Unveiled at the Salón Internacional Alta Relojería (SIAR) in Mexico (15-17 October 2019), the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 reinterprets a historical Minerva military monopusher chronograph from the 1930s.
The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 is a true watch for connoisseurs inspired by the heritage of Minerva with a distinctive vintage green aesthetic, reminiscent of the colours of Mexico. The dial is made of green Jade Nephrine, expressing the spirit of mountain exploration.
The Montblanc 1858 product line is inspired by the legendary Minerva professional watches from the 1920s and 1930s which were conceived for military use and exploration. Reinterpreting these legendary models, the Montblanc 1858 watches express the spirit of mountain exploration, embodying the modern trend of returning and reconnecting to nature.
The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 combines a 44-mm bronze case with a distinctive smoked-green dial crafted from nephrite jade, a first for the Maison. Nephrite jade is one of two distinct mineral forms of this precious stone and is prized for its durability, toughness, translucency and lustre.
Inspired by the Mexican flag, the Nephrite jade green dial is paired with rose-gold-coloured elements and red accents that accentuate the vintage style, while also providing excellent readability of the complications both day and night. An anti-magnetized treatment on the inside of the sapphire crystal allows for greater precision of the two chronograph seconds hands. The chronograph indications are displayed via a rose 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.
Following the design of the original Minerva timepiece, the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 features a telemeter scale that runs around the dial, which was a common 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 when 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). Calibration is based on the speed at 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 tachymeter scale around the dial). The tachymeter scale is to show the speed of a moving object, such as a car, over a known distance, measured in miles or kilometres. As the moving car passes the starting-point of the measured course, 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” (split second) complication developed by the Montblanc engineers that allows 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 a traditional timepiece with such a function.
The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 is equipped with the hand-crafted Manufacture monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.31 that features two column wheels, horizontal coupling and a power reserve of 50 hours. 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 hand-finishing such as Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining and bevelling as well as its fine details such as the recognizable 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.
The timepiece features a matching green alligator strap with beige stitching that has been hand-crafted by the Richemont Pelletteria in Florence.
In order to guarantee the performance of the product line, the limited-edition timepieces undergo over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under real-life conditions.
Model: Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8
Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M16.31
Manually wound monopusher chronograph with split second, tachymeter and telemeter
Chronograph 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
Hours and minutes from the centre
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
Chronograph’s elapsed-second and split-second hand from the dial’s centre
Counter for 30 elapsed minutes at 3 o’clock
Tachymeter and telemeter scales
Special alloy of bronze
Diameter = 44 mm; height = 14.55 mm
Crystal: Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire, antireflective crystal, anti-magnetized treatment
Back: Screwed titanium bronze-plated case back with inset pane of sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 3 bar
Crown: Bronze with Montblanc emblem in raised relief
Pushers: Monopusher chronograph integrated into the crown and one pusher at 2 o’clock for the split-second
Smoked green nephrite jade stone, beige Arabic numerals coated with Super-LumiNova®, 18K rose gold-plated luminescent hour-hand and minute-hands, 18K rose gold-plated chronograph and second hand, redcoloured split-second hand, historical Montblanc emblem at 12 o’clock, tachymeter scale on the central part of the dial and telemeter on the exterior of the dial
Green alligator leather with beige stitching
Limited Edition 8 pieces
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500