[Press Release] In 2011, Montblanc enriches it’s Collection Villeret 1858 haute horlogerie line by adding a new Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique wrist watch. This model is unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva on 17th January 2011
With the new Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique, the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 again presents an exclusive innovation that differs in many respects from anything that modern haute horlogerie has created until today.
Not only is this the first wristwatch with a tourbillon escapement and a cylindrical double balance-spring, the newcomer also delights connoisseurs by revealing the mechanisms and the mode of function of the legendary heures mystérieuses display.
This new timepiece accordingly epitomizes the working philosophy cultivated at the Montblanc manufacture in Villeret, which grew from the manufacture Minerva, originally founded in 1858. Only very few watch manufactures can look back upon an uninterrupted history of comparable length. Throughout these years, the artisans in Villeret continued to work according to the tried-and-tested methods of the best Swiss watchmaking tradition.
Their art is haute horlogerie, and it is primarily practiced by hand. Rare indeed are the master watchmakers who have achieved consummate expertise in the methods and working techniques which are indispensable for this outstanding and exclusive form of watchmaking. Bearing in mind this method of working and the manufacture’s extraordinarily extensive vertical range of production of balances and their spirally coiled springs, it goes without saying that only individual pieces and exceedingly small series can be crafted.
Constant innovation, which always searches for the new and the unprecedented, is another vital part of the Swiss watchmaking tradition. This is accordingly also an important aspect for the Montblanc manufacture in Villeret and it manifests itself once again in the new Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique, for which master watchmaker Demetrio Cabiddu and his colleagues pursued a daring idea. Would it be possible to miniaturize and transplant the precisely beating “heart” of an 18th-century ship’s chronometer into a tourbillon rotating inside the case of a wristwatch? This steadily beating heart is an escapement with a cylindrical balance-spring, thanks to which ship’s chronometers were able to tick so steadily and so precisely two centuries ago that, despite turbulent waves and extreme temperature variations, mariners could rely on them to navigate across entire oceans, erring by only a few nautical miles in their calculated positions.