Montblanc Summit 3 review: unmatched luxury, half-baked smartwatch

Montblanc Summit 3

MSRP $1,290.00

“The Montblanc Summit 3 is a fantastic, highly desirable luxury smartwatch with the most recent WearOS 3 software, however it’s let down by short battery life and basic fitness tracking.”


  • Beautiful design
  • Luxury materials
  • Latest Wear OS 3 software
  • Two straps included


  • 1-day battery life at probably the most
  • No Google Assistant
  • Limited Montblanc fitness app

The more I wear the Montblanc Summit 3, the more I consider it probably the most necessary smartwatch releases of recent times. Big statement, right? Absolutely. So let’s examine why.

It’s the primary non-Samsung smartwatch with Google’s Wear OS 3, it really works with Android and iOS (unlike Samsung’s latest), it comes from a longtime luxury Swiss brand, and while it’s expensive, it’s not obscenely so. Nonetheless, it being necessary is one thing, but being an excellent smartwatch is one other. Can it succeed at each?

Montblanc Summit 3 design

There’s a probability that, like me, you associate Montblanc with beautiful writing instruments and luxury travel accessories greater than watches. While you do take into consideration Montblanc watches, its traditional, quite classically styled travel watches and dress watches that come to mind. Things are changing, though, with the corporate launching some intriguing latest models — the attractive Iced Sea divers watch and 1858 GMT, for instance — which appear to take it in a latest, more modern direction.

The Montblanc Summit 3 showing a watch face and its blue strap.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Summit 3 suits in perfectly. It’s a beautiful mixture of current tech and chic watch design, but since it doesn’t take an excessive amount of inspiration from Montblanc’s heritage models, it looks modern and classy. It’s produced from titanium with a chrome steel bezel, crown, buttons, and case back, plus it has an anti-scratch sapphire crystal over the screen. Within the box are a rubber strap and a leather strap, allowing you to freely select a sportier or more casual look.

Speaking of which, it looks improbable. The satin finish titanium oozes class, the polished steel sections glint within the sun, and the flat sapphire crystal is beautifully clear. While it shares similar materials to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, the 2 couldn’t be further apart within the treatment of those materials or the design around them. It is a proper luxury smartwatch, and it feels very special to wear it. It’s even light and cozy enough to be worn overnight, and the rubber strap doesn’t get sweaty or uncomfortable.

The Montblanc Summit 3 on a mans wrist.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The big knurled crown — a Montblanc trademark — makes using it easy and cozy, plus I like the best way it has a button inside it, relatively than all the crown being a button. The pushers that flank it look great, but are quite clicky when pressed in comparison with the crown’s button. The 42mm case size is modest as is the 14mm thickness, and I believe it suits my 6.5-inch wrist very well. It’s quite a masculine design, though, and that added to the dimensions of the case, means those with smaller wrists may find it overpowering.

Its natural rival is the 42mm Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4, which only is available in chrome steel but has a ceramic bezel. It’s sportier and more modern than the Summit 3, as you’d expect from the brand, while the Montblanc smartwatch is more elegant and restrained. The screen is identically sized and appears equally as vibrant and colourful too. My very own watch preferences meant I initially leaned more towards the Tag Heuer, however the Summit 3 has turned all that around.

Man using the Montblanc Summit 3's crown.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I don’t wear watches styled just like the Summit 3 fairly often, they usually should be pretty special to tempt me away from divers watches and chronographs, however the Summit 3 has really won me over. It jogs my memory of wearing a Longines Record for a weekend, despite it being totally different from my usual selections, and absolutely loving the best way it looked. The mix of Montblanc heritage, modern design selections, and high-class materials makes the Summit 3 very desirable.

Montblanc Summit 3 Wear OS 3 software

The Montblanc Summit 3’s design will make watch fans stop and stare, however it’s the software that makes tech fans hot under the collar. Samsung has exclusively (officially or otherwise) loaded Google’s Wear OS 3 software onto its Galaxy Watch models, making Montblanc the primary to make use of it without Samsung’s user interface excessive.

Main menu on the Montblanc Summit 3.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Wear OS 3 is all-new and sadly quite familiar at the identical time. The initial onboarding process is latest as you don’t use the Wear OS app to attach (the truth is, iOS makes you uninstall the Wear OS app entirely before it’ll pair), and as an alternative, you depend on Montblanc’s Summit app. It is a big change for manufacturers with Wear OS 3, and it allows them to completely control all the watch experience from the app to the software on the watch, meaning it may possibly all be branded appropriately. For instance, all of the watch faces available within the app are Montblanc’s own.

Controlling the watch is largely similar to ever, with swipes to navigate menus, taps to pick out options, and the rotating crown to make zipping through Wear OS faster. The rotating crown works throughout the system and is much more deeply integrated than similar models using Wear OS 2. The highest pusher shows recently used apps, while the underside pusher launches Montblanc’s Fitness app, but this could be modified to another within the Settings.

Notifications on the Montblanc Summit 3.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Notifications on the Montblanc Summit 3.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Montblanc Summit 3 showing its weather Tile.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Quick Settings on the Montblanc Summit 3.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

You swipe through multiple Tiles to see relevant information, including your calendar, the weather, steps, heart rate, blood oxygen, and sleep data. The layout and options could be customized within the app. Other apps could be downloaded from the Google Play Store, you possibly can control music in your phone from the watch, notifications arrive in a listing accessed with a swipe, and Quick Settings appear while you swipe down on the important screen.

Design highlights for me include the subtle, grey, oblong-shaped buttons within the app menu and notifications, plus the easily pressed Quick Settings controls, the clean fonts, and the general uniformity of design. The operating system’s speed and fluidity don’t disappoint either. Wear OS 3’s design is attractive, clean, and modern, plus giving control over the app and pairing process to the manufacturer makes all of it feel more cohesive too. It’s also faster to set the smartwatch up, one other improvement over Wear OS 2.

Nonetheless, the software is restricted and sometimes problematic on the Summit 3. I had just a few problems entering my Google account and it accepting a Wi-Fi network. It’s not without odd bugs, the worst being just a few random shutdowns. I’ll come back to the iOS compatibility shortly, however it’s not good. There are some features missing, especially within the accessibility menu. There’s no option to regulate the vibration intensity, no duration settings for button presses, and since there’s no speaker on the watch, there’s no voice control — and Google Assistant isn’t available either. The one accessibility mode is magnification.

Bugs should be squashed, the accessibility is disappointing, the dearth of a speaker and Google Assistant mystifying, and it may possibly be a bit ponderous to make use of when using apps just like the Play Store. Wear OS 3 is an improvement over Wear OS 2, however it’s not clear whether the shortcomings seen listed below are a part of its unfinished nature or decisions made by Montblanc.

Montblanc Summit 3 fitness and activity tracking

There’s a heart rate sensor on the back of the Summit 3, sensors for blood oxygen, plus it’ll work out your stress levels and track all of your workouts through dedicated apps on the watch. Why is on the watch italicized? Because you possibly can only accomplish that on the watch, as none of Montblanc’s own fitness features sync with the Montblanc app in your phone, so all data is kept and viewed on the little screen. No graphs, no easily sorted historical data, nothing.

Fitness menu on the Montblanc Summit 3.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Workout heart rate on the Montblanc Summit 3.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Heart rate on the Montblanc Summit 3.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Blood Oxygen measurement on the Montblanc Summit 3.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Montblanc’s fitness app doesn’t sync with other platforms either, so in case you use Strava, then you definately’ll need to download and use it individually. It doesn’t link to Google Fit or Apple Health, so there’s no option to keep track of all of your activities and health data in a single place in your phone. This implies adding an extra series of apps duplicating what’s already available from Montblanc.

It’s a substantial downside, effectively minimizing the usefulness of the Summit 3’s own nicely designed health tracking features, and forcing you to download further additional apps. It’s not clear whether it is a consequence of Wear OS 3 and the arrival of branded companion apps or if it’s a Montblanc decision. It’s something which may be addressed in a future software update, but in the mean time on the model we reviewed, that is the situation.

The Montblanc Summit 3's app.

What about accuracy? It estimated the identical calorie burn because the Apple Watch Series 7 but differed with a better average heart rate. During workouts, I’d see it recording vastly higher (and unrealistic) numbers than the Apple Watch, so that is to be expected. Oddly, while you select the “Other” workout mode it still records distances and speed, despite me not leaving my lounge when exercising and the little icon showing an individual lifting weights.

All this implies the Summit 3 just isn’t a smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts. It has none of the flexibility of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, is missing the simplicity and accuracy of the Apple Watch Series 7, and lacks dedicated apps and modes to appeal to golfers just like the Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4.

Montblanc Summit 3 with iOS

The Montblanc Summit 3 works with Android and iOS, but I cannot recommend it to anyone with an iPhone. This is generally true anyway since the Apple Watch higher integrates with iOS for more functionality, but technically most non-Samsung smartwatches could be used with iOS in case you really desired to and don’t mind missing out on things like Google Maps. I’ve had the Summit 3 connected to several Android phones and an iPhone 13 Pro, on which the experience was a horror show.

The strap clasp on the Montblanc Summit 3, showing the Montblanc logo.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Montblanc Summit 3 with straps.

Rubber and leather straps included within the box Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The side of the Montblanc Summit 3 on a mans wrist.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Horrific? Oh yes. Downloading the 20MB-ish Google Fit app when connected to iOS took about 20 minutes, then one other 10 minutes to establish since it was so slow. Once I’d done this, I noticed the battery had taken a few 50% hit during its Herculean effort to provide me a fitness app that syncs across several platforms. Not only that, however it was the second time I attempted to put in the app, as the primary time it refused to download in any respect.

Living with it, the Summit 3’s software stutters and pauses when connected to iOS in a way that’s almost entirely absent when connected to Android. It’s no wonder Samsung decided to maintain the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5 away from iOS, as in the event that they operated anything just like the Summit 3, people would have been sending them back immediately. Even after a reset and trying again with iOS, I had the identical experience.

Montblanc Summit 3 performance and battery

The Summit 3 has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100+ processor and 1GB of RAM, and it’s a modest performer when connected to an Android phone. Wi-Fi range is kind of short, though, definitely shorter than your phone, and there’s no ability to take calls on the smartwatch. The screen is a beauty with its pin-sharp 416 x 416 resolution, and the 1.28-inch size is good.

The Montblanc Summit 3 on its charging stand.

The charging plinth also works as a stand Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Montblanc Summit 3's caseback and heart rate sensor.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Montblanc logo on the back of the Montblanc Summit 3.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Battery life isn’t so good. Within the couple of weeks I’ve been testing the smartwatch, it has not lasted greater than a full day, and even with minimal use — no GPS or workout tracking, for instance — it’s all the way down to lower than 30% most evenings. Tracking workouts give it a bashing, too, with a 30-minute workout taking (on the minimum) 12% of the battery every time.

Charging the Montblanc Summit 3’s battery every day is important. It takes just a little lower than an hour using the clever wireless charger, which could be used as a plinth or an upright charger to be used on a nightstand.

Montblanc Summit 3 price and availability

There are three models of the Montblanc Summit 3 available, and all cost $1,290 or 1,105 British kilos. The difference is within the titanium finish, with the usual titanium version seen in our photos, a black titanium version, and a bicolor model with a gray titanium case with a black chrome steel bezel.

While not low-cost within the slightest, the Summit 3 is the most affordable option to get a Montblanc watch in your wrist (outside of the older Summit Lite), and it’s also quite so much lower than its top rival in the posh smartwatch world, the Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4.

The Montblanc Summit 3 has luxury, desirability, and high-tech appeal

I like the Montblanc Summit 3’s improbable design, and I just like the direction Wear OS is taking, however the treatment of activity tracking is a misstep, the missing features baffling, and the short battery life disappointing. All of it works acceptably enough, the design is great, and all of the tools are there, but it may possibly’t quite live as much as the promise.

If we only checked out the design, construct quality, and beautiful presentation, the Summit 3 can be the most effective, most desirable smartwatches you possibly can get to make use of with an Android phone. Nonetheless, the technical side, despite having the most recent software and an honest (if not that latest) processor, just isn’t pretty much as good appropriately.

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