Crafted by the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret this exceptional complication watch honours the legacy of one of history’s greatest explorers: Vasco da Gama. The manufacture’s voyage into uncharted territories of the watchmaking world continues with the Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama, a timepiece with the unprecedented combination of a cylindrical tourbillon and unique triple time zone indication. Strictly limited to eighteen pieces, the Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama is a revolutionary wristwatch that pushes the boundaries of fine watchmaking with the utmost performance and spectacular artisanal beauty.
Montblanc Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama
For many years, Montblanc and its Manufacture in Villeret have presented unique timepieces that express the comprehensive skills of the artisans at this time-honoured Manufacture. Now the developers and watchmakers have once again employed all their expertise to create a wristwatch that is quite literally the ticking “flagship” of the new Montblanc Vasco da Gama watch collection. It was Vasco da Gama’s urge to discover new worlds and his unwavering courage that inspired Montblanc and spurred the Manufacture’s watchmakers to achieve superlative horological feats.
The 18-karat gold dial is constructed in various parts and on different levels. Inspired by the twin distinctive globes, Montblanc’s designers relied on round shapes and rounded décor. The upper part of the dial is the stage for the tourbillon with its arcing, convex, polished tourbillon bridge.
The globes illustrate the passage of the days and nights in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Their elaborately crafted and finely detailed design also shows the circles of latitude and longitude. The two globes are motionlessly affixed to the movement, while two 24-hour worldtime indicator discs with the day/night rotate once per day around them.
The Compass Rose
The continually running and independently adjustable display for the home time at “6 o’clock” on the dial of the Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama is inspired by the gigantic marble compass rose at the base of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos. This monument, which commemorates Portuguese discoverers, stands in the civil parish of Belém in Lisbon. Comparable to a miniature sculpture, the watch’s compass rose is composed of four parts, each of which is entirely handmade and manually decorated.
Montblanc developed the 281-part hand-wound Calibre MB M68.40 featuring a 91-part tourbillon mechanism with a cylindrical hairspring which guarantees a power reserve of 48 hours. The balance’s frequency is 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour (2.5 hertz). Thanks to its 14.5-mm diameter, the balance’s moment of inertia is an 59 mgcm². Few manufactures nowadays employ artisans with the necessary know-how and craftsmanly skills to fabricate their own balance wheels and hairsprings. Without these abilities, Montblanc could never have developed the cylindrical hairspring for the Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama.
The indicators on the Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama can be set via the crown, the visible pusher at “8 o’clock” and the inset corrector on the case’s flank at “4 o’clock”. After pulling the crown outward, the user can set the local time and simultaneously adjust the worldtime display along the two globes’ 24-hour scales. The corresponding buttons on the case are used to finely adjust the local time in the centre and the home time on the compass rose at “6 o’clock”, which runs along with the local time. Once all indicators have been correctly synchronized, a new local time in a different time zone can be set simply by pressing the push-piece at “8 o’clock”. Operating this pusher advances only the hour-hand in single-hour increments; it does not affect the minutes, which are shown from the dial’s centre, nor does it alter the home time at “6 o’clock” or the two displays along the globes. When the watch’s owner is travelling, he or she can conveniently read the local time by referring to the hour- and minute-hand in the centre, check the home time at “6 o’clock” and see the hour anywhere else in the world by referring to one of the two 24-hour discs around the globes.
Montblanc’s 16¾-line Calibre MB M68.40 is embedded in a 47-mm-diameter and 15.38-mm-height red gold case. The wristband is made of alligator-skin on both sides and is affixed between two pairs of rounded, elaborately hand-polished horns. The names of 24 cities in the Northern Hemisphere and another two dozen metropolises in the Southern Hemisphere are engraved along with the matching time zones on the back of the case. The limitation numbers from “01/18” to “18/18”, the serial number and the reference numbers are engraved on the sapphire crystal in the back of the case.
Model: Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama
Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M68.40
Hand-wound mechanical movement with one-minute tourbillon and cylindrical hairspring; triple time zone with local-time, home time and world-time indication
Dimensions: 16¾ lines (38.40 mm); height = 10.50 mm
No. of components: 281, including 91 for the tourbillon cage
No. of rubies: 18
Power reserve: Approx. 48 hours
Balance: Screw balance, diameter = 14.5 mm, moment of inertia = 59 mgcm²
Frequency: 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour (2.5 Hz)
Hairspring: Cylindrical hairspring with double Phillips terminal curves
Tourbillon: One-minute tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring
Main plate: Rhodium-plated nickel silver with circular graining on both sides
Bridges: Rhodium-plated nickel silver with côtes de Genève
Going-train: Gold-plated, faceted arms, diamond-polished surfaces
Local time: central hours and minutes in the centre
Home time: hour hand at “6 o’clock”
World-time: 24-hour time zones with day/night for the Southern and Northern Hemisphere
18-karat red gold (5N)
Crystal: Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire crystal with antireflective treatment on both surfaces
Back: 18-karat red gold (5N) back with 24 cities of both hemispheres engraved and with inset pane of sapphire crystal
Diameter = 47 mm, height = 15.38 mm
Water0tightness: 3 bar
Crown: 18-karat red gold (5N) crown with Montblanc’s emblem in mother -of-pearl
Pusher: Local-time pusher at “8 o’clock” and home-time corrector at “4 o’clock”
18-karat gold hands, hand-guilloché wave decoration around the tourbillon cage and “grainé” pattern on the lower part, tourbillon with cylindrical hairspring and double infinity bridge.
World-time indication on two discs with 24-hour time zones with day and night indication revolving around two fixed globes with traditional hand-painted peinture miniature for the oceans and engraving for the continents and the meridians showing the Northern Hemisphere on the left and the Southern Hemisphere on the right.
Home-time indication at “6 o’clock” above a three-dimensional handcrafted rose des vents subdial
18-karat red gold hour- and minute-hand in the centre, blued “Fleurde-Lys” home-time hand at “6 o’clock”
Hand-sewn black alligator-skin strap with alligator lining and with a folding clasp made of 18-karat red gold (5N)
Limited edition of 18 pieces
250.000 Euros including 19% VAT in Germany