MONTBLANC scales the summit: Eric Vergnes

MONTBLANC scales the summit: Eric Vergnes

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Mitrajit Bhattacharya finds out what’s so special about Montblanc’s first smartwatch from Eric Vergnes, President of Montblanc Middle East, India and Africa

Montblanc Appoints Eric Vergnes as President Middle East India and Afric...

You are doing a simultaneous launch worldwide on 16-17 March of something very special and secretive. Can you finally throw some light on the same?
I certainly can. Montblanc has today taken fine watchmaking into the digital age with the launch of our first smartwatch – the Montblanc Summit – combining fine watchmaking with Android Wear™ 2.0, Google’s latest operating system for smartwatches, and the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100 processor, one of the most advanced and powerful wearables processors in the market for smartwatches.

Montblanc Summit

We are delighted to present the first high-end smartwatch with a classic and vintage look creating a digital interpretation of fine watchmaking, and providing the perfect companion for the young generation to navigate through the fast pace of today’s lifestyles while experiencing the feeling of a real watch on the wrist.

Why is the new launch so significant for Montblanc and the entire Richemont Group?
Since its foundation in 1906, Montblanc’s pioneering spirit has pushed the Maison to explore new territories, and we’ve done that across all our categories. In terms of the Montblanc Summit, we are introducing fine watchmaking codes to the connected watch world and marking a new era in luxury wearables for men. It’s a natural step in Montblanc’s evolution, having gained experience in digital luxury for a number of years with products such our Montblanc Screenwriters and Smart Covers, the E-Strap and E-Tag, and last year, our Augmented Paper. With the new Summit collection, Montblanc has managed to bridge a gap between analogue and digital in the most pioneering way.

Most luxury brand watches have struggled in India over the past year or so. Montblanc has forged a JV with Titan in this period and moved fast to capture market share. How has the experiment worked so far? And what are your expectations in the future?
As a luxury Maison Montblanc is recognized in almost every corner of the world, and in India we enjoy an understanding and appreciation of Montblanc that is quite exceptional. We are delighted with our growing presence in this dynamic market, and with our partnership with Titan, and are extremely positive about our future here.

How was the response to the new launches at SIHH 2017?
As you know SIHH presents an excellent forum for Montblanc to demonstrate not only its craftsmanship and heritage, but also its continued innovation. This year was no different. We introduced our newest TimeWalker Collection, paying tribute to Minerva’s extraordinary heritage and history of the chronograph, and innovating with pieces like the TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition 100 – a wristwatch with a contemporary design and vintage racing look that can be easily converted into a pocket watch or dashboard clock.

The Montblanc 1858 Collection also expanded with three new bronze versions – the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Dual Time, the Montblanc 1858 Automatic timepiece, and the Montblanc 1858 Chronometer Tachymeter which was also awarded the GPHG Limited Edition 100.

Response to the collections has been overwhelmingly positive across the world, and most certainly in India.