Published on March 15th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Small Second
The Montblanc 1858 Collection pays tribute to the heritage of the Manufacture founded under the name Minerva by introducing contemporary timepieces with vintage lines inspired by Villeret’s legendary Minerva chronographs created throughout its 158-year history. The prestigious Minerva Manufacture was the reference in the field of chronographs and stopwatches during the 1920s and ‘30s. The monopusher chronograph calibre 17.29, developed by the Manufacture during the 1930s, to meet the needs for precise timekeeping, has served as a guide for developing the Montblanc 1858 Collection that includes the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition 100, the Montblanc 1858 Manual Small Second, and now the brand new Montblanc 1858 Automatic Small Second.
Montblanc’s wish to demonstrate the value of 158 years of rich heritage and to be constantly looking for best watchmaking performance is also expressed through its ability to pay tribute to its abundant past while enriching the Maison with new pieces.
In keeping with this principle, Montblanc has found inspiration in the design of the legendary Minerva wristwatches of the 1930s, taking historic elements from these classic designs and transforming them into an urban-cool vintage look today. On the historical side, a fluted crown with a coaxial push-piece is reminiscent of the early crowns that were designed for easy grasp, while the elegant deep black dial, contrasting with its large white luminescent Arabic numerals, large “cathedral” hands, counters and a railway track, is also typical of the period. Round cases with curved horns have all been refined, completing the contemporary look. The aesthetics of the Montblanc 1858 Collection honour the vintage designs of Minerva’s historic timepieces, highlighting the spirit of adventure that has always been at the heart of the collection.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Small Second is housed in a 44-mm stainless steel case with a refined decoration of the Minerva Manufacture set against the Jura Mountains on the caseback. The historic Minerva logo is also inscribed, along with the Roberts Frères Villeret “RFV” logo and the emblem of the Goddess Minerva, paying tribute to the Minerva heritage that dates back to 1858. On the dial of the timepiece, the contemporary interpretation shines through with a design that extrapolates the codes of the historic timepieces produced by Minerva with indications for the hours and minutes and direct-drive small seconds at 6 o’clock. This new model is powered by a precision automatic movement, the MB 24.16, and features a vintage-style winding crown that is ideally proportioned for everyday use. Both its fine curved horns, designed to follow the natural curvature of the wrist, and its pure and strong design, make this timepiece particularly pleasant to wear.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Small Second timepiece boasts a fine bezel that maximises the clarity of the dial, both at night and during the day. It does this at night thanks to 12 large Arabic numerals and “cathedral” hands coated with white Super-LumiNova®. To further underline the retro design with the aged appearance of the luminescent paint, the dial features the historic Montblanc logo from the 1930s and a seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, which is typical of this kind of instrument in the 1930s.
Following on from the success of the Montblanc 1858 Small Second with a manually-wound movement, the Maison is now offering for the first time in the collection an automatic-winding version with its precision calibre MB 24.16. This movement, with 31 jewels, a 38-hour power reserve, and a balance that oscillates at 28,800 vibrations an hour, brings all the practicality of an automatic movement with a combination of Swiss artisanal watchmaking and modernity.
The attention to detail in this collection extends right through to the brown strap which has been crafted in the Montblanc Pelletteria, the Maison’s own leather manufacture in Florence, Italy, using an ingenious painting technique called Sfumato. The watch is also available with a vintage-style Milanese stainless steel bracelet, combining high-resistance and smoothness for an equally comfortable and elegant fit.
Model: Montblanc 1858 Automatic Small Second
Type of movement: Mechanical movement with automatic winding
Number of rubies: 31
Power reserve: Approx. 38 hours
Balance: Flat hoop
Frequency: 28,800 A/h (3 Hz)
Hours and minutes in the centre
Small seconds at “6 o’clock”
Crystal: Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire and antireflective crystal
Back: Stainless steel with special decoration
Diameter= 44 mm; height= 12.20 mm
Water-resistance: 3 bar
Crown: Stainless steel with Montblanc emblem in raised relief
Black dial with Super-LumiNova®-coated Arabic numerals, rhodium-plated luminescent hour-hand and minute-hand, historical Montblanc emblem at 12 o’clock
Sfumato Leather strap
Also available with a Milanese stainless steel bracelet (Ident. 115074)