During the 2015 Watch and Miracle Asia Watch Fair, the brand Montblanc launched a cylindrical gossamer tourbillon Geosphères watch with a white gold case and a striking light-colored dial. This watch is limited to 18 pieces, which can be described as ‘a watch hard to find.’
This watch comes from the Villeret watch factory, one of Montblanc’s two major workshops. If Montblanc’s Reno watch factory is mainly automated, Villeret watch factory is its manual watchmaking workshop. Formerly known as Robert Brother & Cie, Minerve was founded in 1858, and later changed its name to Institut Minerva de Recherche Villeret. In 2006, it was taken over by Montblanc.
Montblanc Villeret is one of the few watch factories where most traditional watchmaking processes and all micromechanical delicate processing are still carefully performed by hand. Almost every watch is independently refined as a single object. It is worth mentioning that Montblanc has completely retained its traditional manual watchmaking process, and has enhanced the movement details and decoration, presenting the beauty of the movement like a pocket watch in a watch.
The chronograph is its masterpiece. It was even more prominent in the 1930s. The movement is equipped with a large-size screw balance with a swing frequency of 18,000 times per hour. The column wheel of the program, all parts are polished to perfection, and the dimensional accuracy is up to one thousandth of a millimeter.
Fortunately, the Villeret 1858 series uses a batch of enamel discs from the watch factory’s inventory that year. It is characterized by a speedometer scale on the outer edge of the dial. Average speed in minutes.
And this cylindrical gossamer tourbillon Geosphères watch uses tourbillon and world time function, the watch movement technology is amazing. The self-developed MB M68.40 manual winding movement consists of 281 parts, and the tourbillon structure with a cylindrical hairspring is composed of 91 components, ensuring that it has a 48-hour power reserve. The balance wheel oscillates 18,000 times per hour. With its 14.5 mm diameter, this balance wheel can achieve a torque of 59 kgf per square centimeter. Today, only a few watchmaking factories still have the expertise to produce balances and balance springs, and Montblanc Villeret has both advanced watchmaking processes for both components.
The upper part of the dial is dark black and is decorated with aventurine, forming the perfect background of the tourbillon and its curved concave polished tourbillon bridge. The cylindrical hairspring tourbillon has a rotating frame with three button arms and is fixed by a guilloche bridge. Each has a fixed pile to support the bridge, which is very unique. This polished bridge should be ground with a special soft gem file, and never a steel file.
The lower part of the dial is dark gray, decorated with two spheres and a three-dimensional compass rose design showing the hometown. Two miniature spheres dynamically display the diurnal changes of the northern and southern hemispheres. Miniature engravings on the surface of the sphere outline the contours, demarcation lines of the continents and the oceans that separate them, as well as carefully drawn longitude and latitude lines. The position between the two spheres and the movement is fixed, while the two 24-hour world time dials are equipped with day and night displays and rotate once a day. The rotating disk in the northern hemisphere rotates clockwise, while the rotating disk in the southern hemisphere rotates counterclockwise. This allows the wearer of the watch to view the parts of the current northern and southern hemispheres illuminated by the sun and the parts facing away from the sun at any time of the day. With the help of warp, the wearer can read the current time at any position in the world according to the 24-hour world time display function on the two time dials.
The time can be adjusted by the crown, the 8 o’clock button and the round button on the side of the case at 4 o’clock. When the crown is pulled out, the wearer can reset the local time while adjusting the world time displayed along the 24-hour time zone line of the two spheres. The corresponding buttons on the case are used to fine-tune the central local time and the home time displayed by the compass at 6 o’clock. Once all hands have been synchronized correctly, you can set a new local time based on a different time zone by simply pressing the button at 8 o’clock, and operating this button will advance all time by one hour each time without affecting the dial The minute display in the center will not change the home time displayed at 6 o’clock or the two world times displayed along the sphere. Therefore, when traveling, the wearer of the watch can easily read the local time according to the central hour and minute hands display, and watch his hometown at 6 o’clock, while referring to the 24-hour scale line along the two spheres. Time anywhere in the world.
Today, with the popularity of computer technology, it is still possible to adhere to the tradition of the golden age of horological art, to make watches by hand, and make watches with such an attitude, isn’t it beautiful?