Monta is a brand I’ve been following for a bit on Instagram. When they came to Chicago for a Redbar event, I unfortunately couldn’t make it out. Then I caught word of one of their series selling out. It was at that point, I figured that it never hurts to ask (about a review loaner). The worst that could happen would be they say “no, not right now.” However, the exact opposite happened. Shortly thereafter, we had a Monta Triumph winging it’s way up from St. Louis, and here we are with a review.
To say we’ve reviewed more than a few field watches would be an understatement. These generally take the form of rugged, sometimes more basic sorts of watches. You know, the type that are intended to go out into the field. While I’m sure the Monta Triumph could handle that (steel case, sapphire crystal, 150m WR rating), it’s the most refined “field watch” that I have had on my wrist. I’d hesitate to even call it one, except the brand is very clear that this design was inspired by the military field watches of the US, UK, and French armed forces of the last 60 years. So, a field watch it is – albeit one that defies your expectations of the moniker.
For starters, the Monta Triumph is the most compact one I’ve come across. The official spec lists the case as 38.5mm wide, and my unofficial caliper measurement has the case thickness at well under 10mm. While this might make it seem like it’s a small watch (and perhaps by some modern tastes it is), to my eye – and wrist – it was sized perfectly. It sits properly on the wrist, slides under a cuff without an issue, and it still big enough for the dial to be perfectly legible.
Speaking of the dial on the Monta Triumph – while there are four variants available, we were sent the matte black one, and I’m going to call this one the best, even having not seen the other options. For one, the flat black is a great canvas for the paint and polished indices to contrast against. Second, it sets the stage for alternating finishes, which are used throughout the watch. On the dial, you’ve got the matte dial, and high-polish indices and hands. Expanding out to the case, you’ve got a bezel in a radially-brushed finish, more brushed and sand blasted surfaces, and then high-polish showing up on the edges of the case.
I’ve long been a fan of alternating case finishes on watches, particularly those that start off as being primarily brushed or blasted. This prevents the case from being a smudge or fingerprint magnet, and by mixing in the polished edges, you get the glints and glimmers of a watch that looks dressier. Frankly, the Monta Triumph has this done well. Very well. Even the stock bracelet picks this up, and continues the theme. This makes for a much dressier watch than you might expect from that “field watch” name, no?
When we go the Monta Triumph, it was on the stock bracelet, and I was quite pleased with it. I found it to be quite comfortable, even with the longer clasp on the underside. It is reminiscent of what you’d see on something from Rolex or Tudor, and works to help fit the bracelet to your wrist. I thought the longer, flatter bit would be unconformable, but it worked well. For most of my time with the watch, it was on the bracelet, as I’m a bracelet sort of guy. However, as the box included the stock rubber bracelet, I felt I had to try it at least one day.
I’m rather glad I did. You see, most stock rubber straps are not anything all that special – straight ends, seems like something that just came out of the parts catalog – in other words, something any brand (or you, dear reader) could put onto any watch with the right lug width. Well, the Monta Triumph wasn’t having that. No, here, you’ve got reinforced ends that snug right up to the case profile, making for a perfect fit. It looks right, and it looks made for the watch, because it was. The one thing I can’t quantify with the strap is the hand feel – it even feels nicer than most rubber straps. While I always advise opting for the bracelet when a watch offers one, if you get the rubber strap here, you won’t be disappointed.
In fact, I’ve only got two disappointments with the Monta Triumph. The first is that I waited so long to reach out to the brand, and the second is that it was just a short visit the watch had on the review desk. Past that, I found the Monta Triumph to really be an ideal watch to my own personal wear patterns and taste. The look and feel of the watch allowed it to go from office to weekend to suits without any issue, and either on the steel or rubber, I’d have no concerns about taking the Sellita SW300-equipped watch out on some adventures. Which is good, since that’s what it’s intended for.
I know my adopted hometown of Chicago has a bit of a rivalry thing going on with St. Louis, but I don’t care about that. And in fact, even if you fall into that Cubs vs Cards story, suspend that. This is a watch worth crossing the lines for. For everyone else, it’s just a well-sorted watch. While $1,375 and up (topping at $1,550 for the bracelet) is entry level for many Swiss brands, there’s nothing entry-level here. This is an affordable luxury watch, and one that could easily fall into the category of “one watch” should you be disposed into that direction. Yeah, that’s no small chunk of change, by any stretch of the imagination. But you do get a lot for what you pay. So, yeah, you can put me down as a fan of the Monta Triumph. Well done, sirs, well done. montawatch.com
- Brand & Model: Monta Triumph
- Price: $1,550 (on bracelet), $1,375 (on rubber strap), $1,385 (on leather strap)
- Who’s it for? You want a watch with some Swiss ingredients (and the Swiss Made label), but aren’t looking for that markup
- Would I wear it? Indeed – anytime and everywhere
- What I would change: I could do without the polished border on the date cutout.
- The best thing about it: Just how well-done the alternating triple-finish is on the watch
- Sellita SW300 – Self-winding, 25 Jewel, Chronometer tuned Swiss Manufactured movement
- Power Reserve 38 Hours
- Dial: Matte (Black) or Sunburst (Blue, Silver, and Green) multi-dimensional Rehaut with a combination of painted and applied indices.
- Depth Rating: Designed and tested to 150 meters (500 feet) water resistance
- Hands: Swiss-made, Rhodium plated, unique Sword style hands. Swiss LumiNova BG W9 color for the luminescent material.
- Crystal: Parallel flat sapphire with a unique 7 layer anti-reflective coating applied on the inside of the crystal
- 38.5mm wide
- 316L Stainless Steel
- The case and case parts have multiple finishes: brushed, polished and sand blasted.
- Slightly recessed winding crown to prevent damage.
- The Triumph strap/bracelet options include: 4 Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather straps, 3 Vulcanized FKM Rubber straps, or a metal bracelet that incorporates a custom deployant clasp with 4 micro-sizing holes.
- Fabric Strap: A NATO/RAF style strap is included with your Triumph in a dial complimenting color.
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