Adventure Set



Watch brands have long created special limited editions to generate excitement and desire among an enthusiast community that craves rarity and exclusivity. They often commemorate brand or collection milestones, partnerships, and, sometimes, incorporate unusual materials.

As the popularity of rugged sport watches shows no sign of waning, three new limited-edition models touch all the bases, from the world’s highest peaks to the deep blue sea.

Montblanc’s 1858 collection is a tribute to the heritage of Minerva (acquired by Montblanc in 2006), which produced complicated mechanical watches for military use and exploration in the 1920s and ’30s.

Montblanc’s 1858 Geosphere
Montblanc’s 1858 Geosphere.

Montblanc’s 1858 Geosphere, which debuted last year, is dedicated to climbing’s greatest test, the Seven Summit challenge, in which climbers attempt to scale the highest peaks on all seven continents.

This year, the brand outfitted the Geosphere with a 42mm bronze case complemented by a handsome khaki dial and matching NATO fabric strap to underscore that vintage, outdoorsy vibe. This limited edition (only 1,858 pieces will be made) costs US$6,300 and features a second time zone at 9 o’clock, in addition to a novel world-time function with two rotating hemispheres of the earth and a 24-hour scale plus day/night indicator.

This year, IWC devoted its resources to expanding its popular pilot watch range with 14 new models spanning its Top Gun, Le Petit Prince, and Spitfire collections, including several limited editions. With just 250 pieces, the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” (US$12,400) marks a first for the brand by combining its patented Timezoner world-time mechanism with an in-house automatic movement.

IWC’s Pilot Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight.”
IWC’s Pilot Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition 'The Longest Flight'

Developed for pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones, who will take off for a round-the-world flight in a vintage Spitfire this summer, the special model evokes the plane’s cockpit with its stainless-steel case, black dial, and military-green textile strap.

Meanwhile, Panerai took the plunge this year with a collection of Submersible dive watches, including a number of limited editions. One piece even pairs your purchase with a chance to dive with French free-diving champion and Panerai ambassador Guillaume Néry, who reached a depth of 126 meters on a single breath to clinch the world record.

Targeted to serious divers, the Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition PAM00982 (US$19,400) is limited to 500 pieces and has a hefty 47mm brushed titanium case, complete with a unidirectional rotating bezel and extreme water resistance down to 30 bar, or about 300 meters. The bold design stands out with blue accents, including a ceramic inset bezel, against a textured gray dial evocative of sharkskin. The in-house Panerai P.9100 calibre features a flyback function and a special device that zeroes the second hand for precise synchronization with a reference signal.

Panerai's PAM00983 Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition 47MM is limited to 15 pieces
Panerai's PAM00983 Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition 47MM is limited to 15 pieces.

And if you have US$40,000 to invest in a second version, limited to 15 pieces with a slick black Titanium DLC case and Moorea Blue gradient dial, you’ll be heading to French Polynesia for a memorable diving experience with Néry.

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