recise, legible and robust for use in extreme conditions, the legendary professional Minerva watches from the 1920s and 1930s were conceived for military use and exploration. Inspired by these historic timepieces, the Montblanc 1858 pays tribute to the Minerva Manufacture’s extraordinary heritage.
Minerva – more than 160 years of fine watchmaking heritage
Montblanc Villeret’s watchmaking tradition began in 1858 when Charles-YvanRobert founded a watch workshop in the Saint-Imier valley. The Manufacture progressively gained international recognition for its precision timepieces, becoming a leading specialist in the manufacturing of professional watches and stopwatches.
In an elegant pairing of green and bronze, three new editions capture the spirit of the great outdoors. Hiking through forests, across fields or up to the highest peaks, the Montblanc 1858 Automatic, Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph and Montblanc 1858 Geosphere are trusted companions for fearless adventurers and explorers.
Upholding the Minerva legacy and paying tribute to more than 160 years of fine watchmaking history, the maison’s horological achievements have become the inspiration for the development of the Montblanc 1858 timepieces.
Inspired by the spirit of mountain exploration, the Montblanc 1858 product line gets closer to nature with bronze cases, brand-new khaki-green dials and matching coloured “NATO” straps.
The Spirit of Mountain Exploration
The Montblanc 1858 finds its inspiration in the world of mountain exploration, with the introduction of a new khaki-green colour that enhances the connection to nature.
A reinterpretation of the Minerva pocket watches and chronographs from the 1920s and 1930s, the new Montblanc 1858 timepieces capture the spirit of the past in a modern way combining a vintage-looking bronze case enriched with aluminium that evolves over time and innovative, highly functional in-house complications.
Trusted companions for outdoor adventures, these timepieces are designed for modern-day explorers who set their own challenges, express their own personal style, live authentic lifestyles and find harmony with nature to reach new heights in life.
The polished and satin-finished bronze cases feature slim bevelled horns while the case back is crafted from titanium featuring a bronze colour coating to reduce the risk of skin allergies.
For legibility and design, the khaki-green dials contrast with historical luminescent cathedral-shaped hands with a “cloisonné” design that have been slightly domed for one of the finest finishes. Other details include beige SuperLumiNova-coated Arabic numerals, a railway minutes track and the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s era with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain.
Providing a contemporary look, the watches are equipped with high-quality woven“NATO” straps. These straps are handcrafted in France at a traditional weaving manufacture that has been in production for over 150 years. Thanks to this artisanal know-how, the “NATO” straps are refined, robust, durable and very comfortable on the wrist.
In order to guarantee the performance of the product line, all the Montblanc 1858 models undergo over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under extreme conditions. The Automatic, Chronograph and Geosphere models are also water-resistant to 100 metres ensuring performance in all environments.
Montblanc 1858 novelties
This year marks the arrival of four new Montblanc 1858 editions: Two new Montblanc 1858 Automatic models, a 1858 Chronograph and a 1858 Geosphere.
The two new Montblanc 1858 Automatic models come in a choice of a full-bronze 40mm case (previous versions had a steel case and a bronze bezel) paired with a khaki-green dial, or a steel case with a black dial.
The new Montblanc 1858 Chronograph comes in a 42mm full bronze case with khaki-green dial, providing an ideal backdrop for the bi-compax counters.
And last, but not least, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere, which is dedicated to the world’s Seven Summit mountaineering challenge, the holy grail of mountaineering adventures, is now also available in this new bronze/khaki colour scheme.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph Limited Edition 1858
Montblanc 1858 Automatic
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition 1858
The New Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph
In the spirit of mountain exploration, Montblanc reinterprets a historical Minerva military chronograph from the 1930’s with the new Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100.
Like on the original timepiece, the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 features a telemeter scale that runs around the dial, which was a typical feature on the legendary Minerva chronographs.
A telemeter makes it possible to measure the distance of a phenomenon which is both visible and audible, like the lightning and thunder in a storm. The chronograph hand starts at the instant the phenomenon is seen (lightning); it is stopped when the sound is heard (thunder).
The position on the scale shows at first glance the distance in kilometres separating the phenomenon from the observer (or the user from the storm, in this example). Calibration is based on the speed of which sound travels through the air, which is approximately 340 meters per second or 1,115 feet per second.
The timepiece also features a tachymeter (base 1000) at the centre of the dial in a colimaçon, snail shape, which allows the user to measure a length of time up to three minutes instead of one minute in a traditional chronograph scale around the dial.
The tachymeter scale is to show the speed of a moving object, such as a car, over a known distance. As the moving car passes the starting-point of the measured course, whose length corresponds with that used as the basis of calibration, the owner starts the chronograph hand and stops it as the car passes the finishing-point.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Limited Edition 1858
The figure indicated by the hand on the tachymeter scale represents the speed in kilometres or miles per hour. It is combined with a complex “rattrapante” (split second) complication developed by the Montblanc engineers that allow the user to measure intermediate times without interrupting the ongoing measurement of a longer elapsing time. The “rattrapante” can be admired through the sapphire glass of the case back like on traditional timepiece with such a function.
The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 is equipped with the brand-new Manufacture monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.31 that features two column wheels, horizontal coupling and a power reserve of 50 hours.
Housed in a 44 mm full satinated bronze case, the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 comes with a black lacquered dial paired with red gold-coloured elements that accentuate the vintage style while also providing excellent readability of the complications both at day and night.
The glass has an anti-magnetized treatment on the inside top sapphire glass to allow great precision of the two second-hands of the chronograph.
The chronograph indications are displayed via a red-gold coated central chronograph second hand, a white-coloured split second hand to measure a second time interval and a chronograph minute counter at three o'clock.
The movement takes its inspiration from the original Minerva calibre 17.29 developed in the 1930s, that was used for both pocket watches and wristwatches. This modern-day version is recognisable thanks to its beautiful handcrafted finishings—Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining and bevelling—as well as its fine details such as the iconic Minerva arrow, a chronograph bridge shaped in the form of a “V”, and a large screwed balance that has a traditional frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour.
In order to guarantee the performance of the product line, the timepiece undergoes over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under real-life conditions.