SubscriberInnovation & Know-How

Nicolas Baretzki: “I am not looking for accessibility, I am looking for relativity”

For a year, watchmaking at Montblanc has been going through a new momentum which is confirmed this year once more with the launch of innovative collections, with competitive prices. The Netflix series “14 Peaks, Nothing is Impossible” is no stranger to this success.

Nicolas Baretzki, CEO of Montblanc since 2017 (DR)

Like an arrow aiming at the heart of the Montblanc universe, a giant pendulum fountain pen is proudly setup at the center of the brand’s exhibition booth at the Watches & Wonders fair. Slowly, the spout traces black ink lines, which by the end of the day transform into a beautiful work of art, designed by the French visual artist Marie De La Ville Baugé. A way to remind us that the master of writing instruments also wants to exist among brands that write watchmaking history. Nicolas Baretzki, CEO of Montblanc for six years details the points that have enabled the brand to shift its focus towards watchmaking.

What is your strategy in 2023?

The Iced Sea Automatic diving model in steel (DR)

We are all about continuity. The objective is to go back on very clear elements of our storytelling. The mountain and glaciers theme is completely logical for the Montblanc brand, but one must manage to create identifiable and differentiating elements very quickly: the dial with glacier decorations, the fluted bezel means that the watch encompasses a Minerva movement or even a typical element of our design, like the geosphere which has become iconic.

How do you apprehend innovation at Montblanc?

The brand was born through innovation. It can be aesthetic, like the lasering technic on the dial, sustainable, like the Montblanc 1858 O Oxygen model, technical, with the prowess of the backwards movement, and functional with the revolutionary use of the fluted bezel which is substituted to the mono pushpiece of the chronograph when turned. This is an inhouse innovation, as the Minerva manufacture gives us a true chronograph capability.

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