In 2018 Montblanc celebrated the 160thanniversary of the traditional watch manufacture Minerva, which since 2007 belongs to the Hamburg based brand that produces its timepieces in Le Locle and Villeret in the Swiss Jura.
Montblanc started an adventurous journey of their '1858' collection last year, a collection that is inspired by professional watches from the 1920s and 1930s with high ambitions – because the journey takes us right up to the summits of the earths highest mountains where professional mountaineers and the military relied on their tough and precise timepieces during their expeditions. The previous collection was characterized by earthy tones and bronze – smoky, champagne-coloured dials, beige luminescent numerals and cognac-coloured leather straps.
In 2019, the new watches of the 1858 collection don’t take us so far up again and stay in the green woods instead. At the SIHH watch fair 2019 Montblanc introduces five new 1858 editions: two new 1858 Automatic models, one new 1858 Chronograph, one new 1858 Geosphere and a new complication, the 1858 Split Second Chronograph.
Khaki green replaces the earthy tones and becomes the new colour code for dials and straps as well as bronze takes more control in terms of case material. Whereas most of the previous models were equipped with stainless steel cases and subtle bronze elements, this years novelties appear with full bronze (cases and bezel). Only the case back is crafted from titanium featuring a bronze colour coating to avoid skin allergies. Just one of the new Automatic versions still comes with a stainless steel case. The polished and satin-finished bronze harmonizes very well with the khaki colour code that has been selected for these novelties.
Montblanc also decided to increase the use of their NATO straps for this new 1858 collection. As with textile straps you always need to be careful that they appear valuable enough and meet the requirements of high-quality mechanical watches. Whereas the NATO straps by Montblanc really do satisfy in look and feel. Montblanc relies on the experience of a French weaving manufacture that has been handcrafting straps for over 150 years.
The two new 1858 Automatic models come in a choice of a full-bronze 40mm case (Ref. 118222) and a NATO strap and dial in khaki-green, or a stainless steel case (Ref. 119907) with a strap in khaki-green calfskin ‘Nubuk’ leather and black dial.
The new 1858 Chronograph (Ref. 119908) comes in a 42mm full bronze case with khaki-green dial and NATO strap. Also the 1858 Geosphere (Ref. 119909) with its two rotating half-globes comes all in khaki.
The new 1858 Split Second Chronograph (Ref. 119910) is an addition to the collection and a tribute to Minervas precise chronographs of the 1920s and 1930s. It is equipped with an in-house movement calibre MB M16.31 that enables the chronograph function to be adjusted by one pusher (Monopusher) only. The second reference time (Split Second) is taken by a pusher inside the crown. Staying true to the new style, it appears with a bronze case, however makes an exception on its strap that is made in black alligator leather and suits the black dial.
Good news for all collectors – the novelties from this years 1858 collection are each limited to, of course, 1858 pieces. The 1858 Split Second Chronograph however as an exception is only limited to 100 pieces.