Here’s a welcome surprise with the beautiful commemorative Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylidrique 110 Years Anniversary Limited Edition. The limited edition tourbillon watch pays tribute to more than a hundred years of artistry and superb craftsmanship with a gorgeous in-house piece that further cements their dedication to produce high-end wristwatches that are a force to be reckoned with.
Drawing inspiration from the maison’s first fountain pen series, the “Rouge et Noir,” Montblanc has reenlisted the serpentine motif with a seductive snake that coils around the face. Comprised of hand-engraved anthracite, the serpent is a three-dimensional work of art that sets the tone for this piece and is actually integrated directly into the bezel. The case is a sizable 52mm in brilliant 18k red gold with a domed sapphire crystal. The upper face reveals the 18.4mm tourbillon, while the time is displayed on a subdial directly below.
The time is shown in a beautiful Heures Mystérieuses complication which features hands that seem to mysteriously float above the dial. This is accomplished by the attachment of two ultra-thin sapphire crystal discs that have been embossed with an hour and minute hand, respectively. Once incorporated into the movement, they rotate in conjunction and serve as beautiful and impressive hands.
The bridges and plates have been plated with black rhodium that contrasts nicely with the inner-workings that ultimately complement this opulent piece. This watch is certainly more ornate than Montblanc’s more recent releases, and it is with pieces like this that they continue to find a way to encapsulate their history while creating a modern work of art. Montblanc seems to be one of the few companies that really has a knack for delivering exquisite yet understated watches while allowing room in the portfolio for more indulgent beauties like this one.
The Collection Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary is powered by Montblanc’s manually wound Cailbre MB M65.63, running at 18,000bph (2.5Hz). The one-minute tourbillon is constructed from 95 hand-chamfered, bevelled, angled, and polished elements that are the result of true dedication. The tourbillon bridge alone takes nearly a week to polish and bevel, again, all completely by hand. The double cylindrical hairspring has the advantage of increasing the mechanism’s center of of gravity and is wound around a vertical axis. Even these are hand-crafted along with the entire movement itself which offers a 46-hour power reserve.
Montblanc continues to innovate while retaining their heritage and extreme attention to detail. With many companies developing their own in-house movements, it is important to keep an eye on those that are truly investing in the craft, and here, their efforts have really paid off. The life-like snake on the face seems as though it could strike at any moment and the floating hands are a remarkable touch on an already astonishing watch.