Montblanc is proud to continue its support of Only Watch in the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. Now presenting its 8th Edition, Only Watch is a biennale auction of unique timepieces created by some of the finest brands that have raised over 40 million Euros to date. Under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, and following the initiative of Luc Pettavino, President of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, Only Watch is an international watchmaking charity event.
“We are honoured to be part of this amazing charity event, that stands up for such a special cause, uniting some of the world’s leading watchmakers”, says Nicolas Baretzki, Montblanc CEO. “The biennial charity auction established itself as a celebration of watchmaking traditions and expertise, giving collectors and connoisseurs the opportunity to own a truly unique watch, while supporting this honourable cause.”
The watches will embark on a world tour on September 25th 2019, starting at the Monaco Yacht show in the charity’s hometown, and then continuing to Dubai, Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei, before the final auction in Geneva on November 9th 2019. The auction is organized in partnership with Christies and will take place at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva.
The legendary professional Minerva watches were conceived for military use and exploration. Inspired by these historical timepieces, the Montblanc 1858 product line pays tribute to the Minerva Manufacture’s heritage. “The 1858 Split Second Chronograph Only Watch 2019 is a refined chronograph complication, quite rare and incredibly rooted into the story of Minerva. This execution inside the 1858 product line represents the state of the art of our high-end hand-made hand-finished watchmaking offer” says Davide Cerrato, Montblanc Managing Director Watch Division.
Montre Minerva © Montblanc
In the spirit of mountain exploration, Montblanc reinterprets an historical Minerva military monopusher chronograph from the 1930’s with the one-of-a kind 1858 Split Second Chronograph Only Watch 2019. For the first time, Montblanc unveils a wristwatch which combines a 44 mm case in full satin-finished titanium grade-two, the hand-crafted Montblanc Manufacture Monopusher Chronograph calibre MB M16.31, a brand-new matching Sfumato alligator strap and a special dial made of degraded blue Agate, a natural stone, giving an unique blue appearance.
Like on the original timepiece, the unique piece features a telemeter scale that runs around the dial, which was a typical feature on the legendary Minerva chronographs. A telemeter makes it possible to measure the distance of a phenomenon which is both visible and audible, like the lightning and thunder in a storm. A tachymeter scale (base 1000) is also visible at the centre of the dial in a “colimaçon” (snail shape), which allows the user to measure a length of time up to three minutes instead of one minute in a traditional chronograph scale around the dial. The tachymeter scale is to show the speed of a moving object, such as a car, over a known distance.
Additionally, the Montblanc engineers has developed a “rattrapante” (split second) complication that allows the owner to measure intermediate times without interrupting the ongoing measurement of a longer elapsing time. The “rattrapante” can be admired through the sapphire glass of the case back like on traditional timepiece with such a function. The timepiece features the historical design codes taken from the original 1930s Minerva chronograph including large cathedral hands with a cloisonné design filled with white Super-LumiNova® and luminescent Arabic numerals.
Other design details include the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s era with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain in the centre. For utmost visibility, the chronograph indications are displayed with a black-rhodium-coated central chronograph second hand, a red-coloured split second hand to measure a second time interval and a chronograph minute counter at three o’clock.
On the case back, the sapphire crystal reveals the beauty of the Montblanc Manufacture monopusher chronograph Calibre MB M16.31, that features two column wheels, a horizontal coupling, a power reserve of 50 hours and a large screwed balance beating at the traditional frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour.
The Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret is part of only a select group of Maisons that possess the know-how to produce the hairspring internally allowing to have one of the largest screwed balance wheel. The movement takes its inspiration from the original Minerva calibre 17.29 developed in the 1930s, that was used for both pocket watches and wristwatches. This calibre is recognisable thanks to its handcrafted finishings – Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining and bevelling – as well as its fine details such as the Minerva arrow and the chronograph bridge shaped in the form of a “V” whose design was protected in 1912.
In order to guarantee the performance of the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Only Watch 2019, it undergoes over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under real-life conditions.