What does this remind you of?

Has anyone seen the new Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum World Timer? (See Hodinkee)

It looks very similar to VC's Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time.  

Obviously both brands are owned by Richmont but I am surprised by the the release of the Montblanc watch and the price point.

Any thoughts?


What does this remind you of?

12/19/2014 - 13:17
12/19/2014 - 21:32
There are definite similarities
12/19/2014 - 05:09

I think it looks like a value-engineered version of VC's WT.  The price points are very attractive, especially for the steel version.  The WT complication is in-house from MB, but the base movement is from Sellita.

I am guessing that it got by Richemont's approval board because it may not really cannabalize from buyers of the Patrimony WT?

I uploaded a photo in your post for easier comparaison. I find it ballant copying of the VC
12/19/2014 - 09:37


imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
12/19/2014 - 10:56
Also to aid comparison
12/19/2014 - 13:17

The pictures below show the similarities.  Maybe there is not a good way (yet found) to render and adorn a world-timer, but they are a bit "too close for comfort".


I am a little surprised that Richemont would allow this, simply because it looks like a "knock off" - it is that close to my eye.  I realize many of the finer details and certainly the movement, are different, but it looks like a economized version.  I reminds me of the old General Motors days when the Cadillacs where basically the same as the Cheverolets, but with more adornment and attention to details.  It hurt GM, I hope it doesn't hurt VC or Richemont.

I don't know which was first (probably because of google laziness, but I offer also a comparison of PP's World Time piece.  Both pieces look similar to the VC, but (at least to my eyes) only one looks like a cop of the other.

Also to aid comparison


For chuckles, to complete the pictorial analogy.

The 98 Cadillac Catera.


The 98 Chevy Malibu.

Also to aid comparison

In the end, it hurt Cadillac, not Cheverolet


12/19/2014 - 21:32

Well, the Montblanc piece seems a little too similar to and a cross between both the VC and the Patek world times.  Montblanc has been doing a lot of things right in the past several years.  This is not one of them.

Oh, well, I am a fan of both the Patek (certain variants, not all) and the VC World Time watches, but the VC is the category killer IMHO.  It is technically much more interesting and advanced than the others. 

I honestly would love to see an Overseas version of the VC World Time so that we would have available a robust world time watch truly built for travel and adventure.  On the other hand, I hope VC does not do this too soon because I am broke.  frown



What an intriguing idea, Robert
12/20/2014 - 19:04

I absolutely love the idea of high complications hiding within steel cases.  Your idea is exciting yesyes.

What an intriguing idea, Robert

I would add PG crown and pushers to give just a hint of something special hiding under the cuff cool

Totally love complicated watches in sporty cases!
12/22/2014 - 10:58


Love it!
12/22/2014 - 14:54

To be slightly pendantic, should probably be in the Dual Time case, as only a single pusher is needed.  I also like the idea of PG crown and pusher though.  We should totally make this happen - maybe even a small PG Maltese Cross on the case body as a "tip of the cap" to the 222?

What a nice idea, Robert & Dean
12/29/2014 - 16:41

I love it and I'll expect VC will create this Overseas "Heures du Monde" version in steel with bracelet.

Dean, could you please photoshop this virtual watch with only the central crown, as the Patrimony "Heures du Monde" does not need to have the 2 additional pushers apart central crown. I am not convinced for the PG crown, IMHO.

Many thanks, if it is feasible for you.

Warm regards,


How is this?
12/29/2014 - 20:19

To retain the OS water-resistance, I'm thinking it might need the screw-down pusher as mentioned earlier re Dual Time...

How is this?

In fact even
12/29/2014 - 20:28

the Overseas quantieme automatique with only the screw-down crown, has a water resistance up to 15 bar (150 meters).

as mentionned in the official VC web-site



I think it is not needed to add the screw-down pusher at 2 hours. And it could be more elegant, according to me.

Thanks Dean, for this photo ;-))


Ah, good point Liger
12/29/2014 - 21:17

I forgot about that model blush.  What do you think of PG bezel then (sorry, that is too complicated for me to photoshop)?

12/29/2014 - 21:40

I honestly prefer just golden hands for legibility and discreet refinement I could have a look at, at each moment.

People around will not be aware of this. A PG crown or PG bezel will be too much, and of course at a swimming pool ;-)) or on the beach!!!

My 2 cents,


I understand your sentiments dear Liger
12/29/2014 - 23:25

Just spit-balling as they say, and thank-you for your patience smiley

How about THIS for an option?
01/02/2015 - 16:26

(My horrifying Photoshop skillls notwithstanding.)

I like this combination, but of course I like "minimalist" design and white metals...How about THIS for an option?

Not convinced by this incredibly nice Pt dial
01/02/2015 - 17:21

I have seen in real in a VC Boutique, integrated in a steel overseas case.

But, thank you for sharing here your own combination.

We will see how VC will propose any proposals based on their UNIQUE WT calibre, if any at SIHH or later.

Best regards,


Love this even more!
01/02/2015 - 18:18


With the green map for INAH in MEXICO
12/29/2014 - 17:20

I think my favorite combination will be with the green map of the model made for INAH (without mexico in green of course.



With the green map for INAH of MEXICO

This model will differ completely from the MB "copy"

What do you think of?

Best wishes,


It is a blatant copy of the VC. And why this is bad is because it affirms what
12/21/2014 - 08:38

PP owners keep saying about ownership of a brand by conglomerates. Jerome Lambert took JLC design to MB, and now he is copying VC. 

This has to stop.  Otherwise the purity of these brands, especialy the likes of VC and ALS might become dilluted.

Alex...do something. I don't like VC being tampered with. It irritates me. Jerome Lambert needs to be put in his place.

Re: What does this remind you of?
12/22/2014 - 20:04

Sorry to be contrarian, but I think this is a bit of a tempest in a teapot.

I think that if we think about copying, we might as well accuse VC of copying Patek and Patek copying Agassis. (or GO copying Lange, for that matter)

Apart from Lange's Dual Time and Breguet's (which does come with a map on the dial), there is no way to represent differnt time zones than by an outer ring. GP has done that without a map, PP has several versions with and without maps and even Fredrick Constant has a version with a map (in a planar projection. and in the past as well, that's how it was done.

If you want to show night and day changes then you need a polar projection as with the Vacheron and the MB. To do so as in a Geochron fashion would be extremely difficult.

However, as much as there are similarities in appearance between the 2 watches which are "skin deep", the real difference is in the movement where VC is so far ahead of anyone else with a world time watch.

As Alex has so ably demonstrated in a previous article, the Vacheron movement is a masterpiece with so many features including the ability to adjust to any future time zone change. It is controlled from the crown as well.

I also think that the VC World Time is directed at a different market than Montblanc. The fact that MB came out with a stainless steel version at a very attractive price is proof of that.

But overall it does not display the same quality as the Vacheron. It will be interesting to see it at SIHH, though.

Just my personal thoughts...


Re: Re: What does this remind you of?
12/22/2014 - 20:08


Just one other point.

If you go back and look at watches from the beginning of the 20th century onwards, you will detect an amazing similarity between watch designs of several major and minor manufaturers, VC, PP, AP Omega and even Hamilton.

With some of them, if they didn't have the name on the dial, you wouldn't know who made them unless you opened them up. smileysad


JB, thanks for your two posts. Informative and educational.
12/23/2014 - 10:59


Hi Joseph, I respectfully disagree. Brands at the period you indicate didn't have designers, the
12/23/2014 - 16:23

Later actually being the case and dial makers who had a catalogue of their offerings and the only thing differentiating certain watches was the brand name but today brands have design teams and the Montblanc is too close to looks with VC for comfort IMO

100% agree
12/24/2014 - 08:38

I was seriously considering buying the VC but I won't even consider it now that MB has released what in my humble opinion looks like a very very similar watch for a far cheaper price irrespective of the superior movement in the VC

Re: 100% agree
12/24/2014 - 14:25

Your post should be highlighted and shown to All Richemont Maison heads...

This is worrying for VC. And I do not blame you.

Even if watches were very similar looking in the early part of the century, the fact remains that market size was small and so were production numbers, and online media and social media did not exist.

Today, markets are huge, production numbers are comparatively large, and media, online media, social media are instant in their effects, not to mention the numerous watch blogs...


More thoughts...
12/24/2014 - 19:07

First of all, I have never been a big fan of MB, so I don't want any misconception about my seeming to defend their actions. Secondly I own a VC World Time and I consider the design without equal.

Also I am not privy to the machinations at MB about bringing this watch to market, but I am also not sure Vacheron has any real recourse.

First of all there is only one way to show multiple time zones in a round case, and all the watch manufacturers use it. VC is exceptional here since they show 37 different zones and the watch can be adjusted for a change in any time zone. MB shows only 24.

Thhe polar projection is the only way to show night and day changes but even here is not always done, as in VC's PT version and the one by Patek.

The method of doing so is different in the VC and MB watches.

The MB uses a separate pusher to change zones whereas the VC controls all functions from the crown, much harder to do.

There is no question that the watches look similar, but given the similar functions how could they not? Should MB use a different colour scheme on the dial, different type etc.? Perhaps. But the similarity would would still be there. And I'm not sure VC can really do anything about the MB watch.

What if GP took their World Time, of which they have multiple versions, but none with maps, and put a polar projection map in the centre? What would it look like? One guess! What I am getting at is this design is not copyright-able. The features used in both watches are public domain as it were.

Now KK is correct about social media etc. However communication by raio, magazines and newspapers was much bigger than we give them credit for. Perhaps it was not as fast but it was still effective.

But production by the top level manufacturers was and is still quit small compared to overall watch production. There may be more niche markets today and more small artisanal makers, but watch production today as a percentage of population buying watches is likely similar to what it was in the firt 3/4's of the 20th century. In the 1930's Hamilton had a watch catalogue which showed over 500 different models. Their production was huge as were companies like Gruen, Bulova etc. And some had pretty nice movements.

The major Swiss manufactures' appeal was directed to a wealthier clientele and their production was much smaller. And it still is today.

The VC Traditionelle WT is made is small quantities, although not a limited production. And it is aimed at a different market.

 I think that people who are considering the MB watch never really considered the VC WT as a possibility, with some exceptions, of course. Judging from the comments on a different site, I think those that will now be able to afford a watch that looks like the VC will be pleased. But most of those comments never even mentioned the VC version.

Does that mean that MB's actions are reprehensible? Some may think so. But there are plenty of examples of this sort of thing going on in consumer goods.

And what's to come. If MB is successful will that spur others such as GP to add a map to the centre of their World Time watch? We'll see.

But ultimately you consider all your options and make a choice. Caveat emptor



Re: More thoughts...
12/25/2014 - 00:15

Hi JB,  just one note:  the VC's Excellence Platine WT has the night and day shading/indicator over the polar projection.  It is just not as noticeable as in the full color version of the polar projection.  I expect you will see it for yourself soon enough wink

I understand your thoughts about cannabilazation between the MB and VC WT watches.  Based on comments by others, it looks like cannabilazation will not be zero, but I am guessing the market segments will be different.

BR, Dan


12/25/2014 - 06:45

I do not think that anyone is disputing that the VC is superb. In fact I love it!

My point is that Richmont's decision to release the MB version seems IMHO to do a great disservice to VC and VC's brand.


Re: Hi Hamish
12/25/2014 - 15:22

I do understand your point completely.

Unfortunately we are not privy to any discussions that may have occurred amongst the Richmont groups vs a vis this watch.

Time will tell.

Have a happy holiday season and wonderful new year!


You too
12/25/2014 - 19:16

I am enjoying some Canadian hospitality in Whistler today!

Merry Xmas