The TimeWalker collection celebrates its 10th anniversary
With the debut of the TimeWalker Collection in 2004, Montblanc launched a new family of watches and simultaneously defined a new design vocabulary. Its salient features include architectonic lines, 43-millimetre case, narrow bezel and elegantly skeletonised horns, plus a large, planar dial with Arabic numerals in a distinctive, clearly contoured typography and characteristic lancet-shaped hands. This innovative look, lost none of its appeal during the preceding decade, combining masculine technology with sporty elegance and has made the TimeWalker line one of Montblanc’s most successful watch collections. Now Montblanc kicks off the second decade of this iconographic watch line with the presentation of the new TimeWalker Extreme Chronograph DLC.
“Diamond like carbon”
A “DLC” (for the “diamond-like carbon” material) treatment ensures that the toughness of the stainless steel case’s surface has been increased to the utmost. Miniscule glass spherules are blasted under high pressure to give the steel a microscopic texture to which the DLC coating can almost inseparably adhere, thus producing a fine matte finish on the surface. The same process is used on the other stainless steel components: i.e. the readily grasped crown, the chronograph’s buttons, the midnight-black pronged buckle, and the screwed back with its pane of sapphire crystal. The colour of the diamond-like carbon coating is described as “Black 4”, which stands for “very black”.
The window in the case back offers a clear view of the automatic mechanical Calibre MB 4810/507. Equipped with an integrated chronograph function, this calibre is manufactured in accord with all the rules that govern the art of Swiss watchmaking. It ticks at a steady pace of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 Hz), so the chronograph’s elapsed-second hand advances in eighth-of-a-second increments – the exact measurement of brief intervals.
A black stage set
The black of the new TimeWalker chronograph´s case continues on the large planar dial, which expresses the artistry of the cadraniers, as dial-makers are known in specialized horological language. The various displays of this watch’s face are presented on different levels. The middle stratum, which covers the centre and the periphery of the dial, is embellished with a fine embossed pattern of circular striations. The periphery bears the seconds scale for the chronograph’s slender elapsed-seconds hand and is subdivided into readily legible quarter-of-a-second increments to match the 4 Hz pace of the movement. The three subdials – one for the continually running second-hand and two for the chronograph’s elapsed-time counters – are positioned at the “6”, the “9” and the “12”. The matte black hour-circle without textural embellishment is positioned slightly above the middle plane and bears strongly luminescent Superluminova numerals in the patented TimeWalker typography, along with equally clearly legible double indices. Wholly dedicated to time measurement, this no-frills landscape is an excellent example of attention to legibility. It’s accentuated by a set of anthracite-grey ruthenium-coloured hands that clearly contrast with the midnightblack background. Five of the hands have the typical lancet shape and are inset with Superluminova; the chronograph’s elapsed-seconds hand is counterweighted and culminates in a red tip. The final display is the date window at “4:30”, where the current date appears against a black background in white numerals in the TimeWalker typography.
Innovative materials for the Wrist
Montblanc is living up to the preservation of the traditional craftsmanship values following the principles of the Swiss haute horlogerie and at the same time striving for innovative technologies and concepts. This quest for performance and innovation is reflected not only in unprecedented developments in the watchmaking world but as well in the materials used. The black wristband of the TimeWalker Extreme Chronograph DLC likewise makes an exceptionally technical and sportily elegant impression. It deserves special attention because of the complexity of its material combination and manufacturing process. The strap’s inlay is made of black “Vulcarboné” cautchouc which gives the wristband extreme strength and flexibility.
Breakage-resistant twine in a colour that matches the leather’s hue is used to sew the cowhide to the upper surface of the rubber “soul”. A laborious process textures the leather and simultaneously impregnates it with a treatment that doesn’t merely coat the leather, but conjoins with it and increases its structural strength – this innovative leather treatment leads to high-performance material with special shielding properties providing extra protection for the leather against abrasion, water, and fire. It is used for various elements through the different Montblanc product categories – a further proof that the complexity as well as the innovation and performance demands of Montblanc`s wristwatches are not limited solely to their movements, but also include other components such as wristbands, case construction and dials. This model’s high-tech wristband is secured by a black stainless steel pronged buckle which, like the other stainless steel parts, is micro-bead blasted and coated with a layer of Black 4 DLC.