A stock of around thirty perfectly functional original Minerva calibers has enabled the Hamburg brand to design a very exclusive edition with a rather retro style, especially thanks to its salmon-colored dial.
With the new Heritage Small Seconds Limited Edition 38, Montblanc unveils both a beautiful story and an exclusive watch of which only 38 pieces are available. Indeed, the Hamburg brand discovered a batch of 38 perfectly functional Minerva calibers dating from 2003. These hand-wound movements, more than 15 years old, called MB M62.00, are modernized versions of the N°48 Pythagoras caliber produced by the Villeret manufacture in the 1940s, which gave rise to 5 models, including the reference A481-AR, which resembles the Heritage Small Seconds Limited Edition 38.
Like the old version, this new Montblanc model has a curved, sunny, salmon pink lacquered dial with a granulated ring on which the hour circle rests and a blue counter for the seconds that “eats” the upper part of the 6. The applied pea and number markers are filled with white Super-LumiNova® as well as the line that highlights the curved dolphin-style hour and minute hands. This very retro set is curved with a blue timer (except for the 30 and 60 in red) under which the name Minerva discreetly appears between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Hours, minutes and seconds are thus punctuated by the famous MB M62.00 caliber, which beats at the soft frequency of 2.5hz and delivers 50 hours. This motor is housed in a 39mm diameter and 9.45mm thick steel case and is visible through the sapphire crystal back.
The Heritage Small Seconds Limited Edition 38 is worn on a Sfumato gray alligator leather strap with a steel folding clasp.
Price: 20,100 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin.
THE WATCHMAKER’S GENETIC CODE
Unveiled at the 2019 SIHH in Geneva, this model, equipped with practical everyday functions, will entice you with its lines inspired by the Minerva creations of the 1950s.
As suggested by the name of the collection it belongs to, the Heritage Automatic Day Date watch draws its esthetics from the past, and more precisely from Minerva, the manufacture acquired in 2006 by the Richemont group and merged into Montblanc. Since then, the wealth of their heritage has contributed to the production of elegant timepieces such as this model.
Here, the time information comes to life in a domed silvery white dial. The dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands, enhanced with a line of luminescent material, point to the hour markers made up of Arabic numerals and rhodium-plated dots. These are rounded out by a blue central second hand that traces its revolutions following the second marker rim of the same color. A wide window at 12 o’clock displays the days of the week in English, while the date is indicated symmetrically at 6 o’clock. This airy composition provides excellent legibility.
Inside the 39-mm stainless steel case with its polished finish, the self-winding movement is at work. The MB 24.18 caliber provides the timepiece with a 38-hour power reserve once wound. Its proper functioning and its precision are certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500. For 500 hours, each watch undergoes a wide range of quality controls.
The Heritage Automatic Day Date comes with a grey Sfumato watchband produced at the house’s leather workshop in Florence. It fastens with a pin buckle.
Price: 2’470 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
The silhouette is well known, however the colors chosen by the German brand to decorate this limited edition add an extra touch of charm.
As the official timekeeper of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which took place in England on July 4-7 this year, Montblanc launched a new limited edition to mark the occasion. Last year, this took the shape of a chronograph decorated with beige and chocolate brown shades for a statement vintage style. This year, the TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph Limited Edition 1500 dons a more understated color scheme to consolidate its contemporary identity: The anthracite gray counters are contained within a charcoal dial and this monochrome setting provides the background for the black luminescent rhodium-plated hour and minute hands. The hands used for the stopwatch and the small seconds are colored red. This contrast transforms the composition, as does the fixed black ceramic bezel equipped with a tachymeter scale. The sporty style of the timepiece is also accentuated by the finish of the 43 mm case. The distressed steel contributes to its remarkable personality.
The time information and short time measurement are regulated with precision by the MB 25.10 caliber (46-hour power reserve). Some of the components of this self-winding movement can be seen through the sapphire case back.
The 1500 pieces of the TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph come with a completely new and stylish strap in perforated black leather for an impeccable look.
Price: 5,500 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
FOR A GREENER WORLD
In homage to Minerva’s prestigious past, the 1858 collection welcomes a new limited-edition traveler’s watch ideal for crossing the globe.
You don’t have to travel thousands of miles in search of adventure. Simply place the khaki green 1858 Geosphere by Montblanc on your wrist for a breath of fresh air. The dial is colored green. More than just a trend, this shade symbolizes the link with nature and is combined with bronze to give this traveler’s watch an accentuated vintage look. The 42 mm bronze case has a polished and satin finish. Its bidirectional bronze and green ceramic bezel is characterized by the engraved compass points. The two hemispheres from the original model are also included. Both stylish and practical, they show world time at a glance using a scale with the 24 time zones and day/night display. While the North turns counterclockwise, the South moves in the same direction as the hour and minute hands. The second time zone at 9 o’clock and the date at 3 o’clock complete the time information.
Limited to 1858 pieces, this new version of the 1858 Geosphere is accompanied by a robust khaki NATO strap to follow you in your quest for exploration. To check their reliability and precision, they have all undergone the Montblanc Laboratory 500 Hours Test.
Price: EUR 5,900
By Dan Diaconu
A VINTAGE TOUCH
Like a virtuoso musician practising scales, Montblanc shows off its skills in the Heritage collection, with models inspired by the rich past of Minerva, such as this chronograph.
We can set our smartphones today at the press of a finger, but watchmakers have long since been looking for solutions to make it easier to manage short-time intervals on chronographs. The Minerva manufacture, which was taken over by the Richemont group and incorporated into Montblanc in 2006, excells in creating monopusher chronographs that are both practical and refined. How do they work? Just one monopusher interrupts the curved outline of the watch case. Even better, some recent models fit the monopusher into the crown to provide the ultimate pure and simple design. To launch the timer, to stop or reset it, you just need to press down once or more. This system is to be found in the Heritage Monopusher Chronograph, unveiled at the 2019 SIHH. On the dial, simplicity is also the watchword. A 30-minute totaliser at 3 o’clock displays the time measured with a central second hand. A running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock brings symmetry to the layout of the time elements. Curved, dauphine-style hands move around the figures and indices in a vintage setting.
The elegance of the model is enhanced by a Sfumato alligator leather strap. Montblanc has also made a Milanese mesh strap for the new watch.
Price: 4,700 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
A DOCTOR’S WATCH FOR 2019
During the SIHH, the Hamburg brand introduced several new watches, including one inspired by 1950s styles with a salmon-pink dial encircled by a pulsograph scale.
First developed in 1854, the sphygmograph was a mechanical instrument used to measure the heartbeat. It was bulky and somewhat impractical, and gradually lost ground to wrist watches including a pulsometer. These watches found favour with the medical profession in the mid-20th century. Known as “doctors’ watches”, they showed the pulse rate directly on the dial with no mental calculation required. Today, this type of timepiece is much in demand, most of all for its design. Making use of the experience provided by Minerva, Montblanc was inspired by these famous watches to create the Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition 100, a monopusher chronograph featuring a pulsation bezel to count 30 heart beats. One hundred pieces are available, as its name suggests.
This new watch by Montblanc is powered by the MB M13.21 calibre, a hand-wound movement providing 55 hours of power reserve and housed in a 40mm-wide steel case.
Price on request
By Sharmila Bertin
TWO TIMES AND A SINGLE MOVEMENT
With this limited edition model with a chronograph rattrapante movement, the split function reaches the summits with Montblanc. A real trailblazer!
Since Montblanc incorporated the technical skills of Minerva, the brand has excelled in producing monopusher chronographs. Last year, we saw a limited edition sports watch of this type in the 1858 collection, the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph. At the SIHH 2019, a new version of the model was introduced, the 1858 Split Second Chronograph. While preserving its main technical asset – the split-time measurements using a single button on the crown – the watch innovates with its rattrapante (“catch-up”) function. Two central chronograph hands are included. They are activated by a press on the crown. A touch on the pusher at 2 o’clock stops one of them, while the other continues. It is stopped by another press on the crown. This mechanism means it is easy to time two different events starting at the same time.
All these features are housed in a 44mm-wide bronze case that will take on an attractive patina over time. The 100 pieces in this limited edition are driven by the hand-wound MB16.31 movement (50 hours of power reserve).
Price: 32,500 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
FROM PAST TO PRESENT
A clear, uncluttered dial, an elegant design, a nice price: this watch has all the assets needed to become a vital element in the well-dressed man’s wardrobe.
Montblanc has given the inspired vintage watch design Minerva centre stage in the Heritage collection. The GMT model, which was launched at the 2019 SIHH in Geneva, has all the brand’s hallmark assets: curved dials with colours inspired by the 1940s and 1950s, a fully polished steel case and an uncluttered dial. For this model, two sword-style hour and minute hands point towards Arabic numerals at the cardinal points, alongside discreet rounded indices and a painstakingly graded minute track. The slender central second hand stands out with its dark blue colour. A fourth hand, for the GMT function, is in a lighter blue and tipped with an arrow. It makes its way around a 24-hour scale on the outside of the dial in the same colour. During a trip, you can use this feature to show the time at home, while setting the main hour hand to the time zone of your destination.
Three elegant versions are available. The Heritage GMT combines silver or salmon pink dials with Sfumato grey alligator leather or Milanese mesh steel straps.
Price: 2,700 EUR (leather) – 2,900 EUR (steel)
By Dan Diaconu
For the 2019 SIHH trade show in Geneva, Montblanc has enriched its collection with a sports-style chronograph displaying a “reverse panda” dial.
It all began in the late 1960s. Black sub-dials were added to a white dial on a famous chronograph. The ultra-readable dial recalled the face of the charming giant panda and turned out to be a big hit. Since then, all sports-style watches with this design are named after the cuddly herbivore. Montblanc has already released watches of this kind in the past. This year, the brand has introduced a model called the TimeWalker Automatic Chronograph with a “reverse panda” dial. Unlike the classic tricompax or bicompax designs, the chronograph’s totalisers here are white and placed on a vertical axis. The seconds sub-dial is discreetly located at 9 o’clock, providing a visual and symmetrical reply to the date counter at 3 o’clock. Otherwise, the watch has all the regular aesthetic features of the collection. The dauphine-style hour and minute hands move around an hour rim made up of generously proportioned indices and numerals. The central second hand still has a tip with a Minerva arrow, while a fixed, ceramic bezel with a tachymetric scale encircles the dial.
The time information and split-time measurements are driven by the calibre MB 25.07 (46 hours of power reserve), an automatic movement housed in a 41mm-wide steel case.
And to round off the racing vintage spirit, the TimeWalker Automatic Chronograph comes with a perforated black rubber strap.
Price: 4,000 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
RUNNING AFTER TIME
The German brand celebrated the 25th Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer with two Timewalkers in a warm, vintage style.
Do you enjoy speed, classic sports cars and elegance? Each year since 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has been an unmissable event in the UK. Combining a garden party and a hill climb race, the event attracts fans from all over the world. Montblanc, the official timekeeper for the past two years, unveiled a limited-edition watch this year with colour codes ideally coordinated to the race atmosphere. The watchmakers have given one of its leading current models, the Timewalker Automatic Date Limited Edition, an attractive “cappuccino” beige dial, encircled by a chocolate-coloured minute track. With these attractions combined with a retro font, the three-hand watch conjures up a vintage sports atmosphere. An atmosphere boosted by the elegant perforated strap in vintage-effect Sfumato leather.
In the 41mm-wide steel case (waterproof down to 100m), the self-winding movement with 38 hours of power reserve drives the hour and minute hands, as well as the red central second hand with a Minerva arrow. As on the original model, the hours are placed on a unidirectional bezel machined in black ceramic. If you are travelling abroad, the bezel can be rotated to provide a second time zone. A date at 3 o’clock rounds off the time elements.
Montblanc has also released a limited edition of 1,500 pieces of the Timewalker Chronograph Automatic featuring the same design.
Price: 2,715 EUR (automatic) – 4,990 EUR (chronograph)
By Dan Diaconu