Turbilhão spoke with Felix Obschonka, director of new technologies at Montblanc, about the brand’s new smartwatch – Summit 3 – and about the importance of smart “gadjets”.

What are the main differences between the new Montblanc Summit 3 and its predecessors?

First and foremost, the design became even more refined with new materials like the titanium case and steel case back. We have altered the design slightly compared to the Summit 2, for example with the new crown and pusher buttons, and made the watch more balanced in terms of style. But when it comes to technology, we have the latest hardware, for example a new sensor to measure your blood oxygen and then, last but not least, we are among the first watches leveraging the power of Wear OS by Google 3.

Which are the main challenges in creating a smartwatch that still appeals to mechanical watches lovers?

I think it is mainly around capturing the essence of what we can transfer from watch making into a smartwatch. We face completely different challenges, but some of them are quite similar. Both, a digital and mechanical movement are very complex and high complications require a lot of efforts in integrating it in a compelling case size. So here we have similar challenges.

For the user, what are the main advantages of a smartwatch like Summit 3?

With a Smartwatch like the Summit 3 You may want to track your fitness or overall health throughput the day, you might want to hit the golf course with the golf app on the watch or you just use it to stay in touch with your loved ones or to stay on top of your agenda. You can also use it to ne navigated through a city or to pay in a store. There are many advantages for wearing a smartwatch when it comes to such use cases. But I think wearing a Summit 3 specifically, it is about that you wear a smartwatch that just looks like one of your beloved mechanical watches, a real timepiece.

Do you think that the future will bring us more and more of these smartwatches with a mechanical feel? Why?

I think we are quite unique in what we do, and we also have the legitimacy to play in the mechanical feel segment. If you look into other brands this might be different. Tech brands see a smartwatch as tech first and align it to the design of their smartphone for example.

You’ve also developed another “smart” items for Montblanc, like augmented paper and MB01 Headphones. How are technological developments aiding and shaping Montblanc’s design philosophy and reach?

With these new developments we also get attention now from a new clientele. For example, as being among the first one on Wear 3 with the smartwatches we got a huge reaction from the technology press as well. Also, with the headphones, we are opening a completely new territory for the brand, adding now the sense of hearing to the Montblanc universe. So, in terms of reach, we can excite a new clientele for our brand.

What do you consider are some of the main challenges of developing and integrating new technologies with Montblanc products?

The major challenge is to miniaturize the technology to fit a compelling design but still have a strong performance. This is a huge balance, but I think what helps is that we do not compromise and rather take a more complicated solution to make the client happy than going the easy way.

How do you expect the audience to react and engage with the innovation?

We see that a lot of clients are surprised how audacious we can be as a brand by moving into this segment. But audacity is at the core of what we do, being it in New Technologies with digital innovations, with our Extreme 3.0 leather line or with our Geosphere 0 Oxygen. It is always about stretching the boundaries and connecting to a modern luxury business lifestyle. So, I think because of this, our clients perceive us as an innovative brand which they love to engage with across different categories.

The new Montblanc Summit 3

The new Montblanc Summit 3 is a true luxury smartwatch inspired by the brand’s long watchmaking tradition, offering dials inspired by the Geosphere, Bohème or 1858 collections. . Available in three 44 mm versions – gray titanium case; black titanium case or a two-tone titanium case – the Summit 3 can thus be personalized in many ways, including with several different leather or rubber straps.

Equipped with the latest version of Wear OS by GoogleTM, Summit 3 includes a variety of features to meet the functional needs of the owner. Thus, it integrates a set of data on personal health, as well as step counting, sleep monitoring, including the different sleep stages, and measurement of oxygen in the blood. The fitness app has also added to the offerings with a variety of workouts that can be tracked to maximize their impact over time. Functions such as Google Maps and Google Pay complete the offer of the new Montblanc smartwatch.


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