Creating a product that is truly original and unique is hard. Really hard. Oftentimes a brand will take something that has been done before, whether it’s a proven design or a particular manufacturing technique, use it as a north star or a starting point for their own product, while simultaneously adding their own flavor, to make it their own. Independent watch brands know this all too well. Monta in particular, an independent watch brand based out of St. Louis, has been creating watches since 2016 using mid century sport watch design as the foundation and inspiration for their core lineup. Monta has distinguished themselves from other brands attempting to do the same by integrating polished details and distinctive features that come together in a manicured manner. They’ve created their own range of watches that don’t feel derivative and as a result they’ve developed a product that makes Monta, well a Monta.
As the brand has evolved, Monta has made it a point to fine tune certain things to make their watches better while largely keeping the same aesthetic. Monta has built a loyal following and customer base over the years that has gotten used to this particular aesthetic. It was the recent release of the new Skyquest from Monta that generated some strong opinions about the new look. Some loved it while others had mixed feelings. And then there were those that expressed disappointment that the brand had taken a step away from what made their watches different and individual.
I’ve always appreciated Monta from afar, but their watches never really translated through the computer screen for me. But my thoughts quickly changed when I handled their watches in person for the first time at WindUp NYC last year. I immediately noticed the quality of each piece, from certain details like the case finishing and elaborate markers, to the articulation of their steel bracelet and the quality of their clasp. The new Monta Skyquest is most certainly a different watch when you compare it to the previous generations. But if I can be honest, this was the first Monta Skyquest that actually peaked my interest when I saw it on screen. It felt more minimal and modern than the older Skyquest, which appealed to me more.