Hands-On With The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Watch
Trust me when I say that a lot of timepieces go through my hands on a weekly basis. And as soon as this watch landed on my desk it had my attention. While saying that, it is worth noting that to me, like many others, Montblanc is a brand of top quality writing instruments. It can be hard for me to see the watches without the pens cropping up in my mind’s eye. However, the Montblanc Geosphere 1858 did not suffer from the same fate. From the first moment, it had my complete and, for once, undivided attention.
As you might expect given the creative aspect of my day job, I also have an interest in design. Actually, before I ended up working in real-estate (back in the day), I spent some time at the Technical University of Delft studying industrial design. Somehow it didn’t work for me and I ended up in architectural engineering, spending 15 years in that trade all told. But let’s not stray too far from the path: you came here to read about the Geosphere, so let’s get to it.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
This watch is linked with exploration like this 1858 automatic 24H we reviewed last year. It comes in a 42mm titanium case with a beads of rice bracelet in stainless steel and titanium. From experience, I know these are super comfortable so this is the first plus. Due to the use of titanium, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere also wears light — another plus in my book. A lightweight watch is something I appreciate on the wrist even when the case itself isn’t that slim. Although I am not a fan of thick cases, due to the titanium you hardly notice the height of this thing.
The hemisphere discs
When you look at the watch there is quite a lot going on. I would say that this dial is busy in a good way though. The two globes on the dial are true eye-catchers and resemble the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Both sides of the globe are surrounded by 24-hour time scales with day/night indication. These represent other time zones as you might expect. You could read the time from any place in the world with the correct geographic knowledge. Both globes rotate in opposite directions due to the perspective we’re viewing them from. The small 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock can be adjusted by a small hidden pusher on the left side of the case. Each press will advance the sub-dial hour by one.
All this is packed onto a smoke blue dial. The color is captivating. Best of all, the richer, more royal blue in the center fades to the deeper hue of the bezel just in time for the external element to take over. The compass bezel is a nice touch. It fits the adventurer vibe of this watch.
The brand logo is modestly placed between the cathedral hands and the date window at 3 o’clock. Hour markers alternate between indicator stripes and numerals which works really well. In-between the hour markers and the minute track print on the rehaut you will find the minute indicators at five-minute intervals. As mentioned, there is quite a lot going on here, but it’s done in such a way that it all comes together.
Of course, this Montblanc 1858 Geosphere wouldn’t be a proper Montblanc without some connection to mountaineering. When you look at the case back it has a visual representation of the Mont Blanc mountain combined with a compass and two ice axes. But that isn’t the only link…
Upon closer inspection of the hemisphere sub-dials, you will notice several dots on both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. These represent the seven holy grails of mountaineering across the globe.
The watch comes with a ceramic compass bezel which can be used for navigation. How does that work? Let’s take navigation in the Northern hemisphere as our example: you need to lay the watch flat and point the hour hand toward the sun; south should roughly be halfway in-between the hour hand and 12 o’clock. Now, that’s not likely something you will use but with the idea and story behind the watch, it makes for a nice touch. Let’s be honest, how often do you actually use a rotating bezel on a watch anyway?
Inside this Montblanc, Caliber MB29.25 ticks away. This movement is based on the Sellita SW300-1. It comes with an in-house module on top to make both hemispheres rotate one turn every 24 hours in the opposite direction. This automatic movement comes with a power reserve of about 42 hours. Even though watches nowadays seem to come with better and longer power reserves, I still don’t see this as an issue. Either you wear your watch daily or you rotate between them regularly.
So this Montblanc 1858 Geosphere wouldn’t normally be a watch within my scope but I really liked it. The design looks really good and the color combination of blue and titanium works really well. It looks especially stunning with the lume blazing as you can see in the pics. The lume is well done and the compass markings on the bezel match the lume on the dial. The mountaineering theme itself doesn’t rock my boat but the watch, as a beautiful object, simply does. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about. I was so impressed by it, it’s 6k price stage came as a pleasant surprise. Well done Montblanc!