Inspired by historical Minerva classic wristwatches from the 1940s and 50s and the spirit of neo-dandy style, Montblanc unveils three novelties within its Heritage product line, combining vintage aesthetic with distinctive colour associations and refined watch complications.
“Paying tribute to historical and classic Minerva wristwatches from the 1940s and 1950s, the Heritage timepieces combine the elegance of watchmaking past with today’s bold design codes.” The new models feature fully polished 40 mm and 42 mm cases, bent horns with facets, and are fitted with sapphire crystal glass boxes for an elegant vintage look.
Reminiscent of the neo-dandy style, special attention has been paid to dials with distinctive colours, such as salmon, tobacco-brown, British-racing-green and they include technical finishes such as two-tone decoration, a domed-shape, and lacquer coatings that require dexterity and expertise to apply. Other details feature dots as indexes, bent Dauphine hands enhanced with SuperLuminova®*, a rack minuterie with SuperLuminova® small dots every five minutes, and old-school international payphone indications of 3, 6 and 9 minutes.
In line with the collection’s spirit, the timepieces are adorned with Sfumato alligator straps of various colours from British-racing-green, to grey and tobacco-brown that complete the overall design. Like with all the Heritage timepieces, these new wristwatches are water resistant to 50 meters.
Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph
The highlight of the Maison’s product line is the Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition 100, a timepiece inspired by what collectors call the ‘doctor’s watches’, that were used by doctors in the past to check a patient’s heart rate. Following the launch of the Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition with a salmon-coloured dial, the Maison is now unveiling a brand-new model in an 18 K rose gold 40 mm case with a distinctive smoked tobacco-brown dial and matching Sfumato alligator strap, reinforcing the trendy vintage style.
On the case back, the sapphire crystal reveals the high level of hand-finishing of the Montblanc Manufacture monopusher chronograph Calibre MB M13.21. This high-end movement is composed of a large balance wheel with 18 screws that beats at the traditional frequency of 18,000 A/H, a column wheel and horizontal coupling, the iconic V-shaped chronograph bridge whose designed was patented in 1912, and the emblematic hand-decorated Minerva arrow. To match the 18 K rose gold case and the tobacco-brown dial, the calibre MB M13.21 features rose gold-coated plate and bridges.
The refined tobacco-brown dial features several vintage design codes from the 1940s and 50s: a domed smoked lacquered dial with “grainé” hour ring and sunray finishes, 18 K rose gold-coated luminescent Arabic numerals and dots for indexes, 18 K rose gold-coated luminescent dauphine hour and minute hands, 18 K rose gold baton-shaped hands for the seconds and the chronograph indications, rack minuterie, and old school international payphone indications of 3, 6 and 9 minutes on the chronograph’s minutes counter.
The timepiece comes with a matching tobacco-brown Sfumato alligator strap, completing the overall vintage design.
Heritage Monopusher Chronograph
Joining the Heritage product line is this new edition in stainless steel with a salmon-coloured dial. The Heritage Monopusher Chronograph is one of the technical pillars of Minerva savoir-faire, offering an accessibly-priced model at the centre of the collection. This timepiece features the latest chronograph design with a domed, salmon-coloured dial with black rhodium-coated Arabic numerals and dots for indexes.
Other features include a blue rack minuterie, black rhodium- coated luminescent dauphine hands for the hours and minutes, and contrasting blued steel baton hands for the seconds and the chronograph indications, providing great visibility. A closer look at the minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock reveals an indicator for 3, 6 and 9 minutes – a vintage touch from the days when we used coin-operated telephones and needed to track the length and cost of a call.
This timepiece comes in a 42 mm stainless steel case with polished and satin-finishes, curved horns, a domed sapphire glass box, and the distinctive Minerva Manufacture embossing on the case back.
The timepiece is completed with a matching grey Sfumato alligator strap from the Pelletteria in Florence, Italy.
Heritage – Heritage Automatic
The new Montblanc Heritage Automatic comes in 18 K yellow gold with a brand-new lacquered British-racing-green dial and matching Sfumato alligator strap for a vintage look.
This new colour combination is enhanced by yellow gold details on the dial, including 18 K yellow gold-coated curved Dauphine hands that have been enhanced with SuperLuminova®*, along with applied Arabic numerals and dots for indexes that are also in yellow gold. Providing great flair, the dial has been lacquered – a technique that requires expertise and dexterity. The 40 mm case is fitted with a domed sapphire crystal and an elegant British-racing-green Sfumato strap from the Pelletteria in Florence, Italy.
Like all the Montblanc Heritage Automatic models, the timepiece is powered by the Calibre MB 24.27, an automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve, and is water resistant to 50 metres.
The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere watch is one of the key icons of the 1858 line with its two distinctive domed turning hemisphere globes and worldtime complication. This year, Montblanc is presenting the 1858 Geosphere in grade 5 titanium combined with blue and contrasting icy white design details, finding inspiration in the colours of glaciers and ice that can range from the purest white to the deepest shades of blue. All those elements create both a very cold and modern look. This icy-blue colour is the result of millions of years of pressure that removes the air bubbles in the ice, causing the light to reflect only the blue from the colour spectrum.
The timepiece 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 one of the most difficult mountaineering quests and only around 500 athletes have achieved the mission to date.
On the Geosphere watch, the world’s Seven Summits and the Mont Blanc are marked on the turning globes with blue dots. They are also engraved on the case back along with a unique drawing of the Mont Blanc mountain, a compass, and two crossed ice pick-axes. Housed in a 42 mm case, the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere comes in grade-5 titanium which is robust and durable, as the material is resistant to superficial scratches. It also has a low thermal conductivity and is light for utmost comfort on the wrist. This high-tech material also provides a dark look, matching ideally with the spirit of mountain exploration. The case is composed of a fluted, bi-directional stainless steel bezel that has been enhanced with a shiny blue ceramic and shows the four engraved luminescent cardinal points.
The dial comes in a smoky blue colour that is combined with icy white elements for a very cold and modern tool-watch look. Moreover, the timepiece includes all the design codes typical of the 1858 collection with Arabic numerals and indexes, the authentic Montblanc logo from the 1930s, domed cathedral-shaped hands, as well as a railway track. For u most readability, the day/night indicator, the cathedral-shaped hands, the indexes, the compass indications and the hemisphere globes are all coated with white SuperLumiNova® that is applied by hand.
A Distinctive Complication
The worldtime display of the two hemispheres brings an instinctive way of reading different time zones. The timepieces have two turning domed hemisphere globes at six and 12 o’clock, which are surrounded by a fixed scale with the 24 time zones and include a day/night blue indicator that has been coated in rhodium (for both the Northern and Southern hemispheres).
The longitude reference meridian for both hemispheres is highlighted with a blue line coated with SuperLumiNova®. Furthermore, a second time zone is located at nine o’clock and a date aperture (linked to the local time) is located at three o’clock. In order to set the timepiece, the user first adjusts the turning hemispheres for worldwide time by aligning the GMT/UTC 0 line on London time (highlighted as a light blue colour line on the domes). The two globes are then synchronised.
The Northern hemisphere turns anti-clockwise and the Southern one clockwise. The next step is to set the hour-hand (turning by hourly increment) in line with the local time (the globes are not turning), this also adjusts the date. Finally, the second time, located at 9 o’clock, is set via the corrector to display home time.
In addition to this year’s blue novelties, Montblanc is also presenting two new 1858 models inspired by Minerva’s heritage. These new timepieces feature vintage aesthetics with new colored dials, case elements made of a special alloy of bronze, hand-made NATO straps, and unique complications. Directly rooted in the Spirit of Mountain Exploration, the Montblanc 1858 timepieces combine the back to nature trend with vintage design codes that are reminiscent of the original Minerva chronographs and pocket watches from the 1920s and 1930s.
For better legibility and design, the dials highlight striking colour contrasts with their historical, luminescent, cathedral-shaped hands with a “cloisonné” design; Arabic numerals coated with SuperLumiNova®; railway minute tracks; and the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain. The satin-finished cases feature horn edges that are polished to underline their shape. Other details include fluted crowns, typical of those found on period timepieces, and domed sapphire crystal glass boxes.
The two new timepieces are equipped with NATO straps that are handcrafted in France at a traditional, 150-year-old weaving manufacture. Thanks to this artisanal know-how, the NATO straps are refined, robust, durable and extremely comfortable on the wrist. This year, a new beige colour will complete the product line, providing even more vintage options.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic 24H
In the Spirit of Mountain Exploration, the 1858 Automatic 24H features a new complication with a 24H indication via a single hand that allows the timepiece to be used both as a timekeeper, to read hours and minutes, and as a compass.
The timepiece indicates the time on a 24-hour scale using a red-coloured hand coated in SuperLumiNova® for better readability both day and night. This red-tipped hand not only indicates the time but also acts as a compass. For precision purposes, the compass scale is displayed in a beige-coloured ring that runs around the outside of the dial, with markers for approximately every 5°, and includes the cardinal points in red.
How Does It Work?
The Earth rotates around the Sun every 24 hours, which explains why a timepiece with a 24-hour display is a far more useful tool for finding your way and makes the compass much easier to use. The sun always rises in the East and sets in the West and will indicate South at midday. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, set your watch at the right time, simply hold the watch horizontally to the ground and rotate it until the extremity of the hour hand is pointing towards the sun. Like this, all the cardinal points on the dial will be correctly aligned. North is located at 24h and South at 12h. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, you have to consider that the cardinal points are inversed.
Special attention has been paid to the black dial with its map of the Northern Hemisphere and 24 meridians made out of luminescent material. The SuperLumiNova-coated elements are subtly visible during the day, while at night, the 24-hour numerals, indexes and single hour hand take on a mysterious glow, making the timepiece truly distinctive.
The automatic timepiece comes with a new 42 mm bicolour case made of stainless steel and a bezel made of a special alloy of bronze, providing a vintage aesthetic. The timepiece is completed with a special “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” engraving on the case back. The 1858 Automatic 24H is equipped with a matching black, hand-crafted NATO strap that is made in a traditional 150-year-old strap manufacture in France.
The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph is one of the technical pillars of the Maison. In this new version, Montblanc reinterprets a historical Minerva chronograph with its calibre 13.20 from the 1930s. Like on the original timepiece, the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph features a black dial with a beige-coloured railway track, as well as two counters at three and nine o’clock. Matching the overall vintage design, other details include a telemeter scale; beige-coloured SuperLumiNova® numerals; and rose gold-coated, cathedral-shaped hands that are also highlighted with a touch of beige-coloured SuperLumiNova® for better visibility at night.
In the Spirit of Mountain Exploration, the timepieces come in a 42 mm case made of a special alloy of bronze that evolves over time and forms a patina. The timepiece is completed with a special “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” engraving on the case back.
The 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition features the calibre MB. 25.12 that indicates elapsed time with a central second hand and a 30-minute counter, both with white-coloured hands to create a contrast with the black dial and allow better readability of the function. The start, stop and reset can be activated through a single pusher integrated into the crown. The timepiece is available with a new matching beige-coloured NATO strap that is made in a traditional 150-year-old strap manufacture in France.
Two other unlimited models are available in stainless steel, one of which comes with a new stainless steel bracelet made of a mix of link shapes – central polished links in the form of grains of rice and satin-finished rectangular links on the outside – and the other which comes with an aged, cognac-coloured calfskin strap.
Interviewed by Pascal Grenacher