The name ‘Montblanc’ has been synonymous with top-quality stationery and writing instruments for many years. However, yesterday I had my daily cappuccino/croissant combo interrupted by two Danes discussing Montblanc watches. Wristwatches, I kid you not – but who even knew Montblanc made watches?

A Montblanc watch is a luxury brand based in Switzerland. It is handmade, innovative, and exclusive in production, using the finest components and superb craftsmanship. The luxury range is not inexpensive, and the brand is recognized and accepted by its peers in the luxury watch market.

The Danes left the coffee shop before I could glean any information regarding Montblanc watches via the age-old method of eavesdropping. Still, I resolved to delve into the matter as soon as I reached home and my laptop. At this point, I admit I had them partially written off as crazy Danes…but who knew for certain?

What Makes A Watch A Luxury Item?

Common sense dictates that several factors must align before a watch can be considered luxurious:

  • It must be handmade. Machines churning products out removes any sense of exclusivity or desire for ownership. Just ask any collector.
  • Production must be limited.
  • Components must be of the highest quality.
  • The watch must be priced accordingly
  • Craftsmanship must match or surpass the quality of the hardware
  • The Brand must be recognized, respected, and accepted by the world’s elite and feature in their circle.
  • The brand must be innovative

Ten Of The Best Known Luxury Watch Brands

There are far more than ten luxury watch brands in existence, but some are so exclusive that the company rarely bothers with advertising or press releases. The wealthiest of the wealthy don’t require fanfare – they know what they wear, drive, etc. Here are ten you may recognize:

  • Patek Philippe
  • Audemars Piguet
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre
  • Blancpain
  • Jaquet Droz
  • Breguet
  • Rolex
  • Omega
  • Piaget

Does Montblanc Qualify For Luxury Status As A Watchmaker?

Let’s go through the various criteria required and then decide for ourselves:

  • Handmade? Their high-end ranges are handmade.
  • Limited Production? Since they are handmade, the luxury range from Montblanc is produced in limited quantities.
  • Highest quality components? The Villeret Collection, which Minerva produced for Montblanc, were complicated high-end watches with an exceptionally high degree of hand finishing. The company produces its own hairsprings, which very few watchmakers can do, which typifies the outstanding quality of their housings and parts.
  • Priced accordingly? The Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph from 2014 had a modern case and a classic dial and sold for U$30 000.00.
  • Superb workmanship? Owned by the Richemont Group, the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie, (aka Minerva) is Montblancs watchmaking division, and employs some of the finest specialist horologists in the world.
  • Is the brand recognized and accepted? Minerva (and thus Montblanc) belongs to an incredible stable of thoroughbreds, including Buccellati, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC, Panerai, and three names from our top ten luxury watchmakers, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin.
  • Innovative? In 2016, Montblanc created the TimeWalker model for badminton champion Lin Dan. At less than 15 grams, the watch is an incredible blend of resin titanium and carbon nanotube particles, making it the lightest watch on the planet.

Does Montblanc Produce Watches That Are Not Considered Luxurious?

Montblanc has a wide range of models not aimed at the luxury market, and one that comes to mind is the Summit 3 Smartwatch, which sells for around U$1400.00. Despite being equipped with many advanced smartwatch features, the watch’s face is still very old-school, combining tradition with innovation.

What Are Montblanc’s Origins?

In the opening years of the 20th century, craftsmanship began to boom, particularly in Europe. This evolution inspired Hamburg banker Alfred Nehemias and August Eberstein, a young Berlin engineer, to create simple pens in 1906. Not satisfied with producing only writing instruments, the company, under new directorship, branched into luxury leather goods in 1935 and jewelry in 1996.

Then, in 1997, Montblanc built a watch factory in Le Locle, Switzerland, a municipality known for producing well-crafted Swiss timepieces. Montblanc Montre S.A launched Montblanc’s foray into watchmaking, and before long, they exhibited at Salon de International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the leading timepiece fair in Switzerland.

There, they presented the Meisterstück watch, which was very warmly received and gave Montblanc entry into the exclusive luxury watch market.

What Is Montblanc’s Philosophy?

From the outset, Montblanc’s philosophy has been ‘Creating products of the highest quality and craftsmanship.’ This standpoint is still seen in all their products, including their range of watches.

Is Montblanc An Innovative Luxury Watch Brand?

As with all of the divisions, Montblanc’s watch arm is very innovative: In 2011, Montblanc released the Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique wristwatch, which possessed an MB65.63 caliber. This was the first watch in the world to have a tourbillon with two cylindrical balance springs. Couple that with developing the world’s lightest watch in 2016; you can see why Montblanc is so well respected.

Is Montblanc’s Luxury Range Expensive?

Some models are very pricey, but overall you would pay far more for a similar product from one of the other luxury watchmakers. However, a watch is much like an art piece: How can you compare two exquisite watches without adding emotion to the mix? Of course, in that case, it all depends on whether or not you see the value in the item.

What Celebrities wear Montblanc Watches?

Hugh Jackman is the Brand Ambassador, and other celebs include Nick Robinson, Joseph Fiennes, Kit Harrington, Zac Efron, Denzil Washington, and more.


Montblanc has made the crossover easily, from writing instruments to exquisitely finished watch movements at incredibly realistic prices. They have both refreshingly simple models and highly complicated ones, all of which will catch the eye of any discerning fashionista or amateur horologist.

Since Montblanc has both luxury and innovative, well-priced models like the smartwatch, can it be boxed as either a luxury or functional brand? Or is it both? Either way, it looks like those Danes were correct.


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