Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition

The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph is an opus in the Minerva manufacture’s legacy now housed in Montblanc’s Villeret factory. Montblanc Master watchmaker Demetrio Cabiddu was instrumental in the creation of Montblanc’s original rattrapante chronograph and his pioneering work in the 1858 Split Second Chronograph continues to thrive as the industry’s ‘open secret’ an exemplar of Swiss watchmaking and emblematic of high horology but without the accompanying astronomical price tag. This time the celebrated 1858 Split Second Chronograph returns with an all new visage thanks to a collaboration between Montblanc and Sincere Fine Watches.

“We are delighted to launch this stunning limited edition in collaboration with Sincere Fine Watches who shares the same passion for the pinnacle of technical and fine watchmaking as we do at Montblanc. The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 in red is absolutely surprising and well planned in every detail. I believe the bold choice of colour resonates well in this region and this striking red tone is often associated with adventure and those who dare to explore in both their personal and professional lives.” – Matthieu Dupont, Montblanc SEAO President

Powered by the manufacture calibre MB M16.31, the new Montblanc 1858 Rattrapante or Split Second Chronograph wears large because its beating heart was built off a movement originally designed for pocket watches. Using the MB M16.29 found in earlier 1858 monopusher chronographs as a base, Montblanc integrated a split seconds module to keep track of multiple running seconds through an additional column wheel and that mistakable “pincer” (but really a mechanical brake system). Each component is nicely angled or chamfered were necessary and the overall attractiveness for a high complication chronograph retailing at slightly more than US$35,000 at this level of finnissage is quite unheard of.

The finnissage is pretty amazing

Exquisitely housed in a robust, satin-finished, 44 mm Grade 5 titanium case, the Sincere Fine Watch variant of the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 comes with a red gradated lacquered dial that has been created using a special process that takes dexterity and time to achieve.

“2020 has been an incredibly insightful year. It has given us the perfect opportunity to be selective in our projects. This limited edition of solely 8 pieces is a fantastic way to showcase Montblanc and Sincere Fine Watches’ determination, shared passion and resilience. By creating such amazing limited editions with Montblanc, we stay true to the brand’s values, authenticity and exclusivity,” – Ong Ban, Sincere Fine Watches CEO

Birthing the Red Lacquer Dial of the 1858 Split Chronograph

Red varnish is applied to dial of the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition, but the gradation which sees its chroma darken towards the periphery of the dial is the painstaking process of “fading the center” after which fifteen layers of translucent lacquer are then applied to the dial, allowing time to dry between each layer for a contrasting shine. The even sheen of lacquer which catches the light so beautiful is the final result of fine polishing in order to remove impurities and create a dial of remarkable distinction.

The red coloured background is paired with white elements that accentuate the vintage style of the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8, while also providing readability of the complications both at day and night. The sapphire crystal of the titanium case has an anti-magnetized treatment to ensure greater precision of the two second hands of the chronograph.

At the center of the Split Second Chronograph lies a base 1000 tachymeter in a colimaçon (snail shape) — allowing the wearer to measure a length of time of up to three minutes, as compared to one minute in most traditional chronograph scales. The tachymeter scale can indicate the speed of a moving object, rendering speed in kilometres or miles per hour.

Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 Price & Specs

Movement Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M16.31 with 50 hours power reserve
Case 44 mm Grade 5 titanium with 30 metres water resistance
Strap Alligator Leather
Price €35,000 (Limited Edition of 8 pieces)