Paying tribute to the origins of Minerva, Montblanc unveils the new Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition 100, a re-edition of a 46 mm military monopusher chronograph from the 1930s that was equipped with the calibre 19-09CH.
When customers or journalists visit the Manufacture museum in Villeret, they are often surprised by the modernity and beauty of a 46 mm Minerva military monopusher chronograph from the 1930s. This timepiece, with its black dial and luminescent vintage elements, served as the main inspiration for the entire Montblanc 1858 collection, hence the name Origins. While every detail from the original watch has been taken into account – from the dial to the case and movement – the re-edition goes much further.
A leading specialist in the fabrication of professional watches and stopwatches, Minerva developed the 46 mm military monopusher chronograph from the 1930s equipped with the calibre 19-09CH. This historical timepiece featured a large case size which was unusual for the time. This size allowed watchmakers to integrate the calibre 19-09, a movement of 19 lines developed in 1909 that was initially intended for a pocket watch. Far from the round pebble-shape of pocket watches, however, the case of the chronograph was specially developed for a wristwatch, leading to a particularly modern look that integrated all the comfort and ergonomy needed. The original timepiece showcased a black dial with bicompax counters and cathedral-shaped hands coated with Super-LumiNova®, which were designed for military use and provided excellent readability both during the day and night.
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition 100
Inspired by the 46 mm Minerva military monopusher chronograph from the 1930s, the new limited edition pays tribute to the origins of the Manufacture. The timepiece goes beyond a simple re-edition, keeping key elements of the original model while integrating vintage twists. Equipped with the Manufacture monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.29, the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins features a 46 mm case made of a special alloy of bronze, a distinctive “officer” case back, a vintage black dial with beige elements, and a matching brown Sfumato alligator strap.
The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins case has been made in a special alloy of bronze that will obtain an attractive patina over time and is reminiscent of exploration tools from the past. An “officer” case back has been added, just like in traditional pocket watches, protecting the movement, which is adorned with distinctive engravings on both sides. The outside of the “officer” case back features the head of the Minerva Goddess. The inside of the cover bears the inscription “Ré-édition du chronographe militaire Minerva des années 1930 doté d’un calibre fait main dans la pure tradition horlogère suisse” (Re-edition of a Minerva military chronograph from the 1930s equipped with a hand-made calibre following the Swiss watchmaking tradition).
Montblanc uses a very innovative technique to create the image of the Minerva Goddess on the “officer” back giving it an authentic rendering in 3-dimensions, providing depth and realism as if it was a photograph. Made of titanium, the metal must first be structured, which means that the decoration will be engraved by laser, taking into consideration the relief of the drawing. Then the desired finish (matt and shiny) is also achieved by laser.
Finally comes the colouring phase. The colours are created by laser-generated oxidation. It is the level of oxidation that determines the final colour obtained (and desired). Montblanc is one of the most advanced Swiss Maisons to use of this technology on such a large surface. This innovation is in line with the brand’s spirit of exploration.
When opening the “officer” case back, the beauty of the Manufacture monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.29 is revealed, showing an authentic reconstruction of the Minerva chronograph calibre dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. For this limited edition, the execution of the movement is of particular note as the main plate and bridges have been left in raw Maillechort (also called “German-silver”), a high-end traditional material used in Minerva movements in former times. The Maillechort gives a slightly yellowish finish, rather than the more common rhodium coating. Traditional finishings such as Côtes de Genève, inner angles, circular graining, and bevelling are, of course, all performed at the same Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret.
Like on the original chronograph calibre, the MB M16.29 features the iconic V-shape bridge (whose design was protected in 1912), a column wheel, horizontal coupling, and a traditional frequency of 18,000 A/h. As a tribute to historical movements, the Minerva arrow is visible at the extremity of the chronograph “blocker”.
The timepiece comes with a black dial that has been paired with contrasting rose gold-coloured cathedral-shaped hands and numerals with beige Super-LumiNova® for greater legibility at night. This enhanced readability continues onto the Arabic numerals as well as on the hour and minute hands thanks to additional touches of luminescence. A nod to the original chronograph comes in the form of a Minerva logo on the dial that is symmetrically positioned below the historical Montblanc logo at 6 o’clock.
Other vintage details include bi-compax counters with large small seconds and minutes chronograph, as well as a railway minute track that have all been reproduced from the original design.
The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins is completed with a brand-new vintage-style brown Sfumato alligator strap with beige stitching and is strictly limited to 100 pieces.
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition 100 Technical Specifications
Ident. 128506 – Limited Edition 100 pieces
- Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M16.29
- Type of movement Manually wound monopusher chronograph
- Chronograph Monopusher with column-wheel and horizontal coupling
- Dimensions Diameter = 38.40 mm; height = 6.30 mm
- Number of components 252
- Number of rubies 22
- Power reserve Approx. 50 hours
- Balance Screw balance , diameter = 14.5 mm; moment of inertia = 59 mgcm²
- Frequency 18,000 A/h (2.5 Hz)
- Hairspring With Phillips terminal curve
- Plate Raw Maillechort (German-silver) with circular graining on both sides
- Bridges Raw Maillechort (German-silver) with “Côtes de Genève”
- Going-train Gold-plated, circular grained, chamfered, diamond hubs on both sides
- Hours and minutes from the centre
- Small seconds at “9 o’clock”
- Chronograph’s elapsed-second hand from the dial’s centre
- Counter for 30 elapsed- minutes at “3 o’clock”
- Special alloy of bronze featuring polished and satin-finishing
- Crystal Scratch-resistant, domed box-shaped sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
- Back Screw bronze-coated titanium case back with inset pane of sapphire crystal
- Bronze-coated titanium “officer” case back engraved on both sides with the head of Minerva Goddess on the outside and a special inscription on the inside “Ré-édition du chronographe militaire Minerva des années 1930 doté d’un calibre fait main dans la pure tradition horlogère Suisse” (Re-edition of a Minerva military chronograph from the 1930s equipped with a handmade calibre following the pure Swiss watchmaking tradition)
- Dimensions Diameter = 46 mm; height = 14.50 mm
- Watertightness 3 bar
- Crown Fluted in bronze with Montblanc emblem in relief
- Pushers Monopusher chronograph integrated into the crown
- Brown Sfumato alligator leather with beige stitching and bronze coated stainless steel pin buckle
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500