By Nancy Olson
The Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023 show is in full swing and we are still discovering great new pieces. In fact, Montblanc this year does not disappoint. The brand’s new mountain-inspired Montblanc 8000 Capsule Collection is a tribute to the world’s fourteen highest peaks—each over 8,000 meters above sea level—and the climbers who scaled them. They are part of Montblanc’s Zero Oxygen 8000 Watch Collection, and each comes with a certificate authenticating the use of zero oxygen technology.
Montblanc unveiled its first Zero Oxygen watches last year in 2022. The benefits of having Zero oxygen inside a watchcase is that it eliminates fogging of the crystal, which can occur with drastic temperature changes at altitude, and also prevents oxidization. That first series was a hit among watch lovers and mountain climbers, so this year, Montblanc takes it a few steps higher.
Each of the four timepieces unveiled is fitted with a Sfumato dial in a patterned dark gray, whose muted shades are meant to recall the rock and ice found at altitude. Orange accents reference the mountaineering outfits worn by alpinists, as well as the Tibetan amulets worn for their positive spiritual power.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 Limited Edition 290
This limited edition 44mm titanium timepiece is powered by the automatic chronograph Caliber MB 29.27, which includes a world time complication. The timepiece features two 3D turning globes, with the northern hemisphere at 12 o’clock and the southern hemisphere at 6 o’clock, a 24-hour scale, day and night indication, and date. The chronograph functions include a central chronograph seconds hand, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, and a 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock.
The case has a fluted bi-directional stainless steel and black ceramic bezel; the 3D laser engraving on the caseback includes the list and profiles of the 14 notable peaks. It is fitted with an interchangeable anthracite textile strap. This model will be accompanying mountaineer Nimsdai Purja on his next climbing adventure. Purja was the fastest to climb all 14 peaks in 2019—in just over six months— breaking six records in the process.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen The 8000
Inspired by mountaineer Reinhold Messer, the first to climb all 14 of the world’s highest peaks without supplemental oxygen, the 42mm titanium Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen The 8000 is powered by the MB 29.25 automatic movement. It features a world time complication and includes turning hemisphere globes, a 24-hour scale, day and night indications, a dual time display, and the date. The fluted stainless steel bi-directional bezel is black ceramic, while the caseback features a 3D laser engraving of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. Messner reached its summit in 1979.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000
This 42mm stainless steel watch is powered by the MB 25.13 automatic chronograph movement with a power reserve of about 48 hours. The watch is fitted with a fluted bi-directional stainless steel bezel with black ceramic. The orange-accented dial features applied Arabic numerals, a black seconds counter at 9 o’clock, a central seconds hand, and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. The caseback is decorated with a special engraving: the “Spirit of Exploration.”
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Date 0 Oxygen The 8000
This 41mm stainless steel watch has a fixed stainless steel and black ceramic bezel surrounding the dial, which features applied Arabic numerals, a central seconds hand, the date at 3 o’clock, and blue luminescence on the hour and minute hands, numerals and cardinal points. The watch is powered by the automatic caliber MB 24.17 with hours, minutes, seconds and date; it offers about 38 hours of power reserve. The caseback is decorated with a special engraving: the “Spirit of Exploration.”