Sharing the Passion for Fine Watchmaking
Ninety years ago, Montblanc created a writing instrument that became an icon in the culture of writing: the Montblanc Meisterstück. With functional and aesthetic design, an innovative ink supply and a manually profiled gold nib, this fountain pen is the legendary writing instrument of our time.
Ever since 1924, the Meisterstück has represented consummate excellence, the striving for perfection and masterly craftsmanship – and has thus embodied the principles that pervade Montblanc’s production, innovation and products. Precisely this attitude also determines the extremely high standards that Montblanc upholds so that it can consistently develop and produce the finest timepieces and innovative calibres on the highest echelons of the traditional art of Swiss watchmaking in its manufactures in the Swiss Jura, in Villeret and Le Locle.
The Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Collection is inspired by the ninety-year heritage of the Meisterstück. With classical design, discriminating complications and sumptuous decorations, these elegant timepieces manifest the values of the Montblanc Meisterstück and the traditional features of fine Swiss watchmaking in every detail – thus making them their owners’ lifelong companions.
The Montblanc Meisterstück: A Legend from the Hands of Master Craftsmen
Meisterstück is the German word for “masterpiece”. The concept originated in medieval craftsmen’s guilds: ever since the Middle Ages, a craftsman who had successfully completed his journeyman years could apply for recognition as a Meister (master). If the guild accepted his request, the applicant was obliged to prove his abilities by fabricating an especially demanding artefact under the supervision of one of the guild’s masters. If the other masters accepted this piece as a Meisterstück, the applicant was granted the title of Meister. Today too, the word Meisterstück continues to stand for extraordinary craftsmanship, traditional techniques, high-quality materials, perfect aesthetics and outstanding functionality.
When the Montblanc Meisterstück fountain pen 149 debuted in 1924, it proved that Montblanc had created an artefact which truly deserves its name. The design is elegantly reduced: the barrel and cap are made of deep black precious resin, a golden gleam beautifies both the ring around the barrel and the clip, and the entire ensemble is crowned by Montblanc’s emblem, which symbolizes the snow-covered summit of the European continent’s tallest peak. This mountain towers 4,810 metres above sea level, which is why the engraved numeral “4810” adorns the nib of every Montblanc Meisterstück writing instrument and distinguishes it as a product that embodies the acme of European craftsmanship. The passion for aesthetics, craftsmanship and quality gave birth to a highly functional, exclusive and timelessly beautiful object for daily use.
This pen wrote world history: countless presidents, crowned heads and high-ranking dignitaries have used it to sign international treaties and certificates of appointment. But above all, it’s the discriminating standards and spirit, along with enduring appreciation from its owners, which have enabled the Meisterstück to become a legend.
This “Spirit of Meisterstück” was the starting point for the development of a new line of watches: the Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Collection.
This new collection is inspired by the standards of the Montblanc Meisterstück. Like the legendary fountain pen, these timepieces are distinguished by masterly craftsmanship, timeless design and perfect functionality. The Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Collection embodies the finest Swiss watchmaking in each and every detail.
For example, the time is shown by faceted hands in the classical dauphine shape, which sweep over cambered, silver-white dials that have been tastefully embellished with sunburst patterns. Dauphine hands are extremely challenging to fabricate because their clear geometry, straight contours and perfectly smooth flanks would instantly reveal even the tiniest flaw in their manufacturing or assembly. Their elegant length is an especially distinguishing feature of fine watchmaking.
The hour circle combines polished faceted appliqués in three different lengths and an eye-catching applied Roman numeral “XII”. In accord with the best watchmaking tradition, each appliqué stands atop two little feet which are firmly riveted to the dial.
The classical shape of the elegant 39- or 41-mm-diameter case is accentuated by various finishings on the surfaces, for example, horizontal satin finishing on the middle piece. The crown is adorned with Montblanc’s emblem in polished, raised relief against a matte sand-blasted background.
These elaborate features distinguish all models in the Meisterstück Heritage Collection: from the classical three-handed wristwatch with date display, through the elegant moon-phase watch, to grandes complications such as a perpetual calendar and a monopusher chronograph.
Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar
Timeless Aesthetics – Eternal Functionality
The grande complication of the perpetual calendar is both highly demanding from a mechanical viewpoint and an expression of the utmost in the watchmaker’s art. Unlike an ordinary “full calendar”, a perpetual calendar always shows the correct date and requires no manual adjustment, not even at the end of a month with fewer than 31 days and also not at the end of February in a leap year. It accordingly jumps directly from 30 June to 1 July and from 28 February to 1 March, except in a leap year, when it automatically shows 29 February.
The mechanism which supports this function requires complexly shaped rockers and cams that mechanically pre-program the variously long months and also add a 29th day to February once every four years. If the mainspring of the Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar is kept sufficiently wound, this timepiece’s calendar will require no manual adjustments until the year 2100. If this watch is left unworn for a longer period of time, its calendar displays can be quickly and easily returned to synchrony with the current date by pressing the inset buttons in the middle piece of the case. The perpetual calendar is powered by self-winding mechanical Calibre MB 29.15., which has a balance paced at 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 hertz).
The displays of the Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar are harmoniously arranged on the dial: the date is shown at “3 o’clock”, the day of the week at “9 o’clock”, and the month at “12 o’clock”. On the inner scale of the month display, the leap-year cycle is shown by a blue triangle and a leap year is indicated by a red “4”. The moon’s phases are emulated in a window at “6 o’clock”; the moon’s age is indicated in days at this window’s upper edge.
The calendar’s finely blued hands elegantly contrast with the silver-white, cambered dial, which is adorned with a sunburst pattern. A gold-plated hour-hand and minute-hand harmonize with the 39-mm-diameter case, which is crafted from 18 karat rose gold. A pane of sapphire crystal in the back offers a clear view of elaborately embellished self-winding Calibre MB 29.15. This new classic wristwatch is affixed to a black alligator-leather strap with an 18 karat rose gold pronged buckle. The closure’s curved crosspieces harmoniously repeat the curvature of the watch’s case. This too is another of the many details that distinguish timelessly perfect design in full accord with the traditions of haute horlogerie.
Each Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar wristwatch is subjected to a comprehensive 500-hour quality test at the manufacture in Le Locle. Developed by Montblanc, this rigorous examination verifies the accuracy of the watch’s rate, the watertightness of its case, the timepiece’s overall performance and robustness, and the functionality of the individual displays. Only after its examiners are convinced that a watch upholds Montblanc’s strict quality standards do they release it for subsequent delivery. Each watch that passes the 500-hour test is individually issued a test certificate.