It’s that time of year when people start heading out of town just to get away, clear their minds and unwind. What watch or watches do you take with you?
Time only: You’re on vacation. Why do you need to know how soon it’s going to end? You might just need to know when Happy Hour starts. It’s a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of a time-only watch. Land at your destination, listen to the current time at your new location, pop out the crown and with a quick adjustment you’re on local time.
Rugged beater: Adventure awaits. You might be traversing a nearly vertical rock formation during your hike into the clouds. After the hike you descend on a rented bicycle, which takes you on a surf session in powerful 3-footers. It’s time for the super durable and affordable watch that you don’t have to worry about. This one is simple: Head to Macy’s and pick up a gaudy G-Shock.
Transitions well: So you might be throwing on a blazer to enjoy the finest local cuisine. Some wine pairings may be involved. But before that, you’ll be lounging poolside in board shorts. Take a watch that is less on the casual side but can still take a dip. Think smaller and thinner.
Ballin’ out: We understand. You’ve worked very hard to earn your place in the business world. Your watch is a symbol of your hard work. Rock your big gun on vacation.
Complete roster: You love your children the same. Each is different, but all have unique qualities that make you smile. You can’t pack up that RV, just make sure it’s the Everest watch roll. Switch out your watch three (or five) times a day. Make sure you also bringing matching kicks.
So you’ll be seeing the family, lounging around, eating and possibly arguing with a stubborn uncle. So, of course, you need to wear the right watch. One that shows off your taste (in spite of that dopey Fair Isle patterned sweater) and one that doesn’t look too showy. After all, some people will be judging you. You want something on your wrist that is understated and elegant. If you’re meeting the future in-laws, wear a timepiece that says “I care about myself, but I’ll always put your daughter first.”
So of course we’re going to recommend a Monta Triumph is classic black dial or silver. The reason is because it fits the criteria we’ve set: It’s classy and not showy yet shows refinement in the details. It’s a nice watch that doesn’t look like your are trying to make a statement. The 38mm case size blends in and the details pop upon closer inspection.
Of course we can’t just cover watches we make. We love the smart, yet whimsical design vocabulary of the entire NOMOS Glashütte line. For Thanksgiving weekend, we’d strap on one of their ne0-classics, the Tangente 38. This is a handwinder with a very subtle look that makes you look like an academic or maybe an architecture student. The blue hands offer just enough color.
The Everest and Monta teams are headed to New York City this week for Worn & Wound’s Windup Watch Fair. The watch event takes place at Chelsea Market Friday, Nov. 2-Sunday, Nov. 4, so be sure to stop by our booth and say hello if you live in the area or are visiting. As many of you know, Worn & Wound has been not only a huge supporter of Monta and Everest, they have really fostered the growth of watch culture in general, especially taking the lead in celebrating the virtues of more affordable brands.
The event is described as “the first and only watch fair of its kind, and the largest in the United States; designed to bring watches, brands and fans together in a fun, approachable and engaging environment.” It’s free to attend and we proudly suggest that it’s an excellent opportunity to see our watches, the Triumph, Oceanking and Skyquest in person. People tell us that you can best appreciate the level of finishing when you look at our watches live.
The Windup Pop Up Fair is the precursor to the event. Photo by Wound & Wound
Here’s the video of the San Francisco Windup event which took place earlier. Don’t miss the shot of our booths!
There’s something about the color blue and how well it works with dive watches. Of course, the ocean is blue, but there is also something soothing about the warmth of blue set against the coldness of steel. We, of course, adore the blue dialed version of our Oceanking. But at the end of the day, we’re just watch guys who can appreciate any well-executed version of the blue diver. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites:
Monta Oceanking: At 40.7mm wide and 11.9mm thick, our Oceanking draws inspiration from vintage divers. The modern features make it ready to go for real ocean adventures. The Oceanking’s bezel has been favorably reviewed (both other watch media) as having one of the best feelings of any rotating bezel in any class. The blue Oceanking, with its ceramic bezel, is an excellent choice for the watch collector who appreciates upscale details in a classic package. $1,925 at MontaWatch.com
Oris Aquis Date: It’s not secret that we love Oris as a brand. The Aquis Date remains one of the best values of any automatic watch. Their blue sunburst dial is beautifully executed. When we visited their booth as Baselworld, we were smitten with their entire range. The Aquis Date now comes in both 43mm and 40mm sizes, so it will fit well on a range of wrist sizes. $2,000 at Oris.ch
Omega 600m Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer: A lot of watch collectors will declare that no one does blue like Omega. It’s Planet Ocean series has a loyal following. It’s a bold statement watch for sure encased in grade 5 titanium. The co-axial movement and Liquid Metal ceramic bezel make this stunner a much coveted piece. $6,550 at OmegaWatches.com
Tudor Pelagos: There’s not much more to be said about one of the most-heralded modern dive watches. This one has a three-dimensional dial, matte finish and in-house Tudor movement. The rectangular markers match the Snowflake handset and draws lots of attention from folks who aren’t watch enthusiasts. $4,400 at TudorWatch.com
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Blue Diver: This one has a square case, a feature that by itself makes it standout from the rest. Bell & Ross is known for its square cases and this watch has enough traditional design elements to tame its unconventional shape. $3,700 at BellRoss.com
As we get ready to close-out the pre-order phase of the MONTA Skyquest, we looked back at the online reviews of our first GMT watch. Overall, there has been a very positive response from the watch industry press and that, of course, makes us very happy. Here’s a round-up of what what top watch experts wrote about the Skyquest:
Gear Patrol: “What you’re getting here is a diver-style GMT watch with multiple bracelet/strap options for under $2k that looks great and is available in several dial and bezel options – to my mind, Monta is filling a niche here in the GMT market, and they’re doing it with an attention to detail that typically costs much, much more.” (Read more…)
Worn and Wound: “My favorite detail of the Skyquest is the ramp-up in the GMT hand. The resulting shape tightly conforms to the chamfered edge of the the applied markers at 12, three and nine. As the GMT passes over those markers, the space between them is a mere fraction of a millimeter (though I have no way of precisely measuring this). The inner part of the GMT hand skims the dial just as closely. I’m reminded of the ultra-precise tolerances within the engine of my old BMW motorcycle, tolerances which I inexplicably found quite sexy.” (Read more…)
A Blog to Watch: “Monta has shown that microbrands can produce a really high quality watch complete with the finer details we would expect on a higher-end Swiss piece. From the polished case accents, to the excellent bezel, and ultra-comfortable bracelet, the Monta Skyquest checks a lot of boxes for me, and I greatly enjoyed my time with it. I’m a sucker for GMTs, and the design of the Skyquest is well-executed.” (Read more…)
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.