Luxury watchmaker Montblanc already has a timepiece that pays tribute to Reinhold Messner – the first to climb Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen. Add another mountaineer’s favorite watch – subjectively impossible to own – which tells stories with its inspiring dial and you can have Montblanc set a league apart.
The Exo Tourbillon Skeleton Ascent Limited Edition as it’s referred to is one of the most distinct watches ever made by the Montblanc. There are two aspects to the distinction: One, it’s a tribute timepiece to the first ascent of the highest Alps peak the brand’s named after; second, its dial tells a story of the famous climb.
The exclusive dial
If you’ve been following Montblanc over the years, you’d remember the Exo Tourbillon from 2010, when it was first introduced. The Exo name is derived from the watch construction which put the balance wheel outside of the rotating tourbillon carriage, which adds to the efficiency and skeletonized appeal.
Designed to meet an aggressive mountaineer’s sight, the 44.8 mm x 15.1 mm Exo Tourbillon Skeleton has a dial engraved with Jacques Balmat (first to make ascent to the Mont Blanc Mountain in 1876) and wyvern, a mythical monster that allegedly stopped mountaineers from summiting the Mont Blanc. The engravings between 9 o’clock and 10 o’clock and between 1 o’clock and 3 o’clock are done in 18-karat white gold.
Power and antics
The Exo Tourbillon Skeleton is powered by manual wound caliber MB M18.69. The skeletonized dial is extended backward and the see-through caseback gives you a 360-degree view of the meticulous hand-painted 420 inner angles of the magnificent movement.
There is little known about how much power reserve that movement provides. However, take nothing away from the amazing timepiece, which is extremely exclusive. Limited to only eight pieces, you can get one of these watches for a whopping $156,000.