Off The Beaten Path

Reconnecting with Mother Nature with the New Montblanc 1858.
Photos: Author and Corinne Chow

Montblanc, as a watchmaker has been pushing the boundaries of innovation and ingenuity for close to a hundred years as reflected in any timepiece that bears the iconic Montblanc emblem. This emblem has become a guarantee of precision, quality and a watch built to become a lifetime companion through life’s many adventures. This tradition can be traced back to the skills and knowledge in watchmaking that has been passed on from generation to generation of artisan watchmakers from Villeret, some 160 years past. Back then, Charles- Yvan Robert founded Minerva, a watch company that specialized in precision timing instruments that gained prominence for its accuracy and robustness for outdoor use, making them ideal for military use as well as a favorite of explorers. And this heritage is what Montblanc pays tribute to in creating the Montblanc 1858 product line. Comprised of watches that hark back to the 1920s – 1930s Minerva pocket watches and chronographs, the Montblanc 1858 collection combine a modern complication with a vintage feel that is a perfect getaway companion for those wanting to get away from the grey and dreary trappings of today’s urban lifestyle.

Montblanc 1858
Montblanc 1858
Montblanc 1858

And to celebrate the release of four new watches in the Montblanc 1858 collection, just that’s what Montblanc invited us to do. Together with a dozen other journalists from the region, Montblanc flew us to Vietnam to go on an epic two-day cave expedition in the Tu Lan Cave System, the largest network of caves in the world. Of course, we need expert guidance and in these parts of the world, there is none more qualified than Oxalis Cave Adventures to get us through the hiking, climbing, scrambling and swimming needed to explore four great caves that are part of the Tu Lan Cave network. And throughout the journey, we brought along with us two watches that are part of the brand-new, bronze-cased, Khaki-green dialed Montblanc 1858 series that are inspired by the world of mountain exploration. The watches we had were the Geosphere and the Automatic Chronograph, both limited to 1,858 pieces and both survived the two days in the rough splendidly, with their bronze cases already building up a one-of-kind patina.

Montblanc 1858
Montblanc 1858
Montblanc 1858

The theme of the adventure was Reconnect 1858 and it was intended as a way to recalibrate one’s life by finding focus in the beauty of nature. It was a means to leave the trappings of modern day living by enjoying the vivid sights and sounds of the great outdoors versus the grey and dreary furnishings of the concrete jungle. In this, the objective set by Montblanc was successfully met. While we may have returned to civilization with drained bodies, our souls were recharged.

I suggest you take time to do an activity such as this yourselves. You owe it to your sanity to get out there and reconnect.

Expect a full detailed write up on the watch in the near future.