Montblanc’s Summit smartwatch collection has graduated to the next technological level with the Summit 3, featuring a lightweight titanium case with hand finishes and other design tweaks, plus the latest Wear OS by Google operating system.
“It’s really a big step forward not only in technology, but also in terms of design,” said Felix Obschonka, Montblanc’s director of new technology, during a video-conference presentation of the new model. “The biggest thing happened on the software side when we moved from second generation to third generation of Wear OS, which makes the watch more responsive, faster, and puts the focus on experiences like tiles, which allow you to quickly access different apps,” he says.
He also noted new health and fitness features like blood oxygen measurement, as well as enhanced battery life and GPS.
Since it entered the smartwatch fray in 2017, Montblanc has modeled its smartwatches on its traditional watch collection. “When we started, it was never about shrinking the phone to the wrist, but our ambition is bringing the voice of watchmakers to the smartwatch market. We call it a smartwatch for watch enthusiasts,” Obschonka says.
Summit 3’s 42mm case—available in Titanium Gray, Titanium Black, and Titanium Bicolor—was inspired by the 1858 collection, and it has the same hand-polished and hand-brushed finishes one expects to see on a handcrafted mechanical watch. Designers refined the case lugs and the pusher buttons, resembling chronograph pushers, that control the functions. A full metal case back is another update.
The dial options also draw directly from Montblanc’s traditional watch range. Wearers can opt for the 1858, Bohème, Geosphere, or other familiar designs, in addition to contemporary dials that are function focused for fitness tracking.
Select the 1858 Geosphere dial, and the smartwatch closely resembles its mechanical cousin, which features twin turning global hemispheres for a novel twist on a world-time function. The Summit 3, however, has another trick up its sleeve. When you tap one of the hemispheres, it activates an animation that transitions into a world-time function that tells the time as well as sunrise and sunset times all over the world.
“When we talk about smartwatches, we talk about fine watchmaking meets the latest in technology,” Obschonka says. “It is key for us, as watchmakers, that Montblanc offers something that fits the brand heritage and DNA, something that really elevates the perception of watchmaking to the smartwatch segment, and that we stayed true to ourselves.”
When it comes to popular fitness and health tracking functions, users can download apps such as Fitbit or Strava, or use Montblanc’s health suite with seven different applications including step tracking, sleep monitoring with the different sleep phases, and blood oxygen measurement. The fitness app has also evolved with a variety of workouts that can be tracked to maximize and improve performance over time with guidance.
In addition, Wear OS by Google delivers turn-by-turn navigation to your wrist with Google Maps and quick and easy payments on the go with Google Pay, plus a world of content available through Google Play.
Each Summit 3 comes with a calfskin strap for a more polished look and a rubber strap for a sporty option. A user-friendly interchangeable system lets you switch them back and forth on a whim, plus you can purchase additional strap options. By combining different dials and straps, you can personalize the design to suit your style on any given day.
“Compared to Apple, it’s a niche,” Obschonka says, noting that the Summit 3’s price of US$1,290 is not that much higher than a titanium Apple Watch with a leather strap. “We are not differentiating on the technology side, it’s differentiating on the materials, the finishing. We are targeting someone who wants to wear something beautiful, something that looks like a real watch with the same refinement, rather than someone who only cares about technology and doesn’t care how it looks.”