Like on the original timepiece from Minerva from which it takes its inspiration, the new Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph 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. The chronograph hand starts at the instant the phenomenon is seen —for instance lightning— and then it is stopped when the sound is heard —thunder. The position on the scale shows at first glance the distance in kilometers separating the phenomenon from the user from the storm, in this particular example. Calibration is based on the speed of which sound travels through the air, which is approximately 340 meters per second or 1,115 feet per second.
Precise, legible and robust, 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 extraordinary heritage.
Things to Know About the Watch
Housed in a 44 mm brushed satin bronze case, the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph comes with a black lacquered dial paired with red gold-colored elements that accentuate the vintage style. The sapphire crystal has an anti-magnetized treatment on the inside to allow great precision of the two second-hands of the chronograph. The chronograph indications are displayed via a red-gold coated central chronograph second hand, a white-colored split second hand to measure a second time interval and a chronograph minute counter at three o'clock.
The timepiece also features a tachymeter —base 1000— at the center 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. As the moving car passes the starting-point of the measured course, whose length corresponds with that used as the basis of calibration, the owner starts the chronograph hand and stops it as the car passes the finishing-point. The figure indicated by the hand on the tachymeter scale represents the speed in kilometers or miles per hour. The new 1858 Split Second Chronograph is combined with a complex “rattrapante” —split seconds— complication developed by the Montblanc engineers that allow the user to measure intermediate times without interrupting the ongoing measurement of a longer elapsing time.
The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph is equipped with the new in-house monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.31 that features two column wheels, horizontal coupling and a power reserve of 50 hours. 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 modern-day version is recognisable thanks to its beautiful handcrafted finishings—Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining and bevelling—as well as its fine details such as the iconic Minerva arrow, a chronograph bridge shaped in the form of a “V”, and a large screwed balance that has a traditional frequency of 18,000 vph.
On the Wrist & Price
The new Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph is available in a limited edition of 100 pieces. The watch is fitted with a display case back on a screwed titanium bronze-plated case back with inset pane of sapphire crystal. The watch is delivered on a black alligator leather strap with beige contrast stitching. In order to guarantee the optimal performance of the watch, the timepiece undergoes a quality control period exceeding 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls under real-life conditions.
Sticker Price $31,000 USD. For more info on Montblanc click here.