Inspired by the historical professional Minerva chronographs and pocket watches created for military use and mountain exploration from the 1920s and 30s, the Montblanc 1858 collection captures Minerva’s extraordinary 160-year heritage in excellent style. The original designs were highly accurate, legible and robust for use in extreme conditions.
The new collection is further refined and enriched with distinctive aesthetics, innovative complications, a mix of materials and a range of sizes. Combining materials such as a special alloy of bronze that evolves over time with innovative and useful in-house complications, like the Worldtime Geosphere, these timepieces are designed for the modern-day explorer who likes to set his own challenges. He is someone who likes to express his authentic way of life, who loves adventure and nature, in which he discovers harmony and new heights.
The vintage codes are directly rooted in mountain exploration with distinctive elements that are reminiscent of the original Minerva chronographs. The satin-finished cases have been slightly reworked with slimmer polished horns and bevelled edges that underline 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.
For utmost legibility and design, the dials feature striking colour contrasts with their historical luminescent cathedral-shaped hands with “cloisonné” design that have been slightly domed for the finest finish, Arabic numerals coated with Super-LumiNova, railway minute tracks and the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s era with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain.
Each timepiece is unique thanks to the use of living materials such as bronze cases and aged calfskin leather straps. Very few companies have the know-how to source the best skin from tanneries and transform them into the finest quality leather straps like the Montblanc Pelletteria, the Maison’s Centre of Leather Excellence where ancestral craftsmanship, state of the art technology and enduring design come together. This expertise allows it to develop a superior range of vintage straps, such as the Bund strap, that match the aesthetic codes of the Montblanc 1858 collection.
For a contemporary look, the watches are also available with high-quality woven “NATO” straps, handcrafted at a traditional weaving manufacture in France that has been in production for over 150 years. Thanks to this artisanal know-how, the straps are refined, robust and extremely comfortable on the wrist. In order to guarantee the performance of the product line, all Montblanc 1858 models have undergone over 500 hours of simulated wear in extreme conditions at the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500. The Automatic, Chronographs and Geosphere models are also water-resistant to 100m, ensuring performance in all environments.
The purest vintage-inspired model in the range, the Montblanc 1858 Automatic introduces a smaller case size within the collection. Presented in 40mm stainless steel, the watch has been enhanced with a bronze bezel and fluted crown, creating a distinctively vintage look, and a unique picture of the Mont Blanc, 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.
Among the new interpretations of the historical Minerva timepieces are two new dials, one in black, the other smoked champagne, both with beige luminescent Arabic numerals and precise railway minute tracks. For utmost legibility and refinement, the luminescent cathedral-shaped hands are slightly domed from left to right. It comes in a high-quality black “NATO” strap or a cognac-coloured aged calfskin strap with beige stitching.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph model combines strong vintage aesthetic with a chronograph function in a 42mm stainless steel or bronze case. For the bronze model, the case-back comes in titanium coated in bronze to avoid allergies, engraved with the emblematic Mont Blanc, a compass and two crossed ice pick-axes, as a nod to the spirit of mountain exploration.
It has a smoked champagne-coloured dial with sunray finish, providing an elegant backdrop for the bi-compax counters positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock, which take their inspiration from Minerva’s historic chronographs. The dial is completed with beige luminescent Arabic numerals and cathedral-shaped hands, and matched with either a high-quality, lined, black and grey “NATO” strap or a cognac-coloured aged calfskin strap with beige stitching.
Perfect for the true globetrotter, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere timepiece features a new manufacture world-time complication powered by the Calibre MB 29.25, developed by the Montblanc engineers in Villeret. The Geosphere 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 recognised as the most difficult mountaineering quest worldwide and only 500 athletes have accomplished the mission to date.
This timepiece features a world-time complication with two turning hemisphere globes, which make a full rotation in 24 hours. The northern hemisphere turns anti-clockwise, while the southern hemisphere clockwise. On the globes are marked the world’s Seven Summits with red dots, enhancing the spirit of mountain exploration. They are both surrounded by a scale with 24 time zones, along with a day/night indication in contrasting colours. The longitude reference meridian for both hemispheres is highlighted with a white line coated with Super-LumiNova. Additionally, a second time zone display is located at 9 o’clock and a date (linked to the local time) is indicated in an aperture at 3.
The Geosphere comes in stainless steel, accompanied by a limited edition of 1,858 pieces in bronze. A new bidirectional stainless steel or bronze bezel with shiny black ceramic completes the design. The bezel is also fluted on the flank for a better grip and features the four cardinal points which have been engraved. The selection for the strap includes a high-quality black “NATO” strap, a cognac-coloured aged calfskin strap with beige stitching or a new brown Sfumato aged calf leather Bund strap with beige stitching, reminiscent of those in the 1920s and 30s, ideal for military use and mountain exploration.
The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100 timepiece pays tribute to the historical Minerva monopusher chronograph Calibre 13.20, specially developed in 1920 for use in a wristwatch. It’s the epitome of vintage chronograph design with its 40mm stainless steel case. Reinforcing the vintage look, the timepiece features an original smoked green dial and matching green alligator strap with beige stitching that comes from the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence. Reminiscent of the iconic Minerva chronographs, the dial features a bi-compax dial and a tachymeter scale on the outer part of the dial.
Like the other timepieces in the collection, the timepiece features a domed sapphire crystal glass box, resized and rounded cathedral-shaped hands, luminescent Arabic numerals and the historical Montblanc logo. Revealed behind is the Calibre MB M13.21, composed of a large balance wheel with 18 screws beating at the traditional frequency of 18,000 A/H, a column wheel and horizontal coupling. This high-end, hand-finished movement features the iconic V-shaped chronograph bridge, whose design was protected in 1912, along with the iconic Minerva arrow decorated by hand.
Designed for mountain explorers, this ultimate, versatile timepiece offers the unique opportunity to appreciate time in different ways while exploring. The Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition 100 can be positioned on a table with a stand or combined with an in-built compass that can be accessed by opening it up to lay flat on a map. The pocket watch can be transformed into a wristwatch thanks to a unique brown Sfumato aged calfskin strap with two pin buckles, which allows the watch to be worn on the forearm safely during exploration. Lastly, the timepiece can be held in the hand thanks to a dedicated brown Sfumato aged calf strap equipped with a cover. Over 50 elements make up this versatile and adaptable case.
The 60mm pocket watch is made of titanium, powered by the new Manufacture Calibre MB M16.24, a beautifully hand-crafted monopusher chronograph movement with the iconic V-shaped chronograph bridge and the Minerva arrow, inspired by the Minerva monophuser chronograph Calibre MB M16.29. This new version features a unique red central hand coated with Super-LumiNova indicating the time on a 24-hour scale on a dedicated minute-track.
Special attention has been paid to the dial to offer excellent readability and performance during the day and night. It is crafted from Dumortierite stone, a natural mineral, giving a unique blue appearance. Readings include a 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock (24 o’clock on this dial), a small second counter at 6 (12 on this dial), which are directly cut into the Dumortierite stone, as well as a central white chronograph second hand and a pulsometer scale engraved on the bezel. The back of the compass features an engraving of the four cardinal points.