No, this is not the star Montblanc monopusher chronograph this year – that’s an unmistakable limited edition distinguished by its salmon dial. A more humble proposition, this watch offers yet another look at what an accessible Montblanc chronograph might be. There have been a few over the years,including the almost forgotten Meisterstuck Chronograph, but we’ll not get into that here. Instead we focus on the all-new Heritage series with vintage inspired timepieces, some with top-of-the-line Minerva calibres and some with generic calibres.
To summarise, Richemont acquired Montblanc and Minerva at different points, and this has resulted in a somewhat messy situation with the watch families. Now that the DNA of both Montblanc and Minerva are being fused, we can see the shape of proper Montblanc watches. This has already created a vast spectrum of beautiful and traditionally designed pieces favoured immensely by the vintage-loving market. In turn, this brings us to the Heritage Monopusher Chronograph of 2019.
One of Montblanc’s most exciting releases, this watch draws inspiration from Minerva’s long history of forging monopusher chronographs. The new timepiece not only shows off Montblanc’s rich heritage but also its technical expertise and stunning craftsmanship. The chronograph is operated via a single pusher, giving the overall case design a unique and clean look; it reminds one of nothing less than an old-school stop-watch, of the sort Minerva used to make. The domed sapphire crystal adds depth to the dial while giving off a vintage vibe, mimicking vintage acrylic crystals of the past.
The 42mm case diameter makes the Montblanc Monopusher extremely wearable while it fits comfortably around the wrist because of the curved lug design. The caseback features an engraving of the Minerva Manufacture along with a “500h” hallmark. This of course indicates the Montblanc 500 hours quality certificate, indicating that the watch has been put through 500 strenuous hours of physical wear. A visual trademark of the entire Montblancs Heritage series is the very clean dials, which here boasts two distinctly different finishes, adding immense texture and contrast. The dial is symmetric and wonderfully proportioned, featuring applied anthracite Arabic numerals and circular lume-filled hour markers.
The Dauphine hour and minute hands match the overall aesthetics of the dial while the blue on the chronograph hands add a hint of colour to the somewhat stark dial. The stop-watch influence is once again seen on the red-tip of the central chronograph hand, giving it a sporty vibe. Beating inside is the automatic Calibre MB25.12 monopusher chronograph movement. It was built off the foundations of ETA 7750 and released by Montblanc in 2017. It beats at 28,800 vph and has a power reserve of 48 hours. Some may complain that a Minerva movement wasn’t used, but the price of the watch would have been quite different. Besides, Montblanc watches need to have appeal beyond those who only see in-house movements as desirable.
The Montblanc Heritage Monopusher will be available with either a Sfumato alligator leather strap or a Milanese mesh bracelet.
Movement Automatic calibre MB25.12; 48-hour power reserve
Case 42mm steel; water resistant to 50m
Strap Sfumato alligator or Milanese mesh