Watches and Wonders 2020: Montblanc 1858 Split Second in Titanium and Blue Enamel. Some quick thoughts.
Our dear Mahesh posted this novelty from Montblanc some days ago, And I have to say that, to this day, the 1858 Split Seconds is one of the winners of this year.
Last year, I fell in love with the Bronze 1858 Split Second, but I am not a big fan of that material, especially when i is associated to such a fine piece of horology.
The 2019 1858 Split Second Bronze:
Here is the link to my review on the Bronze:
This year, Montblanc has it all right... Or almost.
For this 2020 edition, Montblanc opted for a titanium case, which is an excellent thing: Titanium is lighter than steel, which is important when we have such a big watch ( 44 mm ).
Then, titanium gives an interesting hue to the case. Slightly darker than steel, it is very much my taste. I would have loved a tantalum case, but I am very happy with titanium.
The second superb part of this watch is the dial, which is enamel blue! With the orange touches here and there, we have an eye catching, very young and fresh outcome. Some would have preferred a more classic white contrast, I like both of them and I find the choice of orange is very cool looking.
The third great point is, of course, the movement. You can have a cool watch, it may not be a great one. Here, the chronograph movement is one of the finest, in terms of finishings. Judge by yourself!
I am a big fan of this typical double pliers which makes all the difference between a " simple " chronograph and a split second.
The fourth nice detail is the bevelings of the lugs, something I really miss on my 1858 Tachymeter.
And the last important, or should I say incredible thing is the price... At 36, 000 USD ( if I correctly got it ), it is a massacre for the contenders. A very aggressive offer from Montblanc.
Would I find some negative points?
Well, some will say that 44 mm may be too big for such a fine watch. I would say that one or to millimeters smaller could be great, indeed, but let's not forget that the Cal 16.31 is a big movement ( from memory somewhere between 38 and 39 mm ) so the case has to be big.
The second point is purely subjective: the choice of orange. As said, some would have preferred a more classical color to offer a contrast to the beautiful enamel blue.
The third point is that Montblanc should stop playing with the limited edition concept? Split Second and Enamel are far from being massively produced, and limited editions are not that limited, if you are offering a different version each year...
As an owner of the 1858 Tachymeter, I can tell you that I don't see myself selling it, as I am deeply in love with it, but I wold gladly consider getting this 1858 Split Second, for what it is, a cool and great watch, a pure piece of fine horology, and this enamel blue dial which is killing me.
If only the time was right to get it!
Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts.