The Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie, founded by the brand in 2008, has a noble mission of supporting, both materially and intellectually, young talents giving birth to new ideas to highlight the art of watchmaking. Therefore, Montblanc introduced the “TimeWriter” concept, under which the brand intends to present a project every two years developed by independent creators who introduce great ideas and want to become independent watchmakers.
Two young watch specialists Johnny Girardin and Franck Orny wanted to create a wristwatch with two faces, based on the principles of traditional watchmaking, yet representing an entirely new and unprecedented concept.
The new extraordinary project of the TimeWriter series is actually based on the Montblanc`s own hand-crafted chronographe calibre MBM 16.29. The way the Montblanc Metamorphosis transforms itself is truly unprecedented. Via moving a slide down or up, the watch transforms from a wristwatch displaying hours, minutes, and seconds into a chronograph and vice versa. This metamorphosis is performed in a completely mechanical manner inspired by methods applied in automatons construction, a traditional trade long practiced in the Swiss Jura region.
Before the eye-paralyzing transformation takes place, the watch with a large teardrop-like case demonstrates a dial with an unusual display of the civil time . In the upper part of the dial, you will see the regulator-style sub-dial featuring a lonely hour-hand and completed with Roman numerals.
At the same time, a retrograde minute-hand sweeps its arc between 8 and 4 o’clock from the center of the dial. A large seconds-hand, also in the center, makes one full circle every minute. At 6 o`clock, you will notice a hand-type date display. The hands together indicate the civil time and the date.
The metamorphosis starts as soon as the watch owner pulls the slide on the left-hand flank of the watch’s case downward from the “10” to the “8.” Within about fifteen seconds, the watch transforms into a chronograph. Four wings in the lower part of the dial open, slide under one another, and hide to the left and right beneath the middle bar of the dial. A similar sequence happens with two wings on the regulator’s hour dial in the upper part of the dial.
As soon as all the wings have opened, a sub-dial rises reminding the floor of an elevator at 6 o`clock and an opening in this rising disk “swallows” the date-hand. The just risen rotating disc represents the minute counter for the chronograph function.
After the breathtaking transformation takes place, the dial of the watch is fully devoted to the chronograph function. Now, the dial is completed with Arabic numerals and is highlighted with red accents. The hours are displayed on a sub-dial at 12 o`clock such as before and the retrograde minutes are also displayed from the centre.
The continuous seconds hand has transformed into the central chronograph hand. As for the risen turning disc at 6 o’clock, it stands out due to an elapsed-minutes scale calibrated from 01 to 31. A motionless index on the central bar of the dial shows which minute is at the moment being tallied.
The scale is calibrated for 31 minutes as its designers wanted to emphasize the fact that a date scale could take this position too. The watch owner is sure to highly appreciate such peculiarities, especially when seeing that each of the two displays performs with absolute mechanical independence of the other. The elapsed-minutes disk turns continuously, and the date-hand movement is “semi-instantaneous.”
The creators of the Metamorphosis watch used the luxurious column-wheel Montblanc/Minerva 16.29 caliber, composed of 252 individual parts, having created a unique additional mechanical structure built from 315 components. The result is the remarkable sum of 567 individual parts. No doubt, the Montblanc Metamorphos highlights the list of the most complicated up-to-date wristwatches.
The teardrop-shaped case of the Montblanc watch, 47mm in diameter, is sculptured from 18K white gold. The case incorporates double sapphire crystals. The timepiece is 50-meter water-resistant. The dial is performed in titanium, steel and sapphire.
As Watches.InfoNIAC.com found out, the Montblanc Timewriter 1 Metamorphosis watch is expected to be limited to just 28 pieces and offered at the price of 195,000 Euros.
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