Montblanc Watch Review & Brand History – Are They Good Quality Watches?

With over a 100-year legacy, Montblanc is widely popular for personalized gifts, leather goods, and watches. Originally started by a Berlin engineer and a Hamburg banker, the team steadily grew since the 1900s. Passing down the hands of many leaders and visionaries, Montblanc today is part of the Richemont group; with sister brands like Cartier and Piaget.

Montblanc took over Minerva SA thereby also obtaining Minerva’s technical know-how and watching making expertise. In the wake of the acquisition, Montblanc dove deep into watchmaking with the launch of its traditionally made Swiss watches. The collections showcase the epitome of skillful craftsmanship, the finest watchmaking technology, and groundbreaking revolutionary designs.

Montblanc watch
Montblanc watch (Image: Johnson Watch)

As the world saw Montblanc’s watchmaking expertise rise to the top, the brand sought to maintain its value: the pursuit of high-quality and craftsmanship. With each passing year,  Montblanc perfects the art of showcasing traditional values of watchmaking while also continuing to upgrade their technical know-how.

Most importantly, Montblanc watches go through the ‘500-hours test’. With an intention to simulate a year’s worth usage, the test cycle puts some of their timepieces to a rigorous certification process. As per the test, selected timepieces go through hours of winding performance & assembly control, continuous accuracy control, functioning test (wear and non-wear periods), general performance and water resistance. Consequently, the culmination of all these efforts is what sets Montblanc apart from its competitors.

Montblanc History 

mont blanc logo

Early in the 1900s, Montblanc took great pride in manufacturing “high-class and gold” fountain pens. The company briefly worked under the name Simplo Filter Pen Co.  Later in 1910, one of the family members of the company noted a worthy analogy of the company’s success to the highest and majestic peaks in the Alps — the Montblanc. Consequently, Simplo Filter Pen Co. registred ‘Montblanc’ for a trademark for all the future products. 

Early Rebranding  

In the same year, the new rebranded Montblanc produced its finest, technically improved, fountain pens. The new design came with a white tip on the pen cap. The white tip in the shape of a star represents the brand’s promise and commitment to maintaining high quality and European craftsmanship. In 1913, the star emblem officially became the brand logo. Subsequently, the emblem marks the seal of performance and the brand’s promise of ultimate performance, sophisticated style and high-quality. 

Spreading the Montblanc Wings

In 1926, Montblanc adapted new and innovative advertising strategies. The name Montblanc started appearing over planes and cars with a big fountain pen. Consequently, the efforts paid off. Over 60 countries came to know about the brand. The same year also saw the expansion of Montblanc into leather products. Following the success with the name Montblanc, the company’s name officially changed to Montblanc Simplo. 

Beginning of the Watchmaking Journey

After the success of writing instruments and leather products, Montblanc set up about 350 international boutiques across 70 counties. In 1997, Montblanc took part in the Salon International de Haute Horlogerie, a watch fair in Geneva. The craftsmanship and design attracted significant attention from various international jewelers. As a result, Montblanc presented its first-ever handcrafted timepiece, the Meisterstück. 

Officially marking the beginning of Montblanc’s watchmaking legacy, the brand set up the Montblanc Montre SA in Le Locle in the same year. Montblanc strategically planned this to showcase to its customers the brand’s commitment to maintaining high-quality and master craftsmanship. The success and widespread call for attention led to the launch of the ‘Meisterstück Sports’ watch collection with seven robust timepieces. 

Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie

The success of Meisterstück sports collection paved the way for the creation of the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie in Switzerland in 2007.

Ever since 1858, the Institut has served as the headquarters for Minerva. As Montblanc acquired Minerva SA, it also obtained the knowledge of watchmaking and technical know-how. Prior to Montblanc’s intervention, Minerva’s uninterrupted 150 years of watchmaking history is worth mentioning. No other watchmakers possessed the powerful combination to produce artful handmade watches with traditional Swiss methods while also keeping pace with state of the art engineering. This is what Montblanc acquired, sealing the deal on becoming one of the leading luxury Swiss watchmakers we know today. 

Montblanc’s First Watchmaking Breakthrough

In 2008, Montblanc then launched its first-ever fully in-house designed, developed and manufactured MB R100 caliber at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. Following this, Montblanc integrated the first-ever movement into the Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph timepiece. With twin rotating seconds and minute counters to reflect the past, the timepiece recalled the design of the Inking-Chronographer from 1821.  The collection pays fitting tribute to the inventor of chronography, Mr. Nicolas Rieussec. Rieussec, in his days, was also famous for making watches for King Louis XVIII.

Unveiling the Metamorphasis Collection

As Montblanc proudly marched into the watchmaking industry, the brand set out to raise new standards every time a new collection launched. This applies to the Metamorphasis collection as well. In 2010, Montblanc developed and manufactured the Villeret timepiece. The collection was the brand’s effort to safeguard the traditional Swiss watchmaking methods. In light of this effort, the watches came with a never seen before design and innovation. With almost fifty individual components that perfectly synchronize together to make a revolutionary design. As the name suggests, the face of the watch metamorphosizes into two. One, the classic date regulator and two, an elegantly designed ‘mono-pusher chronograph with horizontal clutch and column wheel’. 

Pinnacle of Innovation

Yet again in 2011, Montblanc pushed the boundaries of innovation even further with the launch of Tourbillon Bi-Cylinderique MB 65.63 caliber watch. For the first time ever in the history of watchmaking, Montblanc designed and produced this timepiece with tourbillon and two cylindrical balance springs. Originally, such features found its place within the marine chronometers in the 18th century. However, Montblanc reinvented the design to fit into a timepiece, thereby, expanding their pinnacle to further heights. 

Montblanc set its foot in watchmaking much after many successful luxury watchmakers. Nevertheless, the brand’s long-standing vision and philosophy have helped them progress rapidly as watchmakers. The past century reflects Montblanc’s promise to push the boundaries of innovation. Ingenuity remains the driving force of Montblanc’s success.

 

Montblanc Watch Collections

Over the years, the name Montblanc has been synonyms with personalized gifts. Nevertheless, Montblanc’s vision to provide high-standard watches have remained on top of the market. With every new collection, Montblanc reaches for newer designs and upgraded technology. In doing so, the brand has not compromised on traditional values and methods. Let’s take a closer look at their top collection available today. 

TimeWalker

Montblanc TimeWalker
Montblanc TimeWalker

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2015 saw the launch of TimeWalker collection. The watches as part of this collection has e-straps that offered tracking activity, smart notifications, and remote control. This collection is a classic example of how Montblanc reaches for modern technology while also keeping the traditional values of watchmaking alive. In addition to this, the TimeWalker collection is a combination of a tribute to Minerva’s outstanding history and vintage automotive speedometers. All the watches in this collection retails at an average price of $3500. 

Montblanc 1858

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere

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As an homage to Minerva’s unencumbered history and knowledge of precision watchmaking, the Montblanc 1858 collection saw the light of the world. Featuring a host of timepieces, the 1858 collection redefines the style of a vintage chronographer. Exquisite design and intricate attention to detail form the essence of this collection; just as it was the essence of Minerva as well.

There are three main types of timepieces to this collection. Firstly, the Monopusher Chronographer Limited Editions. These retail at an average price of $25,000 – $30,000. Next came the 1858 limited pocket watch series. These retail at an average price of $55,000 – $60,000. Finally came the Automatic Chronograph series. For those who wish to own an inexpensive 1858 collection, the Automatic is your best bed. It currently retails at an average price of $3500. 

Summit 2

Montblanc Summit 2
Montblanc Summit 2

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The Summit collection of Montblanc ventures into smartwatch technologies. Initially launched in 2017, Montblanc, along with TAG Heuer, pioneered the luxury smart watchmaking know-how. Montblanc takes pride with the Summit 2  as the most advanced technologies combined in a Swiss watch. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, the Summit watches uses Android Wear 2.0 OS. 

With 8 unique timepieces forming part of this collection, Montblanc has outdone itself. The Summit collection comes equipped with a myriad of functions and sensors. Ranging from heart monitoring, daily step count, navigation and weather sensors; Summit offers you a multitude of functions to choose from. The collection currently retails at an average of $1000. 

Star Legacy Collection

Montblanc Star Legacy
Montblanc Star Legacy

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Form an extension of the 2010 Metamorphasis collection, the Star Legacy collection is yet another ode to Minerva’s precision watchmaking and sophisticated designs. The Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph timepiece forms part of this collection and retails at an average of $22,000.

In addition, the Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition (priced at about $120,000), and the Moonphase series (starting at $4000) form part of the larger collection. For the women, Montblanc introduced the Small Second series with a touch of feminity within the design along with a powerful combination of finest watchmaking. The Small Second series retails at an average price of $2500. 

Heritage Collection

Montblanc Heritage
Montblanc Heritage

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Drawing inspiration from Minerva’s 1940s and 1950s collection, Montblanc’s Heritage collection is a perfect tribute to the elegance of watchmaking past with modern design and technology. 40 mm stainless steel with MB 24.27 automatic movement, the heritage collection is ideal if you are looking for a classic Montblanc timepiece that is not heavy on the wallet. The lower end of the Heritage collection retails at $2500 while the higher models retail at an average of $25,000. 

 

Montblanc Brand Reputation

Montblanc grew to be a household name for luxury and personalized gifts. As a result, customers loyal to Montblanc always value the brand for maintaining its high-quality, skillful design, dexterity, innovation and traditional Swiss watchmaking methods. As the brand name grew, Montblanc’s success never compromised on the spirits of the past. 

Ever since its inception, Montblanc has held strong to its commitment to art, culture, and innovators. Every collection is a tribute to the brand’s source of inspiration, in one way or the other. Montblanc set out to conquer the world of watchmaking and never did they derail from the plan. Over the year, Montblanc has not only manufactured traditionally made watches but has embodied modern trends for robust use in extreme conditions. 

Elegance, simplicity, but yet modern, functional and superior – this has been the reputation of Montblanc ever since it took over Minerva’s expertise and strives to uphold that even stronger today. 

 

Is Montblanc A Good Brand?

Montblanc Timewalker watch
Montblanc Timewalker (Image: Johnson Watch)

Watch aficionados and different watch forums overall are elated with the brand’s superior quality and performance.  Various forums have pointed out that Montblanc has outperformed its competitors under any price range. 

However, despite the approval of watch lovers, Montblanc is not always the top choice for investing in luxury watches. Many watch enthusiasts are sided by the fact that Montblanc is not solely a watchmaking company, unlike its competitors like TAG or Rolex.

While forums debate on whether the watchmaking history and heritage must be given utmost consideration for buying a watch, it is our view that merely one factor cannot decide if a brand is perfect for you. Investing in a premium luxury watch requires the consideration of usage, style, history of the company and budget. 

As Rolex, Patek Phillipe, and TAG continue to rule the luxury watch market, Montblanc stands tall in the fight to stay above. Evidently, this is saying enough and more about Montblanc’s quality and efficiency. 

Where to Buy Montblanc Watches?

Montblanc and luxury personalized gifts go hand in hand. This only means that Montblanc catalyzed its brand to build a name and reputation on serving high-quality watches that are highly durable. The watches also see a change of hands from one generation to another, owing to its sturdiness and reliability. If you are looking to invest in one, then look no further.

The official Montblanc website ships all its products worldwide.

The watches will include shipping charges in addition to the price of the watch. Montblanc prides itself on owing over 500 boutique stores all over the world. If you are one to try out watches, find the physical store nearest to you. 

You can also find new and pre-owned Montblanc watches on Amazon or on eBay.

If you are the UK or Europe, you can also find Montblanc watches on Goldsmiths, Jurawatches or Ernest Jones

Montblanc Watch Warranty

The international warranty policy of Montblanc states that all products cover for a two-year guarantee period from the date of purchase made. In addition, Montblanc also offers an international warranty for one year on the service of goods and products.  

The warranty covers manufacturing and production defects. However, the warranty does not cover the following:

  • Damage due to loss, theft, fire or negligence on the customer;
  • Damage arising from improper use and maintenance;
  • Defects arising from natural wear and tear;
  • Routine servicing;
  • Batteries, and straps. 

Moreover, remember to check for the Montblanc serial number on the watches, for without the number, you cannot benefit from the warranty. You can also find detailed information on the warranty policy here

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