The transformation process of Montblanc’s Metamorphosis II, launched in September 2014 at the Watches&Wonders exhibition in Hong Kong, is a sight to behold.
If you had just gawked at the price, do note that there are good reasons for this. Obviously, this is not an ordinary wristwatch so do look beyond its face value, literally.
As its name implies, this Montblanc Metamorphosis II, is able to “morph” into another face. [Note: This is the second Metamorphosis; the first was launched in 2010.]
One face (dial layout) is the classic position displaying the hours, minutes, sweep seconds and date in a regulator-style layout. Do note that the Metamorphosis II features a retrograde minute hand which explains the 210-degree minute counter from 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock.
The minute hand begins every hour at “00” minutes (at the 8 o’clock position) and ends at “60” minutes (at the 4 o’clock position) before “jumping” back to its original position prior to the start of the next hour. It then begins its 210-degree sweep over an hour once more.
Upon activating the sliding bolt located at between the 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions, the “morphing” to the chronograph face will then take place.
The hour sub-dial at 12 o’clock splits into two “wings” which disappear under the dial, revealing a new hour sub-dial with Arabic numerals for the hour indexes.
Similarly, the calendar date display at the lower half of the dial, will open up and its two “wings” will likewise, be hidden under the dial, and a chronograph counter will be raised up.
This is the 30-minute rotating chronograph disc counter. There will be a white arrow located below the centre of the dial and this will be the reference for reading the elapsed minutes.
The sweep seconds hand will now be the chronograph seconds hand in chronograph mode.
As this is a mono-pusher chronograph, the start, stop and reset functions are operated through one pusher and it is integrated into the crown.
To return to the classic position, the sliding bolt has to be activated once more. The entire “morphing” or transformation process is around five seconds, as seen in the video below (do turn up your volume to listen to the narration):
In this video, Alexander Schmiedt, Managing Director, Watches, Montblanc International, narrates and demonstrates how the Metamorphosis II works during the “morphing” process. Video: © TANG Portfolio. Elfa / Timmy. “Club 4810”, Cape Town, South Africa 2014
The chronograph and date functions operate independently; therefore should the chronograph be left running, the elapsed time will still be measured, even if one has switched back to the classic position.
Upon returning to the chronograph face, the elapsed time will be shown.
Montblanc’s Metamorphosis II featuring the MB 67.4 manual-winding movement has 746 components. Out of this 494 are used for the amazing “metamorphosis”. As evidenced from the video, the transformation process is rather smooth considering all it takes is five seconds.
It is little wonder why the Calibre MB 67.4 is noted as one of the most complex movements ever developed and designed at the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret. The Metamorphosis II is indeed a bold execution for a wristwatch.
Optimus Prime, courageous leader of the Autobots, should be proud.