Montblanc’s entry-level 2017 sports watch has a 100 metres water resistance that makes it an all-weather watch, and a unidirectional rotating bezel that can be used for taking approximate times, or for keeping track of a second time zone. But while many sports watches this year have a diving watch inspiration (such as the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club), the Montblanc TimeWalker Automatic Date was inspired by the world of motor sports. Click here for a selection of the Top Ten Sports Watches.
Dashboard instrument inspiration
The dial is reminiscent of dashboard instruments, with numerals for minutes and not hours, a feature taken directly from the early 20th-century stopwatches made by Minerva, a historic brand that is now part of Montblanc. The effect is reinforced by the dial with a black background, and the red seconds hand with arrow-shaped tip. Legibility is enhanced by the non-reflective sunburst-finish dial. The knurled crown and the strap with perforations are classic motor sports features, and the lugs have a shallow recess on the side suggesting car air intakes. Hour and minute hands, and hour markers on the inner bezel flange, are coated with SuperLuminova.
Three strap alternatives
The case is a moderate 41 mm, 11.38 mm thick, in stainless steel with matt satinated finish. The bezel is in high-tech black ceramic and has a knurled edge. The watch is available with a choice of three straps, black leather, black rubber with raised grip pattern inside to improve air circulation over the skin, and a three-link metal bracelet. The straps have stainless steel buckles.
The caseback has a relatively small window displaying the MB 24.17 movement, which is the Sellita SW200-1, in turn based on the ETA 2824. The balance runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, and the watch has a power reserve of 38 hours.
Prices and references
All considered, the Montblanc TimeWalker Automatic Date is an attractive piece with distinctive looks and the extra functionality provided by the rotating bezel. It seems to me quite expensive. References 116061 (leather strap) and 116059 (rubber strap) cost €2,990, $2,985, and reference 116060 (steel bracelet) costs €3,290, $3,285. The watch will be available from June 2017. Further information from the Montblanc website.