The last time we saw a Montblanc Rattrapante chronograph was in 2013 and to call it highly complex was an understatement. The ExoTourbillon Rattrapante was introduced during the 2nd last edition of Watches & Wonders Hong Kong and it provided a mere glimpse at the depth of watchmaking knowhow from Montblanc’s Minerva facility. 6 years on, our horological lusts are slaked with the new Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph in bronze, arguably one of the most attractively priced high complications from SIHH 2019.
Montblanc Master watchmaker Demetrio Cabiddu was instrumental in the creation of Montblanc’s original rattrapante chronograph and his pioneering work is still very visible in the new 1858 Split Second Chronograph in bronze.
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$30,000 at this level of finnissage is quite unheard of.
The mono-pusher chronograph with additional pusher for split seconds functionality sets the new Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph in bronze visually apart from its other monopusher chronograph brethren. In terms of technical function, it works pretty much the same, the monopusher operates the running seconds count with start, stop and reset functions while split seconds are operated by a button press at the 2 o’clock pusher. Featuring both telemetric and tachymetric chronograph scales, the bronze Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph manages to convey its vintage aesthetics rather well but its the augmentation of “faux patina” Superluminova which firmly establishes its retro street cred (in case the 44mm pocket watch dimensions were not readily apparent already). Stablised aluminium-bronze of the Montblanc 1858 Rattrapante means the timepiece will patina in darker “gold” hues rather than green (which would be inappropriate for something other than a Bronze diving watch).
Limited to 100 pieces, the new bronze 1858 Split Second Chronograph will launch officially in Q2 2019 and we will provide full updates on technical specs and Singapore retail pricing soon. In the meanwhile, the suggested price of the new Montblanc rattrapante chronograph is expected to retail for €32,500.