Sunday, April 2, 2017

When They Name A Watch After You...

Okay, no, not exactly!  But at the Wine and Time event held two Fridays' back, I got the chance to lay hands to a really cool watch that was constructed using some truly alternative ideas, and it didn't hurt that this little wrist-borne bijoux bears the same name as yours' truly ; )

Courtesy of Montfort
I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  There are no shortage of watch brands out there.  What makes a brand or a watch interesting is when they take a fairly mainstream idea, and try to bring something new to it.

The new Montfort collection is known as the Strata and is available in four variations, with the James being one of them.  Montfort is a departure for a few reasons.  The most seemingly obvious, that it was financed through crowd-funding is perhaps the one thing that is becoming more and more common these days.  But it does bear mentioning that the Montfort crew set the bar at CHF 80,000 and managed to triple that amount!

Now more near and dear to my heart were two of the other new ingredients that were added to the Strata secret sauce:

Super Stainless Steel.  
Courtesy of Marvel

No, this is not something that was used for Captain America's shield.  It is, however, a very well-thought out solution to one of the greatest sadness that any owner of a new watch will experience - the first scratch the new watch receives.  You don't generally go to the supplier and request Super Stainless Steel, so what exactly is it?  I'll let the Montfort explain it in their own words -

The solution was to diffuse carbon and nitrogen into the surface of the steel to make it 8x harder than normal stainless steel. The result is a brighter glowing steel that is way more scratch resistant. What’s more, by treating the steel in this way, the grain of the material appears, thus giving it a granularity similar to that of rock.

Okay, maybe it's just me, but that's pretty dope!  But there is one more twist to this tale, the dials are not your typical metal.  No, these are created with a 3D printer.  And this means that the dial has texture, depth, surface gaps that allow the movement to be partially viewed through the dial itself.  
As mentioned, the case is assembled from 4 pieces of "Super Stainless Steel".  It measures 44 mm in diameter and is water resistant to 10 ATM (that's 100 meters or 3330 feet for you land lubbers).  The front crystal and display back are both of sapphire crystal and treated with a blue anti-reflective coating.  The movement is the Sellita SW200, self-winding. 

Here are all the pertinents, straight from Montfort -

  • 4-piece 44 mm hardened "Super Stainless Steel" case
  • Swiss automatic movement (Sellita SW200) power re- serve approx. 38h and 26 rubies. Movement with ‘ruthe- nium’ surface treatment, blued screws and oscillating mass finished with ‘Côtes de Genève’ decorations
  • Sapphire anti-reflective glass (top and bottom)
  • Waterproof to 100 M (10ATM)
  • "Clous de Paris" 3D skeletonized stainless steel dial
  • Italian Leather bracelet with black stitching 22/20 mm
  • Limited to 333 pieces
  • Pre-tax price excluding shipping : CHF 1’599.–
And yes you saw that right, the price is a very reasonable CHF 1,599 pre tax!

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