Montblanc 1858 Automatic
Inspired by the legendary professional Minerva watches from the 1920s and 30s that were meant for military use and mountain exploration, the 1858 Automatic 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.
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, an 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 Automatic captures 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, this timepiece is 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 satin-finished case has been slightly reworked with horns that have been slimmed down thanks to polished, beveled edges that underline its shape. Other details include fluted crown that recall those on period timepieces and domed sapphire crystal glass box, increasing the robustness and the look of the watch. In order to guarantee its performance, the Montblanc 1858 Automatic undergoes over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under extreme conditions. It is 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 a smoked champagne colour dial with beige luminescent Arabic numerals and precise railway minute track. 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 comes with a cognac-coloured aged calfskin strap with beige stitching.