Designed to occupy Montblanc’s ‘vintage sports’ category as the brand sought to reorganise and re-energise its watch collections about five years ago, the Montblanc 1858 had the unenviable task of pulling watch collectors by the scruff of their necks and telling them, “Hey look, this is Montblanc, too.” And, as with any heavily-invested debut collection from a big-name brand, its margin for failure wasn’t wide.
Launched in 2018 and inspired by the vintage Minerva pocket watches and chronographs from the 1920s and 1930s, the Montblanc 1858 collection displayed a rugged and retro sensibility that set itself apart from the classically elegant and motorsports-inspired collections that have long dominated the brand’s repertoire. But as fresh and exciting as the watches were, and as much as they channelled a spirit that’s closely aligned with Montblanc’s DNA (its mountain exploration-themed aesthetic against, well, the brand itself, which is named after the highest mountain in the Alps), the 1858 collection needed an almost instant buy-in from watch lovers.
Three years on since its debut, the 1858 collection hasn’t only established itself as a Montblanc staple, it appears to be at the tip of the company’s horological spear. Enticing collectors with evocative themes, delightful throwback designs, and a varied selection, the 1858 watches find themselves under the spotlight this year as the brand’s most anticipated roll-out.
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June / July 2020