Montblanc Bohème: Five Things To KnowWritten by Alvin Wong
Creative director Zaim Kamal dresses the Montblanc woman.
Bohème Automatic Date
Not long after Zaim Kamal (below) took over Montblanc’s creative department in 2013, he was tasked with conceiving an entirely new watch collection for women. Working with Montblanc’s Le Locle-based technical department, his team build the new watch family from scratch (“Every single hand, index and engraving”) and christened it Bohème, as the horological expression of “fresh and free spirited” bohemian lifestyle.
Montblanc creative director, Zaim Kamal
In four years, the Bohème collection has grown to become Montblanc’s go-to range for women who desire a timepiece from the brand. Offering a comprehensive spread, the collection offers three-hand quartz and automatic models, to top-of-the-line tourbillon and perpetual complications, often with exquisite artisanal and gem-set executions.
“The Bohème aims to bring you on a journey of style and sophistication, whichever way you want it,” says Zaim, as he takes us right back to the roots of the collection.
1. There are brains behind the beauty
“We were told to develop the feminine expression of Montblanc's watch competence. It sounds quite broad, but is actually easy to understand. We aimed to combine the high-end watchmaking expertise of the brand with strong feminine aesthetics that represent the values of the Maison. But it wasn’t just a juxtaposition of things. Our competence in watchmaking isn't gender-specific. It is something that can be appreciated by both men and women.”
Bohème Perpetual Calendar Jewellery Limited Edition
2. It mixes the 1920s and 1970s
“I come from a fashion background, so I am always interested to see what kind of inspiration I can get in terms of style. This collection takes inspiration from the style elements of the 1970s and combines it with a 1920s Art Deco sensibility.”
3. Longevity matters
“People may wear only one watch over many years, as opposed to clothes, which are more sensitive to trends and may go out of fashion after every six months. We need to find an expression that works across many different styles. The Bohème can be worn in an elegant or formal setting, and at the same time also be suited for casual styles. It is about giving power to the wearer, as opposed to being confined by fashion trends.”
Bohème ExoTourbillon Jewellery Motif Serpent
4. It is about the touch
“We place very strong emphasis on tactility. No matter how well-thought the aesthetics are, it comes to nothing if the touch and feel of the watch isn't right.”
Bohème ExoTourbillon Slim
5. It takes you on a journey
“The Bohème was created to take our customers on a journey from simple, basic timepieces, to more complex expressions of watchmaking - customers can find what they need in a single collection, and don't have to jump to another line. With the Bohème, I think we reflect this sentiment quite well in terms of the different case sizes we offer, as well as the functionality of the timepieces.”
Get the latest watch reviews and comparisons straight to your inbox!
Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.