- Kristian Haagen
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen
Zero Oxygen: The New Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290 Goes to New Heights
Montblanc removes the oxygen from its latest mountaineering timepiece for its new Mark Maker Nimsdai Purja to test on his upcoming expedition to the summit of Mount Everest. Dedicated to making professional timing instruments for today’s explorers, Montblanc’s latest 1858 Geosphere watch sees the addition of a brand-new chronograph movement, devoid of all oxygen.
Zero Oxygen This “Zero Oxygen” timepiece, limited to 290 pieces, has several benefits for explorers who need their equipment to work in some of the harshest environments. Zero oxygen inside the movement not only eliminates fogging, which can occur with drastic temperature changes at altitude, but also prevents oxidization. Without oxygen, all the components last far longer and will provide greater precision over time.
The Ultimate Test Each timepiece comes with a zero oxygen certificate that attests to the fact that the watch has been successfully encased without oxygen. In addition to the certificate, each timepiece undergoes the Maison’s unforgiving 500-hour test. But Montblanc wanted to take things one step further by taking the new 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290 on a real mountaineering expedition to the world’s highest mountain above sea level – Mount Everest.
Nimsdai Purja MBE But who would be up for the challenge? The Maison asked its Mark Maker, the legendary alpinist Reinhold Messner, who also has a Montblanc 1858 Geosphere watch named after him, for suggestions. Messner was not only one of the first men to climb Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen in 1978, but also the first person to summit the mountain solo in 1980.
Without hesitation, Messner put forward the name of Nimsdai Purja, an exemplary mountaineer who was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom for outstanding achievement in extreme high-altitude mountaineering.
Born in Nepal, Nimsdai started his career in the military, where he spent six years as a Ghurka – the British and Indian army units recruited in Nepal – and then 10 years in the UK’s Special Boat Services (SBS), one of the most elite units in the British Military. He developed an interest in mountaineering during his spare time, after a trek to Everest Base Camp. The experience sparked a passion that would later serve him well in his work as he took part in missions with the SBS’s mountain unit.
In 2019 he left the military to concentrate on extreme altitude mountaineering. Since then, he has achieved numerous mountaineering records, including several of the fastest ascents to the most peaks in a single season (he summited the world’s 14 highest 8,000-meter peaks in an astonishing seven months, smashing the previous record of eight years!).
In May 2022, Nimsdai will undertake an expedition to the summit of The Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen while wearing the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290 on his wrist to put the timepiece through the test. The watch will also experience a memorable moment in time with Nimsdai on Mount Everest so that each owner can look down at their wrist and remember that nothing is impossible.