The frequently exalted haute horlogerie qualities of heritage and innovation come together in this year's Montblanc Tourbillon Cylindrique Geospheres Vasco da Gama. Championed by its 157-year-old Villeret manufacture, Montblanc manages to combine the elements of world time and cylindrical hairsprings - usually reserved for only the finest marine chronometers - into 18 limited edition and evocative pieces in 47mm-diametre red gold.
Montblanc's CEO Jerome Lambert, who followed the timepiece's development every step of the way, likens it to a continuous level of achievement. "At the maison, we want to single ourselves out through technical performance, to share our passion for fine watchmaking," he says, adding, "But even I was positively surprised with the case, dial and to see it finished on a wrist. It really captured our technical abilities."
Being right on the money, this timepiece's capabilities include maintaining three time zones, as well as showing the passage of day and night via a cross section of the earth's northern and southern hemispheres.
Its 18k gold dial segues into the convex, polished tourbillon bridge. Beneath this is the cylindrical hairspring - where the elastic metal is wound in equal and concentric diameter versus the ever-larger whorls on most other hairsprings. A direct result of a cylindrical hairspring is its ability to better resist gravitational forces, as each circle of the hairspring, being of equal weight, is subject to the same amount of pull. Then, as a final flourish, the master watchmaker spends over seven days to confer an immaculate, polished finish to the tourbillon bridge, ensuring perfect aesthetic harmony with the glinting globes and dial.