Montblanc presented a new version of its 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition on 17 October 2017 at SIAR in Mexico. It’s a watch that shows just how successful Montblanc has been in its treatment of the Minerva brand, part of the Montblanc world since 2007. Montblanc has retained the Minerva identity along with the historic manufacturing unit at Villeret. Founded in 1858, Minerva developed a specialization in chronometry and chronographs, and Montblanc has cleverly utilized this heritage in its 1858 collection watches.
The traditional 1858 collection
The 1858 collection has a distinct identity, and there are some collectors who buy every piece introduced. The previous 1858 Chronograph limited edition sold out very quickly and so there is no doubt that the same will happen with the 100 units of this new version, based (like the previous model) on a 1930s Minerva chronograph pocket watch.
Functional dial layout
The only substantial difference in the new piece is the salmon-coloured dial. This complements the bronze used for the case. The other features of the dial remain the same, with the two small counters, the functional chronograph seconds and tachymeter scales, the cathedral-style hands with wells (cloisonné) filled with SuperLuminova, and the lovely crown that includes the chronograph monopusher. The strap is in cognac-coloured alligator made by the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence. The case is 44 mm in diameter, with a bronze-coloured titanium caseback that prevents any staining of the skin.
Hand-wound monopusher calibre
The movement is the traditional Minerva MB M16.29 hand-wound monopusher chronograph calibre. It has a column wheel and a horizontal clutch. The large balance wheel runs at 18,000 vibrations per hour. Power reserve is 50 hours. At Villeret, everything is made in-house, including the balance spring. The calibre has some components in red gold finish that makes the view through the caseback even more interesting. One of the components terminates in an arrow, a traditional hallmark of Minerva movements.
The new Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition (100 pieces) costs €28,900. Read more on the Montblanc website.