Watches: Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100 (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on January 28, 2014
If you follow closely what is going on in the watch world, you may remember the TimeWriter II Chronographe Bi-Fréquence 1,000 that Monblanc presented in 2012. Part of the upscale Villeret 1858 collection, this marvel of technology limited to 36 pieces boasted a monopusher chronograph able to measure and display 1/100th and 1/1,000th of a second. However, with a price tag of €230,000, the watch remained out of reach for many watch lovers.
At this year’s SIHH, the brand thus decided to introduce a “more affordable” timepiece (only €50,000) that also ventures into the world of high frequency to measure tiny intervals of time. Since the smallest interval one can measure with the newly unveiled TimeWalker Chronograph 100 is one hundredth of a second, Montblanc also teaches us that the relation between time measurement and price follows a factor of two…
That being said, the watch hides a magnificent calibre, the MB66-25, developed by Minerva. Its early twentieth century design cues, like the large screwed balance or the swan neck regulator of the Breguet overcoil, can of course be admired through the sapphire exhibition case back. Technically speaking, the watch uses separate barrels, going trains and balance wheels for the time and the chronograph. The balance wheel of the chronograph runs at 360,000 vph to measure the 1/100th of a second while the timekeeping part of the movement beats at the more conventional 18,000 vph. When activated, the chronograph function has a power reserve of 45 minutes while the watch itself (i.e., time measurement) offers 100 hours of power reserve when fully wound. Both functions, time and chronograph, are wound via the crown respectively clockwise or anti-clockwise.
Aesthetically, the watch departs from Montblanc’s traditional style: the 45.60 mm case features a middle part in carbon fibre with titanium hollowed lugs and a black DLC-coated titanium bezel. This extremely contemporary look is reinforced by the red accents on the dial as well as the red stitches of the black alligator strap. A sapphire dial that reveals the base plate of the movement emphasises the technical aspect of this stunning timepiece.
All in all, the watch works perfectly for me: I love its presence on the wrist and its modern look. It is clearly the kind of timepiece I love to wear. I am not sure though that it fits the tastes of the usual Monblanc customer in that price range. Talking about price, I also don’t understand why this fifty thousand euro watch belongs to the TimeWalker collection where it appears lost in a sea of, let’s say, more entry-level models. Call me a snob, but I would have a problem paying that amount of money for a watch of this collection. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a criticism about the TimeWalker: I appreciate the TimeWalker ChronoVoyager UTC or the TimeWalker World Time Northern Hemisphere but for me they cannot share the same collection as the TimeWalker Chronograph 100.
Anyway, if you want to have a better idea of how this great model looks like in person, I invite to browse the live pictures below: