Interview with Jérôme Lambert - MONTBLANC CEO

-What image/impression did you have of Montblanc before being appointed as CEO of the brand? And now, as CEO, did your opinion on the brand changed?

As Montblanc is part of the Richemont group I already knew a lot about Montblanc. When I arrived here I noticed that the people at Montblanc are all driven by the passion for craftsmanship and a pursuit for innovation that has built the maison`s legitimacy in all fields. I am especially impressed by the level of craftsmanship and expertise in the own manufactures for writing instruments in Hamburg, for watches in Switzerland and for leather goods in Italy. This is very reassuring for all the future plans we have and I look forward to the upcoming months quite thrilled.

- With you in charge, JLC became an Haute Horlogerie  reference brand; do you intend to do the same with Montblanc?

We hear that Montblanc is already perceived as an Haute Horlogerie maison by watch lovers and connoisseurs, especially with the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858. Also the Rieussec line is perceived as an iconic model. And the TimeWalker design is very unique and distinctive. For the new Meisterstück Heritage Collection that we will present at SIHH 2014 we also see this potential. It is a new signature line for Montblanc watches that holds up to the expectations of a true Montblanc Meisterstück: timeless and sophisticated design, perfect functionality from the 3 hand watch to the high complications- and refined craftsmanship. When it comes to the future development of Montblanc I see myself more as a catalizor. We at Montblanc altogether will further build our maison always being true to our heritage and the spirit of innovation.

-The Villeret line of manufactured goods, will it maintain its difference from Montblanc?

The Villeret line is Montblanc. Its 156 years of uninterrupted history in traditional craftsmanship is something very unique that you will rarely find anywhere else in the industry- and that needs to be safeguarded and further developed. We will continue to build on this heritage and develop the Collection Villeret with exceptional pieces like the ExoTourbillon Rattrapante that will be also presented at the SIHH. In addition, we will also leverage the refined beauty of the Villeret movements in our other collections, like the Monopusher Chronograph that will be launched in the Meisterstück Heritage line in 2014. With Montblanc Villeret we have introduced very exciting and groundbreaking innovations in a very short period of time. Creations such as the Montblanc Timewriter I Metamorphosis, the Montblanc ExoTourbillon Chronographe,the TimeWriter II Chronographe Bi-Fréquence 1,000 or the new ExoTourbillon Rattrapante have generated a lot of attention among press and collectors underlining Montblanc’s competence in the high complications field. So, Montblanc Villeret will always maintain its uniqueness while it will at the same time continue to complement the watch competence of Montblanc Montres in LeLocle.

-Can we expect from Montblanc to continue to introduce – annually  – watch complications?

We will certainly continue to further expand our manufactures. Already today we have close to 200 specialist watchmaking staff working in our 2 manufactures in Le Locle and Villeret. In the future, we will even further build on the deep know-how of Villeret in movement development expertise and traditional artisanal craftsmanship on one side, and the extensive competence of Le Locle as a manufacture and quality testing laboratory  on the other side. Both manufactures complement each other and are both a very important pillar of Montblanc’s watchmaking competence. So yes, you can expect that we will continue to annually introduce exciting watch complications that are based on this very special combination.

-How do you see Montblanc evolve (in  the watch market) in the next 10 years?

We will pursue our strategy to share passion for fine watchmaking. For this we will continue to surprise with new complications introducing refined timepieces with interesting new functions in the 2-5k Euro price range. We will also continue to introduce groundbreaking innovation blending utmost tradition in our Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858.

- From now on you will have another management challenges besides the watch marker; how do you see the future of the line of writing instruments?

Montblanc is the undisputed leader in the writing instrument business since more than a century. Montblanc’s watch business has experienced an impressive growth over the past years despite market uncertainty and Montblanc has entered into the top 20 Swiss watchmakers in terms of sales. There is further potential for all Montblanc product categories, driven by an expertise in these fields. Our leading reputation for creating the world`s finest writing instruments stems from our dedication to traditional craftsmanship and an almost obsessive quest for quality and technical perfection. The market for writing instruments is offering tremendous opportunities to further grow for example with innovations in functionality, materials and design. Montblanc is perfectly set-up for this challenging task.

GENEVA 2014 - ZENITH Pilot Montre d’AÉronef Type 20 GMT 1903


  Since its founding in 1865, the Manufacture Zenith has been part of all the dreams and daring endeavours that transform utopian dreams into reality. Among the human adventures that have punctuated its history, there is one particular conquest that the brand accompanied right from its beginnings in the early 20th century: that of the SKIES. Driven by the same enterprising spirit as these pioneers who gave life to Icarus’ dream of flight, Zenith pays tribute to the Wright brothers through a watch issued in a 1,903-piece limited edition: the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903.

In their bicycle shop in Dayton Ohio, Wilbur and Orville Wright dreamed of wide-open spaces and freedom. These natural-born inventors conceived a first glider that they launched on the Kitty Hawk dunes in North Carolina. At the same time, they built a wind tunnel to study various technical aspects such as the profile of the wings. Constantly perfecting their prototypes, they installed a stabiliser at the front of a second glider, and then a steering rudder at the back of a third that could thus be controlled: a world first in the field of aeronautics! After hundreds of trials, the two brothers decided to move a step forwards by equipping their glider with an engine. Lying face down on the lower wing of the twin-propeller aircraft named “Flyer”, Orville Wright achieved the first powered, heavier-than-air controlled flight in history, on Kitty Hawk beach. The young man covered a distance of 40 metres at a height of 60 centimetres off the ground. The date was December 17th 1903. Representing a major milestone in aviation history, the year 1903 now gives its name to a timepiece created by Zenith as a tribute to the Wright brothers: Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903.

Zenith was one of the first watch manufacturers to create flight instruments to equip various aircraft and spaceships manned by the aviation pioneers. Known for their precision and exceptional ability to withstand vibrations, magnetic fields and variations, Zenith’s altimeters, onboard watches and chronographs, as well as its wristwatches, became extremely popular with pilots, who were thus accompanied in their feats by the brand with the guiding star. In just over a century, Louis Blériot, Morane and more recently Felix Baumgartner, have fulfilled their destiny and put their name in the history books with a Zenith instrument on their wrist or on their cockpit controls.

Pilot Montre d’AÉronef Type 20: A LEGENDARY MODEL
A cult watch among collectors, the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 played a key role in the burgeoning airmail business, and was fitted as of 1939 on the instrument panels of a number of aircraft, such as the Caudron trainer planes used by the French airforce. What could be better than this aeronautical legend to inspire a timepiece paying homage to the Wright brothers? Drawing upon these historical roots, the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903 features a case made of black DLC-coated titanium that is therefore ultra-light despite its 48 mm diameter. The ratcheted crown typical of historical aviator watches ensures a perfect grip even with pilot’s gloves. The five-times sandblasted black dial reproduces the generous original Arabic numerals ensuring perfect readability by day or night. The luminous glow of these delightfully vintage figures stems from a first “old radium” treatment covered with a more classic Superluminova treatment. The effect is fascinating and the resulting appearance truly unique, since this ingenious combination creates a creamy shade enlivened by tiny retro accents that cannot be identically reproduced from one watch to the next. Each dial thus becomes unique and further heightens the exclusive character of the 1,903-piece limited edition, with the individual number appearing on a special plate screwed to the side of the case middle, like an aircraft rivet.

Actively partaking in all manner of dreams and adventures, the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903 is also an invitation to travel thanks to a second time-zone indicator powered by an accurate and reliable automatic movement: Elite Calibre 693. Finely adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif even though it remains hidden from sight, it ticks off time at the rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a 50-hour power reserve. Beneath this elegant mechanical heart, the case-back is adorned with a stamped insignia depicting Orville Wright aboard the “Flyer”, with his brother Wilbur running along Kitty Hawk beach to follow the feat being accomplished on December 17th 1903.

A sturdy wristband crafted in beige suede leather sets the finishing touch to this model. Its lining features a heat-embossed motif in which connoisseurs will note the inscription “Zenith Flying Instruments” as well as the brand’s historical logo, thus underlining the spirit of an era in which the skies were still waiting to be conquered.

Technical Data

Elite 693, automatic
Calibre: 11 ½ ‘‘‘ (Diameter: 25.6 mm)
Thickness: 3.94 mm
Components: 186
Jewels: 26
Frequency: 28,800 VpH – (4 Hz)
Power-reserve: min. 50 hours
Finishes: Oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” pattern

Hours and minutes in the centre
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
24-hour second time-zone indicator

Case, Dial & Hands
Material: Titanium case with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating
Diameter: 48 mm
Diameter opening: 40 mm
Thickness: 15.80 mm
Crystal: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Case-back: Zenith Flying Instruments logo
Water-resistance: 10 ATM
Dial: Matt black
Hour-markers: SuperLuminova SLN Old Radium
Hands: Black ruthenium, satin-finished with SuperLuminova SLN Old Radium

96.2431.693/ 21.C740
Vintage-effect nubuck heat-embossed with “Zenith Flying Instruments” logo
Steel pin buckle with black DLC coating


"Can one think that because we are engineers, beauty does not preoccupy us or that we do not try to build beautiful, as well as solid, and long lasting structures?"               
                                                                                   Gustave Eiffel.

Gustave Eiffel, this French visionary civil engineer who has marked an entire era through his great architectural achievements, has made over 300 creations all over the world, namely the La Tour Eiffel, of course, the metallic frame of the New York Statute of Liberty, as well as various bridges such as the Maria Pia de Porto bridge, has also actively participated at the Panama Canal project. So many major live works scattered on all the continents still stand proof today of the vision and the exceptional know-how of the one we call the "Iron Magician" or the "Engineer of the Universe".

All these works are marked by his quest for the purity of lines, for the combination of iron with glass, or for the solidity and lightness of shapes. An everyday elegance that is still contemporary and that will be inspiring designers and creators for centuries to come.
Perpetuating the vision of his ancestor, "Combine beauty with practicality", nowadays, Philippe Couperie Eiffel's works reflect in the Swiss manufacturer CVSTOS' products to give rise to the timepiece called La Gustave Eiffel by CVSTOS.

Founded in 2005 by Sassoun Sirmakes, the son of the Franck Muller group's CEO, and by the designer Antonio Terranova, an engineer by training who previously worked for the biggest Swiss watches companies, CVSTOS is a manufacturer of luxury watches, specializing in the design and creation of contemporary watches that combine state-of-the-art technologies with luxury.

State-of-the-art technology and design, these are the values they share with Gustave Eiffel. Also, the values upon which this company was founded:  boldness, performance, efficiency and elegance.

To pay tribute to Gustave Eiffel, the Iron Magician, CVSTOS present their new CVSTOS GUSTAVE EIFFEL timepiece that celebrates performance, state-of-the-art technology and aestheticism, the four pillars of this brand. The look of this timepiece stands for the technical and aesthetic memory of this great man.

Indeed, the metallic structure, represented by the famous Cross of Saint Andrew, the technical heritage from Gustave Eiffel, a simply mathematical beauty, has inspired this timepiece.

There are many unifying words that guided the carrier and evolution of Antonio Terranova. Chief Designer of Cvstos, and an engineer by training, his constant search for simplicity and perfection creates a "bridge between tradition and contemporaneity".

Following the example of the famous Tour Eiffel, with the tonneau-shaped middle (very finely carved, requiring 45 minutes to process only the motives), the CVSTOS GUSTAVE EIFFEL has a structure akin to the Parisian elegance and aesthetics, inspired by the famous Cross of Saint Andrew, which symbolises rigidity, transparency and lightness alike.

From the same spectacular and unexpected perspectives, the mechanism, which comes straight from the CVSTOS parts factory, and which is called the CVS350 JETLINER AUTOMATIC, with a power reserve of 48 hours, was designed in the same vein of the motives inspired from Gustave Eiffel's principles. This calibre can be admired through a large sapphire crystal, which is accentuated by the bimetallic skeleton dial. The semi-instantaneous date indicator is also carved from the block through various state-of-the-art technological processes, which is a visual reminder of the Tour's elevators' gear trains. The dial’s high readability is provided by the metallic indexes whose centre is covered in a luminescent material.

The transparent case-back invites us to direct our gaze into the heart of the mechanism and to discover the arrangement of all the movement components. An excellent readability is therefore provided on the work of these master-watchmakers, which is then highlighted by the three-dimensional look of this openwork movement.
Carved out from Steel 316-L, or from bronze PDV treated Steel, the tonneau-shaped case is admirably emphasised by the purity of its lines and volume. This polished architectural work, easily identifiable amidst all, contributes to CVSTOS' aesthetic distinction in the closed world of fine Horlogerie.

With up to 100 meters water resistance, the CVSTOS GUSTAVE EIFFEL is available in fine alligator leather in various colours, which is lined with ALCANTARA® materials, with a specific look dedicated specifically to this model. Or, for the purists, a more classical bracelet is available, with a tongue buckle or a double pusher clasp.  

Fascination reaches its peak with this model which CVSTOS created to perpetuate the image of a great man and, most of all, of his works.

With the CVSTOS GUSTAVE EIFFEL, CVSTOS reinvents the new codes of elegance of the Parisian avant-garde glamour thanks to their perpetually changing creative philosophy of doing today what the others will do tomorrow…