full view through a large case back. The same artisanal hand- engraving expertise is applied to the hand-crafted bridges that have also been decorated with this unique wave pattern. limits of traditional horological aesthetics.

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The waves adorning the lower part of the movement are relatively calm, but they get increasingly choppy towards the top of the calibre, paying homage to the pioneering spirit of the steam ships that crossed the dangerous Atlantic Ocean at the beginning of the 20th century. The hand-wound movement is further decorated with a horizontal satin-finished main plate, traditional bridges featuring the pomme shape, inner angles, exquisite bevelling, a seal with the hand-engraved calibre number decorated with black enamel, and a mirror-polished pawl with the hand-finished Minerva arrow — all pushing the

Case Finishings

The 60 mm polished white gold case is also a work of art with its pebble shape that is reminiscent of the refined watches of the early 19th century. A five-sided shackle matches the design of the attachment of the 18K white gold chain and each link of the chain features the “M” of Montblanc in an elegant design of aesthetic refinement. On the case, black Grand Feu enamel highlights the Roman numerals for maximum legibility, while another black Grand Feu enamel adorns the case back.

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The art of enamelling in watchmaking dates back to the 17th century and was historically used at the Minerva Manufacture for the dials of its stopwatches and chronographs. The use of enamel preserves this rare craft that requires the mastery of highly developed artistic talents and technical skills. Completing the case is a traditional fluted crown with a Montblanc emblem in relief at 12 o’clock and the limited edition number hand-engraved just below the shackle on the case back, as a reference to this highly exclusive limited edition.


Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years White Gold

Ref: Ident.112586 Black Grand Feu enamel Limited 8 pieces
Ref: Ident.115791  Blue Grand Feu enamel Limited – Unique piece

Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M68.40
Type of movement Hand-wound mechanical movement with one-minute tourbillon and cylindrical hairspring with double infinity bridge; triple time zone with local-time, home time and worldtime indication
Dimensions 163⁄4 lines (38.40 mm); height = 10.50 mm
No. of components 281, including 91 for the tourbillon cage
No. of rubies 18
Power reserve Approx. 48 hours
Balance Screw balance, diameter = 14.5 mm, moment of inertia = 59 mgcm2
Frequency 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour (2.5 Hz)
Hairspring Cylindrical hairspring with double Phillips terminal curves
Tourbillon One-minute tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring
Main plate Rhodium-plated nickel silver decorated with circular-graining finishing on the front side and horizontal satin-finishing on the back side
Bridges Rhodium-plated nickel silver with wave pattern hand-engraving
Going-train Gold-plated, faceted arms, diamond-polished surfaces
Displays Local time: central hours and minutes in the centre. Home time: hour hand at “12 o’clock”. Worldtime: 24-hour time zones with day/night indication for the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.

  • 18K White Gold, Black Grand Feu enamel
  • 18K White Gold, Blue Grand Feu enamel
Crystal Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire crystal with antireflective treatment on both surfaces
Back 18K white gold blue and black Grand Feu enamel with inset pane of sapphire crystal
Correctors Local time corrector at 2 o’clock and home time corrector at 10 o’clock
Dimensions Diameter = 60 mm; height = 20.89 mm
Watertightness 3 bar

18K gold, hand-engraving wave pattern, worldtime indication on two discs with 24-hour time zones with day and night indication revolving around two fixed three-dimensional globes with traditional miniature hand-painting for the oceans and engraving for the continents and the meridians showing the Southern Hemisphere on the left and the Northern Hemisphere on the right. Home time indication at 12 o’clock above an 18K red gold three-dimensional hand-crafted compass rose subdial, slice of blue aventurine around the tourbillon cage. 18K red gold hour- and minute-hand in the centre, blued “Fleur-de-Lys” home time hand at 12 o’clock. Circular-satin finished minuterie with red-gold plated lozenge and triangle indexes, 24 cities of both hemispheres on the domed flange.

Crown 18K white gold with Montblanc emblem in relief
Shackle 18K polished white gold

Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500

------------------------------------------- - Montblanc

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