This watch by Montblanc is the second, more prestigious watch in the new 1858 Collection presented at SIAR, Salón Internacional Alta Relojería, Mexico City, on 20 October 2015. It is a direct reference to the Minerva tradition, 1858 being the year of foundation of the watch company that Richemont Group purchased in 2006 and allocated to Montblanc. Minerva developed an important heritage in chronograph movements, and this new monopusher chronograph is based on a piece built in the 1930s. The red gold case, 44 mm in diameter and 13.5 mm thick, has the generous size typical of pilot’s watches, and this visual characteristic is enhanced by the relatively narrow, curved lugs, the large fluted crown, the black dial, and the cathedral hands and Arabic numerals coated with SuperLuminova. The strap is in black alligator, with red gold pin buckle. The watch’s historical origins are underlined by the 1930s Montblanc emblem at 12 o’clock.
The MB M16.29 movement is hand-wound, and basically it is a pocket-watch calibre 38.4 mm in diameter, inspired by the 1929 Minerva 17.29 movement. The display caseback with sapphire glass window enables you to see the beautiful mechanics, with details that include the V-shaped chronograph bridge, a Minerva speciality since 1912, the swan’s neck adjustment cock on the balance wheel, the column-wheel (shown in the detail at right) that controls the chronograph operations, and the horizontal coupling levers, one of which terminates in a small arrow that is another Minerva trademark. The movement is made in Montblanc’s Villeret manufacture – which used to be the Minerva workshops – and comprises 252 components. It runs at 18,000 vph, 2.5 Hertz, much slower than the 4 Hertz typical of most mechanical watches. This gives the calibre additional visual appeal, because the balance wheel is larger than usual at 14.5 mm and swings with a more serene rhythm. The movement has a power reserve of 50 hours.
Reference and price
The Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter is reference 112637, and it is a limited edition of 100 pieces. Each costs €30,300.