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SIHH 2017 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie - Geneva, 16-20 January 2017

Montblanc - Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition

Montblanc Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition

Montblanc will present its first bronze watches at SIHH 2017.

The winter crop of Montblanc models presented in advance of the SIHH 2017 next January includes the first models to emerge under the stewardship of Davide Cerrato. It also includes the first-ever Montblanc watches with a bronze case. Although we are concentrating here on the flagship model, the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition, all three models include bronze accents and they are all inspired by vintage Minerva models from the 1930s and 1940s.

The inspiration for the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter watch, which is a limited edition of 100 pieces, is a 17-ligne monopusher chronograph from 1932. The bronze used in its 44mm case is a special cupro-aluminium alloy which adds more aluminium to the mix to offer greater stability and to ensure that the brushed bronze finish takes on a uniform patina over time. The case back is in bronze PVD-coated titanium because this is the part of the watch that is in contact with the skin (to avoid allergies). The authentic vintage design was directly inspired by the original, so the modern equivalent has a champagne dial, cathedral hands filled with beige SuperLuminova®, Arabic numerals and a “railway” minute track, plus the original Montblanc logo from the period. The new cognac-coloured calfskin strap has also been given an artificial patina by the specialists at the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence.

Montblanc-1858-collection-Chrono-Tachymeter_limited-edition

Over the past few years, Montblanc has increasingly been trading on the historic Minerva name for these flagship pieces. Watch aficionados will no doubt be more interested, therefore, in the MB M16.29 calibre visible through the transparent sapphire crystal case back. This hand-wound monopusher chronograph movement has an almost identical design to the 17.29 calibre used by Minerva in the 1930s and the absence of a winding rotor allows an unhindered view of the unique shapes of the Minerva components. The few differences between the original and the newer version include different finishing, such as bevelled acute angles, Côtes de Genève, circular graining and red-gold plating on the nickel silver mainplate and movement bridges to match the bronze case. In terms of operation, however, the MB 16.29 calibre is true to the original, beating at 18,000 vibrations per hour and featuring a high-quality column-wheel chronograph mechanism and the characteristic Minerva V-shaped chronograph bridge.

Montblanc-Calibre-16-29_redgold

Because of its complexity, the Minerva movement has its price. The Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter costs 27,000 Swiss francs (2,000 more than the existing stainless-steel chronograph in the 1858 collection). But the lucky owners of this 100-piece limited edition simply need to take the watch off their wrist and turn it over to admire the movement (something that they will never tire of doing) to reassure themselves that they made a worthwhile investment.

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