Culture / Events

TimeWalker: Montblanc Singapore Celebrates The Spirit of Racing

The Spirit of Racing was on full display at the recent Montblanc TimeWalker Grand Prix where Porsches & high precision chronographs gathered to work in concert

Sep 28, 2017 | By Jonathan Ho

The author with his race companion Vanessa Liok of Porsche Club Singapore

Born after 1977 and before 83, I’m part of a generation of Singaporeans who oddly embraces the vagaries and extreme spectrums of technology. Equally passionate with mechanical watches and smart devices, Xennials, the group of individuals who are sandwiched between the oft derided millennials and the long suffering generation X often enjoy the nostalgia of heritage while celebrating modern advances and creature comforts. Thus, when the new Montblanc TimeWalker collection debuted at SIHH 2017, I was a little more than enthused about the retro styling coupled with the material technology of futuristic ceramics. Thus, when Montblanc Singapore wanted to evoke the glory days of vintage automobile racing and the history of chronograph specialist Minerva with a Rally Race, I was metaphorically chomping at the bit (horse-racing providing the impetus for ever increasing precision timing devices).

Montblanc established a racing atmosphere at Fullerton Bay Hotel’s LANTERN. Of great popularity, a nostalgic throwback to our childhoods courtesy of a toy magnetic race car track.

Montblanc Singapore Celebrates The Spirit of Racing with Timewalker Grand Prix

A convoy of 46 Porsches (10 of them were specially stickered to resemble vintage rally
racing cars) from Porsche Club Singapore raced off from The Fullerton Bay Hotel and embarked on the TimeWalker Grand Prix, an island wide treasure hunt which was supposed to take 2 hours but thanks to my speedy race partner, Vanessa Liok from Porsche Club Singapore, we completed the Timewalker Rally in slightly more than an hour even after taking into account the many Montblanc Timewalker challenges (where we answered trivia questions regarding the collection and “skits” for social media)  at various locations around Singapore such as Keppel Bay, Dempsey Hill, HortPark and Sentosa Cove.

A Montblanc Grand Prix rally point where Timewalker trivia challenges were given to the rally racers.

Some of the social media skits and challenges used by Montblanc Singapore to disseminate awareness of the new Timewalker collection on social media

As exhausted rally racers returned to the Fullerton Bay Hotel for a brief reprieve, Montblanc’s VIP customers and Porsche Club Singapore co-partners could look forward to an evening of precision chronographs and imbibing cocktails at the picturesque Lantern bar. But before we could escape the relentless late afternoon sun, we glimpsed the arrival of ultra-rare vintage Porsches including the 356 Speedster, a one of a kind RUF 993 CTS 2 (993 Turbo) in
Speed Yellow, a 930 Slopenose, 1 of 2 originals from Stuttgart, and a 911E in Slate Grey
paying homage to Steve McQueen, a parade of automotive heritage.

Montblanc Singapore had managed to infuse Lantern with an atmosphere of racing with a slot car game, chequered flags and trophies and something from my Xennial childhood, a toy racing car track where we raced toy cars on magnetic rails via remote.

New Montblanc TimeWalker Collection & SGD Prices

Against this vibrant backdrop of heritage mechanical watchmaking and well engineered performance machines, Montblanc introduced their latest TimeWalker Collection combining the heritage of the legendary Minerva timing instruments with the finest technology and a vintage-themed racing style.

Backed by the legitimacy of  Minerva, a leading specialist in the fabrication of professional timing instruments since their founding in Villeret in 1858, the Montblanc TimeWalker Collection symbolizes the spirit of racing and harks back to these heritage timing instruments by offering a line of new professional watches for the modern performer
The Manufacture developed stopwatches that could measure 1/5th of a second as early as 1911, rapidly increasing to 1/10th of a second. In this innovative spirit, in 1916, the Minerva Manufacture was one of the first to produce a high-frequency movement that could measure 1/100th of a second, a development that was further technically improved in 1936, putting Minerva on the map as the specialist of professional watches and stopwatches and today, Montblanc continues the legacy of professional timekeeping through the aptly named TimeWalker collection.

The new Montblanc TimeWalker collection represents a strong contemporary expression of the ever evolving art of classical watchmaking. Today, these mechanical throwbacks to pre-industry are dressed in high tech material combinations like black ceramic, satinated steel, titanium and rubber. These timepieces were on display inside glass cases set around the cocktail area while a Montblanc watchmaker worked at his bench offered guests and watch aficionados a closer look at the technicity of the new Timewalker watches.

 
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