When Salon QP opens its doors this Thursday night, its visitors will be the first anywhere to see this latest addition to Montblanc’s reinvigorated Timewalker collection.
by James Buttery
The Timewalker Automatic Chronograph introduces a new warmth to the modern automotive design through its dark brown ceramic bezel with etched 12-hour scale and 18ct satin-finished red gold case.
Montblanc removes much of the detailing from the running seconds subdial (debadging for watches?) so the eye is drawn to the much cleaner central vertical stack of 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph registers.
Like its Timewalker siblings, the 43mm Automatic Chronograph takes its inspiration from the Minerva automotive stopwatches of old. The central red chronograph seconds hand is even tipped with a familiar Minerva arrow (I prefer Devil’s tail) in a tip of the hat to the famed chronograph manufacture while the knurled crown and pusher housings are given a rich brown PVD treatment to reinforce the look.
The 28,800vph calibre MB 25.07 has a 46 hour power reserve and can be viewed through a smoked sapphire crystal caseback while the watch is mounted on a brown calf leather strap secured with a triple-folding 18ct gold folding clasp.
The Montblanc Timewalker Automatic Chronograph is one of the stars of Behind the Wheel at Salon QP (2-4 Nov), one of four special exhibitions staged at Saatchi Gallery and created by QP’s editorial team. Here we give you a taste of what to expect.
Salon QP: Behind the Wheel
The wristwatch and the motorcar came into being at around the same time, over 130 years ago. Industrialised at the start of the twentieth century, their early development was shaped by the pressures of warfare, while on a civilian front records were already being broken.
The end of World War II paved the way for motorsport to flourish, and both cars and watches could become leisure items as well as functional tools. The post-war years put names like Daytona and Carrera on the map. As motor racing’s popularity and professionalism grew, so did its need for accurate timekeeping, in the form of high grade dashboard instruments and steel-cased practical watches. The sports chronograph was born.
For the next two decades, bolstered by endorsements from professional drivers, Hollywood stars and television exposure, the chronograph thrived. Electronic timing began as early as 1965, but this golden era cemented an association between watches and cars that has held firm ever since.
Today a love of mechanical watches pervades at every race meet, from the Singapore Grand Prix to Goodwood Revival. Many will never have timed a lap in anger, but the shared values of precision engineering and extreme capabilities underpin the appeal of a hybrid hypercar as much as a split-second high frequency chronograph.
As our exhibition shows, modern watchmaking combines the best of tradition and modernity, capturing the passion that drives petrolheads and watch nerds alike. We look at Chopard’s long-standing association with the Mille Miglia, a race which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, while IWC also has reason to celebrate as it marks 50 years of AMG.
It’s not all about the past, though Having launched into its role as official timekeeper for Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer with gusto, Montblanc will be launching a brand new Timewalker chronograph at Salon QP, as well as displaying the kind of high-tech timekeeping that Villeret does so well with the Timewalker Chronograph 1000, capable of timing to 1/1000th of a second.