New Watch Alert — Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph LE 18
Montblanc is releasing a mesmerizing new model today that pays tribute to Minerva’s rich heritage in the most sophisticated way. The brand’s latest timepiece, the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18, comes on a never-before-seen case color with a classy complication.
This is an exciting watch. Not only do we have an enticing complication (a manufacture rattrapante, no less) to fawn over, it’s encased in a very unusual — one could even say unique — case material. If you didn’t know you needed a bit of “Lime Gold” in your life, you’re welcome. With Watches and Wonders just around the corner (starting April 7th, so get it in your calendars), I’m excited enough as it is. Releases like this only serve to whet my appetite even more.
It’s only been a week since we reported on the new Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins, a wonderful bronze watch in 46mm. Today the brand is unveiling yet another model, this time in a Lime Gold case. The blueprint is the same: taking inspiration from Minerva’s rich (military) history, Montblanc is creating models that pay tribute to those beautiful timepieces of the 1920s and 1930s.
The vintage watch that serves as inspiration for this new piece was a whopping 46mm and came in a steel case. Inside that military chronograph, one could find the legendary Minerva 19-09CH caliber. To shake things up a bit Montblanc changed the case material for the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18. This is the first time a watch atelier is releasing a timepiece in a new color of gold called Lime Gold.
1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18
Unlike its vintage counterpart, the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18 comes in a smaller, 44mm 18-karat Lime Gold case.
To further improve the wow effect, the watch has a distinctive gold-colored dial.
That is not all, though. Contrasting green elements can be found all over the dial in different tones; the cathedral hour and minute hands, the tachymeter, telemeter, and minute-scales, or even the Montblanc logo. For the indexes, the brand used Arabic numerals. Every number is made of a Super-LumiNova monobloc shape that creates a three-dimensional effect on the dial. The only gold elements are the chronograph seconds hand and the sub-counters. Speaking of scales, a Telemeter scale (to measure distance), often seen on military watches, is printed on the watch face’s rim. A snail shape (colimaçon) Tachymeter scale (for measuring speed) — something of a vintage chronograph peculiarity — is in the center.
Inside the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18 the brand’s manufacture caliber, the MB M16.31, beats away. The movement takes inspiration from the classic Minerva caliber 19-09CH and its descendent, the 17-29, which we can often find in wristwatches and pocket watches alike. In true Montblanc fashion, the caliber has gorgeous hand-finishing including Cotes de Genéve, circular graining, and bevelling. Another exciting element of the movement is the fact that the MB M16.31 has two column wheels. One is part of the chronograph mechanism, the other works with the split complication. The power reserve is 50 hours, while the frequency is the traditional 18,000vph. Luckily, Montblanc did not hide this masterpiece under a solid case back. The display window allows us to admire the caliber with its Split Second mechanism in the center, which puts the focus right on the movement.
The final touch of this beautiful timepiece is the vintage green nubuck alligator leather strap. To match the case color, Montblanc used beige stitching for the strap. Finally, the buckle comes in the same 18K Lime Gold for the perfect finishing touch. The 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 18 only comes in 18 pieces, so you have to be fast if you wish to secure one for yourself.
If you would like to visit Montblanc’s website, please click here.