Montblanc’s releases for 2021 have been nothing short of remarkable, but one model we’ve wanted to get out hands on for quite some time is the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins watch. The 100 piece limited edition takes inspiration from a 1930’s military monopusher chronograph from the historic Minerva manufacture but delivers a new bronze aesthetic and one of Montblanc’s own in-house movements.
If you ever find yourself in Villeret, Switzerland then you can go and see the original 46mm Minerva military Monopusher chronograph from the 1930’s in the Montblanc museum. It’s smooth black dial, luminous cathedral hands and “Officer” case back serve as the main inspiration for the new limited edition release as does the manual winding movement housed within. During the era of its release, a 46mm case size was largely considered overkill but it had its reasons. The stainless steel case was home to the Minerva calibre 19-09, a movement originally engineered for a pocket watch with 19 lines and developed in 1909. Serving as inspiration for the new Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition, the original 1930’s model is accurately revived with the same case shape, dial layout and onion-crown making a return just this time engineered from patina-developing bronze for an additional vintage twist.
Also measuring to 46mm in size, the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition retains all classical military design cues as the original including flat brushed sides, a sloped narrow, unadorned bezel and slender tapering lugs but rather than offering a typical stainless steel finish, the components are crafted from bronze. For those of you unfamiliar with the effects of bronze on a watch case, it means with every wear, the material will naturally develop a patina. This means the case will become more complex and weathered over time as it reacts to moisture in the skin and oxygen in the air. Ultimately, every 100 limited edition piece of the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins watch will turn out unique to its wearer, almost a record of your own story.
The case of the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins watch is also equipped with a unique case back, a style often nicknamed “officer” or “hunter” due to the hinged design largely associated with military watches. It replicates it’s 1930’s predecessor with a hinged back that opens up to reveal the manual winding movement within. On the inside, a lengthy inscription in French translates to “Re-edition of a Minerva military chronograph from the 1930s equipped with a hand-made caliber following the Swiss watchmaking tradition.” The case of the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition is also equipped with an oversized onion crown at 3 o’clock promising of a 30 metres and remaining entirely responsible for controlling the chronograph complications on the dial.
Other than the movement which we will get to shortly, the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition watch does its historic counterpart the most justice through its dial. It looks incredibly close to the original with a smooth black finish, cathedral-shaped hands dressed in vintage-coloured Superluminova and simple applied Arabic numerals in rose gold tone. Two matching chronograph counters sit at 3 and 9 o’clock respectively also coloured in black and paired with two signatures for Montblanc and Minerva at 12 and 6 o’clock, lending a nice final touch of symmetry.
Now onto the movement, and like we said, this is possibly the most faithful recreation in all the design. The in-house MB M16.29 handwound chronograph movement is a near identical revival of the original 19-09 pocket watch movement found in the 1930’s original. They have used the same uncoated German silver (aka Maillechort) for the plates and bridges and familiar Côtes de Genève, anglage, and perlage decoration. It’s also pretty hefty in size coming in 38.4mm wide and 6.3mm in height. Despite its vintage inspiration, the modern-day movement doesn’t lack too much in performance offering a frequency of 18,800 vibrations per hour, 22 jewels and a healthy power reserve of 50 hours.
If you’d like to learn more about the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins watch and get your hands on one of the 100 limited edition pieces, head over to the Jura Watches website here or contact the team by calling 01335 453453.
Specifications: Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition (128506)
- Case Size: 46mm
- Case Material: Bronze
- Bezel: Fixed
- Glass: Sapphire crystal
- Crown: Non-screw locked
- Case Back: Hinged with engraving and exhibition glass
- Water Resistance: 30 metres
- Movement: MB M16.29, manual winding, in-house
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, central chronograph seconds, 30 minutes counter
- Power Reserve: 50 hours
- Frequency: 18,800vph
- Dial: Black with vintage-coloured Superluminova markings
- Strap: Brown calfskin leather
- RRP: TBC
- Limited Edition: 100 pieces