New smartwatch offering from leading luxury brand Montblanc
Modern, innovative design and functionality to rival competitors
The perfect accessory for the style conscious technology enthusiast
It’s hard to equate the average smartwatch with an actual timepiece. Sure it tells the time, but let’s be honest that’s not why anyone invests in a piece or horology. It’s the feel of a mechanical watch on your wrist, the finishing, the knowledge that some little artisan in Switzerland slaved over the piece in question.
It’s why the watch industry generally hasn’t taken much notice of the Apple Watch, despite it outselling every watchmaker out there, probably combined. A smartwatch is not a watch, it’s as simple as that.
That’s not to say they don’t have their place of course. They’re a useful window into your phone, a constant reminder of appointments and your fitness goals for the day. There’s no reason not to get one if you want to be constantly connected to the world at large – unless of course you want something considerably more luxurious.
Montblanc may be one of the most important luxury brands out there, but their watches tend to be very well priced for what they are, even when it comes to high complications.
Over the past few years they’ve maintained a more classical aesthetic and have wowed those in the know time and again. But Montblanc are also one of the more forward-thinking names in luxury – as they’ve shown rather admirably in the Montblanc Summit.
From afar the Summit doesn’t look like a smartwatch. It’s not slim and sleek; it’s big, chunky and wonderfully weighty. If you couldn’t see the stunning AMOLED screen dial you’d be hard-pressed to put it in the same realm as Apples all-too-breakable offering.
But as smartwatch it is indeed and one hell of one. Powered by Android 2.0, it links to your phone with Androidwear in seconds and, once there, receives all of your notifications there on your wrist. You can also download every app from your phone at the press of a button ensuring you have instant instagram access.
The processor is quick enough to cope with most apps out there so the only limitation is the screen size. Seeing as it actually needs to be wearable it can’t be that big, but is still a decent enough size for everything short of Angry Birds. What really has over any other smartwatch however isn’t necessarily the technology – it’s good but not exactly cutting edge – but the style.
I’ve already mentioned the pleasing case, but one of the key features is actually the dial.
Granted when in use it shows whatever message or picture you want to look at, but when passive it can be customised to display any Montblanc timepiece you want. You can customise the complications therein, the colour of the dial and even whether it imitates light on the digital brushed finish.
As with all too many pieces like the Summit, I would suggest waiting until the second edition before leaping on it. It’s still better than the TAG Heuer Connected ever was, but there are a few refinements I’d like to see in there. For one, the crown should actually do something. At the moment it’s just a button but in the future I’d like it to help cycle through menus to help avoid smudges on the sapphire crystal.
That little nag aside, the build quality of the Summit far surpasses any of its contemporaries. Most smartwatches feel disposable; they’re lightweight and not meant to last more than a couple of generations so that’s to be expected. Here however not only is the steel good quality, but the lugs are shaped to make it comfortable to wear and even the strap is of the same excellence as other Montblanc timepieces.
Is it a replacement for a mechanical timepiece? Not in the slightest. If it was then the watch industry would be in dire straights. As a supplement to your collection however there’s no reason not to invest, if not in this model than the next. You can’t read your fitness goals from a tourbillion after all.
Words by: Sam Kessler