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A watch with a 42+mm case size is considered large even by today’s standards. This year Montblanc is reviving one of Minerva’s vintage models, an astonishing 46mm timepiece. The 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition comes in a bronze case. However, this is not what’s so spectacular about this watch.

The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition pays tribute to the heritage of Minerva. They do this by taking inspiration from a 1930’s timepiece that housed an iconic Minerva caliber: the 19-9CH. 

History

Before we take a closer look at the brand-new Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition, let’s talk a bit about its inspiration. The original timepiece came out in the 1930s as a military timepiece. It had a 46mm steel case, which was insanely huge at the time. Having said that, for a military watch, this size was not uncommon — think of the B-Uhr made for the German Air Force in World War II. Black dial, large radium-covered numerals, and white cathedral hands were the most noticeable features. Yet, the exciting part, like we often have it with these types of watches, is what’s hiding inside. The caliber Minerva used for this timepiece was the 19-09CH. This 19-line caliber was initially designed for pocket watches. Due to the watch’s large case size, however, watchmakers at Minerva could fit it to the monopusher. 

1858 Monopusher Chronograph

Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition

Montblanc’s new model takes direct inspiration from this oversized, easily legible military watch. The similarities are striking; still, the brand changed a few things in the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins. Just like its vintage counterpart, the new model is also 46mm. While the 1930s watch was steel, the Monopusher Origins comes in a bronze case, which will develop a lovely patina over time. Staying with the case, an officer’s case back is added to this new Montblanc.

Firstly, this protects the movement. Secondly, the officer’s case back a great tribute to vintage pocket watches. On the outside, you can find an engraving of the Minerva Goddess. While inside the back is the inscription that reads

“Ré-édition du chronographe militaire Minerva des années 1930 doté d’un calibre fait main dans la pure tradition horlogère suisse.”Re-edition of a Minerva military chronograph from the 1930s equipped with a hand-made calibre).

1858 Monopusher Chronograph

Officer’s case back

Pop the back, and you can admire the beautiful manual wound monopusher chronograph movement. The MB16.29 is an authentic reproduction of the Minerva caliber that one can find in the 1930s monopusher. Montblanc paid keen attention to details, as the brand wanted to keep the movement as original as possible. Hence, German silver was used for the main plate and bridges. 

Cotes de Genève finishing, circular graining, and beveling make the MD16.29 appealing to the eye. Furthermore, the unmistakable Minerva V-shape bridge and the Minerva arrow on the chronograph blocker’s extremity made a comeback. With 18,000 Vph, the traditional frequency is identical to the vintage models’. 

1858 Monopusher Chronograph

Legibility above all

The vintage Minerva was a military timepiece, so being easily readable was a key element. Montblanc stayed as close to the original dial design as possible. The new 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition comes with a black dial and hand-painted cathedral hands. Arabic numerals serve as indexes which, just like the hands, have beige Super-LumiNova coating. The chronograph, as well as the sub-dial hands, are all white. The final touch was adding a vintage Minerva logo at 6 o’clock.

Meanwhile, the old-style Montblanc logo is at 12 o’clock as always. A vintage-inspired watch has to come on a later strap. Montblanc sells the watch with a brown Sfumato alligator strap with beige stitching. If you fancy the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins and you want one, you have to be fast. The watch is limited to 100 pieces. 

For more horological wonders from Montblanc, visit their site.

Watch specifications

Brand
Model
1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition 100
Reference
128506
Dial
Hours and minutes from the centre Small seconds at “9 o’clock” Chronograph’s elapsed-second hand from the dial’s center Counter for 30 elapsed- minutes at “3 o’clock”
Case Material
A special alloy of bronze featuring polished and satin-finishing
Case Dimensions
Diameter = 46 mm; height = 14.50 mm
Crystal
Scratch-resistant, domed box-shaped sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
Case Back
Screw bronze-coated titanium case back with inset pane of sapphire crystal Bronze-coated titanium “officer” case back engraved on both sides with the head of Minerva Goddess on the outside and a special inscription on the inside “Ré-édition du chronographe militaire Minerva des années 1930 doté d’un calibre fait main dans la pure tradition horlogère Suisse” (Re-edition of a Minerva military chronograph from the 1930s equipped with a hand-made calibre following the pure Swiss watchmaking tradition)
Movement
Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M16.29
Strap
Brown Sfumato alligator leather with beige stitching and bronze-coated stainless steel pin buckle