WATCHESPEDIA: How has SIHH been for you this year?

Davide Cerrato: It has been very exciting because I joined Montblanc one year ago and we are presenting something very new for the Maison. We are coming back into sport/professional watches with the relaunch of Timewalker. We have kept the collection name because the chronograph is the key function and chronographs are “Timewalking” machines. But we have completely reshuffled both the design and the technical content, and we are revealing it here at the SIHH, a very interesting part of the rich history of Minerva. During the first half of the 21st century Minerva was the leader in terms of Stop Watches and Chronographs pushing the boundaries of time keeping.

The timeline pictures some of the key stopwatches of this incredible saga. Actually 2 different investigations took place at that time in Minerva: on one side, short timeframe one, from one-fifth of a second in 1911 to 100th of a second in ‘36 and we are now presenting into the new Timewalker collection a mechanical 1000th of a second Bi-Frequency chronograph in a completely new design.

On the other side Minerva manufactured sport-focused stopwatches for football, rowing, water polo, regattas, but also for racing with a very unique stopwatch that was called Rally Timer. We have reinterpreted this outstanding timepiece in our new Collection. It’s a 50 millimeters titanium chronograph that you can use both as a stopwatch or as a wristwatch and we’ve created a support that you can put on the dashboard of your car and have your watch on your classic car.

WATCHESPEDIA: OK. How has the reception been from the first distributions and clients so far?

Davide Cerrato: Very, very, very good. Really, unanimously positive and exciting both from the network and also both from the press. They were not expecting this from Montblanc.

WATCHESPEDIA: Exactly.

Davide Cerrato: But when you see all the Minerva legacy it makes a lot of sense. When you see the strength of the design proposal and the price positioning – we are proposing volume timepieces that are all under 5.000 euros. Automatic for less than 3.000 euros with a turning ceramic monobloc bezel it is quite unique and the automatic Chronograph for less than 4.000 euros simply does not exist in the market with a very chic look and great technical content. There’s really a lot of interest and excitement for the Rally Timer and its unique concept and design.

Everyone who has a little bit of passion for cars knows what it stands for. The 1000th of a second is also a very good example of the full integration between our knowledge in watchmaking, our savoir faire of Villeret movements and high complications but applied to Montblanc with a contemporary, young, dynamic design language.  

WATCHESPEDIA: OK, OK. What’s your vision for I would say the next three years? What can we expect?

Davide Cerrato: We are going to continue to develop the sporty side of the Maison. During the SIHH we also presented the 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter with cupro-aluminum case, a technological bronze alloy that has a very special look, with a unique champagne dial and the 16.29 monopusher chronograph handmade and hand finished in Villeret, coated in pink gold, which is completely sold out.

WATCHESPEDIA: I think it’s a nice move to go back to Minerva.

Davide Cerrato: That’s definitely where we are heading. We’re taking back the red line of the past and developing the future vision of it. One thousand of a second is the logical next step of investigation into short time keeping after the 100 of a second in 1936 and the Rally Timer really represents the spirit of racing which is the inspiration the new Timewalker Collection.

WATCHESPEDIA: OK. I would say if I dare, can you tell us what a typical day would be for you if there’s any such thing …

Davide Cerrato: I wake up at 6:00. I leave home at 6:30 and drive for 1 hour and 45 minutes to the Manufacture. I arrive in my office in Le Locle in the middle of the Mountains. I take a coffee – I’m Italian so this ritual for me is very important. To be honest, I already took a first coffee before going into the motorway. There is an Italian bar which has a very nice coffee and I drink another coffee when I arrive at the office.

After my coffee I always go directly into the product development and product marketing and design department to debrief my team and to check on the status quo of the products. In the afternoon I spend time in the production and team up with the craftsman. At the end of the day I need 1 hour and 45 minutes to go home.

Very important to me is to spend as much time as possible in Villeret where we manufacture our high end pieces and where the Minerva Museum is located. Those are always very special moments because I love to spend time there to dig even more into the archives in order to find ideas and inspirations and to understand better and better the watchmaking DNA of the Maison.

WATCHESPEDIA: Thank you. Thank you for your precious time and your energy.

Davide Cerrato: Thank you.