Montblanc signs the peace between traditional watchmaking and the ‘smartwatch’

The Montblanc firm has achieved the closest thing to squaring the circle by reconciling traditional high-end watchmaking with new-fangled smartwatches. With its latest proposal already in the brand’s boutiques, the Summit 3 model, the German group knocks down the impossible by uniting two apparently antagonistic worlds. On the one hand, the weight of 116 years of fountain pen manufacturing dazzles and on the other hand, the agility it teaches is surprising to rub shoulders with the technological giants. The sum of both vectors highlights the ability of the business icon to adapt to new digital environments.

The flirtation with telecommunications that would scandalize Cartier, Rolex or Patek Philippe is projected at Montblanc as a line of activity that gradually increases its revenue share, in peaceful coexistence with writing, leather goods and traditional watchmaking.

The digitization of society has made the year-on-year growth of smartwatches easily exceed 20% and the Apple Watch is the best-selling watch in the world, for the seventh consecutive year. It is the sign of the times of two products that have in common that they tell the time punctually, in addition to saying a lot about the taste of the user who wears them.

From Montblanc International GmbH they are clear that their market proposal is very different from that of the rest of consumer electronics. Nothing to see. For now, manufacturing is limited to Switzerland and distribution is reduced to a handful of select outlets in department stores, jewelers and alpine-named establishments.

Behind closed doors, Montblanc assumes that its smartwatches will hardly be able to imitate the secular survival of other products called to accompany their users throughout several generations. Software updates condition the average age of the devices to less than a decade, as well as the durability of the battery or the speed of development of microchips. In the case of Montblanc’s Summit 3, the chosen partner is Qualcomm, a manufacturer that provides its Snapdragon Wear 4100+ chip, made up of a powerful application processor and a very low-power coprocessor,” according to the company. This hybrid architecture allows deliver super-fast performance and connectivity, a smarter always-on experience, and longer battery life for the next generation of connected smartwatches.”

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Qualcomm claims that the new system-on-chip in Montblanc’s latest smartwatch model is designed to offer 85% more performance compared to previous platforms (Snapdragon Wear 3100), in order to speed up the launch of applications, “along with greater responsiveness of the machinery and a richer experience in photos and videos”.

Alliance with Qualcomm

Rounding out the play, the processor now supports up to 64,000 colors and expands download experiences to include continuous heart rate monitoring, as well as faster tilt and power response, plus step counting and motion management. alarms, timers and haptic gestures. Low consumption is another of the Summit’s heart strengths as it uses 12nm technology, capable of reducing power consumption by more than 25% and thus prolonging battery life with each charge.

As for the features of Montblanc’s latest intelligent creature, it has the functions of smartwatches with Google’s Wear operating system: instant messaging on the wrist, call management, detailed monitoring of sleep and physical activity. What is beyond the reach of the rest of the smartwatches on the market is the prestige of the German brand and the design of a 1.28-inch dial whose appearance is comparable to any other piece of luxury watchmaking.

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