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A collection which does Minerva proud
MINERVA turns 160 years old this year. The Swiss watch manufacturer has been known for highly accurate stop watches and chronographs. Now it's part of Montblanc and produces its movements and complicated watches.
To mark Minerva's anniversary, Montblanc has rolled out 13 timepieces - including two new in-house movements - and dedicated them to the watch manufacturer. Together, these watches make up the Montblanc 1858 Collection. The number refers to the year Minerva was born.
The new collection reflects the inspiration of Minerva's professional watches from the 1920s and 1930s. The watches were made for military use and mountain exploration. They were very accurate, legible and robust for use in extreme conditions.
The new timepieces have been given a vintage touch and distinctive look. They come in various case sizes and mix of materials. Some feature innovative complications.
There are five different models: a 40mm automatic; a 42mm chronograph; a 42mm world-time complication; a slim 40mm timepiece with a 13-line monopusher chronograph movement; and a new multiple-purpose pocket watch with a 24-hour indication.
All the timepieces are certified to have gone through 500 hours of a test for accuracy and reliability in extreme conditions - and have passed the test.
The standout piece in the 1858 collection is the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere - a new world-time complication powered by a new automatic in-house movement. The watch pays homage to the Seven Summits Challenge - the holy grail of mountaineering adventurers where climbers set out to ascend the highest mountains from each continent.
The 1858 Geosphere has a world-time complication mechanism with two turning domed hemisphere globes. Each of the globes makes a full turn in 24 hours. The northern hemisphere at 12 o'clock rotates anti-clockwise. The southern hemisphere turns clockwise. Both are surrounded by a scale with the 24 zones, along with a day-and-night indication in contrasting colours.
The longitude reference meridian for the two hemispheres is highlighted with a white line coated with SuperLumiNova. A second time zone display is found at nine o'clock.
The 1858 Geosphere offers a new unique way of reading different time zones. It comes in a stainless steel (S$8,300) or a bronze (S$9,400) case limited to 1858 watches. Both versions feature polished and satin finishing as well as vintage fluted crowns. Ceramic caps the bidirectional bezel in the two cases.
Among the timepieces in the 1858 collection, the Montblanc 1858 Automatic is the closest you can get to the original model. The 40mm steel case has slim curved horns with polished and satin finishing. Its distinctive vintage looks come from a bronze bezel and fluted crown. The dial is either black or smoke champagne in colour, both with beige luminescent Arabic numerals and precise railway minute tracks.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph is a vintage-looking chronograph timepiece. It comes in steel or bronze. The 42mm case reflects polished and satin finishing. The robustness and vintage look of the watch is highlighted by a domed sapphire crystal box.
The caseback of the bronze model is coated with titanium to avoid allergies. The dial is in smoked champagne colour with sun-ray finishing, providing an elegant backdrop for the bicompax counters at three and nine o'clock. The counters are inspired by Minerva's historic chronographs.
The Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100 is dedicated to the historical Minerva monopusher chronograph calibre 13.20, specially developed in 1920 as a wristwatch. Dressed in a 40mm steel case, it's the perfect example of vintage chronograph design. The vintage look is reinforced by an original smoked green dial and matching green alligator strap.
Reminding one of the iconic Minerva chronographs, the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph features a bicompax dial with a tiny second counter at nine o'clock, a chronograph 30-minute counter at three o'clock and a tachymeter scale on the outer part of the dial. Limited to 100 pieces, the monopusher chronographer also has a domed sapphire crystal glass box, and resized and rounded cathedral-shaped hands.
The sapphire crystal on the caseback reveals a hand-wound, high-end, hand-finished movement with the iconic V-shaped chronograph bridge and the Minerva arrow decorated by hand.
The Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch Limited Edition 100 honours Minerva's 160th anniversary. Capped at 100 pieces, the chronograph pocket watch is designed for mountain explorers. It can be positioned on a table with a stand, or combined with an in-built compass. The compass can be assessed by opening the watch up to lay flat on a map.
Like Minerva's first historical wristwatches, the pocket watch can also turn into a wristwatch - thanks to a unique brown Sfumato aged calfskin strap with two pin buckles, the watch can be worn on the forearm safely during exploration.
The timepiece can further be held in the hands because the calf strap is also equipped with a cover.
The 60mm pocket watch is made of grade-two titanium and combines polished and satin-finishing. It's powered by a new Montblanc in-house and beautifully hand-crafted movement with the iconic V-shaped choreograph bridge and the Minerva arrow, which is modelled on the Minerva Monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.29.
The dial is crafted from dumortierite stone, a natural mineral, giving it a unique blue appearance.