Montblanc launches a new watch collection in a most interesting way
Roaring around the streets of Singapore in Porsches on a city-wide treasure hunt is an unusual way to launch a new watch collection. But that is exactly what Montblanc organised to celebrate its new TimeWalker range.

 

The TimeWalker collection harks back to the glory days of vintage motor racing and the heritage of Minerva, a Swiss watchmaker now part of the prestigious Montblanc family. This inspiration is clearly seen in the watches’ aerodynamic lines, which resemble the bodywork of classic cars. Iconic details include knurled finishing on the flank of the black ceramic bezels, as well as on the crowns and pushers, which are reminiscent of vintage car caps. The smoked-glass case backs are inspired by the glass windows that normally house sporty V12 engines.

Given this strong link with motor racing, the presence of Porsche sports cars, both classic and modern models, made sense. Montblanc decided to partner with the Porsche Club Singapore for this launch event to showcase the TimeWalker collection and have some fun along the way. Globally, however, the official automobile partner for Montblanc is BMW.

The Porsches were not just on show for sports car aficionados to admire. Instead, they were used as part of a treasure hunt, racing around Singapore picking up clues with speed. A convoy of 46 assorted Porsches, in a rich array of colours and styles, set off from The Fullerton Bay Hotel to start the two-hour challenge. While drivers were members of the Porsche Club, their passengers were selected from Montblanc VIP customers.

The hunt took them to iconic locations such as Keppel Bay, Dempsey Hill, HortPark and Sentosa Cove. At each pit stop, teams answered questions on the Montblanc TimeWalker collection, and also completed a series of photo challenges. Among the convoy were 10 Porsches specially stickered to resemble vintage rally racing cars. Prizes included a one-night’s hotel stay at a hotel in Sentosa and Montblanc products.

The day ended back at the Fullerton Bay Hotel, where cars were displayed and the teams enjoyed the National Day Parade rehearsal and fireworks. The rare vintage Porsches included the 356 Speedster, a unique RUF 993 CTS 2 (993 Turbo) in Speed Yellow, a 930 Slopenose and a 911E in Slate Grey, paying homage to Steve McQueen.

It was also a chance to admire pieces from the TimeWalker collection, which included a number of chronographs. As the development of motor racing evolved through the 20th century, the chronograph became a symbol of fair competition and the ultimate reminder that victory can only ever be judged by true and accurately timed results.

The TimeWalker Chronograph UTC and Automatic feature high-contrast dials that resemble racing instruments. Both are very stylish watches and very reasonably priced ($6,000 for the Automatic and $7,000 for the UTC). If price is not an issue, then the range extends upwards to $200,000 for the Chronograph 1000. This is a limited-edition watch of just 18 pieces, and features a titanium case, multi- layered dial and alligator leather strap.

Justin Harper is a freelance journalist with a passion for all things fast

This article appeared in Issue 793 (Aug 21) of The Edge Singapore.