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INTRODUCING: Montblanc’s Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810, Bronze, and Burgundy watches

The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810.

For 2024, Montblanc takes its watchmaking in bold new directions.

It is hard to say if Laurent Lecamp, the global managing director of Montblanc’s Watch Division, knew just how successful the 1858 Iced Sea collection would be when he launched it in 2022. He was certainly aware that he had tapped into a motif that stayed true to the brand’s identity and intrigued watch enthusiasts across the board. The gratté-boisé technique used to create the visually arresting dials of the Iced Sea is not only authentic but also unique to Montblanc in watchmaking, and the Mont Blanc massif it emulates is core to the brand’s identity – its very logo represents the snow-covered glaciers of the summit.

The Montblanc 1858 The Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph has a case distressed through blasting with rocks from Mont Blanc itself.
The Montblanc 1858 The Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph has a case distressed through blasting with rocks from the Mont Blanc massif itself.

The following year demonstrated that the Iced Sea was no one-hit wonder. Even as the brand introduced various colourways for the three-hand watch, it developed new designs and motifs drawn from the Iced Sea’s central concept – the Mont Blanc massif – that were injected into other collections. From cartography inspirations to stamped dials and cases distressed with the rocks from the mountain, it was possible to fill the entire world of Montblanc’s watchmaking with this overarching concept.

Deep Dive

The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810.
The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810.

One year later, the Iced Sea is once again set to turn us on our heads, this time with a watch that is targeted at the depths of the Earth. The Montblanc Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 ventures into the deep sea, one of the most under-explored natural environments in the world. Just five per cent of the deep sea has been studied, mostly via remote vehicles. The environment at a depth of 4,810m underwater is a challenging one, with freezing cold temperatures and crushing pressures that would break living cells. Yet even at these depths, known as the Abyss, creatures such as the fangtooth and tripod fish thrive.

Reaching 4,810m above sea level and inverting that to reach 4,810m under sea level requires a significant feat of engineering and construction. While pressure dips as you climb higher, leading to a thinner atmosphere, it increases underwater, damaging structural integrity due to pressure differences. The Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 is therefore housed in a much thicker grade 5 titanium case, with a similarly substantial sapphire crystal to resist the steel-crushing pressure of that depth.

The case and sapphire crystal of the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 are much thicker, to resist the pressures of the deep.
The case and sapphire crystal of the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 are much thicker, to resist the pressures of the deep.

While the Iced Sea and its ambassadors are loosely associated with mountaineering, it is, in fact, an ISO 6425-certified diving watch. This identity is hinted at in several different qualities of the watch, such as the easy extension adjustors in the strap clasp so that it can be worn over a diving suit, and the closed casebacks of the watches feature laser engravings of a diver underwater in a glacier lake. The 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 has a unique caseback decoration, with a 3D relief of the underside of glacial ice that divers would see from below. This modern technique applies laser-generation oxidisation of the metal to create the textures, finishes, and blue hues.

The caseback of the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 shows the view of the glacier from above a diver, created using laser technology.
The caseback of the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 shows the view of the glacier from above a diver, created using laser technology.

Creating a deep-sea diving watch is a natural step forward; it also offers Montblanc the opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of its Le Locle manufacture, especially in the quality control and testing of the watch. Since ISO 6425 requires the watch to have 125 per cent of the stated water resistance, the Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 has to be tested for water resistance of over 6,000m or 600 bar. The 0 Oxygen series of watches within the sporty 1858 collection refers to a process that removes oxygen from within the case, thereby reducing water vapour concentration and preventing fogging in the watch. It also has an anti-oxidation effect, which helps ensure the watch will survive extreme conditions.

The gratté-boisé dial has been given a deep, dark blue, along with unique texturing inspired by the interlacing ice crystals of the glacier. The deep blue references the colour of the oceans and is enhanced with a sfumato gradient effect with darkened edges on the dial. The hands and indexes are filled with Super-LumiNova and glow with a bright blue hue in the dark, maximising legibility in deep waters.

The stunning gratté-boisé technique used on the dial of the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810.
The stunning gratté-boisé technique used on the dial of the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810.

The Iced Sea 0 Oxygen Deep 4810 also has another outstanding quality: it’s equipped with a brand new COSC-certified Calibre MB 29.29 manufacture movement with time and date display. The 4Hz movement has a power reserve of 120 hours (about five days), a significant improvement over the standard 42- or 48-hour reserve movements used in the Iced Sea. Developed with Manufacture Horlogère ValFleurier, its architecture is like others within the Richemont Group, ensuring the movement’s reliability.

New Iced Seas

The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Burgundy highlights a seasonal phenomenon of glacier ice: red algae growth.
The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Burgundy highlights a seasonal phenomenon of glacier ice: red algae growth.

When the Iced Sea was launched, the name’s gemination (when the end of one word sounds like the start of the next) led many to misname it as ‘Iced Tea’. It, in fact, became the informal name of the watch, to Lecamp’s delight. He considered it a point of pride that the Iced Sea earned itself a street name in one year. And since iced teas come in many flavours, Lecamp has doled out plenty of new colourways in just two years. In addition to the standard black and blue dials, there are vivid green and white-grey models, and a 0 Oxygen version in a sfumato anthracite dial.

The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Burgundy.
The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Burgundy.

2024 brings new colourways to the Iced Sea. A deep burgundy treatment on the gratté-boisé dial with white printed logo details gives the watch a distinct, almost violent presence. Yet, it is inspired by red algae that seasonally appears in polar icefields and, more recently, has been seen around the Mont Blanc massif. If this is evidence of rapid climate transformation’s impact on natural landscapes, the burgundy dial is an impassioned warning for us all.

The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Bronze.
The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Bronze.

The next release brings a new case material to the Iced Sea: a cupro-aluminium alloy that’s similar to bronze in colour but offers greater hardness and corrosion resistance. While the alloy is more stable than bronze, it will still patina over time. The Iced Sea Bronze has a black gratté-boisé dial with a bi-colour aluminium and ceramic bezel insert in chocolate brown and black, respectively, which gives off a historic vintage feel. The moulded black-and-brown rubber strap that is paired with the watch does offset that vibe and gives it a more contemporary identity.

There’s plenty more to discover from Montblanc this year; subscribe to our print edition to read the complete story, and follow us on Instagram or Facebook to see what we’re checking out at the Watches and Wonders fair today.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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