Montblanc Reveals ExoTourbillon Chronographe Watch at SIHH 2010

Jan 27, 2010
On January 18th, 2010, the acclaimed watch company Montblanc was proud to introduce its innovative timekeeping creation within its Villeret 1858 collection. The presentation of the new ExoTourbillon Chronographe took place at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Geneva.

The new horological masterpiece from Montblanc represents a regulator timepiece, equipped with a large centrally axial minute hand, a special hour display, a second time zone with day/night display; a counter for the seconds, as well as a chronograph with a sub-dial for featuring 30 elapsed minutes. The undeniable highlight of this model is its ingenious tourbillon that demonstrates a balance larger than the tourbillon’s rotating cage and placed outside it.

The ExoTourbillon Chronographe is the first timepiece to join the brand’s Villeret 1858 Collection, which brought together two of the most famous horological complications: a chronograph and a tourbillon.

The true genius of the tourbillon lies within its totally unprecedented architecture. The center of gravity of the balance and balance-spring in a mechanical timepiece is never completely collinear with the center of the axis of rotation of the balance. In case the watch is placed in a vertical position, such off-centeredness causes a certain disadvantage: the influence of gravity on the balance’s eccentric center of gravity disturbs the oscillation of the balance.

The tourbillon mechanism represents a revolutionary technical solution of the problem: the balance is located inside a cage, which incessantly rotates around its own axis. This remarkable mechanism has been optimized for the ExoTourbillon Chronographe: separated from the cage, the balance is isolated from the disturbing movements of the escapement.

This separation allowed the brand’s major specialists to engineer the world’s first tourbillon, with a rotating cage, which is smaller in size than the balance, oscillating outside the cage and on a higher plane. The name of the breathtaking Montblanc watch, which includes the Greek prefix exo, meaning “outside”, has been encouraged by this remarkable mechanism.

The face of the ExoTourbillon Chronographe watch is completed with an oversized minutes hand and the chronograph’s elapsed seconds hand, which have a common axis found at the center of the dial. The counter for displaying the hours is positioned in the lower half of the watch face.

The supplementary displays depict a highly original miniature solar system with a golden sun, represented by the tourbillon, nestled at 12, the Earth, placed at 6 and the Moon presented as a small 24-hour dial, positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock. The last-mentioned counter serves as a day/night display for the time in a second time zone. Besides, the watch’s face reveals two other celestial bodies, presented in the form of the small seconds sub-dial at 9 and the semicircular chronograph’s counter for 30 elapsed minutes, positioned at 3 o’clock.

Capable of showing the time in two different time zones, the ExoTourbillon Chronographe will surely thrill global travelers. The skeletonized hour hand on the hours counter shows the local time, whereas the tip of the blued steel hour hand indicates the hour in the home time zone of the watch owner.

In case, he wears the watch in his home time zone, the aforementioned two hands are found one atop the other. When the watch wearer travels to a different time zone, he should use the button, nestled at 8 o’clock, in order to advance the local-time hour-hand in single-hour increments until the hand shows the correct local time. The current time at the watch owner’s home is displayed on the small 24-hour dial, equipped with the day/night indicator and blued steel hand.


The ExoTourbillon Chronographe watch is animated by the Calibre 16.60 chronograph movement, which provides an oversized and centrally axial counter for the elapsed seconds, a sub-dial for 30 elapsed minutes, a conventional column-wheel, as well as a horizontal coupling.

The new Montblanc watch will be issued in a very limited edition. Therefore, it is already regarded as a coveted object among watch enthusiasts and collectors.

The version of the watch, rendered in platinum, will be restricted to one exclusive piece only. The interpretations, sculptured in 18K white gold and in 18K red gold (5N), will be launched as a limited series of 8 pieces each.

The watches, available with white or red gold cases, demonstrate oversized gold dials. They feature delicate grooves of hand applied guilloche decoration. The exclusive platinum timepiece exposes a dial, done with mother-of-pearl.

The Montblanc novel ExoTourbillon Chronographe watch is offered with an imposing 47-mm case, which features an arching bezel. The case is armed with a domed sapphire crystal, outfitted with vertically falling flanks. The case-back exposes a screw-down sapphire crystal, protected by a hinged cover.

Each timepiece is engraved with the inscription “Edition Limitee,” “Montblanc” and “Fait main a Villeret”, which means handmade in Villeret. The Montblanc watch, reviewed by Watches.InfoNIAC.com, is teamed with an alligator leather strap, finished with a pronged buckle, manufactured either from 18 K white gold, 18K red gold or from 950 platinum. The choice of the latter depends on the material the model case is sculptured in.

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posted by: / Jan 27, 2010

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