When I saw the Montblanc Star Quantième Complet, I was reminded of a remark made by Audrey Hepburn, “Elegance is the only beauty that never fades”.
Audrey Hepburn once remarked, “elegance is the only beauty that never fades”. This quotation immediately came to mind when I saw the handsome timepiece, Star Quantième Complet, from Montblanc.
Montblanc is a name synonymous with luxury. Its snow-capped logo adorns fine writing instruments, high-end leather goods and of course Swiss timepieces. The brand has been producing some incredible watches in recent times, none more so than the exceptional haute horology pieces from their Manufacture in Villeret. However, it is one of the brand’s more accessible offerings from Le Locle, which caught my attention earlier this year, at SIHH 2013.
The Montblanc Star Quantième Complet is blessed with a classical appearance. It avoids über fashionable exhibitionism that often results in some newly released models becoming obsolete before the first lubrication service falls due. This watch has a timeless quality that ensures that it can be passed from father to son, remaining highly wearable for generations to come.
The Star Quantième Complet has several functions, normally only found on a perpetual calendar. By eschewing the incredible complexity of a perpetual calendar, Montblanc has been able to keep the pricing within the grasp of a larger audience. However, readers should not misconstrue that this watch is lacking complications, quite the contrary.
The dial is a silvery-shade of white, detailed with a fine guilloché motif at its centre. Montblanc have imbued the dial with a comely classicism. The backdrop provides a delightful milieu for expressing time.
Blued swallow-shaped hands, impart hours and minutes. They pay due reverence to traditional horology and would befit a pocket watch from the 19th century.
Hours are marked with Roman numerals on a smooth area, encircling the aforementioned guilloché. The selected font is slim, clean and highly legible.
Surrounding the hour markings, is a minute track. It features Arabic numerals, positioned every five minutes, with rectangular boxes denoting the intervening integers. A blued steel central seconds hand is slim with a squared tip, engaging with the minute track and bestowing peerless read-off. The Montblanc logo features on the seconds hand, acting as a counterweight. It is just one of several flourishes of style that synergistically enhances the whole appearance of the watch.
The periphery of the dial is detailed with the date, wreathed around the inner details and marked with Arabic numerals. A fourth hand, again blued, interfaces with the applicable date employing a red crescent shaped tip.
The brand’s name is located below noon. It is presented in black text on a cartouche. Montblanc have repeatedly used the design language of historical timepieces with pleasing results. The judicious use of traditional design elements has been captured and distilled to glorious effect.
Beneath the Montblanc name, two apertures reside. On the left hand side, a rectangular aperture displays the day. Located opposite, the month is presented in an identical aperture, affording symmetry and balance.
At the southerly aspect of the dial, a moon-phase indicator resides and the word, “Automatic” reminds the wearer that the watch contains a self-winding movement.
There are numerous functions presented on the dial, yet at no stage does it appear cluttered. The brand has judiciously located all details where ease of interpretation is assured and no confusion could ensue.
Tradition dictates that a gold watch is gifted to recognise a significant moment in the life of the recipient. A special birthday, retirement or long service award has often led to many watches being warmly received by a grateful new owner. Montblanc have created a watch that would fulfil this remit perfectly.
The Montblanc Star Quantième Complet is presented in 18-carat red gold. Whilst a stainless steel variant is available, I am particularly drawn to the rich lustre of the model presented in the hallmarked metal.
The case diameter of 42 mm should have widespread appeal, proving suitable for a myriad of wearers with differing physiques. Whilst in recent years, large case diameters have increased in popularity, the scale of this watch should ensure it retains appeal irrespective of changing tastes.
Small buttons, recessed into the caseband allow the majority of the functions to be adjusted with the supplied corrector wand or a tip of a ball-point pen.
The sapphire crystal is slightly domed and features anti-reflective treatment on both sides, enhancing the legibility of the dial.
A further sapphire crystal features on the caseback, indulging the wearer with a view of the movement.
The MB 4810/912 is a self-winding movement. The reference of the calibre piqued my interest. Montblanc is the highest mountain in Europe, with its summit being 4810 metres above sea-level and this has provided the inspiration for the naming of the movement.
The calibre has a flat hairspring, 25 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz) and power reserve of 42 hours.
There is an intrinsic worth with any gold watch and the Montblanc Star Quantième Complet is no exception. It has a case which contains nearly 69 grams of red gold and the pin buckle alone weighs almost 13 grams.
But to focus solely on the market value of the gold, utilised in the construction of this timepiece, would be to overlook the true value of the watch. It is the plethora of functions tastefully arranged together and the timeless elegance conferred which makes this watch an alluring proposition.
Montblanc have avoided outré exhibitionism, embracing classic lines and discreet execution. It is the graceful rendition of time that ensures this watch will retain appeal for years to come. Moreover, despite changing fashions, its beauty will never fade.
Model: Montblanc Star Quantième Complet
Case: 18-carat red gold; diameter 42.00mm; height 12.17mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds; day; date; month; moonphase.
Movement: Calibre MB4810/912, self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
Strap: Brown alligator leather strap with 18-carat red gold pin buckle.