The Montblanc 1858 "Unveiled Secret" Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Editions
Friday - 08 April 2022
Never been seen before, the Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Editions in steel and 18ct lime gold flip a historical Minerva movement over to reveal the engine in all its glory through the dial.
Since the time of Napoleon, openwork chronograph movements have been a rising success, especially over the last few years. The technique derives from the concept of “skeletonising”, where all the most intricate and delicate parts of a movement are put on show. Peeled back, layer by layer, every capillary and vein of the watch’s beating heart is showcased in lace-like plates that add to the wonder and allure of a mechanical watch. Talk to any experienced luxury watch collector and he is likely to agree, there is very little more beautiful than an openwork movement, and when we’re talking about an engine based on a historic Minerva movement – well, things get even more interesting…
The new Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Editions are an unexpected design, to say the least. Not only do they share an iconic movement from the archives of its Minerva heritage (read on for more details on that), but the MB 16.29 is flipped over to reveal its underside, enabling the wearer to observe all the mechanical action from the watch’s dial side. Make no mistake – the new Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Editions are not merely skeletonised watches. In all of Minerva’s 165-year anniversary, this is a never-been-done-before achievement. The MB 16.29 is not just any randomly selected chronograph movement, it was the only one that would allow for Montblanc’s artisans to apply such a complex process to its architecture, where even the direction of the hands have to be reversed. To do so, an additional 21 components joined its unique arrangement, making this one of Montblanc’s biggest feats and most complex movements to date. Interestingly, the original calibre name was the MB 16.29. For its role inside the new Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Editions – it becomes the MB 16.26 with its last digit turned upside down, just like the movement itself.
The Minerva heritage
Minerva’s roots stretch right back to the year 1858 when the company was founded by two brothers near to St-Imier - Switzerland’s horological centre. After changing its name a few times, it began to build a reputation for itself, creating its very own calibres and becoming known as a reliable manufacturer. It delved into the chronograph market during the early 1900s, creating the calibre 9-CH for the first chronograph pocket watch. From then onwards, Minerva chronographs for the wrist were developed for use during competitive sports during the 1930s, winning the company the title of official timing partner of the Olympic games of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936. One of the company’s most beautiful in-house movements ever produced was the Calibre 13-20 CH, enabling Minerva to remain one of the very few manufacturers to produce its own chronograph calibres. The movement was initially designed as a column wheel mono-pusher chronograph but was soon modified to a double-pusher and was implemented into waterproof watches.
Minerva survived the crushing effects of the quartz crisis during the 1970s and 1980s and continued to operate as an independent business. After developing pocket counters that were capable of performing at 1/100 seconds, the company even entered the Guinness book of records before being sold to the Richemont group in the year 2006. Richemont held onto the original building and its team of employees responsible for producing movements that powered both Panerai and Montblanc chronograph watches. Minerva’s affiliation with Montblanc meant that it soon became recognised as the “Institut Minerva de recherches en Haute Horlogerie" and, since Minerva movements have always remained elite and limited in production, these specially developed calibres were reserved for only the most exquisite and high-end of Montblanc watches.
Montblanc both understands and appreciates the savoir-faire and techniques upheld at Minerva and has focussed heavily on upholding these values since using its calibres to power its refined watches. Making use of Minerva’s heritage has become a huge driving force in Montblanc’s evolution as a leading Swiss watchmaker.
The new Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Editions
The new Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Editions come in a 43mm stainless steel version and a striking 43mm 18ct lime gold version. Here, the dial becomes the movement and vice versa. The sanded German silver MB 16.26 movement has received Montblanc’s special snailed diamantage coquille motif and polishing, not to mention the presence of the iconic Minerva arrow (a tribute to the Roman Goddess) and the instantly recognisable V-shaped bridge inspired by the view admired from the company’s Villeret-based watchmaking windows.
To remain in style with the rest of the openwork and stripped back design of the Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph watch, the hands of the 30-minute chronograph counter and small seconds function are skeletonised, whilst the dial’s main hour markers and central hands have been coated in a Super-LumiNova treatment for enhanced readability at night. Other design features of the new Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph limited edition watches include fluted bezels inspired by a 1927 Minerva design, satinated and polished finishings, a domed sapphire crystal glass box with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant properties, a fluted monopusher crown, and 30-meter water resistance.
The 43mm stainless steel Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph watch features blue Super-LumiNova Arabic numerals along with white Super-LumiNova with blue emission treatment upon its silvered brass cathedral hour and minute hands. In addition to this, it features blue arrow-shaped chronograph hands and a blue alligator leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching. The model is limited to 18 pieces worldwide.
The 43mm 18ct lime gold Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph watch features green emission Super-LumiNova coated Arabic numerals along with White Super-LumiNova with green emission on its silvered brass cathedral hour and minute hands. It also features green arrow-shaped chronograph hands and a green alligator leather band with matching green stitching, securing with an 18ct lime gold buckle. The watch is limited to 58 pieces worldwide. An image of the Villeret manufacture and the famous “V”-shaped mountains in the background adorns the caseback of both models.
For more information on these two new Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph watches, you can explore the spec lists here or register your interest with a member of our sales team at Jura Watches today on 01335 453453