Inspired by Minerva timepieces from the 1950s, Montblanc discovers a hidden box of original Minerva MB M62.00 calibers from 2003. Only 38 movements were discovered in the archives of the Manufacture in Villeret (Jura Mountains, Switzerland) and they now equip the new Montblanc Heritage Small Second Limited Edition 38.
These timepieces feature all the codes of fine watchmaking with a pure, classic, vintage design. For the first time, this rare limited edition timepiece bears the name of Minerva on the dial in the form of a secret signature, which will only occur this one time, making this a true Heritage timepiece for collectors and watch aficionados.
The Montblanc Heritage Small Second Limited Edition 38 is a very special timepiece which pays tribute to Minerva’s history with the unveiling of the historical Minerva movement, the manually wound calibre MB M62.00. It is combined with a 39mm stainless steel case, a distinctive lacquered two-tone salmon dial, featuring a Minerva secret signature, and a matching grey Sfumato alligator strap, enhancing the pure classic vintage design.
The historical calibre MB M62.00 was inspired by the Pythagore calibre from 1948 with its very recognizable geometric shape. It was reinterpreted in 2003 with more classical shapes and high-end finishings. The MB M62.00 indicates the hours, minutes and small seconds at 6 o’clock.
The movement features a large balance wheel beating at a low traditional frequency of 18,000 A/h (2.5 hertz), allowing an ample moment of inertia. The regulating organ is equipped with a double adjustment system: Firstly, it includes a hairspring positioning system with a stud that allows the watchmaker to center the hairspring by moving the entire balance system to the balance cock. Secondly, a hairspring active length regulator index system (raquette), with a swan’s neck spring bearing the Minerva arrow, is positioned on the end. The iconic Minerva arrow can also be found as an engraving on the main plate.
The view of this hand-wound mechanical movement reveals the high level of finishing that demands experience, skill and dexterity. The components, visible or not, are hand-decorated with bevelling, chamfered edges, circular graining on both sides, and grained and polished surfaces. This know-how can be admired on the rhodium-coated, German silver main plate that features circular graining and hand-chamfered edges; on the bridges which are decorated on all sides, beveled by hand and manually-embellished with Geneva stripes (Côtes de Genève), and also on the wheels which are plated with gold and have faceted arms.
Particular attention has been paid to the dial. Following the codes of the Heritage product line, the timepiece is composed of a refined, two-toned, salmon-colored dial that has been lacquered for a distinctive aesthetic and domed.
Paying tribute to the history of the Manufacture, and for the very first time, a Minerva secret signature has been added between four and five o’clock, making it a very special limited edition. A small second counter with “azuré” (circular guilloché) finishing is set slightly lower than the main dial to provide greater contrast.
Other details include curved Dauphine-shaped hands that follow the domed shape of the dial; black rhodium coated applied indexes; and Arabic numerals and dots which have all been coated with white Super-LumiNova, a first in the Heritage collection. A precise railway track (minuterie) in blue completes the overall design and provides better readability.
The Montblanc Heritage Small Second Limited Edition 38 comes with a fully polished stainless steel case with curved horns and is adorned with a domed box-shaped sapphire crystal glass with antireflective coating and an open sapphire crystal case back, enhancing a special “Historical Minerva movement” engraving. This edition is limited and numbered.
Each timepiece is entirely crafted and assembled from A to Z by the same master watchmaker at the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret, making each timepiece truly unique.
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 is mostly renowned for its chronograph production throughout the 20th century. In particular, the legendary calibre 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 also filed during this period, attesting to the Manufacture’s innovative spirit. For instance, the first production of a 1/100th stopwatch happened in 1916.
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 calibre 13.20, the calibre 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 timepieces
Model: Montblanc Heritage Small Second Limited Edition 38
Calibre MB M62.00
Manually-wound movement; Hours – Minutes – Small Second
Diameter = 23,6 mm ; height = 3.90 mm
Number of components: 162
Number of jewels: 20
Power Reserve: Approx. 50 hours
Balance: Balance with screws, diameter = 9.70 mm; moment of inertia = 15 mgcm²
Frequency: 18,000 A/h (2.5 Hz)
Hairspring: Flat and swan’s neck for fine adjustments
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 6 o’clock
Stainless steel, polished case
Crystal: Scratch-resistant, domed box-shaped sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
Back: Stainless steel with inset pane of sapphire crystal and special “Historical Minerva movement” engraving
Case diameter = 39 mm; Height = 9.45
Watertightness: 5 bar (50 m)
Crown: Stainless steel with Montblanc emblem in relief
Domed two-toned, salmon-coloured lacquered dial with grained hour ring and sunray finishes, black rhodium-coated luminescent applied Arabic numerals and dots as indexes, black rhodium-coated luminescent curved dauphine hour- and minute-hands, black rhodium-coated small second hand, historical Montblanc logo at 12 o’clock and Minerva secret signature between 4 and 5 o’clock
Grey Sfumato alligator-skin strap coming from the Richemont Pelletteria in Florence, Italy with stainless steel triple-folding clasp
Limited edition of 38 pieces
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500