The Montblanc 1858 Collection: Capturing the Spirit of Mountain Exploration
Inspired by the legendary professional Minerva watches from the 1920s and 30s that were meant for military use and mountain exploration, the 1858 collection pays tribute to the 160 years of the Minerva Manufacture and its extraordinary heritage. These watches were highly accurate, legible and robust for use in extreme conditions and are the inspiration behind this new collection which is being enriched with new vintage exploration-inspired timepieces, featuring distinctive aesthetics, innovative complications, a mix of materials and a choice of different case sizes.
The collection will be composed of five different designs: 40 mm automatic watches and 42 mm chronographs, a 42 mm Manufacture Worldtime Geosphere, a slender 40 mm wristwatch with a 13-line monopusher chronograph movement, and a new multiple-purpose pocket watch with a 24-hour indication and equipped with a 16-line monopusher chronograph movement.
Minerva – 160 years of fine watchmaking heritage
Montblanc Villeret’s watchmaking tradition began in 1858 when Charles-Yvan Robert founded a watch workshop 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 produced a number of movements equipped with chronograph functions such as the legendary calibre 19.09 (19 lines / launched in 1909), featuring the recognizable V-Chrono shaped bridge.
Several patents for precision timers were filed during this period, attesting to the Manufacture’s innovative spirit.
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. This was possible thanks to the smaller size of the movement, the calibre 13.20 (13 lines / launched in 1920), featuring the iconic V-shape bridge – whose design was protected in 1912 – a column wheel, a horizontal coupling and a traditional frequency of 18,000 A/h. 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 extraordinary Minerva legacy and paying tribute to 160 years of fine watchmaking history, these horological achievements have become the inspiration for the development of the new Montblanc 1858 timepieces..
The Spirit of Mountain Exploration
The Montblanc 1858 collection finds its inspiration in the world of mountain exploration. Reinterpreting the Minerva pocket watches and chronographs from the 1920s and 1930s, the new Montblanc 1858 timepieces capture the spirit of the past in a modern way, expressing the trend of back to nature and adventure. Combining materials such as a special alloy of bronze that evolves over time with innovative and useful in-house complications, like the Worldtime Geosphere, these timepieces are designed for the modern-day explorer who likes to set his own challenges. He is someone who likes to express his own personal style, lives an authentic way of life, loves adventure, and finds harmony with nature that allows him to reach new heights.
The vintage codes are directly rooted in the spirit of mountain exploration with distinctive designs that are reminiscent of the original Minerva chronographs.
The satin-finished cases have been slightly reworked with horns that have been slimmed down thanks to polished, beveled edges that underline their shape. Other details include fluted crowns that recall those on period timepieces and domed sapphire crystal glass boxes, increasing the robustness and the look of each watch.
For utmost legibility and design, the dials feature striking colour contrasts with their historical luminescent cathedral-shaped hands with “cloisonné” design that have been slightly domed for the finest finish, Arabic numerals coated with SuperLumiNova®, railway minute tracks and the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s era with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain.
Each timepiece is unique thanks to the use of living materials such as bronze cases and aged calfskin leather straps. Very few companies have the knowledge and skills to source the best skins from tanneries and transform them into the finest quality leather straps like the Montblanc Pelletteria, the Maison’s centre of leather excellence where ancestral craftsmanship, state of the art technology and enduring design come together. This expertise allows it to develop a distinctive range of vintage straps, such as Bund strap, that match the aesthetical codes of the Montblanc 1858 collection.
Providing a contemporary look, the watches are also available with high-quality woven “NATO” straps. These straps are handcrafted in France at a traditional weaving manufacture that has been in production for over 150 years. Thanks to this artisanal know-how, the “NATO” straps are refined, robust, durable and extremely comfortable on the wrist.
In order to guarantee the performance of the product line, all the Montblanc 1858 models undergo over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under extreme conditions. The Automatic, Chronographs and Geosphere models are also water-resistant to 100 meters, ensuring performance in all environments.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic is the purest vintage-inspired timepiece, featuring all the distinctive codes and introducing a smaller case size within the collection.
Housed in a 40-mm stainless steel case with slim curved horns featuring polished and satin- finishing, the Montblanc 1858 Automatic has been enhanced with a bronze bezel and fluted crown, creating a distinctive vintage look. A unique picture of the Mont Blanc mountain has been engraved on the case back, along with a compass and two crossed ice pick-axes, which further reinforce the spirit of mountain exploration and the iconic peak which inspired the founders of the Maison.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic features a new interpretation of the historical Minerva timepieces with two new dial versions in a choice of black or a smoked champagne colour, both with beige luminescent Arabic numerals and precise railway minute tracks. For utmost legibility and refinement, the luminescent cathedral-shaped hands are slightly domed from left to right.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic is water resistant to 100 metres and is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500. It comes on a choice of a high-quality black “NATO” strap or a cognac-coloured aged calfskin strap with beige stitching.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph combines a strong vintage aesthetic with a chronograph function. This model is available in a stainless steel or bronze case.
The 42 mm case features both polished and satin finishing for utmost refinement and comes with a domed sapphire crystal glass box, highlighting the robustness and the vintage look of the watch. For the bronze model, the case back comes in titanium coated in bronze to avoid allergies. The case back has been engraved with the emblematic Mont Blanc mountain, a compass and two crossed ice pick-axes, as a nod to the spirit of mountain exploration.
The bronze model has a smoked champagne-coloured dial with sunray finishing, providing an elegant backdrop for the bi-compax counters positioned at three and nine o’clock, which take their inspiration from Minerva’s historic chronographs. The dial is completed with beige luminescent Arabic numerals and cathedral-shaped hands that are slightly domed and have been enhanced with SuperLumiNova®.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph is water resistant to 100 metres and is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500. It comes on a choice of a high-quality, lined, black and grey “NATO” strap or a cognac-coloured aged calfskin strap with beige stitching.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
Paying tribute to the 160th anniversary of Minerva, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere embodies the spirit of mountain exploration with a professional and innovative timepiece that is destined for those who travel the world in their quest for exploration. This timepiece features a brand-new manufacture worldtime complication powered by the calibre MB 29.25, developed by the Montblanc engineers in Villeret.
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere is dedicated to the world’s Seven Summit mountaineering challenge, the holy grail of mountaineering adventures where climbers set out to ascend the highest mountains from each continent. The Seven Summits challenge is recognized as the most difficult mountaineering quest worldwide and only 500 athletes have achieved the mission to date.
This timepiece features a worldtime complication with two turning domed hemisphere globes, which make a full rotation in 24 hours. The northern hemisphere at 12 o’clock turns anti- clockwise, while the southern hemisphere turns clockwise. They are both surrounded by a scale with the 24 time zones, along with a day/night indication in contrasting colours. The longitude reference meridian for both hemispheres is highlighted with a white line coated with SuperLumiNova®. Additionally, a second time zone display is located at nine o’clock and a date (linked to the local time) is indicated in an aperture at three o’clock. With this new worldtime display of the two hemispheres, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere brings a new instinctive way of appreciating different time zones.
The world’s Seven summits are marked on the globes with red dots, enhancing the spirit of mountain exploration. They are also engraved on the case back along with the unique drawing of the Mont Blanc mountain, a compass and two crossed ice pick-axes. SuperLumiNova® has also been applied to the continents for increased visibility and performance at night.
The black dial of the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere features contrasting colours with the addition of rhodium-coated or red gold-coated elements, depending on the models. The watch includes all the design codes from the 1858 collection with beige luminescent Arabic numerals and indexes, the authentic Montblanc logo from the 1930s, domed and resized cathedral-shaped hands, as well as a railway track that all come together in this highly legible, vintage-inspired timepiece.
The timepiece comes in two versions, with a stainless steel case or a limited edition bronze case. Both feature polished and satin-finishing as well as vintage fluted crowns with the Montblanc emblem in relief. A new bidirectional stainless steel or bronze bezel with shiny black ceramic completes the design. The bezel is also fluted on the flank for a better grip and features the four cardinal points which have been engraved.
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere is water resistant to 100 metres and is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500. It comes with a choice of a high-quality black “NATO” strap, a cognac-coloured aged calfskin strap with beige stitching or a new brown Sfumato aged calf leather Bund strap with beige stitching, reminiscent of historical Minerva timepieces from the 1920s and 1930s that were equipped with this kind of strap and that were ideal for military use and mountain exploration. The Bronze series is limited to 1858 pieces, paying tribute to the year of the foundation of the Minerva Manufacture.
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100
The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100 pays tribute to the historical Minerva monopusher chronograph calibre 13.20, specially developed in 1920 for use in a wristwatch.
This timepiece is the epitome of vintage chronograph design with its 40 mm stainless steel case. Reinforcing the vintage look, the timepiece features an original smoked green dial and matching green alligator strap with beige stitching that comes from the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence. Reminiscent of the iconic Minerva chronographs, the dial features a bi-compax dial with a small second counter at nine o’clock, a chronograph 30-minute counter at three o’clock and a tachymeter scale on the outer part of the dial.
Like the other timepieces in the collection, the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100 features a domed sapphire crystal glass box, resized and rounded cathedral- shaped hands with SuperLumiNova®, luminescent Arabic numerals and the historical Montblanc logo.
On the case back, the sapphire crystal reveals the beauty of the Montblanc Manufacture monopusher chronograph Calibre MB M13.21, composed of a large balance wheel with 18 screws beating at the traditional frequency of 18,000 A/H, a column wheel and horizontal coupling. This high-end, hand-finished movement features the iconic V-shaped chronograph bridge, whose design was protected in 1912, along with the iconic Minerva arrow decorated by hand.
The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100 is water resistant to 100 meters and is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500.
Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition 100
The Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition 100 honours the 160th anniversary of the Minerva Manufacture. Inspired by the Manufacture’s extraordinary heritage, the Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition 100 epitomizes this new collection. Designed for mountain explorers, this ultimate and versatile timepiece offers the unique opportunity to appreciate the time in different ways while exploring.
The pocket watch can be positioned on a table with a stand or combined with an in-built compass that can be accessed by opening it up to lay flat on a map for planning adventures. Reminiscent of the first historical wristwatches developed by Minerva, the pocket watch can be transformed into a wristwatch thanks to a unique brown Sfumato aged calfskin strap with two pin buckles, which allows the watch to be worn on the forearm safely during exploration. Lastly, the timepiece can be held in the hand thanks to a dedicated brown Sfumato aged calf strap equipped with a cover. Over 50 elements make up this versatile and adaptable case.
The 60 mm pocket watch is made of grade-two titanium and combines polished and satin- finishing. The timepiece is powered by the new Montblanc Manufacture calibre MB M16.24, a beautifully hand-crafted monopusher chronograph movement with the iconic V-shaped chronograph bridge and the Minerva arrow, which is inspired by the Minerva Monophuser chronograph calibre MB M16.29. This new version features a unique red central hand coated with SuperLumiNova® indicating the time on a 24-hour scale on a dedicated minute-track.
Special attention has been paid to the dial to offer excellent readability and performance during the day and night. It is crafted from Dumortierite stone, a natural mineral, giving a unique blue appearance. The signature design details of the Montblanc 1858 collection are all present, including beige SuperLumiNova® Arabic numerals, indexes and hands; vintage fluted crown with monopusher chronograph and the historic Montblanc logo. The timepiece readings include a 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock (24 o’clock on this dial), a small second counter at 6 o’clock (12 o’clock on this dial), which are directly cut into the Dumortierite stone, as well as a central white chronograph second hand and a pulsometer scale engraved on the bezel.
The back of the compass features an engraving of the four cardinal points which are enhanced with SuperLumiNova®.
The Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition 100 is water resistant to 30 meters and is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500.