Have been given the chance to get my hands on a Timewalker 105813 like the one pictured here. This piqued my interest to find out a little bit more about the type of movements Mont Blanc is now using in it’s watches as ETA movements are getting hard to buy, if you are not part of the Swatch Group. I also remembered that Mont Blanc had acquired a small Swiss watch manufacturer a few years ago and thought maybe the Time Walker was using a movement from this company.
In 2006 the Richemont Group, the owners of Mont Blanc, bought Fabrique d’Horlogere Minerva SA, a small manufacturer in the Swiss town of Villeret, very near St. Imier in the Jura watch making region. The company made the Minerva brand of watches, unknown to the public at large but a great favourite of many watch aficionados, who relished its high-quality, in-house movements that were until around 2000 sold at affordable prices. These movements are now used in the ultra high end range of Mont Blanc watches.
The “regular” Mont Blanc watches still use non in-house movements. This Time Walker for example uses a modified Sellita movement. A little bit of research will tell you that a Sellita movement is almost identical to an ETA movement – so much so that their parts are even interchangeable.
There are many differing opinions as to whether a Sellita movement is as good as an ETA movement and only time will tell. For me, I am no less reluctant to pay a high price for a watch with a Sellita movement as I am for one with an ETA movement. If however the price is right and the watch comes from a reputable company – such as in this case, I would be more than happy to own one. Most reputable brands and / or watchmakers (and this certainly applies to Mont Blanc) are complete sticklers for quality, and would not use any movement that would do their name injustice.
(If you are interested in the Time Walker, let me know 🙂