The choice of bronze in Montblanc’s 1858 Collection is the deliberate enhancement on an already vintage style. Minerva, the Villeret-based manufacture that’s now part of Montblanc, had been producing chronographs since the 1930s.
Its historical designs of cathedral hands, art deco-inspired crowns and classic minute railway tracks encircling the dials were transposed by Montblanc into the 1858 Collection, which was first unveiled in 2015.
In this latest iteration of the series, Montblanc pays an ode to the vintage triumph of timepieces with purposeful bronze editions within this very same 1858 Collection. The glorious patina of bronze used in this collection was achieved by Montblanc’s research into ensuring it would develop unique and uniform colouration across years of wear.
The three recent bronze propositions are the 44mm Montblanc 1858 Automatic (€3,490, S$5,321), the 44mm Montblanc 1858 Automatic Dual Time (€4990, S$7,610) and the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition (€27,500, S$41,932). The first two are realised with a bronze bezel atop a satinated stainless steel case, equipped with a bronze crown.
Meanwhile, the chronograph – limited to 100 pieces – is powered by the manual-wound MB M16.29 monopusher movement which resides within a 44mm full bronze case. Its champagne dial is embellished with sunray finishing while cognac alligator leather straps – crafted at Montblanc’s own Pelletteria in Florence – completes the vintage aesthetic.
Its movement boasts further technical and design touches which recall Minerva’s overarching influence; the in-house developed MB M16.29 is inspired by Minerva’s original 17.29 Calibre used in pocket watches and wristwatches from the 1930s. A closer examination of the red gold-plated movement, on the other hand, reveals components crafted in the shape of the Minerva arrow.