I have never seen a watch like this before. Sure, it looks like a watch I have seen before, but when you take a closer look you realize that this isn't your average calendar watch. This particular watch is called the Moongarden and it is a new addition to the Bohème, Montblanc's collection for women. What makes this watch so different you ask? Well I will get to that in a bit, but first a little background on Montblanc and their women's watches.
Montblanc was founded in 1906 in Hamburg, Germany, as a pen-making company. In 1988 it became part of the Richemont group and then later in 1997 it began making watches in Le Locle, Switzerland. However, it wasn’t until 2008 when the brand began creating their own in-house movements with the caliber MB R100. With each year, Montblanc has pushed the boundaries with innovative, well-made designs that are reasonably priced (see the Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar for $13,000). This continues to be a running theme with every watch produced and with former Vacheron Constantin CEO Jerome Lambert at the helm the brand seems to be plowing full steam ahead.
The same principles are also applied to Montblanc's women’s watches. All are well produced with interesting functions whether it be a simple date-only stainless steel watch for $3,000 or a ladies perpetual calendar watch (approximately $19,900). The Bohème Collection is dedicated to female collectors and caters to their interest in complications while keeping the design flirtatious.
Part of this year’s addition to the Bohème Collection is the Moongarden, pictured here. The classic round stainless steel case is 36 mm in diameter and 10.74 mm thick. The lugs are straight and angled, and the very small onion crown is an interesting choice as you don't see it often on a woman's watch. I love that there is a sapphire crystal case back exposing the the automatic caliber MB 29.17 and knife-sharp rotor.
The silvered dial displays the time with Arabic numerals (with a hint of Breguet) at the quarter hours. For the remainder of the indexes, small diamonds are used, which are reminiscent of an afterthought (when it comes to diamonds, I always say go big or go home). The center round of the dial is a sunburst guilloché with two separate apertures – one for the moon-phases, and a second a crescent-form aperture exposing the months. However, this is where it gets interesting – the months are not the regular old calendar months. No, no. These months are symbolic expressions – "Rose Moon," "Hunter Moon," "Harvest Moon," etc. – rooted in ancient culture.
In case you were unfamiliar with the names of the ancient lunar months (as I was), they are as follows: Ice moon (January), Snow Moon (February), Chaste Moon (March), Seed Moon (April), Bright Moon (May), Dyan Moon (June), Rose Moon (July), Red Moon (August), Fruit Moon (September), Harvest Moon (October), Hunter Moon (November), and Oak Moon (December). All of these (minus the word “moon”) are inscribed on the rotating disk.
Overall, this is a very interesting watch in the sense that it is not a complication you often (or ever) see. I can’t say that I would personally use this complication, as I think that the most practical complications are day, date, and month display. However, I laud Montblanc for continuing to design and build aesthetically pleasing and unusual women’s watches and look forward to what they come up with next.
For more information, visit Montblanc.com.