Black is the color of the year for the business luxury maison.
Black is a good look on Montblanc. It is, after all, one of the maison’s emblematic colors, alongside white. And this year, the house is leaning into its roots, using black across all of its accessories, while making a statement in turn. This is the color of year for them: both timeless and modern, at once eternal and of-the-moment.
From pens, leatherware, and watches, Montblanc’s Ultrablack collection cuts across categories—even the divide that usually exists between masculine and feminine designs in the luxury world. In any case, it works. And you can see how it looks through their Mark Makers—actor Cillian Murphy and DJ Peggy Gou.
Both have left their own marks in the creative world. Cillian earned his fame through film and television (Peaky Blinders, Dunkirk, Inception), while Peggy earned hers through her multiple albums, shows, and her own record label and clothing line.
“Cillian and Peggy are both Mark Makers, inspiring individuals who embody the ethos of Montblanc,” says Vincent Montalescot, Montblanc EVP Marketing. “They are both living proof that when you do what inspires you with audacity and creativity, you lead a more fulfilling life. In their own original ways, they both leave their mark in the world through their artistry and creativity, always driven by their passions and a higher purpose,”
All of these traits can cross borders, and everything in the Ultrablack collection was designed to help people do it their way. There’s the UltraBlack StarWalker fountain pen in resin, the UltraBlack clutch, the UltraBlack Mini Folio, and the UltraBlack Backpack: all of which are utilitarian and meant to be used for the everyday. Each piece feels neutral, the same way Montblanc’s color of the year is.
But the stars of the show, at least for us, are the watches. And both of them come from very different worlds. The Geosphere sits squarely in the realm of traditional watchmaking, while the Summit Lite smartwatch occupies a space in the tech world.
The 1858 Geosphere UltraBlack
The 1858 Geosphere has an easily recognizable design, having been a highlight of Montblanc’s collections for the past few years. This year, it takes on a brand new colorway: black with details in grey and white.
The case is done up in black-coated stainless steel, which is finished by hand through washing and brushing. This means no two watches are exactly alike, and allows the Geosphere to develop a patina unique to the user, much like when it first came out in bronze.
The Geosphere is basically a world timer, meaning it can tell the time across different parts of the world. And to make this happen, the watch uses representations of the northern and southern hemispheres (that’s the two round maps on the dial) to display the time across the globe. These hemispheres also indicate day or night, and are quite distinctive, given that many world timers instead use the names of cities (usually written around the dial or bezel) to display the different time zones.
The sub-dial at the 9-hour mark can also be set with a second time zone, so you can keep track of the time in different parts of the world (for your Zoom meetings or when we finally get to travel).
Still, while the black colorway and the contrasting details are thoroughly modern, the Geospehere Ultrablack remains rooted in its vintage design cues. And this helps toward making it feel more classic, allowing you to wear it with most anything (check out our story on how people are currently dressing for the times here, and here).
Summit Lite Smartwatch UltraBlack
As a contrast to the Geosphere, the Summit Lite is a timepiece that’s rooted in technology. And while it might not have the heritage of a mechanical movement, it does quite a bit more: sleep tracking, fitness tracking, stress tracking, NFC payments, and the ability to change the display as often as you choose.
It runs on Google’s Wear OS and that opens up a multitude of other apps on the Play Store. This also guarantees that it can sync with most mobile phones. Still, the Summit Lite carries Montblanc’s watchmaking design cues, taking the silhouette of a mechanical timepiece, including a crown and pushers at the side. The pushers aren’t decorative either, and you can program them to fulfill various functions.
The short of it is, this is a watch that’s meant for people who like classic designs but also enjoy the convenience of connectivity.
Overall, the UltraBlack collection will appeal to anyone who has an eye for luxury, but wants to do away with the traditional labels and categories. This is a collection that revels in neutrality, and should easily find its way into today’s new dress codes. Black might be the color of the year for Montblanc, but it’s a color that shouldn’t ever go out of style.