During the Watches and Wonders salon earlier this year, I requested the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea for a hands-on review. It took a little time, but last week, the watch finally arrived at HQ. Not in black — my test color of choice was unavailable — but the way more outspoken green-dial variant. I will let you know how Montblancs’s reborn dive watch and I got on, but there will be more to discuss in this episode of Coffee Corner Watch Talk. Since Christmas is upon us and planning is everything, why not have a look at the Kross Studio Wayne Enterprises Edition watch winder in sinister black? It might just be the perfect present under the tree. And there’s also a Phillips watch auction on the horizon in New York. A stunning Cartier Crash London caught my eye, as did a surprising Patek Phillipe and a regal F.P. Journe.

Every brand, it seems, has a dive watch in its collection. It’s a must. A dive watch is an ultimate all-rounder because of its robustness. But until Watches and Wonders 2022, a dive watch was absent from the contemporary Montblanc watch collection. Strangely enough, Montblanc states on its website that the 1858 Iced Sea is its “… first ever sports diving watch.” But I vividly remember the very heavy 2006 Sport Tantalum Automatic Limited Edition 100. This officially certified chronometer in its 43mm tantalum case with an automatic helium valve was water-resistant to 1,906 meters (you read that right) and hard to forget. And that flashy Montblanc diamond in the screw-down crown left a lasting impression too. Why Montblanc chose to ignore this spectacular and exclusive beast of a dive watch is beyond me. The brand couldn’t have forgotten the heavyweight, now, could it?

Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea

Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea — Is it real ice or a dot matrix print?

Out of respect for the tantalum watch, I will refer to the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea as the brand’s newest sports diving watch. The green 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date (MB129765) on a black rubber strap with a folding clasp shows a glacier pattern on the dial. The frozen look of the dial explains the name. The idea is that the dial gives you the impression of looking into the depths of a glacier. The displayed glacial pattern dial is inspired by the Mer de Glace — Sea of Ice — the main glacier of the Mont-Blanc massif.

The lines and texture of the dial are, supposedly, the results of an old and almost-forgotten technique called gratté-boisé — it involves a wooden tool that scratches the surface. But closer inspection of the dial had everybody at Fratello puzzled. We didn’t see scratches in Gerard’s close-up picture of the dial, but something that looked like little dots. We all got strong dot matrix printer vibes.

Montblanc render on the website

Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea

Close-up live picture of the 1858 Iced Sea

And when we looked at a render found on the Montblanc website that showed a zoomed-in impression of the (blue) glacier-inspired dial, we felt chills down our spines. On the Montblanc website, the indexes and numerals are perfectly straight, sharp-edged, and finished to perfection. In the live picture, the edges are way more rounded, and the finishing doesn’t reach perfection. Are we nitpicking? Have a look at the writing. In the render, it looks like it’s elevated. In the live picture, it’s a regular print.

Montblanc 1858

The 1858 Iced Sea on the wrist

But I didn’t just look at the 1858 Iced Sea through a magnifying glass. I also wore this 300m water-resistant timepiece. And on the wrist, the 41mm steel dive watch on an interchangeable black rubber strap (with a very clever and well-functioning fine adjustment system, I might add) doesn’t raise as many questions. It has that sought-after “Hulk” look thanks to the pairing of the very green unidirectional ceramic bezel and the green dial. A possible highlight of the watch is the alpine engraving on the case back. Behind the engraved depiction of an iceberg — or is it Mont-Blanc? — beats the automatic 4Hz caliber MB 24.17, which is based on the Sellita SW200 with a power reserve of 38 hours.

The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea raises a lot of questions. And there’s one that also still has to be answered: what’s the price? Well, here we go. On a rubber strap, the 1858 Iced Sea has a price of €3,000. On a bracelet, the dive watch costs €3,200.

Have a look at Montblanc’s official website to find out more about the different iterations of the 1858 Iced Sea.

Kross Studio watch winder — Wayne Enterprises Edition

Want to be like Batman? Maybe start with trying to be (or be just like) Bruce Wayne. Kross Studio will help you to reach that goal by taking part in the Wayne Enterprises and Uncrate collaboration. The result is a unique version of its watch winder inspired by DC’s Bruce Wayne, man-about-town and hero of Gotham City. The blacked-out watch winder is an instrumental art object made of solid aluminum. It has a length of 130mm (5.1 inches), a width of 150mm (5.9 inches), a height of 215mm (8.5 inches), and it weighs 2kg (4.4 pounds).

But you get more than aluminum alone. The Wayne Enterprises Edition watch winder is outfitted with an infrared sensor that detects the presence of a watch — a gimmick that’s more Batman than Master Wayne. And only when the device detects a watch will it awake from its slumber. The benefit of this is an optimized battery life of over two years. You also get a Bluetooth interface to all the parameters available via a smartphone dedicated application. The Wayne Enterprises Edition watch winder has a price of CHF 1,990.

Find out how to wind your automatic watch in the spirit of Bruce Wayne on the official Kross Studio website.

Image courtesy of Phillips

Phillips’ New York Watch Auction: SEVEN features a Cartier Crash London and many other drool-worthy watches

Phillips’ New York Watch Auction: SEVEN will take place on December 10th and 11th, 2022. There’s a plethora of fabulous Patek Philippe creations up for grabs, but it was another watch that first caught my attention — the Cartier Crash London. This 1970 watch with case number 9526 and a case interior with London hallmarks is simply stunning. With an impressive length of 43mm and a width of 25mm, its swerving yellow gold case will fit anyone who dares and has pockets deep enough. The watch comes directly from the family of the original owner, Daphne Farago, an esteemed art collector and recognized philanthropist. The rarity and the provenance of the watch led to an estimate of $400,000–800,000 / CHF 394,000–788,000 / €398,000–796,000.

Two other lots that caught my eye

The 2014 Patek Philippe 5275P-001 (lot 20) also caught my attention. The watch, along with five other timepieces, was made to celebrate Patek Phillipe’s 175th anniversary. And each of the six celebratory watches highlighted the manufacture’s fabulous technical skills and craftsmanship. The original-looking 5275P, which was limited to 175 pieces, was one of the most complicated and impressive offerings of the set. The platinum 5275P is a Chiming Jump Hour watch that took four years of R&D to create. The 438-part caliber 32-650 HGS PS with four patents inside the 47.4 × 39.8mm case shows digital jumping hours and separate indications for the jumping minutes and small seconds. And there’s also the slide at 10 o’clock that enables and disables the hour-striking mechanism. The watch is estimated at $300,000–600,000 / CHF 296,000–591,000 / €299,000–597,000.

The F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain (lot 48) is also quite the watch. This timepiece, with case number 038/99T, is a glorious complication made around 1999. Inside the 38mm platinum case beats the hand-wound caliber 1498 that features a tourbillon with remontoir d’egalité. But this rare watch is not just complicated. It’s also highly recognizable as an F.P. Journe creation. One look at the typical hands and the layout of the pink gold dial is enough. The watch is estimated at $300,000–600,000 / CHF 296,000–591,000 / €299,000–597,000.

To find out more about Phillips’ New York Watch Auction: SEVEN, just click here. And after your visit, you could compare favorite lots over a coffee. Maybe even discuss why a Bruce Wayne watch winder makes sense but a Batman watch winder doesn’t. Whatever you do, have yourselves a wonderful watch week.

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