On day one of SalonQP, the United Kingdom’s largest watch fair, Montblanc has unveiled a new version of the Orbis Terrarum that’s extremely limited in production and quite patriotic (if you’re British, of course). The company has decided to make just five pieces based on the 4810 Orbis Terrarum (not to be confused with the earlier Spirit Orbis Terrarum), with a small twist: a Union Jack flag signaling the daytime hours on the day/night disc indicator.
My first thoughts? Well, despite living in London now, I’m not British, and it’s difficult to comment fully on the appeal of owning a watch with another country’s flag right there on the dial. Personally, I’m not sure how I would feel if I saw the French flag superimposed on (or rather, taking up residence in) countries and continents once part of the French Empire. The colonial undertones are a little hard to ignore. And the same could be said about this dial, no question. But, if there’s a saving grace here, it’s that the Union Jack has become a pretty forceful pop culture symbol (90s Brit Pop anyone?) that I don’t think that anything negative will come to mind for most people.
I actually find the color scheme much more cohesive than the multicolored day indicator of the 4810 Orbis Terrarum. It’s also highly wearable, even with a 43mm stainless steel case. Once again, the watch is powered by the caliber MB 29.20, a Sellita-based automatic movement with an in-house world time module. As with almost all world time watches, legibility isn’t incredible, but there’s tons of contrast on the dial that makes reading it easy enough.
It’s not an unusual tactic for watch companies to present market specific pieces. And, in fact, it’s the second time this year the United Kingdom has singled out on a dial. Just before the summer, Laurent Ferrier did so using gold leaf for a UK-specific version of the Gallet Traveller Globe Night Blue. That execution might have been a bit more subtle, but then again it’s good to go all-out from time to time. Montblanc’s declaration of love is nothing if not all-out.Â
The Montblanc Orbis Terrarum Special Edition Great Britain will be available for Â£5,600 (approximately $6,880 at the time of publication), which is a $980 premium over the non-limited 4810 Orbis Terrarum. However, there are only five pieces being made in total, so getting one will be more than a little tricky.
For more information, please visit the official Montblanc website.