Montblanc Labortest 500 is the name of Montblanc's internal quality control for watches. The finished watch is subjected to a rigorous 500 hour test under extreme conditions. The watch is subjected to various climatic conditions and is adjusted several times in order to prove its resistance, both in everyday use and under particularly tough conditions. Of course, the test also includes a check of all its special functions as well as water resistance. A genuine Montblanc luxury watch is precious, but anything but delicate.
Le Locle and Villeret
The home of Montblanc's watch division is in Switzerland. This is also where all Montblanc watches are manufactured in true Swiss watchmaking quality. Two separate watch manufacturers are its birthplaces. The first is located in Le Locle, the cradle of the art of Swiss watchmaking par excellence. Watches have been produced here since 1705. Montblanc itself did not settle here until 1997. However, its second manufactory has a much longer tradition of its own. It is located in Villeret, a picturesquely beautiful community in the Canton of Berne, which also looks back on a watchmaking tradition dating back to the 18th century.
From the Roman goddess of love to the white mountain
The current Montblanc factory in Villeret was founded in 1858. In 1908, it was named Minerva after the love goddess of the ancient Romans, a name still familiar to watch connoisseurs today. In 2006, this traditional manufacturer of luxury watches was acquired by Richemont, which is also the owner of Montblanc, and became a Montblanc division. Of course, it has not completely abandoned its divine name in honour of Montblanc either. Today it is called Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie, which can be translated as the Minerva Institute of Fine Watchmaking. Since then, Villeret has primarily been the location where the further development of Montblanc watch technology takes place.
Montblanc itself is an originally German company that still has its headquarters in Hamburg. It was founded there in 1908 as a manufacturer of writing instruments. To this day, it sells not only its exceptionally beautiful and noble luxury watches, but also top quality stationery, leather goods, jewellery and perfumes. The company probably chose the name Montblanc, white mountain, after the highest mountain in Europe, because of the characteristic white caps of its fountain pens. It is possible that the thought of travel and distance played a role even then.