It seems the more people I talk to in my watch circles, the more I hear the name MONTA. In case you’re not familiar, MONTA is a Swiss made watch manufacturer based here in the United State, specifically, St. Louis, MO. They use only Swiss manufacturers and have quickly developed a loyal following since releasing their first watch, a diver called Oceanking back in 2016. Since then they have added a field watch called Triumph, a GMT called Skyquest, and most recently a generation two Oceanking with noticeable improvements. But the Skyquest GMT is of particular interest.
It’s a big world for watches, yet there are not many options when it comes to “affordable” GMTs with the level of quality and design that you will find in the Skyquest. MONTA has made the decision to use Sellita movements in all their timepieces, and the Skyquest utilizes the SW330 caliber with a jumping GMT hand. As you can see in the pictures, the dial has your traditional markers but adds a 24-hour scale in the outer flanger of the dial known as the rehaut. This way you can measure your local time and a second time zone. But don’t stop there, you can add a third time zone with the bidirectional outer bezel. For example, say I’m in New York and it’s 10:00am. I set the hours, minutes, and seconds hands to eastern time. But I have a banker in London who is 5 hours ahead of me, so I set the GMT hand to 15:00hours which is located between the 7 and 8 o’clock markers. Finally, my family is back in Los Angeles, so I rotate the bezel for the GMT hand to point at 7:00am (8 hours behind London). Now I can quickly glance at my wrist to make sure I don’t wake up my kids before phoning home and also make that international wire cutoff time before my banker goes home for the evening.
This configuration is pictured below:
Not only is the Skyquest functional, but it also carries a strong sense of style and presence. The case is a slim 11.9mm allowing the Skyquest to effortlessly slide under my shirt cuff. The beveled hands, applied markers and date window are all made of rhodium (a form of platinum) and the bezel insert is ceramic, making the Skyquest feel right at home with a suit and tie. But this is a tool watch at heart. With over 300 meters in water resistance, I can go right to the beach from the board room without removing my watch.
Speaking of the beach, the Skyquest has an optional rubber strap made by MONTA’s sister company, Everest Horology Products. This is the best rubber strap on the market, and MONTA owners are lucky to benefit from this partnership. It’s soft yet sturdy and robust. It doesn’t develop any unpleasant odors and gives the watch a new look and feel. Now I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I love the MONTA bracelet. The links articulate in two places, so the Skyquest wraps around perfectly, even on my small wrist. Every edge is beveled and polished and the deployant clasp is smooth and strong. Every millimeter of a MONTA watch is finished to the highest level.
Finally, two last highlights: the case back is sapphire crystal so you can see the Sellita SW330 movement beating away inside. I love this feature on a watch because I can use it to draw my non-watch friends into my circle. And the Skyquest comes in three different variants: the black dial that I mentioned above, as well as a “gilt” black dial with gold markers and hands and blue dial with a steel bezel insert. I still can’t decide which one I like the best. Go to www.montawatch.com to learn more.