Montblanc 1858 Geosphere WatchIf their showing at Salon QP was anything to go by, Montblanc have a yearning for adventure. Well, they are named after a peak so it makes sense, but it’s still good to see them showing off their globe-trotting side, whether that’s in their compass-equipped pocket watch or the latest version of the stunning Geosphere.

The complication here is nothing new; the Geosphere has, in one form or another, been a key player in Montblanc’s haute horlogerie line-up. This however is the first time it’s been used in a watch anyone could call accessible.

It’s actually a sportier case than you might expect if all you’ve paid attention to in the past is their more classical pieces, something I’m a little guilty of myself. It’s not the same ruggedness as a professional diving watch, but it’s definitely a tool timepiece. I personally wouldn’t take it on an expedition, but I wouldn’t roll my eyes if someone did just that. It has a compass marked bezel after all.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Watch

Part of that is the vintage aviation-esque shape, another is the bronze. Bronze is pretty resilient sure, but it also shows that the watch isn’t something to be kept in a display case but meant to show its wear. If the metal’s going to patina anyway, you’re never going to be too precious with it.

As for the complication itself… well, in essence it’s a world timer, just displayed with the aplomb of a cartographer. I usually like my worldtimers a little simpler, easier to comprehend at a glance, but this is beautiful. The two hemispheres denoting the various global time zones are flawless down to the lines of latitude and longitude, complete with day/night indication.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Watch

Sure, you might need to wheel out an atlas to help you decode it, but that’s why there’s a second time zone indicator at 9 o’clock. Some of us can barely decipher a tube map. That said, they’re a lot more restrained than other globallyminded Montblanc complications; the bronze and black is all but minimal.

On the wrist it’s a little larger than I’ve come to expect from Montblanc, another reason I consider it a tool watch. Granted 42mm is fairly large, but it’s the perfect size for what it is. Any smaller and the dial would feel cramped, any larger and it would be too hefty.

Montblanc 1858 Geophere Caseback
In short, it’s a perfectly balanced, travel-oriented timepiece. It’s in bronze so it can play with the cool kids and it has a distinct complication you won’t see for any watch approaching this price – and therein lies the crux of the 1858’s appeal. It’s not just that it’s a beautiful timepiece, but also the fact it’s available for £4,500.

It potentially comes on a bund strap, but to be honest I hate those things and was more than happy with my simple leather number, even if it was a couple of notches too big. To be honest though, for that money I’d take it on Russell Crowe’s leather jockstrap and you wouldn’t hear me complain.

Price & Specs:

      • Model name: Montblanc 1858 Geophere
        Ref: 117840
      • Dial/Case: 42mm diameter x 12.8mm thickness, stainless steel case
      • Movement: Calibre MB 29.25
      • Functions: Second time zone and dual hemisphere world time
        Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
      • Power reserve: 42 hours
        Water resistance: 100m
      • Price & availability: £4,500, limited to 1,858 pieces worldwide

Available to pre-order at Montblanc’s website.