The Montblanc 1858 line features sporty vintage timepieces inspired by the trend for reconnecting to nature and the Montblanc heritage. Design and product codes take their inspiration from Minerva 1920s and 30s military chronographs. In 2020, we are presenting a new blue theme capsule, as a nod to glaciers and snowy mountain environments: the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 and the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere.
Montblanc timepieces continue the legacy of over 160 years of Minerva’s history in fine watchmaking exploration such as the Montblanc 1858 line, linking the past and the present through design, style and technical innovation.
Precise, legible and robust for use in extreme conditions, the legendary professional Minerva watches from the 1920s and 30s were conceived for military use and exploration. Reinterpreting these historic timepieces, Montblanc continues the success story with the introduction of new models, which showcase a new blue and icy white aesthetic combined with a mix of materials such as titanium and ceramic in three levels of craftsmanship:
- High-end watchmaking with in-house hairsprings and hand-finishing – The 1858 Split Second Chronograph watch executed with a gradated blue grand Feu enamel dial and grade 5 titanium.
- Iconic complications that are manufactured and assembled in-house – The 1858 Geosphere watch that comes with a blue dial and contrasting icy white luminescent elements.
- The core collection in two blue executions with a new aesthetic that includes a fluted stainless steel bezel highlighted with a blue ceramic inlay and engraved cardinal points coated with Super-LumiNova®.
The design codes of the Montblanc 1858 product line are directly rooted in the spirit of mountain exploration with distinctive elements that are reminiscent of the original Minerva chronographs from the 1930s.
As a nod to glaciers and snowy-mountain environments, the new 1858 watch editions feature a brand-new look, completing the existing 1858 line offer:
- Blue colours combined with icy white elements, creating a very cold and modern tool-watch look.
- New technical material for the 1858 Geosphere and 1858 Split Second watches with grade 5 titanium, providing high properties
- Robust, resistant to scratches and unaffected by superficial impacts as the natural oxidization of the alloy allows them to become invisible over time.
- Low thermal conductivity as not affected by temperature changes, providing maximum comfort during exploration of the mountain.
- Anti-magnetic resistance.
- Dark aesthetics matching ideally with the exploration look.
- New bi-metal bracelet with a new vintage design including a mix of shapes with central links in the form of grains of rice in polished stainless steel and satin-finished rectangular links made of titanium on the outside. This new metal will be added across the entire 1858 product line. Two new blue vintage Sfumato calf and alligator leather straps coming from the Pelletteria in Florence, Italy complete the 1858 offer. In addition, a high-quality woven blue “NATO” strap comes as an accessory.
Like the entire product line, the new models have satin-finished cases that present horns that are polished with beveled edges, underlining their shape. Other details include fluted crowns, that recall those on period timepieces, and domed sapphire crystal glass boxes, increasing the robustness and the look of each watch.
Furthermore, the 1858 Geosphere watch unveils a unique picture of the Mont Blanc mountain that has been engraved on the case back, along with a compass and two crossed ice pick-axes, which further reinforce the spirit of mountain exploration and the iconic peak which inspired the founders of the Maison.
For utmost legibility and design, the dials highlight striking colour contrasts with their historical white, luminescent, cathedral-shaped hands with a “cloisonné” design. The dial includes Arabic numerals coated with white SuperLumiNova®, railway minute tracks and the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s era with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain. The 1858 Geosphere also depicts a special engraving that pays tribute to the Seven Summits, the holy grail of mountaineering adventures.
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100
Montblanc reinterprets a 44 mm historical Minerva military monopusher chronograph, with the calibre 17/29, from the 1930s with a very distinctive dial comprising a snail shape tachymeter scale in the centre and a telemeter scale on the internal flange.
The new Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 comes in a vibrant blue colour executed in gradated enamel combined with a 44 mm full satin-finished, grade 5 titanium case enabling robustness.
Special attention has been paid to the dial which is crafted from solid gold and is adorned with a gradated blue grand feu enamel, allowing an authentic shiny aesthetic. grand feu enamelling is one of the oldest and most precious crafts in watchmaking, providing intense hues and a subtle, yet magical depth. It is the art of applying colourful vitreous enamel paste to the surface of metal and firing it in a kiln. Nothing else renders colour like enamel does and the colours never fade even centuries later. The artisan dusts the enamel powder onto the disc and then briefly fires it at 800o C (1,472 o F) before removing it and allowing it to cool, setting the enamel. The heating of the surface is done in layers with each layer heated at very high temperatures. The art of grand feu enamelling requires dexterity, skill and passion. This delicate gradation of blue is achieved by carefully playing with the height of the different layers of enamel.
The blue coloured background is paired with orange and white 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 crystal to enable greater precision of the two second hands of the chronograph.
Like on the original timepiece, the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph has a white telemeter scale that runs around the dial. The telemeter was a common feature on the legendary Minerva chronographs and adds both function and a vintage touch to this new timepiece. 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) and is stopped when the sound is heard (thunder). The position on the scale shows the distance in kilometres separating the phenomenon from the observer (or the user from the storm, in this example) at a glance. 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 has a tachymeter (base 1000) at the centre of the dial in a colimaçon, snail shape, which lets the user measure a length of time of up to three minutes instead of one minute as is the case in a traditional chronograph scale around the dial. The tachymeter scale indicates 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. The number indicated by the hand on the tachymeter scale represents the speed in kilometres or miles per hour.
It is combined with a complex “rattrapante” (Ssplit second) complication developed by the Montblanc engineers that enables the user to measure intermediate times without interrupting the ongoing measurement of a longer elapsing time. The “rattrapante” can be admired through the sapphire crystal case back like on a traditional timepiece with such a function. For a better legibility, the chronograph indications are displayed via a beige central chronograph second hand, an orange split second hand to measure a second time interval and a chronograph minute counter at three o’clock.
The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 is equipped with the Manufacture monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.31 that features two column wheels, horizontal coupling and a power reserve of 50 hours. The movement is an evolution of the MB M16.29 which takes its inspiration from the original Minerva calibre 17.29 developed in the 1930s, that was used for both pocket watches and wristwatches. The calibre MB M16.31 is the direct heir of the 17.29, and, like its predecessor, is composed of the same iconic V-shape bridge (whose design was protected in 1912) and a large balance wheel with 18 screws beating at the traditional frequency of 2.5 Hz / 18,000 A/H. Moreover, the calibre MB M16.31 brings the 17.29 lineage to a high level of fine watchmaking hand-finishing and manufacture mastery.
The Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret is a very special place that possesses the know-how to produce a movement from A to Z, making all the main components in-house, such as the plates and bridges in German silver (“Maillechort”) with traditional hand-crafted decoration, and it also manufactures the full regulating organ in-house, including the hairspring internally.
The calibre MB M16.31 is particularly beautiful thanks to its handcrafted traditional finishings such as Côtes de Genève, inner angles, circular graining and bevelling – all performed at the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret. The Split Second mechanism in the centre brings even more light to the entire movement.
Completing the overall design is a matching blue Sfumato alligator strap that has been hand-crafted by the Pelletteria in Florence, Italy.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere in Blue
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere watch is one of the key icons of the 1858 line with its two distinctive domed turning hemisphere globes and worldtime complication. This year, Montblanc is presenting the 1858 Geosphere in grade 5 titanium combined with blue and contrasting icy white design details, finding inspiration in the colours of glaciers and ice that can range from the purest white to the deepest shades of blue. All those elements create both a very cold and modern look. This icy-blue colour is the result of millions of years of pressure that removes the air bubbles in the ice, causing the light to reflect only the blue from the colour spectrum.
The timepiece is dedicated to the world’s Seven Summit mountaineering challenge, the holy grail of mountaineering adventures, where climbers set out to ascend the highest mountains from each continent. The Seven Summits challenge is recognized as one of the most difficult mountaineering quests and only around 500 athletes have achieved the mission to date.
On the Geosphere watch, the world’s Seven Summits and the Mont Blanc are marked on the turning globes with blue dots. They are also engraved on the case back along with a unique drawing of the Mont Blanc mountain, a compass, and two crossed ice pick-axes. Housed in a 42 mm case, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere comes in grade-5 titanium which is robust and durable, as the material is resistant to superficial scratches. It also has a low thermal conductivity and is light for utmost comfort on the wrist. This high-tech material also provides a dark look, matching ideally with the spirit of mountain exploration. The case is composed of a fluted, bidirectional stainless steel bezel that has been enhanced with a shiny blue ceramic and shows the four engraved luminescent cardinal points.
The dial comes in a smoky blue colour that is combined with icy white elements for a very cold and modern tool watch look.
Moreover, the timepiece includes all the design codes typical of the 1858 collection with Arabic numerals and indexes, the authentic Montblanc logo from the 1930s, domed cathedral-shaped hands, as well as a railway track. For utmost readability, the day/night indicator, the cathedral-shaped hands, the indexes, the compass indications and the hemisphere globes are all coated with white SuperLumiNovaÒ that is applied by hand.
A Distinctive Complication
The worldtime display of the two hemispheres brings an instinctive way of reading different time zones. The timepieces have two turning domed hemisphere globes at six and 12 o’clock, which are surrounded by a fixed scale with the 24 time zones and include a day/night blue indicator that has been coated in rhodium (for both the Northern and Southern hemispheres). The longitude reference meridian for both hemispheres is highlighted with a blue line coated with SuperLumiNova®. Furthermore, a second time zone is located at nine o’clock and a date aperture (linked to the local time) is located at three o’clock.
In order to set the timepiece, the user first adjusts the turning hemispheres for worldwide time by aligning the GMT/UTC 0 line on London time (highlighted as a light blue colour line on the domes). The two globes are then synchronised. The Northern hemisphere turns anti-clockwise and the Southern one clockwise.
The next step is to set the hour-hand (turning by hourly increment) in line with the local time (the globes are not turning), this also adjusts the date. Finally, the second time, located at 9 o’clock, is set via the corrector to display home time.
The timepiece is completed with a choice of a new blue Sfumato calf leather strap with white stitching, or with a new vintage bi-material technical bracelet made of matt, satin-finished titanium and polished stainless steel. A choice of hand-crafted “NATO” straps are also available as an accessory that can be purchased in Montblanc boutiques or via the brand’s e-shop.
Montblanc – A true watchmaker since 1858
Montblanc watchmaking is built on a unique set-up that brings two manufactures together, based in Le Locle and in Villeret, in the Swiss Jura mountains.
The Montblanc watchmaking story began in 1858 when Mr. Charles-Ivan Robert founded a watch workshop in the Saint-Imier valley. This marked the beginning of the historic Minerva era. By the end of the 19th-century pocket watches started to gain recognition for their crown winding system. The Minerva Manufacture’s success resulted in the company becoming a leading specialist in professional watches (stopwatches and chronographs) for measuring small intervals of time with high precision during the 20th century.
Today, Montblanc timepieces continue the journey of over 160 years of Minerva history in four fine watchmaking areas: the Montblanc Star Legacy, the Montblanc 1858, the Montblanc TimeWalker and the Montblanc Heritage product lines, all linking the past and the present through design, style and technical innovation.
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 Technical Specifications
- Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M16.31
- Type of movement
- Manually wound monopusher chronograph with split-second,
- tachymeter and telemeter
- Monopusher with two column-wheels (one for the chronograph and one for the split second) and horizontal coupling
- Diameter = 38.4 mm;
- Height = 8.13 mm
- Number of components 286
- Number of rubies 25
- 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 Rhodium-plated German silver with circular graining on both sides
- Bridges Rhodium-plated German silver with “Côtes de Genève”
- Going-train Gold-plated, faceted arms, diamond-polished surfaces
- Displays Hours and minutes from the centre
- Small seconds at “9 o’clock”
- Chronograph’s elapsed-second and split-second hands from the dial’s centre
- Counter for 30 elapsed minutes at “3 o’clock”
- Tachymeter and telemeter scales
- Case Grade 5 titanium
- domed sapphire,
- anti-reflective crystal,
- anti-magnetized treatment
- Screwed titanium case back with inset pane of sapphire crystal
- Diameter = 44 mm;
- height = 14.55 mm
- Watertightness 3 bar
- Fluted in titanium with Montblanc emblem in relief
- Monopusher chronograph integrated into the crown and one pusher at 2 o’clock for the split second
- Gradated blue “grand feu” enamel dial with white Arabic numerals with Super- LumiNova® coating,
- black rhodium-coated and white luminescent hour-hand and minute-hand,
- black rhodium-coated second hand, beige chronograph second hand,
- orange split second hand,
- black rhodium-coated chronograph minute hand with orange arrow,
- historical Montblanc emblem at 12 o’clock,
- tachymeter scale on the central part of the dial and telemeter on the exterior of the dial
- Blue Sfumato alligator-skin strap from Pelletteria in Florence, Italy
- Titanium pin buckle
Limited Edition Limited Edition of 100 pieces
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500
(* Super-LumiNova® is not a trademark owned by Montblanc)
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Technical Specifications
- Calibre MB 29.25 with Manufacture worldtime complication
- Type of movement
- Mechanical movement with automatic winding,
- Number of rubies 26
- Power Reserve Approx. 42 hours
- Balance Flat hoop
- Frequency 28,800 A/h (4 Hz)
- Hairspring Flat
- Hours and minutes from the centre,
- date at 3 o’clock
- Second time zone at 9 o’clock
- Turning northern and southern hemisphere globes at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock with a 24-hour scale and day-night indication
- Grade 5 titanium with slim curved horns featuring polished and satin finishing.
- Bi-directional stainless steel bezel with blue ceramic, knurled finishing and engraved cardinal points coated with SuperLuminova
- domed box-shaped sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
- Titanium with “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” special engraving
- Diameter = 42 mm;
- Height = 12.8 mm
- Watertightness 10 bar (100 m)
- Crown Fluted in Titanium with Montblanc emblem in relief
- Blue with white luminescent Arabic numerals,
- rhodium-coated and white luminescent cathedral-shaped hour-hand and minute-hand,
- white luminescent time zone hand,
- luminescent northern and southern hemispheres globes,
- historical Montblanc logo at 3 o’clock
- Blue Sfumato calf-skin strap from Pelletteria in Florence, Italy
- Titanium triple-folding clasp
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500
(* Super-LumiNova® is not a trademark owned by Montblanc) *Also available with a bi-metal titanium and stainless steel bracelet and a stainless steel triple folding clasp (ident 125567)