|Quick specs Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition Bronze
Price: € 27.500 | approx. $ 29,900 | approx. £ 23,400
Size: 44 mm
If you like vintage style military watches this Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition Bronze might surprise you. It is the first Montblanc model with a bronze case.
The model is inspired by military pilot watches from the 1930s, specifically a Minerva Monopusher Chronograph from 1932. Minerva is a Swiss watch brand founded in 1858 as H & C Robert Co. They produced and assembled movements and pocket watches and registered some brand names. Minerva (in 1887) is one of these brands. In 1923 they introduce the brand to the market and in 1929 the company is renamed to Minerva SA, Villaret.
Small numbers, mostly chronographs, were produced and the company changes ownership a couple of times. In 2006 the Richemont Group, also the owner of Montblanc, buys the Fabrique d’Horlogerie Minerva SA to secured the manufacture know-how. It is the start of a partnership between Minerva and Montblanc, where Minerva creates movements for Montblanc’s 1858 collection. Indeed, 1858 refers to the year Minerva started.
The Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition Bronze has the old Montblanc logo on the dial
So, inside the 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter is the Montblanc Manufacture caliber MB M16.29 which is based on the Minerva caliber 17.29. Which is a pocket chronograph caliber from the 1930s. The M16.29 is awesome to look at. The contrast of colors and the absence of a winding rotor provides a stunning view on the movement. Which hardly differs from the original, except for the way it is finished. With details like inside angles, Côtes de Genève stripes, circular graining and German silver plates and bridges plated with 4N red gold.
Back to bronze. The 44-millimeter case is made from a special mixture with aluminium. Bronze is a combination of copper and a bit of tin (and sometimes aluminium, zinc, manganese and nickel). Adding extra aluminium creates a higher strength and a better corrosion resistance. This ensures that the brushed bronze finish takes on a uniform patina over time. The case back is in bronze PVD-coated titanium. Better for your skin as bronze sometimes gives allergic reactions.
The nicest thing about this case is that it develops its own unique patina over the years. Which means the watch is not only limited to 100 pieces, but yours becomes one of a kind in a decade.
Compare the design: on the right (a bad photo of) a vintage Minerva Monopusher Chronograph from the 1930s
Montblanc also launched two more affordable bronze models: the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Dual Time Bronze and the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Bronze with prices starting at € 3.490 / approx. $ 3,850.
technical data Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition Bronze
Montblanc MB M16.29 (base Minerva 17.29) | Hand-wound | Diameter: 38.4 mm | Height: 6.3 mm | Frequency: 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz) | Jewels: 22 | Parts: 252 | Hours, minutes, small seconds, column-wheel chronograph with lateral clutch | Power-reserve: 50 hours
|Case & dial:
44 mm | Bronze | Thickness: 15.15 mm | Bronze PVD-coated titanium case back | Sapphire display window | Bronze crown with monopusher | Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire and anti-reflective crystal | Champagne color dial with sunburst pattern | Copper cathedral-type hands coated in sand-colored super-luminova | Beige luminescent Arabic numerals | Water-resistance: 3 ATM / 3 bar / 30 meters / 100 feet
Cognac alligator leather with beige stitching | Satinated bronze-plated buckle
|Price Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition Bronze:
€ 27.500 | approx. $ 29,900 | approx. £ 23,400