Complex Made Simple

Precision at its zenith: Montblanc’s timepiece named after Vasco da Gama

Watchmaking is all about precision and elegance. German luxury watchmaker Montblanc is known for its finesse in mixing luxury with precision. This time for a change, Montblanc sourced inspiration for its latest chronograph line-up from its master who created a milestone in world history by finding the first maritime route to India from Europe.


A couple of models from Montblanc’s Heritage Chronométrie Collection were named after Vasco da Gama to honour the great explorer.


One of them, Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Complet Vasco da Gama, has a silvery white dial with a sunburst pattern; the rhodium-plated facetted indexes and the numerals “3”, “9” and “12” are applied to the dial. Two facetted, sword-shaped, and likewise rhodiumplated hands indicate the hours and minutes. The date-hand bears a little red crescent at its tip to enhance the legibility of the date display.


Surely the most popular arrangement of displays for a timepiece  with this complication is the one  that indicates the day in one window and the month in another, while showing the current date by the tip of a centrally axial hand which sweeps around a wreath of dates that’s concentric with the minute scale.


As on the annual calendar, so too on the full calendar, the moonphase display is embedded in an accurate emulation of the starry night sky above the Southern Hemisphere as it appeared to the mariners in 1497. The Southern Cross is distinctly visible with its bright stars Alpha, Beta, Gamma (depicted in a slightly reddish hue to match its celestial namesake) and Delta. To display the phases of the moon, the beautiful blue-lacquered constellation holds an aperture for a golden turning disc below featuring the moon in the night sky. Montblanc’s emblem, crafted as a distinctive relief atop the crown,is a distinguishing feature of the entire collection.


The leather strap of Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Complet Vasco da Gamam is made at the Montblanc Pelletteria, the Maison’s own leather manufacture in Florence, Italy. The strap is secured by Montblanc’s new and uncommonly flat double folding clasp. This timepiece is available in a 40-mmdiameter and 9.7 mm tall steel case and is priced at EUR4,350.