It remains to be seen just how smart this beautiful digital timepiece is, but initial impressions are very encouraging
Montblanc is famous for its luxury pens and watches, with some of its limited edition pieces costing upwards of £20,000 so, it’s no surprise that the latest model of the company’s smartwatch – the Montblanc Summit 2+ – doesn’t come cheap either costing €1,170.
The Summit 2+ uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip and we went hands-on with it at Qualcomm’s pre-MWC briefing, which went ahead despite the cancellation of the conference due to the coronavirus.
Montblanc Summit 2+: Specifications, price and release date
- 1.28in, 416 x 416 AMOLED display
- 43.5mm case size
- Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC
- Google Wear OS
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity (Android provisioning required)
- Optical heart rate monitor
- 1GB RAM, 8GB storage
- Price: €1,170
- Release date: April/May 2020
Montblanc Summit 2+: Key features and first impressions
The Summit 2+ is an eSIM-enabled device that Montblanc says is the first smartwatch capable of directly connecting via a cellular network via the Wear OS app. Unfortunately, only those with an Android smartphone will be able to undertake the necessary provisioning and you’ll need to be with a supported mobile operator to take advantage of LTE. In the UK and Germany, Vodafone is the only supported network provider at launch, while in the US it’s Verizon, Orange has exclusivity in France and Spain and Montblanc has partnered with Unicom in China.
If you do meet the above prerequisites, you’ll be able to make phone calls, respond to messages and even stream music on the MontBlack Summit 2+, without having to have your phone with you. As with its predecessor, the Summit 2, the Summit 2+ includes all the connectivity options you’d expect from a smartwatch – NFC, Bluetooth (4.2) and Wi-Fi (802.11). It also comes with all the necessary sensors needed for fitness tracking, too, with an optical heart rate monitor on the rear, and motion sensors and a compass inside.
It runs on Wear OS, so you’ve got all the usual Wear OS functionality, including Google Assistant and rich notifications but there’s also a number of bespoke Montblanc applications thrown in, too. These should all run very smoothly thanks to the new Qualcomm Wear 3100 chipset and, with 8GB of storage you’ve got plenty of space for apps and playlists as well. To top it all off, the Summit 2+ is IPX8 rated for water resistance, meaning it can be submerged in water more than 1m in depth so it should be fine to wear while swimming.
We weren’t given any firm details regarding battery life but the Summit 2+ houses a 440mAh battery that Montblanc says should last roughly a day, depending on usage. This is on par with the Summit 2, which also featured a Time Only Mode that turned off all smart features and extended battery life to around a week.
Montblanc has increased the diameter of the case size from 42mm to 43.5mm but, otherwise, it’s similar to the Summit 2. The watch’s rotating crown, positioned on the right side of the case, houses a home button with the Montblanc logo at its centre, which is an elegant touch. Located on either side of the crown are programmable buttons that give you access to the Summit 2+’s apps. I didn’t get much time to play around with the UI, but I was impressed by the sharpness and brightness of the screen.
There are going to be four design variants available at launch, with each offering a different case and strap combination. I was able to get up close with two of these: one with a gold-coloured steel case and “cream sartorial” strap (light pink); the other with a copper-coloured steel case and khaki calf strap. The other two options are a natural steel case with black calf leather strap and a black diamond-like-carbon case with a black rubber strap.
All four look great and the overall build quality is excellent. The Summit 2+ incorporates Swiss watchmaking design codes and it oozes a classical quality. In fact, you’d be forgiven for not realising this is a smartwatch at first glance. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given Montblanc’s reputation for fine watchmaking but it’s good to see the company isn’t cutting any corners when it comes to its digital wearables.
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Montblanc Summit 2+: Early verdict
The Summit 2+ is a beautiful thing to look at and, on paper at least, seems to have plenty in the smarts department, too. We’ll have to wait and see how it performs as a fitness tracker and smartphone substitute but as a premium piece of wristwear, it looks exceptional.
If you’re an affluent Android phone user with an appreciation for the finer things in life, the Summit 2+ should definitely be on your radar. The rest of us are likely to have to settle for admiring it from afar.