In 1997, Montblanc amazed the world of fine watchmaking by entering the field of high-end watch design. They did not start small, for their debut in this industry was an entry in the Salon International de Haute Horlogerie, the most prestigious watch event in the world. The watch they presented to the world that day was the elegantly designed Meisterstuck watch, a beautiful piece of watchmaking design. Today their mastery of watch technology has expanded to include several other lines including the handsome Timewalker series.
The reason Montblanc’s debut in watchmaking attracted so much attention is that this firm had never been known for watches before. Rather, they had made their reputation as one of the first and most respected manufacturers of fine writing instruments. They produced one of the earliest fountain pens, also called the Meisterstuck, as well as numerous other high-end pens and writing accessories. It is not unusual for a jewelry firm to go into watchmaking, but this may be the only time a pen maker has done it.
The impudence of this pen company may have raised a few eyebrows among the older watch firms of the day, but that reaction quickly gave way to unabashed admiration and respect. This pen maker made wonderful watches! Since 1997, Montblanc has increased their selection of timepieces to include several lines with precision movements and elegant exteriors. One of these is Timewalker, introduced in 2003 to accompany their latest pen, the futuristic Skywalker.
In addition to their superb style, Timewalker watches are designed for maximum readability. Faces are large and round with the numerals oversized for clarity. The dials are all round with narrow bezels of polished steel or rose gold. Various color schemes are used including silver, white and dark faces with vividly contrasting numbers and hour markers. Date windows are at the six o’clock position. The connector lugs are substantial and sharp-angled, connecting to bands of stitched leather or metal links. The crowns are prominent and knurled for easy winding.
Chronograph models have three sub-dials in one of two configurations. In some models, they are at three, six and nine while in others, they are at six, nine and twelve. In all models, the three chronograph dials are for 30 minutes, 12 hours and a tenth-second splitter. GMT models have a fourth hand displaying a second time zone in 24-hour time with AM and PM marked to avoid confusion. For lovers of features, the Timewalker Chronovoyager UTC has them all: date window, second time zone and triple-dial chronograph.
Various color schemes are used, including some with characters of steel, rose gold or vivid blue. These all look great and contrast well for heightened readability.
The Timewalkers have a style that goes beyond trend or fad. In twenty or fifty years, these watches will be just as stylish as they are today, and they will probably still be running well. The timepieces of Montblanc have a look and an internal quality that will always be respected.