The new Montblanc 8000 capsule collection pays tribute to the world’s 14 highest peaks and the inspiring alpinists who dared to climb them
Mountains have been Montblanc’s muses since its inauguration – especially the famous Mont Blanc peak situated in the Alps that gave the brand its name and was instrumental in the development of the signature emblem. More than just an image for the Maison, though, these picturesque landforms also represent adventure, challenge, strength, and spiritual elevation. The brand explains, “these mountains – all measuring over 8000 meters above sea – are challenging and dangerous to ascend as there is hardly enough oxygen for a human body to physiologically survive for more than a few hours.”
“Every successful ascent and descent is a challenge that pushes the boundaries of what is physically possible. What’s more, extreme weather conditions can change rapidly with storms, avalanches, and incredibly low temperatures. As a result, only a few mountaineers have climbed all 14 peaks, and even fewer have done it without supplemental oxygen.”
With admiration for those who dared to climb them and a fondness for mountains, Montblanc launched the new Montblanc 8000 capsule collection to show reverence for these alpinists, putting the world’s 14 highest peaks in the spotlight to boot.
Following the other “Zero Oxygen” timepieces, the latest four models boast benefits for explorers who need their wrist companion to work in harsh environments. Most notably, the new Zero Oxygen case, honouring its name, is conceived to intercept oxygen from getting into contact with the components; hence, preventing fogging, which can occur with drastic temperatures, and oxidisation to preserve its unfaltering precision.
Other key updates include the use of an old Italian technique, the Sfumato effect, that allows tones and colours to shade gradually into another, producing softened outlines and hazy forms as manifested on the glacier pattern dial that references rocks and ice at 8000 meters. “The addition of the Sfumato technique here is a nod to the visual effect of being at high altitude and observing mountains as far as the eye can see,” the brand elaborates.
An ode to the mountain, orange touches, integral to mountaineering outfits and equipment and Tibetan amulets, are also included on the dial of the watches – juxtaposed against the icy grey background. Additionally, the Maison employed a unique technique called gratté-boisé to offer a glacial blue luminescence for added visibility at night – further heightening the functionality.
Now that we got the fundamentals covered, it’s time to dive deeper into the individual designs and what sets them apart.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 Limited Edition 290 – 44mm
Mark Makers, synonymous with ambassadors in Montblanc’s book, represents inspiring individuals who embody the ethos of the brand; they are “living proof that when you do what inspires you with audacity and creativity, you lead a more fulfilling life,” said Vincent Montalescot, EVP Marketing of Montblanc. As the faces of the brand, these muses also serve as inspirations for the horologists. Case in point: this Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 Limited Edition 290 commemorates Mark Maker Nimsdai Purja’s recording breaking ascent to Everest with the first Montblanc 1858 0 Oxygen timepiece in May 2022 without supplemental oxygen.
To accompany Purja on his new adventure, this timepiece – powered by Montblanc’s Manufacture automatic chronograph with world-time complication, Calibre MB 29.27 – includes two 3D turning globes: Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere at 12 and six o’clock, respectively. What’s interesting is the minute details like the 14 orange dots on the former, marking the location of the 8000m peaks.
Here, the 44mm titanium case features a fluted bi-directional black ceramic bezel with cardinal points and a 3D coloured laser engraving on the case back, showcasing the list and profiles of the 14 Eight Thousander peaks according to Nimsdai, three Himalayan prayer flags for good fortune, and the mention “Limited Edition”. An interchangeable anthracite textile strap, inspired by the rope, a vital tool to mountaineers, comes with the purchase and lends the wearer versatility.
Case 44 mm titanium case without oxygen with slim curved horns featuring polished and satinated finishing
Movement Automatic Calibre MB 29.27 with 46 hours power reserve
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen The 8000 – 42mm
Inspired by another Mark Maker, Reinhold Messer, the first mountaineer to climb all 14 of the planet’s highest peaks, this piece boasts similar features to the 44mm. Instead of an interchangeable anthracite textile strap, however, it comes with a titanium bracelet with a taper. And while it sees a 12-hour chronograph counter at nine o’clock, it doesn’t come with the 30-minute chronograph counter, unlike the limited edition style.
The case back is different as well. It features the K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, widely considered the most difficult, technical and dangerous summit to climb due to the unpredictable weather and sharp angle of around 60 degree.
Chosen as a key detail element in the timepiece by Messner himself, the mountain holds sentimental value to the Mark Maker. “Messner first reached the summit in 1979 and the weather was so perfect as the top that he could see for over 200km. He stayed there for a moment, enjoying the beauty of the landscape, and it is, for this reason, he chose it for this piece,” highlighted in the press release.
Case 42 mm titanium case without oxygen with slim curved horns featuring polished and satinated finishing
Movement Automatic Calibre MB 29.25 with 42 hours power reserve
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Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 – 42mm
On the other hand (pun intended), the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000, engineered with the MB 25.13 automatic chronograph movement, sports a “Spirit of Exploration” pattern at the case back and doesn’t come with the 3D turning globes. Instead, the 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters with orange tips come through. Other orange accents can be found every 15 minutes on the railway track, encircling the dial.
Case 42 mm stainless steel case without oxygen with slim curved horns featuring polished and satinated finishing
Movement Automatic Calibre MB 25.13 with 48 hours power reserve
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Date 0 Oxygen The 8000 – 41mm
The smallest in the repertoire with a 41mm stainless steel case, again, fitted without oxygen, this watch eschews the bells and the whistles – keeping it effortlessly sophisticated. Featuring the automatic calibre MB 24.15 and the “Spirit of Exploration” engraving, the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Date 0 Oxygen The 8000 strips down to the essentials, conceived with the same dark grey Sfumato glacier pattern, applied Arabic numerals, a minute scale with orange indications every 15 minutes, an interchangeable tapered stainless steel bracelet, a central seconds hand, and a date at three o’clock.
Case 41 mm stainless steel case without oxygen with slim curved horns featuring polished and satinated finishing
Movement Automatic Calibre MB 24.17 with 38 hours power reserve
All four models in this capsule collection celebrate Montblanc’s connection to the mountain while showcasing some of the latest technical novelties – converting these timepieces into professional sports watches for explorers who demand enhanced performance on their adventures.
(Images: Montblanc 8000 Capsule Collection)