This hand-wound, single pusher chronograph from Montblanc is inspired by the Minerva chronographs of the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1927, the Minerva Manufacture in Villeret was among the very first manufactures to make a fluted bezel and an internal countdown rotating bezel. This was followed in 1939 by its first wrist watch chronograph with an external rotating bezel and a reset function.
Over the years, Minerva became a leading specialist in professional watches for measuring elapsed time with high precision, using accurate in-house movements such as the Calibre 19.09 or the Calibre 13.20.
The manufacture is noted for having created both pocket watches and wristwatches with fluted bezels for both officers and non-commissioned officers with black dials and luminescent numerals and hands.
In 1927, Minerva was already a leader in the field of pilots’ watches with the introduction of a stopwatch with an internal rotating bezel for countdown timing. This followed, in 1939, by a chronograph wristwatch featuring an external rotating bezel. Today, two of these rare external rotating bezel models are part of Montblanc’s treasured museum collection and are the inspiration behind this new 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88.
The key elements from the past include a fluted bezel, this time in 18K white gold – for easy use with pilots’ gloves – and the Maison’s signature red arrow that allowed a quick and easy reading of elapsed time. The red arrow is a nod to the Roman Goddess Minerva, the goddess of craftsmanship, who carried a spear with an arrow at its tip.
The combination of the fluted bi-directional bezel and the red arrow can be used in numerous ways. Firstly, it is possible to track elapsed time by aligning the red arrow with the seconds, minute, or hour hand. This allows the wearer to see how much time has passed.
Secondly, it is possible to set a countdown timer by rotating the bezel so that the red arrow is positioned at a specific time in the future, for example, 15 minutes after the minute hand. The time has elapsed when the minute hand reaches the red arrow marker.
A jet-black dial is enhanced with beige Super-LumiNova hands and Arabic numerals glowing green in low light. There is also a telemeter scale that runs around the outside of the dial – a typical feature of these legendary chronographs – as well as a tachymeter (base 1000) in the centre of the dial in a colimaçon snail shape. A 30-minute chronograph counter is located at three o’clock, a small second counter is positioned at nine o’clock, and the chronograph seconds are indicated by a central hand.
The Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 is powered by the Calibre MB M13.21.
Designed on the basis of the original movement reference MB M19.09, this new calibre features the same V bridge as the original, a shape that was inspired by the view of the mountain ridge seen from the windows of the Minerva workshop. Its shape was so distinctive that its design was protected in 1912.
The hairspring is created in-house. The other noteworthy details include handmade snail finishing, as well as hand chamfering and decoration on the Minerva arrow.
The design of the original Minerva aviation watches was a direct result of the needs of early-day pilots for supreme legibility. The Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 reproduces this legible style with its black dial and luminescent details.
Limited to 88 pieces, the timepiece comes in a 42mm stainless steel case with a special engraving on the case back and is completed by a black alligator leather strap with beige stitching.
Model: Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88
Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M13.21
Hand-finished and manually wound movement
Monopusher Chronograph with column wheel and horizontal coupling
Diameter = 29.50mm; height = 6.40mm
Number of components: 239
Number of rubies: 22
Power reserve: Approx. 60 hours
Balance: Balance with screws, diameter = 11.40mm
Frequency: 18,000 A/h (2.5 Hz)
Hairspring: With Phillips terminal curve
Plate: Rhodium plated German Silver with circular graining on both sides, hand-chamfered edges, Rhodium plated German Silver bridges with Geneva Stripes, circular graining on both sides, hand-chamfered edges
Going-train: Gold-plated, circular grained, chamfered, diamond hubs on both sides
Hour and minute from the center, small seconds at 9 o’clock
Chronograph’s elapsed-seconds hand from the dial’s center,
30-elapsed minute counter at 3 o’clock
42mm stainless steel
Satinated and polished finishing
Bezel: Fluted bidirectional white gold satinated and polished
Crystal: Scratch-resistant, domed box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Water resistance: 3 bar (30 m)
Crown: Fluted crown, stainless steel with Montblanc emblem engraved; Satinated and polished finishing
Steel brushed finishing
Sapphire crystal caseback
Graphics MONTBLANC-WATER RESISTANT 3 bar-SWISS MADE-N°01/88- 1858-LIMITED EDITION-STAINLESS STEEL-7584-FTWWWWW
Black-coloured opaline dial with Arabic numerals indexes 1 to 12
Telemeter and tachymeter scale, seconds counter and minute chronograph counter
Beige Super-LumiNova on indexes with green emission
Inscriptions of Montblanc-Swiss Made-Minerva Arrow
Brass silvered hour and minute with beige Super-LumiNova with green emission, chronograph minute and seconds in brass polished silver
Semi-mat black coloured alligator leather strap with beige coloured stitching and black lining
Polished stainless steel double deployant buckle
Limited edition of 88 pieces
Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500H