At SIHH last year Montblanc unveiled the first of the Heritage collection, a line of classically styled timepieces at an accessible price point that is one of the key elements of the strategy in revamping Montblanc’s watch business. That is set to continue at SIHH 2015 with the Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum, a world time wristwatch with a day and night indicator.
The world time function on the Orbis Terrarum (which translates literally as “globe Earth”, but means “world”) works like a typical Louis Cottier-type world time. A button at eight o’clock advances the hour hand in one hour increments, along with the 24 hour disc. This allows the wearer to read the time in any of the 24 time zones shown on the cities disc.
What is more unusual, but not new, is the day and night display in the centre. The display is made up of two sapphire discs, the upper disc printed with the continents as seen from the North Pole, with the continents clear and showing the disc below and the seas in pale blue. Below is a disc in two colours, white for day time and dark grey for night. The disc below makes one rotation every 24 hours, showing which areas of the world are enjoying daylight.
The Orbis Terrarum is strikingly similar to the world time from Vacheron Constantin, Montblanc’s sister company in the Richemont Group. Vacheron Constantin was first to use twin discs with a continent display for the day and night function with its Patrimony Traditionelle World Time. That watch displays 37 times zones, including those offset at 15 and 30 minutes. Montblanc’s new world time is in effect a simplified and lower priced version of the Vacheron Constantin world time.
Montblanc does not reveal the base movement for the Orbis Terrarum but it most probably the Sellita clone of the ETA 2892, or an ETA 2892. There are precious few other reliable alternatives at this price point for a watch of this size and thickness.
The Orbis Terrarum has a 41 mm case, available in steel or rose gold. It starts at €4990 before taxes (about US$6000) for the basic steel model on an alligator strap.
Back to top.
You may also enjoy these.
Speake-Marin returns with the Spirit Mark 2, which is literally bigger and better than its first sports watch.