To see Montblanc’s Only Watch 2023 timepiece, you will not only have to bid on it, you will also need to use an ice pick to get to it. This is the fourth time Montblanc has participated in Only Watch and this time around, the Maison is offering so much more than a unique timepiece. The Montblanc Only Watch 2023 timepiece is a one-of-a-kind 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen that is introducing an entirely new middle case material that has captured CO2 inside. And if that isn’t ‘cool’ enough, the unique piece is encased in a block of ice (safe breakable glass) without oxygen inside, which means the watch’s future owner will need to smash it open with an ice pick to get to it, or leave it captured in time – it is entirely up to them!
A Case in New Material Creation
The new case material is created using a pioneering technological development that captures CO2 from biogas production and mineral wastes from recycling factories, thanks to a process of calcium dissolution and carbonation. The obtained powder containing CO2 is then combined with ultra-light and –resistant carbon fibre. Thus creating an innovative composite material shaped exclusively into a watch middle case: the CARBO2.
In addition to the technological aspect of the case, the CARBO2 resulting material has a unique graphic aesthetic, with its dark shades depending on the particular mix of carbon fibre and CO2 , lending itself perfectly to the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen. Like the intrepid alpinists and adventurers who dedicate their lives to exploring the planet’s mountainous wilderness, this new material is also opening up new paths of exploration.
Reinforcing the world of adventure and exploration, the 43.5mm case comes with a luminous glacier blue outline of Mount Everest on the side that only the wearer can see. The older glaciers are, the less oxygen they contain and the denser they become, resulting in a deeper blue colour that has been depicted here on the case band, shining white by day and luminous blue by night. A beautiful picture of Mount Everest also adorns the titanium case back using Montblanc’s 3D laser technique that depicts the colour, depth and realism of this natural wonder. Next to Mount Everest, the 13 other highest peaks of the World are mentioned and marked in colour in tribute to alpinists who dared to climb them.
This Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen Only Watch 2023 one-of-a-kind timepiece joins the Maison’s series of “Zero Oxygen” timepieces and will introduce a new collection based on this piece that will be revealed in April 2024. Like all of Montblanc’s 0 Oxygen pieces, this unique piece features several benefits for explorers who need their equipment to work in harsh environments. Zero oxygen inside the case not only eliminates fogging, which can occur with drastic temperature changes at altitude, but also prevents oxidization. Without oxygen, all the components last longer and will provide unfaltering precision over time. Each zero oxygen timepiece comes with a certificate as proof of this special, yet invisible, technology and guarantees that it has been successfully encased without oxygen.
The timepiece is powered by the MB 29.25 automatic movement with Montblanc’s Manufacture worldtime complication, which includes turning Northern and Southern Hemisphere globes, a 24-hour scale, Day & Night indications, dual time display, and a date. The timepiece comes with a fluted bi-directional black ceramic bezel with the compass cardinal points and “OW” for “Only Watch” depicting West. The timepiece is fitted with an electric blue glacier pattern dial and the worldtime meridians in a spectrum of colours, in keeping with Only Watch’s 2023 rainbow colour theme. Completing the look is a black interchangeable textile strap, which top material is made of 100% recycled PET.
From the Top of the Mountain
In addition to the timepiece, the lucky bidder will receive an ice pick from Montblanc’s Mark Maker, world record-breaking alpinist Nimsdai Purja, who is the fastest man to climb all 14 of the world’s highest peaks above 8000 metres, a record he broke in six months and six days. He also ascended Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen for a collaboration with Montblanc in 2022. For this unique piece, Nimsdai has donated his ice pick and written a note to the watch’s future owner about how he sees the world in 100 years. This hand-written note, along with the watch, has been encased in a zero-oxygen ice-like capsule. To access the watch, the future owner will need to take Nimsdai’s ice pick to break the case, or they can, of course, leave this difficult decision to the next generation if they so choose. What would you do?
About Only Watch
This year marks the 10th Only Watch charity auction, a biennial event that has raised over CHF/EUR 100 million to date. Only Watch was created in 2005 by Luc Pettavino – and under H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco’s high patronage – to auction one-off timepieces to raise funds to support researchers around the world to accelerate their work to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Thanks to the mobilization of the watch industry, this initiative has become a highlight on the horological calendar for both brands and collectors. Montblanc is honoured to be part of this important journey and hopes that this year’s timepiece will bring as much enjoyment to its future owner as it did to the Montblanc team who worked on bringing it to life.