The new Montblanc Star World-Time GMT (ref. 106464) automatic wristwatch, a new member of the soon to be refreshed Star collection, which is going to be officially presented at the upcoming SIHH 2011 event, offers nice pseudo-vintage styling nicely flavored with perfect legibility and good taste: a combination that defines timekeepers manufactured by one of the oldest maker of luxury writing instruments even when it comes to their “entry-level” models.
It seems that the Swiss brand is still not particularly sure about its ability to set trends in the industry and, therefore, tries to follow the beaten path designing their timekeepers in accordance with what they perceive as current fashion. Current fashion at this time favors mildly oversized timekeepers and, predictably, the watch will come in a moderately sized stainless steel case that measures 42 millimeters in diameter (crown not included.) Combined with its relatively thin profile that is just over 12.5 millimeters thick, the ref. 106464 is both pleasant to look at (although, truth be told, the huge and bold “MONT BLANC” and “MEINSTERSTUCK” inscriptions engraved on each side of the case makes me cringe a little) and is also surprisingly comfortable to wear.
Inside the polished body is hidden their MB 4810/405 self-winding movement, an ETA 7753-based caliber that we have already seen in their MB TimeWalker GMT automatic watch.
Featuring a deliberately understated finish (Montblanc seems to be especially eager to differentiate their relatively affordable watches from the high-end ones that are lavishly decorated by hand,) the movement provides just enough functionality for the watch to display a 24-hour second time zone, a simple calendar with current date and a rotating scale with 24 cities each representing respective time zone.
It is worth noting that all operations with GMT functions are done by the same oversized crown: no additional pushers here. An elegant solution, that, however some customers may find it extremely uncomfortable.
What is the most interesting about this caliber is that it continues to run while the time zone is being reset or adjusted.
According to the Germany-based brand, the caliber simply disconnects the movement from the wheels of the second time zone and world-time indicators whenever an adjustment is made.
As I have already noted, the dial offers perfect legibility ensured by high-contrast Arabic numerals on both the main and second time zone scales.
Of course, the lack of luminescent substance on its leaf-shaped hands and the chapter ring somehow detracts from its usability in darkness, but, well, that’s the part of the “vintage” package, IYKWIM.
As for the price, the maker of luxury writing instruments expects you to shell out approximately $5100 for one of these timekeepers. Can’t say whether the price is too high in terms of expected value for money, but, generally, it is in the same ballpark with similar 7753-powered watches offered by other luxury brands.
See also: Montblanc TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph
Montblanc Star World-Time GMT automatic watch (ref. 106464) specification
Price: $5100 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Calibre MB 4810/405 (base ETA 7753), 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time zone, world time scale
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Black guilloche dial with silver-colored Arabic numerals and rhodium-plated hands OR Silver-colored guilloche dial with black numerals and blued hands
Hands: Steel, leaf-shaped
Water resistance: 30 meters
Case back: Sapphire