Montblanc’s 1858 Collection pays tribute to the revered Minerva manufacture.
Montblanc has announced a 1858 Collection that features two highly desirable watches – a mono-pusher chronograph and a three-handed time-teller that enthusiasts have been waiting for.
Glimpses of the watches have been shown on Instagram – including from us here at watch-next – after sightings before its official release that have created enormous interest.
The two watches are a mono-pusher chronograph in gold, and a three-handed time-teller happily cased in steel, our favourite in fact.
Both are the complete package – brilliantly executed with vintage looks and refined movements that pay tribute to the revered Minerva manufacture founded in 1858 that today is part of the Montblanc operation.
The Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter
This stunning piece is a re-interpretation of a chronograph launched by the Minerva manufacture in the 1930s, and is limited to 100 pieces. It spans 44 mm and is cased in 18-carat red gold with the chronograph push-piece incorporated into the crown.
The dials of both the chronograph and the three-hander are unusual in that they carry the historic Montblanc logo that was used back then. The expansive dial has large Arabic numerals and “cathedral” hands coated with Super-LumiNova.
The display is laid out around two counters, the first showing running seconds (at 9 o’clock) and the second showing elapsed minutes. The dial is deep black, with a traced ‘rail’ track, to which has been added a tachymetric scale.
Movement inspired by 1929 calibre
The mono-pusher’s movement was inspired by the original chronograph calibre designed by Minerva in 1929 and is visible through the transparent sapphire case back. Like the historic version, it has a column-wheel activated by the single push-piece that is built into the winding crown.
Through the transparent case back, it is also possible to see the iconic engraved “V” chronograph bridge, which has been protected by Minerva since 1912. All the components have a Geneva ribbing finish and edges with a large number of hand-bevelled angles – in the finest tradition of Swiss Haute Horlogerie.
The mechanism, comprising 252 components, is assembled, adjusted and finished by hand in the Villeret Manufacture and its balance wheel oscillates at 18,000 vibrations per hour, a traditional frequency reminiscent of heartbeats that allows an autonomy of 50 hours.
The Montblanc 1858 Small Second Special Edition
Talk about stealing the limelight. The Montblanc 1858 Small Second model is a handsome 44mm treat, refreshingly cased in stainless steel with a domed crystal.
Again, its design is reminiscent of historical watches produced by Minerva, and this is the watch that seems to have garnered the most attention from enthusiasts to date.
Its open face indicates the hours and minutes with a direct-drive small seconds display at 6 o’clock and, like the models of the past, it’s powered by a hand-wound calibre with a power reserve of 46 hours.
The black dial, bold luminova numerals with an aged appearance and early Montblanc logo complete the vintage theme and the watch presents on a black alligator strap with ecru saddle stitching.
The price of the chronograph is $46,560, the stylish steel limited edition $4810. A non-limited steel model is also available from $4500.
The limited edition model numbers 858 pieces, that number paying tribute to the founding of Minerva in 1858. It differs from the unlimited edition in having yellowish-hued hands and numerals, a nice vintage touch.
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