Montblanc has created a new collection of watches, in honour of their origins. Montblanc saw the light of day in 1858 under the name ‘Minerva’. This new collection is based on all the vintage lines and chronometer watches created throughout 157 years. As a result, a new collection of watches with classical looks and a lot of similarities with old chronometers has been developed.
The Montblanc 1858 collection exists out of – in essence – two different watches; a chronograph tachymeter and a stainless steel small second special edition. Of this last version, there a three different editions. One comes with an alligator strap and vintage numerals, one comes with a bracelet and the third one has a calfskin leather strap.
In our opinion, the chronograph watch is the best one of the whole collection. Of course this could be seen as the flagship watch of the new collection, being very luxurious and featuring the chronograph movement. Montblanc has been looking very closely to old vintage chronometers and this comes to show in the details. At the dial, an eagle-eyed person notices the fact that Montblanc has used their old 1930’s logo. Besides the fact this fits perfectly in the design of the watch, it’s in line with a lot of choices based on the looks of their watches from that period.
Another detail can be found when looking at the crown. It’s carefully chosen and well-balanced compared to the rest of the watch, but still very robust. Since these type of watches were mainly used by pilots back in the days, they needed to be easy to use during mid-flight. The relief found on the crown was necessary to enable pilots to use the crown while wearing their gloves. We personally like this type of crown a lot, it’s rather big compared to other ‘dress’ watches, but it looks very classy.
The numerals and the well-positioned chronograph dials all fit the requirements of vintage watches. In line with the chronograph watch produced back in 1930, not only the numerals, but also the hands are luminescent. All placed inside a case with soft edges and smooth lining, connecting to the strap with lugs that were carefully chosen. In the spirit of chronometer watches from 1930, the case and lugs are shaped in such a way the case will follow the natural lines of a man’s wrist. Let’s be honest, a watch has to fit like a baby’s diaper so we are happy they thought about that too.
Stainless steel watches were the main sort of watches worn in the 1930’s. Stainless steel being a less precious metal than gold, made it much more accessible for people. The stainless steel 1858 watch knows a very simple design and a small second dial placed at the 6. Very clear numerals and the same luminescent effect as the chronograph give this watch its vintage look. Overall – in line with their vintage aspirations – these watches are fairly big. Both models measure a 44mm diameter.
As for the movements, these new ‘oldies’ both use an hand-wound movement as their engine. For the chronograph this is the Manufacture MB M16.29 movement, whilst for the small second edition it’s the MB M23.03. Of course these movements have different specifications, for instance the power reserve for the chronograph is around 50 hours and for the small second around 46 hours. Four hours is a lot in the world of time, but that’s not very surprising due to the watches being two totally different creations.
We think Montblanc did a very good job on this new collection. When it comes to the small second edition, it’s maybe something that’s not very surprising, but it’s good. You know what they say never change a winning team, in this case a winning formula. We like these type of watches for the fact they fit perfectly when wearing a suit, but still remain cool and fit a sporty outfit as well.