Lets not beat around the bush. Montblanc is making waves with its watch collection, and it is thanks to timepieces like the newly introduced Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Complet. ‘Quantième complet’ is French for complete calendar, which means this watch offers separate apertures for the day and month, a dedicated date hand, and a moonphase indicator stationed near the six o’clock position.
This isn’t a perpetual- or an annual-calendar however, so you’ll have to adjust the date, day, month and moonphase manually, whenever a month has fewer than 31-days. Montblanc says this is easily done by manipulating the inset button that’s found on the side of the watch’s elegant stainless steel case.
The case measures 40mm in diameter, is 9.7mm thick and features both polished and satin-finishes. It is presented on a black alligator-skin strap made by Montblanc itself, and there’s a steel triple folding clasp to round things off. We’ve seen this new (at the time) clasp before, and have found it to be thinner than what other brands offer.
With slim proportions like this, and thanks to the black leather strap, the Chronométrie Quantième Complet could easily be worn with formalwear, but because it has a full calendar visible on its dial, this timepiece can’t really be considered a dress watch.
The dial itself is a silver/white mix and, as you can see from the pictures, there’s a prominent sunburst pattern. The 3, 9 and 12 hour applied indexes are rhodium plated, as are the sword-shaped hour and minute hands. The blue date-hand acts as a nice contrast and, so the wearer can easily spot what date it is, there’s a red crescent at the tip.
On the whole, this is an attractive timepiece but (and we know this could be a deal breaker for some people out there) this is probably because it takes a lot of design cues from another handsome watch. That watch is none other than Jaeger LeCoultre’s (JLC) Master Calendar (scroll down to see the JLC watch).
We’ve seen similarities like this between other watches from these two brands and, as before, the same reasons apply. Both Montblanc and Jaeger LeCoultre are owned by the Richemont Group but more importantly, Montblanc’s current CEO, Jérôme Lambert, previously worked at JLC for 10-years, between 2002 and 2013.
Lambert is obviously drawing on his JLC experience with regards to the design and direction of some of Montblanc’s timepieces, and while it’s easy to be cynical and say that the German brand isn’t being original, we can certainly appreciate the brand’s efforts. Moreover, there are marked differences between the two watches, so it’s definitely not a case of just choosing one brand over the other.
In our case, we actually prefer the overall look of the Chronométrie Quantième Complet – we particularly like that the day and month apertures are closer together, with the top outer edges of both apertures lining up perfectly with the lower edge of the 11- and 1-o’clock indexes. The Montblanc’s dial is also slightly cleaner since this timepiece does not have a hand to display seconds, and we just love the prominent sunburst pattern on the dial.
Further differentiation comes from within the case. The automatic calibre MB 29.16 that powers the Chronométrie Quantième Complet is a modular movement that relies on a Sellita base, whereas its calendar complications are provided by a Dubois Dépraz module. When fully wound this movement offers a power reserve of 42-hours, and is visible thanks to a sapphire crystal caseback.
While this is no JLC movement nor is it a Montblanc in-house movement, there’s nothing to be worried about in terms of quality and reliability; Montblanc subjects each and every Chronométrie Quantième Complet to its own ‘Laboratory Test 500’. This is a test that lasts for 500-hours, and simulates the watch being worn on the wrist in normal, as well as extreme conditions. Montblanc says this ultimately guarantees that only perfect timepieces leave the manufacture in Le Locle.
Another upside of Montblanc using a modular movement is that it can create complicated watches such as the Chronométrie Quantième Complet at a very attractive price point. Information on the web shows that this watch will retail for less than US $5,000 (AED 18,400 approximately), which is nearly half the price of the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Calendar.
In short, this Montblanc timepiece offers a lot of bang for your buck and, as we mentioned earlier, boasts subtle differences that help establish its own identity in the market. On the flip side, if you’re keen on having a manufacturer’s in-house movement, you can of course opt for the JLC at a higher price point. The take away here is that you have two brilliant watches to choose from, and choice is always a good thing.
We’ll update this article as soon as we have regional pricing and availability.
For more information on this watch, click here.