This week, the Palexpo facility in Geneva, Switzerland, will become the center of the watch world for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH, a luxury watch show rivaled only by BaselWorld in relevance and prestige. We’ve got a team on the ground, there to bring you the most exciting releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check out Instagram. We’ll be posting to our feed throughout the week.
Upshot: Since Montblanc owns the rights to Minerva — a mostly-forgotten brand that once made some great chronographs and tool watches during the ’20s and ’30s — most of its releases at SIHH 2018 celebrate Minerva’s 160-year history. That celebration mainly manifested in the 1858 collection, which includes the unique Geosphere, a vintage-inspired watch with a world time complication.
Who It’s For: Montblanc bills the watch as ideal for explorers (note the compass bezel and Seven Summit reference on the back). Realistically, the watch is going to be a great option for frequent travelers, especially those whose work requires them to stay in sync with multiple time zones at once.
First Impressions: The Geosphere is a bit chunky, though, in its defense, it needs to fit some serious mechanics inside. The watch features two globes that illustrate the northern and southern hemispheres (other world timers only feature one display), and they rotate throughout the day, thus automatically denoting the hour for each time zone. Do note, though, that the time zones are not clearly marked on the globes, so parsing out the right time for each can be a bit of a guessing game. The watch also features a sub-dial that indicates an additional time zone in addition to the main dial’s time. Montblanc wisely chose to accent the watch’s black dial with rich, gold-toned hues, giving the watch some excellent vintage vibes.
Insight: With few exceptions, world time watches are very pricey. With a price tag around $6,300, however, the Geosphere presents a pretty solid value, especially considering its unique configuration. Most other world time watches feature complex dials, too, so the relatively pared-down look of the Geosphere is a breath of fresh air. If you like the overall look of the of the Geosphere but aren’t so keen on the world time function, Montblanc also introduced a revised automatic and chronograph to the 1858 lineup. Both are simpler and more affordable yet maintain the same basic design scheme.