One of the more interesting timepieces from Watches & Wonders is Montblanc’s innovative and accessibly priced new three-hand GMT watch.
The 1858 GMT Automatic Date comes in a 42 mm x 11.2 mm stainless steel case, with your choice of a black or blue sunburst dial, paired with either a matching rubber strap or a steel bracelet. What’s unique about this particular GMT wristwatch, is that unlike most GMTs, such as Rolex’s GMT-Master II, this watch forgoes the 24-hour arrow-tipped GMT hand in favor of a wheel that rotates around the edge of the movement once every 24-hours.
On the dial, the second time zone is indicated on the perimeter, through square and rectangle apertures, that displays a red square (full hour) or a red rectangle (half-hour). To read the second time you simply match the red square or rectangle with the 24-hour anodized aluminum bezel insert. Like with traditional GMTs, this 24-hour system has the added benefit of showing whether it’s day or night at your home time location.
The theoretical benefit of Montblanc’s disc/wheel-based GMT mechanism is that it declutters the dial by removing the fourth hand (24-hour GMT hand) and leaving the local time, hours, minutes, and seconds unobstructed in the center dial. The traditional date aperture at 3 o’clock takes away slightly from the legibility, however, holistically, the other 11 hour proper applied hour markers — a mixture of applied Arabic numerals or rectangular indices — ensure high legibility.
Built on a Sellita base, Montblanc designed a GMT module that goes on top of the automatic movement. Beating at 4Hz, the 25 jewel Swiss-made movement has a 42-hour power reserve and has passed the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500H.
While the watch is predominantly stainless steel, the caseback is made of hypoallergenic titanium with a colored laser engraving of the Northern hemisphere in the center, surrounded by 24 cities (with Paris replaced by Villeret because they share the same time zone and Villeret is where Montblanc’s Swiss headquarters are located). For an additional fee, the caseback can include the owner’s hometown (or city of your choosing) in red, along with the local time zone code.
With the Montblanc 1858 GMT the bracelet or strap is tapered, interchangeable, and the stainless-steel bracelet with a fine adjustment system for precision fitting. Plus, the strap or bracelet can be switched out in seconds thanks to a quick-release mechanism.
The crown has Montblanc’s black and white emblem enameled on the end of it. The Montblanc 1858 GMT Automatic Date is depth rated to 100 meters. Retail is $3,515 on a strap or $3,730 on a bracelet and costs $4,100 with a customized caseback.
Photos by Montblanc.