Though most associated with pens, Montblanc has made a real play in the horology world. After Richemont purchased Minerva, Montblanc was given custodianship of the movement manufacture, turning it into an incubator for high complications and impeccable finishing. The Villeret collection boasts such creations as the Metamorphoses and the 1858 Vintage Pulsographe. They do some serious watchmaking over there in Villeret. And let’s not forget the Nicolas Rieussec chronographs made over in Le Locle, designed after their namesake and featuring chrono dials that move against a stationary indication.
These collections tend to be the stars of the show and will garner the most press attention at SIHH. They also cost in the above 10K category and the Villeret collection in the 6 figures. What if you want something cool, classic and practical and are on a budget? Never fear, Montblanc has something for you too.
Without a doubt, one of the most convenient complications is a full calendar. While not an annual calendar, which only needs to be adjusted once a year, the full calendar still notes the day, month and year. The one inconvenience is adjusting the date for all months don’t have 31 days. Still, that’s not such a big deal. The Montblanc Meisterstruck Quantieme Complet offers all the basic goodies plus throws in a moonphase at 6 o’clock, which really adds some style.
The overall layout is intuitive and easy to read. Underneath the Montblanc cartouche at 12 o’clock are the day and month windows, while the red date hand in the shape of a crescent circle the periphery. Dignified Roman n merals stand around the dial and a segmented railroad track décor marks the minutes. Blued feuille hands add a dash of color. As in all the Star collection of watches, the center of the dial is decorated with guilloche. I really like the big beefy onion crown.
The Meisterstruck Quantieme Complet, offered in either stainless steel or 18K red gold, comes on an alligator strap with a pronged buckle.
The biggest surprise of all: the Montblanc Meisterstruck Quantieme Complet is a hair less than 5K. It retails for $4900 and is ready for action this May in stores.
Baume & Mercier also presented a complete calendar in their newly introduced collection called Clifton. Inspired by a museum piece from the 1950’s, Clifton recalls the simplicity and elegance of the “Golden Fifties”, when watchmaking hit its heyday. Perhaps seeking some ancient luck, all elements from the hands to the case channel the Golden Ratio, the Greek symbol “phi”, which is considered the proportion of perfection. (Parmigiani also applies the Golden ratio in their watches.)
The Clifton Complete Calendar Moonphase sports the same layout as the Meisterstruck Quantieme Complet this time with Arabic numerals. It comes with two different dial color options, silver and blue. The silver dial has gold hands and applied gold-colored Arabic numerals, while the blue, sun satin-finished dial has silver hands and applied silver numerals.
As Baume & Mercier isn’t a manufacture, and don’t claim to be, they source their movements from other companies. In 43mm stainless steel cases, both versions of the Complete Calendar Moonphase are powered by the automatic Dubois Depraz 9000 on view through a sapphire crystal back. The watch secures to the wrist with a black alligator strap with a triple folding buckle.
You can take the Complete Calendar Moonphase home for $4,700.
We think either complete calendar watch offers great value for the money.