Montblanc 1858 GMT: World Explorer

Luxury

The 1858 line is named for the year Montblanc’s Minerva manufacture was founded, and its timepieces are, naturally, centred on the facility’s watchmaking heritage. Today, this expansive collection comprises various models that embody — and enable — the spirit of exploration. This philosophy continues in the latest addition to the line-up: the 1858 GMT.

Conceived for frequent travellers, the 1858 GMT has been fitted with the eponymous GMT complication in an atypical format. In lieu of the familiar GMT hand that points to Home Time, a red marker orbits the edge of the dial once every 24 hours to serve the same function. By doing away with this extra hand, Montblanc has not just reduced clutter, but also segregated the information on the dial more effectively. Home Time remains equally legible, of course, but the indicator remains out of the way until it is needed.

As the red marker is seen through cut-outs on the rim of the dial, Montblanc has been able to display Home Time to the nearest half-hour. This, too, has been optimised for readability — the apertures for the hours are larger than those for the half-hours, thus making it a cinch to read the GMT display. Apart from the GMT complication’s red marker, the only other pop of crimson is the “GMT” text at six o’clock, which provides yet another method of separating the information presented on the dial.

Despite being styled as a tool watch, Montblanc has not scrimped on the 1858 GMT’s detailing. Instead, much attention has been paid to the rest of the dial on the watch. For a start, the outer ring housing the GMT display has been snailed to lend contrast to the sunray finish on the central portion. The latter is, in turn, complemented by bold appliqué indices that match the cathedral hands. These are then framed by the fixed bezel, which has a matte aluminium insert in a colour identical to the dial. The overall effect is a pleasing, harmonious watch “face” with elements that are as luxurious as they are practical.

Dial and bezel aside, the 1858 GMT’s features elsewhere also reinforce its sensibilities as a luxury tool watch. The case’s surfaces, for example, largely sport brushed finishes, but specific areas like the shoulders of the lugs are polished instead to play with light differently for visual interest. In the same vein, the knurled bezel adds a touch of ruggedness to the watch, which is balanced by the polished upper surface. Finally, the 42mm case is water-resistant to 100 metres, making this a bona fide tool watch that can withstand more than a splash of water.

The 1858 GMT is available with either a blue or black dial fitted with a bezel in the corresponding colour. For each colourway, there is the option of a steel bracelet or matching rubber strap, for a total of four references.

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