You know what Richemont Group is good at? Making a damn good watch. You know what Feldmar Watch Company is good at? Hosting a damn good event. And Montblanc at Feldmar was no exception.
Montblanc used to be on my list of watch brands that I couldn’t take seriously. The TimeWalker collection was awkward, weirdly styled (still is by the way), and resonated “fashion watch”, rather than something for the discerning collector. There was too much dilution of the branding happening with the early timepiece collection efforts – until Jerome Lambert stepped in, that is. The seasoned CEO came from Jaeger Le-Coultre, and the newer collections definitely reflect his influences, which is good, very very good.
Montblanc now owns Minerva, which grants them the ability to say that their movements are in-house. You might think that’s cheating, but don’t forget that Patek Philippe uses Lemania Chronographs, so let this one slide.
After handling the new collections, my mind has changed about the brand, and I now lust after the Nicolas Rieussec column wheel chrono’s that were the biggest hits at the event.
My only qualm with Montblanc (and Louis Vuitton, and Hermes, etc. etc.) is that regardless of how good these watches are, there’s still an overshadowing effect caused by the hundreds of products they release. I don’t see Rolex releasing a cologne that is second in sales on fathers day…
Ultimately, the pros are simple – great and attractive watches with finely decorated fantastic movements.
The cons, however, not so simple – poor resale value, “fashion watch” style brand recognition, and the abundance of watches in the same price range that have much richer histories.
As always, on behalf of LA Watch Gang and all the attendees, I want to express a HUGE thank you to Feldmar Watch Company, the incredibly attentive and friendly wait staff and of course, to Montblanc for bringing out your rarity that is an extroverted watchmaker.