Montblanc’s watches and own mechanical movements are manufactured a thousand metres above sea level in the mountains of the Swiss Jura. Even though this is the home of time, time here seems to stand still: Le Locle, the birthplace of traditional Swiss watchmaking and home to the worlds finest watchmakers for centuries.
Inside the airy, spacious premises in Le Locle, Montblanc’s master watchmakers are committed to preserving traditional Swiss watchmaking at the very highest level, creating innovative timepieces of the utmost precision, perfection and durability. Their attention to detail is so meticulous that even those parts forever concealed within a watch’s movement must be flawlessly finished. The calibres designed by Montblanc and crafted in the Le Locle workshops embody the company’s philosophy of uniting the best of traditional Swiss watchmaking with the latest advances in engineering. Created for the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec collection of chronographs and the new TimeWalker TwinFly Chronograph, these highly complex watch movements not only reflect a legacy rich in innovation and excellence, they also herald the future of precision watchmaking.
The manufacture is housed in a historic villa built in 1906, the same year the cornerstone for the company Montblanc was placed. Montblanc’s passionate master watchmakers combine historic traditions of the art of Swiss watchmaking with the very latest technology. They work to tolerances of a few hundredth of a millimetre and continue to create mechanical pieces of art.
500 hours quality test for Le Locle manufacture movements
As part of their craftsmanship, the watchmakers in Le Locle assemble hundreds of individual parts, a feat requiring a high level of sensitivity. Later the watches face a great deal of wear and tear: working day and night, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. The movement of a 4-hertz watch completes 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour. Until its scheduled service in three to five years‘ time, a watch performs approximately one billion semi- oscillations that have to be managed by such fragile parts as hairsprings, balance bearings and pallet levers.
In order to guarantee the perfect functioning of all watches with manufacture movements the quality- assurance team at Montblanc Montre S.A. in Le Locle developed a strict and comprehensive testing program which is integrated into the production sequence so that every watch is thoroughly examined before it’s allowed to leave the premises. This “500-Hour Test” simulates the first years of life which these watches will after- wards actually experience.
The test is carried out in several stages on the completely encased watch using methods and tools that are recognised throughout the entire watchmaking industry. Remarkable is the combination of the individual test methods and its duration of 500 hours. A clear commitment to reliability, precision and durability.