Created in collaboration with online horology portal HODINKEE, the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Limited Edition pays tribute to the Minerva heritage. This vintage special edition combines a stainless steel case, a distinctive dial and the Manufacture Chronograph MB M13.21, all of which are inspired by the historical Minerva Chronograph Caliber 13.20 of 36 mm from the 1930s.
The inspiration for this new timepiece has been centred on Minerva chronographs from the 1930s and in particular the 36 mm model featuring a black dial with beige elements and equipped with the iconic chronograph caliber 13.20.
This 13-lines movement was the first integrated chronograph produced by the manufacture in 1920 and featured a very classical and harmonious horizontal clutch with column wheel construction. It is also important to note that it is adorned, as per all Minerva chronographs since the beginning of the 20th century, with the very recognizable V-shaped chronograph bridge (patented in 1912).
Each purchase of this special timepiece will include an invitation from HODINKEE to experience the Montblanc manufacture and visit the heart of Swiss watchmaking country. The trip offers an inside look at the Montblanc manufacture in Villeret, the historic home of Minerva, and Le Locle giving the purchaser an opportunity to see the Montblanc museum, the caliber M13.21 being created and assembled, and the strict quality-control tests that each watch undergoes before it leaves the manufacturer.
Montblanc Villeret’s watchmaking tradition began in 1858 when Charles-Yvan Robert founded the Minerva Manufacture in the Saint-Imier valley. The Manufacture progressively gained international recognition for its precision timepieces, becoming a leading specialist in the fabrication of professional watches and stopwatches.
Minerva produced a number of movements equipped with chronograph functions such as the legendary caliber 19.09 (19 lines / launched in 1909), which was the first to feature the recognizable V-shaped chronograph bridge. Several patents for precision timers were filed during this period, attesting to the Manufacture’s innovative spirit.
In the 1920s, Minerva invented one of the first manually-wound monopusher chronographs specially developed for wristwatches, marking a new chapter in the Manufacture’s history. In addition to the caliber 13.20, the caliber 17.29 was produced during the 1930s and was one of the slimmest monopusher chronographs of the time, measuring a mere 5.6 mm in height.
These developments symbolize the level of mastery and innovation reached by Minerva over the years and consolidate its reputation in the manufacture of monopusher chronographs with various case sizes and complications. Upholding the Minerva legacy and paying tribute to more than 160 years of fine watchmaking history, these horological achievements have become the inspiration for the development of the new Montblanc 1858 timepieces.
Paying tribute to the original wristwatch and professional aesthetic, special attention has been paid to the dial to offer a distinctive vintage-looking timepiece. This limited edition of 25 pieces features a black lacquered dial paired with a contrasting light-beige-colored tachymeter scale on its outer part, in keeping with the historical chronograph. This color scheme accentuates the vintage inspiration while also providing excellent readability and performance. Staying true to the original timepiece, the dial has two counters, one for the small seconds at nine o’clock and a chronograph 30-minute counter at three o’clock. These two counters are slightly lower than the dial, providing greater contrast.
This special edition also highlights the design codes taken from the 1930’s Minerva chronograph, including the original shape of the hands with their cloisonné decoration filled with Super-LumiNova®, luminescent Arabic numerals, and the original Montblanc logo from the time, with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain in the centre.
The caliber of the timepiece also pays tribute to the historical Minerva chronograph equipped with the caliber 13.20. In the 1920s, the Manufacture invented one of the first manually-wound monopusher chronographs specially developed for wristwatches, marking a new chapter in the Manufacture’s history.
The caliber MB M13.21 is the direct heir of the 13.20, and, like its predecessor, features the same iconic V-shape bridge, column wheel, horizontal clutch coupling and a large balance wheel with 18 screws beating at the traditional frequency of 2.5 hz / 18,000 A/H. Moreover, the M13.21 brings the 13.20 lineage to a high level of high watchmaking hand-finishing and manufacture mastery.
The Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret is a very rare place that is considered to be a true Manufacture. It 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), but it also manufactures the full regulating organ, including the hairspring.
The caliber MB M13.21 is particularly beautiful thanks to its handcrafted traditional finishings such as Côtes de Genève, inner angles, circular graining and bevelling – as well as its fine details such as the Minerva arrow on the chronograph “blocker” and the chronograph bridge shaped in the form of a “V”, whose design was protected in 1912.
An engraving stating “Limited Edition for Hodinkee” can be found on the case back and a sapphire crystal reveals the beauty of the Montblanc Manufacture Monopusher Chronograph Caliber MB M13.21 beneath.
Completing the overall design is a matching brown Sfumato alligator strap that has been hand-crafted by the Richemont Pelletteria in Florence or with a special HODINKEE Bedford one in Olive Green.
This special edition timepiece is water resistant to 100 meters and is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500.
The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Limited Edition for HODINKEE is produced in a limited run of 25 pieces and available exclusively in the HODINKEE Shop and select Montblanc boutiques.
Model: Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Limited Edition for HODINKEE
Type of movement: Manually wound monopusher chronograph with tachymeter scale Chronograph Monopusher with column-wheel and horizontal coupling
Dimensions: Diameter = 29.50 mm; height = 6.40 mm
Number of components: 239
Number of rubies: 22
Power reserve: Approx. 55 hours
Balance: Screw balance, diameter = 11.40 mm; moment of inertia = 26 mgcm²
Frequency: 18,000 A/h (2.5 Hz)
Hairspring: With Phillips terminal curve
Plate: Rhodium-coated German silver with circular graining on both sides, hand-chamfered edges
Bridges: Rhodium-coated German silver with “Côtes de Genève”, circular graining on both sides, hand-chamfered edges
Going-train: Gold-coated, 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
30-elapsed minute-counter at 3 o’clock, tachymeter scale
Water resistance 100 metres
Stainless steel with polished and satin finishings
Crystal: Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire glass box with antireflective coating
Back: Sapphire crystal / special engraving
Case dimensions: Diameter = 40 mm; height = 12.15 mm
Waterproofness: 10 bar (100 m)
Crown: Stainless steel fluted with Montblanc emblem in relief
Pusher: Monopusher chronograph at 2 o’clock
Black lacquered, luminescent Arabic indexes, rhodium-coated luminescent hour- and minute-hands, white chronograph and second hands, light beige tachymeter scale base 1000 on the external part of the dial, counters with “azuré” finishing, historical Montblanc logo at 12 o’clock
Brown Sfumato alligator leather crafted by the Richemont Pelletteria in Florence, Italy or with HODINKEE Bedford strap in Olive Green with a stainless steel pin buckle
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500