HANDS-ON: The Montblanc Heritage AutomaticFelix Scholz
Normally in these hands-on reviews I leave the sticky question of the price until the end. But this time around I’m putting it front and centre. This Montblanc Heritage Automatic has an Australian RRP of $3410. And for that amount of coin, you get a lot of watch.
The steel case is well-sized — 40mm across and 11.65mm high, with 20mm lugs packing a really nice grey croc strap with a slight sfumato effect. The lines of this case err, as the heritage name would suggest, towards the more classic in style. Fairly simple construction, a mirror polish, and pleasing, swooping lugs. The movement is a third-party number, reliable, but nothing too exciting, which is why the brand has opted to hide it away behind a nicely engraved picture of the Montblanc, née Minerva, facility in Villeret. It’s worth noting that the caseback is about as close as this watch got to that building, which is strictly the domain of their top-tier pieces — this watch was assembled in the brand’s Le Locle facility.
The dial, though, that’s something else. The salmon colour is on-trend for 2019, and very much the right choice for this three-handed heritage offering. Really, though, it’s the details and the complexity of this dial that make it such a ravishing watch. It’s multi-layered and multi-textured, with a sunburst centre section, surrounded by a finely grained moat upon which float the applied hour markers, and at the outer edge sits a neatly printed chapter ring, with vintage-sized luminous plots. The hands are sharply faceted, and in the dauphine style (with a slight central reservoir of lume), and the seconds hand is blued. The level of care and detail in this dial — and the sophisticated design that has become a hallmark of Davide Cerrato’s work — is really great, and goes a long way to making the Montblanc Heritage Automatic such a winner of a watch.
It’s a watch that manages to be both very contemporary in style but also relatively timeless, a trick that isn’t too easy to pull off. And for a sticker price of under $3500, it’s hard to go too far wrong.
Montblanc Heritage Automatic price
Montblanc Heritage Automatic, steel on leather, $3410 AUD.