Just released at the SIHH 2017 a few weeks ago, Montblanc has now added the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition in bronze. This watch that brings the best of the vintage world to the modern era in a flawless execution, just got much better for those of you that love bronze watches and marks a first for Montblanc when it comes to the utilization of bronze. While Montblanc's watchmaking history is still short, this Richemont brand has taken great strides in the past five years to become a 'haute horlogerie' force with a very competitive pricing strategy —however, this is not the case for this new watch as the price is simply quite steep. Powered by the legendary Minerva calibre with its iconic 'V-shaped' bridge and its signature 'Devil's Tail' chronograph lever, this new 1858 pays homage to the roots of its manufacture in Villeret in an exquisite way.
Fitted with a champagne colored dial with Arabic numerals, the focal points on this dial are the vintage Montblanc logo at 12 o'clock, the vintage inspired 18K red gold plated pilot's hands and the black contrasting tachymetric scale. The historic Montblanc emblem at 12 o’clock and the notched crown underline the vintage appearance of the timepiece.
The layout of the dial is not busy at all with running seconds at 9 o'clock and a 30-minute chrono register at 3 o'clock. The Arabic numerals are printed on the dial with a nice raised appearance thanks to the applied vintage colored lume on them. At 6 o'clock one can find the name of the calibre MB M16.29 imprinted in black.
A red tipped chrono-seconds hand completes the dial, by adding the perfect amount of color to make the dial pop even more. The watch is fitted with a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment that allows for excellent readability of the dial without any unwanted glare.
The Case, Crown & Strap
Fitted with a beautifully satin-brushed finished bronze case measuring 44 mm in diameter and 13.15 mm in thickness. The bronze case is made of a special alloy —different to that used by Panerai— similar to the one used by Tudor, where the case will develop a very consistent and uniform patina over time. The onion shaped notched crown with integrated chronograph monopusher rises in all glory elevating the vintage appearance of this timepiece even more.
Since this is a monopusher chronograph, all chrono functions —start, stop and reset— are performed via this crown. The pull out crown features the the iconic Montblanc snowcap logo on raised relief. The crown is easy to use and with excellent grip. Winding the watch via the crown takes no effort and approximately 40-60 turns will wind the watch in full.
The watch is delivered on a lightly distressed cognac colored alligator strap with beige contrast stitching and equipped with a satinated bronze-plated pin buckle. The strap is very supple and comfortable on the wrist and was given an aged look at the Montblanc Pelletteria —leather atelier— in Florence, Italy.
Fully visible via the display case back that is treated with anti-reflective coating, the new manual wound calibre Montblanc MB M16.29 is a real treat to the eyes. This calibre was completely developed and handcrafted in-house, in a large “pocket-watch” diameter of 38.40 mm and featuring a monopusher chronograph with column wheel and horizontal disc clutch. The movement is composed of 252 parts, beats at a frequency of 18,000 vph and provides a power reserve of 50 hours. This time the main difference between the movement powering this watch and all other 1858 Monopusher chronographs is that the mainplate and bridges are red gold-plated rather than rhodium-plated.
The movement features German silver bridges and plates finished with circular graining and 'Côtes de Genève' on both sides. The movement of course features the iconic Minerva 'v-shaped' bridge used by Minerva since 1912 and its signature 'Devil's Tail'.
On The Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition Bronze wears true to its size and very comfortably. Even though this is a 44 mm watch, if you have a wrist smaller than 7.25" you'll still be able to wear this timepiece with no problem. Just like its 18K red gold sibling, the watch is available in a limited edition of 100 pieces. As far as the price, we really don't understand how could this watch be priced only two thousand USD below its 18K red gold counterpart. For the price, you're better off going with the 18K red gold model.
Sticker Price €27,500 Euros —approximately $29,500 USD. For more info on Montblanc click here.