Reaching the Top of the World with the New Montblanc 8000 Capsule Collection
Montblanc unveils a new capsule collection that pays tribute to the world’s 14 highest peaks and the inspiring alpinists who dared to climb them.
Mountains are at the heart of Montblanc with the identity of the company taking its name from the famous Mont Blanc peak situated in the Alps. From the company’s inception, its founders were inspired by this well-known mountain, choosing a bird’s eye view image of its peak, with the six glacier valleys that surround it, to become its emblem. But the mountain is more than an image for the Maison: it has always been a strong symbol of adventure, challenge, strength, and spiritual elevation.
The Eight Thousanders
The new Montblanc 8000 Capsule Collection puts the world’s 14 highest peaks in the spotlight. These mountains – all measuring over 8000 meters above sea level – are challenging and dangerous to ascend as there is hardly enough oxygen for a human body to physiologically survive for more than a few hours.
Climbing to 8000 meters without supplemental oxygen is an exploit in itself, requiring great preparation, physical condition, technique, experience, and mental strength. When there is less oxygen in the air than in the blood and brain, serious health issues can occur. It is for this reason that alpinists organize acclimatization stages to prepare their bodies.
Every successful ascent and descent is a challenge that pushes the boundaries of what is physically possible. What’s more, extreme weather conditions can change rapidly with storms, avalanches, and incredibly low temperatures. As a result, only a few mountaineers have climbed all 14 peaks, and even fewer have done it without supplemental oxygen.
Montblanc Mark Maker Reinhold Messner was the first to climb all 14 peaks without supplemental oxygen between the years of 1970 and 1986, while Nimsdai Purja, one of Montblanc’s most recent Mark Makers, was the fastest person to climb all 14 peaks in 2019. He achieved this feat in just six months and six days, breaking six records in the process (normally, a single expedition would take a trained climber, with the necessary authorizations, over 12 months to complete).
Montblanc 1858 – The 8000 Zero Oxygen
All four of the Montblanc 1858 Zero Oxygen 8000 Capsule Collection models join the Maison’s series of “Zero Oxygen” timepieces that feature several benefits for explorers who need their equipment to work in harsh environments. Zero oxygen inside the case not only eliminates fogging, which can occur with drastic temperature changes at altitude, but also prevents oxidization. Without oxygen, all the components last longer and will provide unfaltering precision over time. Each timepiece comes with a certificate as proof of this special, yet invisible, technology and guarantees that it has been successfully encased without oxygen.
The Sfumato effect combined with the glacier dial
For the Montblanc 1858 Zero Oxygen 8000 Capsule Collection, each timepiece is fitted with a Sfumato dark grey Glacier pattern dialthat replicates the colour of the rock and ice at 8000 meters and fades darker towards the exterior of the dial. The Sfumato effect is an old Italian technique that allows tones and colours to shade gradually into one another, producing softened outlines and hazy forms. The addition of the Sfumato technique here is a nod to the visual effect of being at high altitude and observing mountains as far as the eye can see.
To provide the glacier pattern, the dial makers employed a special technique called gratté-boisé as the base, giving the dial the impression of genuine depth and luminosity. This time-consuming process takes three times longer than a standard dial to complete and requires over 20 separate steps.
Orange is an important colour on the mountain. It is featured in mountaineering outfits and equipment so that alpinists can be visible against snow and ice in bad weather and improve their chances of being spotted in case of an emergency. The colour is also found on the Tibetan amulets that are made of Dzi and coral beads and worn by mountaineers – Messner included – as they are believed to bring positive spiritual power. This orange hue has been included on the dials of the Montblanc 1858 Zero Oxygen 8000 Capsule Collection for a touch of colour that stands out against the icy grey background.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 Limited Edition 290 – 44mm
Following his recording breaking ascent to Everest with the first Montblanc 1858 0 Oxygen timepiece in May 2022 without supplemental oxygen, Mark Maker Nimsdai Purja continues to serve as the inspiration for the latest edition of the watch that’s ready to accompany him on his next adventure – the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 Limited Edition 290.
The timepiece is powered by Montblanc’s Manufacture automatic chronograph with worldtime complication, Calibre MB 29.27, which has a power reserve of approx. 46 hours. The timepiece includes two 3D turning globes with the Northern Hemisphere at 12 o’clock and the Southern Hemisphere at six o’clock. North Hemisphere feature 14 orange dots, marking the location of the 8000m peaks, surrounded by Day&Night indicators. Both hemispheres also use the colour orange to mark the Greenwich reference meridian for easy setting of the worldtime function.
The chronograph functions are made up of a central chronograph seconds hand, a 30-minute chronograph counter at three o’clock, and a 12-hour chronograph counter at nine o’clock – all with orange-tipped hands. The chronograph is operated via pushers on either side of the crown. There is also a date at three o’clock and a glacial blue luminescence added to the hours, minutes, numerals, indexes, continents, and cardinal points of the bezel for visibility at night.
The 44mm titanium case, which has been assembled without oxygen, comes with a fluted bidirectional black ceramic bezel with cardinal points, and a 3D coloured laser engraving on the caseback. The engraving showcases the list and profiles of the 14 Eight Thousander peaks according to Nimsdai. The engraving also includes the name of the watch, two inspirational quotes from Nimsdai, three Himalayan prayer flags for good fortune, and the mention “Limited Edition.
The watch comes with an interchangeable anthracite textile strap, the design of which has been inspired by the rope – a vital tool to any mountaineer.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen The 8000 – 42mm
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen The 8000 is inspired by Montblanc’s Mark Maker Reinhold Messer, who was the first mountaineer to climb all 14 of the planet’s highest peaks, and is considered among the greatest alpinists and explorers of our time.
The timepiece is powered by the MB 29.25 automatic movement with Manufacture worldtime complication, which includes turning Northern and Southern Hemisphere globes, a 24-hour scale, Day&Night indications, dual time display, and a date. The timepiece comes in a 42mm titanium case with a fluted bi-directional black ceramic bezel with the cardinal points and is fitted with a Sfumato dark grey glacier pattern dial with orange accents, and an interchangeable titanium bracelet with a taper and fine adjustment system.
The caseback for this model features the K2, the world’s second-highest mountain that was chosen by Reinhold Messner himself. The K2 is widely considered the most difficult, technical, and dangerous summit to climb due to the unpredictable weather which can whip up winds in an
excess of 200 km/h.
The route climbs at a sharp angle of around 60o and is extremely exposed to the elements. There is no easy way to the top and it is often referred to as the “savage” or “merciless” mountain. Messner first reached the summit in 1979 and the weather was so perfect at the top that he could see for over 200km. He stayed there for a moment, enjoying the beauty of the landscape, and it is for this reason he chose it for this timepiece. This mountain takes its honorary place on the caseback thanks to a 3D laser engraving that provides special colour shading, depth, and realism.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 – 42mm
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 is powered by the MB 25.13 automatic chronograph movement with a power reserve of approx. 48 hours. It comes in a 42mm stainless steel “zero oxygen” case and is adorned with a fluted bi-directional black ceramic bezel with the cardinal points; a dark grey Sfumato glacier patterned dial; and blue luminescence on the hour and minute hands, applied Arabic numerals, and cardinal points.
For the functions, there is a black seconds’ counter at nine o’clock, a central chronograph seconds hand with an orange tip, and a 30-minute chronograph counter at three o’clock, also with an orange tip to highlight the chronograph indications. Other orange accents can be found every 15 minutes on the railway track that encircles the dial. The caseback is engraved with the “Spirit of Exploration” pattern and the watch is fitted with an interchangeable tapered stainless steel bracelet with a fine adjustment system.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Date 0 Oxygen The 8000 – 41mm
The 1858 Montblanc Automatic Date 0 Oxygen The 8000 comes in a 41mm stainless steel case, again without oxygen, and features a fixed black ceramic bezel with the cardinal points. The dial is fitted with the same dark grey Sfumato glacier pattern as the other models in the capsule collection and includes applied Arabic numerals; a central seconds hand; a date at three o’clock; as well as blue luminescence on the hour and minute hands, numerals and cardinal points. Other details include a minute scale with orange indications every 15 minutes, an interchangeable tapered stainless steel bracelet with a fine adjustment system, and an engraving of the “Spirit of
Exploration” on the caseback. The watch is powered by the automatic calibre MB 24.15 with approx. 38 hours of power reserve. All four models in this capsule collection celebrate Montblanc’s connection to the mountain while showcasing some of the latest technical novelties, converting these timepieces into professional sports watches for explorers who demand enhanced performance on their adventures.