Luxury watchmaker Montblanc is betting big on glaciers, as seen in the release of the 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2022. Having finally delivered a mountaineer’s dive watch, Montblanc is leaning all the way into its success with the Star Legacy LE1786 Blue Capsule collection. New for 2022, this capsule collection includes an automatic with date (Automatic Date 39mm), moon phase, (Moonphase 42mm) and twin-register chronograph (Chronograph 42mm). With these three watches, Montblanc joins a few notables, chiefly Patek Philippe, in revealing novelties immediately after the big show in Geneva.
All three new watches are united by dark blue glacier dials, which bear some resemblance to the powerful three dimensional dial in the 1858 Iced Sea. Having said that, a resemblance is all that can be said in the way of connections between the new dive watch and the Blue Capsule collection watches. The new dials feature a layered design inspired by the Mer de Glace; this glacier at Mont Blanc is also behind the dials of the Iced Sea models. For the capsule collection, the centre of the dial reproduces the glacier’s texture and an intense shade of blue via a special stamping process; this “The Blue Hour”, is what the glacier looks like at dusk, with both moonlight and starlight in play. We applaud the confidence of the Montblanc watchmaking team in putting together this victory lap after Watches and Wonders.
Fittingly, the Blue Capsule collection honours the first person to summit the Mont Blanc, Jacques Balmat at precisely 1823 in the evening of 1786. Indeed, Montblanc speculates that Balmat would have experienced the Blue Hour himself, and thus all watches in the capsule collection are limited to 1,786 pieces. While all the cases are in stainless steel, it is worth noting that the hands and Arabic numerals are rose gold-coated, because Balmat was in search of gold. In the Moonphase model, the moon and stars are also rose gold-coated, while the chronograph register hands are also similarly coated in the Chronograph model.
All the watches are available with polished stainless steel bracelets with triple-folding clasps but also with a blue calf leather strap (Automatic Date) and Blue Sfumato alligator leather (Moonphase and Chronograph).
By Ashok Soman