Pre-SIHH 2022, Montblanc unveils new models in the recently reimagined Star Legacy line of watches. The Montblanc Star Legacy collection has long featured a number of dressy watches that I feel fall into the most Montblanc-ian of their watch offerings, and this new batch expands on that. Five watches inspired by Minerva’s history are announced: the Star Legacy Automatic Date 39mm, the Montblanc Star Legacy Automatic Date 42mm, the Montblanc Star Legacy Full Calendar, and two new Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronographs. Each takes a unique shot at the dressier nature of Montblanc’s image with some Roman numerals instead of their traditional Arabic font.
Montblanc took a look at the Star Legacy Collection and gave it a facelift for SIHH 2018. We looked at some models in the new collection with the Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph hands-on here – featuring a cool leather strap from Montblanc’s Pelletteria (their Florence-based leather atelier I don’t feel they capitalize on nearly enough). It introduced a sfumato leather strap and unique colorway that they seem to be bringing into the rest of the dizzying amount of models in the new Star collection – this time with added Italian flavors.
The smallest of the collection, the Montblanc Star Legacy Automatic Date 39mm takes a traditional approach to the dress watch. Measuring in at an obvious 39mm, this watch is designed with more traditional tastes in mind, while the 42mm is for those who don’t mind a little more wrist presence, even in a dress watch. For these models, the polished stainless steel case contrasts nicely against the blue Montblanc Pelletteria sfumato leather strap and blued hands.
Something Montblanc has been capitalizing on lately is the blue color scheme. While some would argue it’s always been a common thread, the last few releases with these colorways have been some of the most attractive Montblanc watches in recent memory, specifically paired with the white dials. The watches feature a cool guilloche dial in a Montblanc logo pattern, something subtle that I’ve always enjoyed from the brand, and they are the first models in the new collection to feature Roman numerals – a fitting addition. While I don’t understand the incessant need for a date window in a classic dress watch, I’m particularly turned off by the fact that this one unnecessarily cuts off the 6 o’clock indicator – a slightly higher window, or slightly smaller numerals would fix the need to eat into an indicator like this.
Montblanc’s Nicolas Rieussec Chronographs have been relatively polarizing. Montblanc has revamped the Nicolas Rieussec a number of times, each one different – some attractive, some a bit more on the quirky side of the spectrum. We’ve covered various Nicolas Reussec Chronographs as far back as 2011 with a wrist-time review here, followed a couple years later with a homage to that piece that we saw hands-on here, and recently the latest iteration with the 2018 revamp of the Star Line Collection. It’s easy to get lost in which models were designed when and the changes from each different iteration. However, personally, I feel each model is getting more and more refined, with this latest being the most attractive of them all.
While you can read about the technical specs of the new Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph in our most recent news article, I want to discuss what’s different about these from the first release earlier this year. For one, the 44.8mm case is now available in 18k red gold – a material that was also tried in this Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec collection. I find this colorway attractive with the nicely contrasting numerals and domed chronograph sub-registers against the new anthracite dial – that’s important when trying to make a dial feel less cluttered considering the plethora of textures and designs utilized.