Montblanc debuted their new 2020 wristwatches this week and one timepiece that stands out is the 1858 Automatic 24H because it has only one hand.
The 1858 Automatic 24H is available in a 42 mm x 11.2 mm stainless steel case with a bronze alloy bezel, which will gain patina over time. The fluted crown is also crafted from a bronze alloy and features the Montblanc emblem in relief.
Using a single large red centrally-mounted hand — that’s shaped like a compass needle — you can read the hours and minutes instantly with no much effort. The exact minute indication is not as precise as on a multi-hand watch but you get a good idea based on the 15-minute hash marks in between the 24-hour format printed Arabic numerals.
Interestingly, the numerals, central hand, and the map of the Northern Hemisphere on the dial are all luminescent.
What sets this watch apart — even amongst other single hand timepieces — is the compass scale on the outer ring, and the ability to use the hour hand to determine your directional bearing. In most cases, using a watch with hour and minute hands and a 12-hour dial you can hold the watch horizontally, aim the hour hand and the sun, and then determine your South bearing by looking halfway in between the hour hand and 12 o’clock. With this watch, it’s even easier. When you are located in the Northern Hemisphere, you simply hold the watch horizontally and aim the compass needle-shaped hand at the sun and then look at the compass ring for the bearing. However, if you’re in the Sothern Hemisphere, the inverse applies.
The 1858 Automatic 24H is marked with a “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” engraving on the case back. Water-resistance is rated to 100 meters. A matching black, hand-crafted NATO strap that’s made in France comes standard (ref. 126007).
There are two additional variations: one with a stainless steel case and bracelet (Ref. 125582) and the other with an aged cognac-colored calfskin strap with being-colored stitching (Ref. 125581).
Retail is $3,030 and the 1858 Automatic 24H will be available in September 2020.