I have always been partial to the 1858 Geosphere ever since it was launched in 2018. It is a good-looking watch that offers a lot for the money, making it one of the brand’s more compelling offerings in recent times.Not only is the case well sized and comfortable, it also carries a unique bunch of complications that are the most useful for everyday life, with a date, worldtimer and dual timezone all somehow packed into one watch. Yet all this is done in a way that doesn’t sacrifice legibility and purpose, adding for good measure as a counterpoint to its technical prowess, a hint of wanderlust, in the form of the view of the earth from both the northern and southern hemisphere on the dial. The Geosphere is easily one of Montblanc’s best watches and possibly a contender for iconic status in the future. In fact, I said as much in my article on the Bronze cased version which I got a chance to test-drive over a month. Click here for article.
As for the brand’s recent push towards being associated with exploration and the outdoors, the Geosphere that I got to wear while swimming the ancient caves of Vietnam survived and survived well, so for me at least, I have no issues with this direction. Mountains are after all not just for achievements celebrated with fountain pens after all.
For Watches & Wonders 2020, the brand has doubled down on the Geosphere, introducing a new version of the watch with a blue theme and some technical enhancements.
The marketing visuals say as much, whereas the previous versions of the watch had a more forest green and brown theme going for it, this new blue themed Montblanc looks especially suitable to be worn under conditions of snow and ice.
The graduated blue enamel dial with white elements presents a very different feel to the basic design and with a bezel also in blue ceramic, it all fits in very well.
One element though was a surprise, and that is Montblanc’s decision to have the new watch in Grade 5 titanium. Not only that, this is the first Geosphere that also comes with the option for a new bi-metal bracelet. What does bi-metal mean? Well, the bracelet is both in stainless steel and titanium, with the central links that look like “grains of rice” being polished stainless steel, with the outer bigger links in matte titanium.
The design of the bracelet straddles the line between being sporty and dressy, although in person it’s the titanium portion that makes a bit more of a statement with the stainless steel links just adding a slight amount of shine. If you’re using this watch for more everyday purposes, the bracelet does feel like it can transition well from casual to formal settings. However use it up a mountain, and the polished bits might turn matte quite quickly, and then it will look as sporty as sporty can be.Titanium is an interesting choice for a mountaineering watch, since I can imagine that the lightness would be of great value when carrying a lot of stuff up a mountain. Add to that the low thermal conductivity of the metal, meaning that it isn’t affected by temperature changes means that it is great for a cold environment, without the shock of frozen stainless steel on the wrist. Montblanc has made the right choice here, since the technical ingredients of the watch add up. The signature grey colour of titanium also adds to the technical aesthetic that the watch has, and also fits in to the general monochromatic theme of the collection.For those not too keen on the bracelet, the watch is also offered on a blue vintage Sfumato calf and alligator leather straps, and also a woven blue NATO strap.The rest of the details of this Geosphere have been seen before, for example the case-back with an engraving of the Montblanc mountain, with a compass and two crossed pick-axes, as well as the text for the Seven tallest summits on each continent.On the dial, there are also the same cathedral shaped hands with “cloisonné” design, with Arabic numerals coated in white Super-Luminova, and with the dial signed with the original Montblanc logo. The views of the northern and southern hemisphere as well come with blue luminova dots to denote the location of the seven tallest summits on each continent, as well as something new, a new blue luminova line to denote the longitude reference meridian through Greenwich in the UK. This means that the watch preserves its party trick of having the globes and the other important indications, glowing in the dark, but this time with the visibility of the reference meridian as well.