The 1858 Collection comprises sporty vintage-style watches that are inspired by the military watches Minerva made in the 1920’s and 30’s. This year Montblanc presents a new blue theme capsule, as a nod to glaciers and snowy-mountain environments. And like all their lines, the watches span the range from haute horology split-second chronograph to Sellita-powered two-handers. Let’s take a closer look.
At the very top of the capsule Blue collection sits the 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100, now presented in a grade 5 titanium case and a striking grand feu enamel dial. A variation of this watch - inspired by a Minerva military monopusher chronograph from the 1930’s - was last seen as a unique piece presented for the Only Watch Auction in 2019. That particular model also featured a titanium case but a blue agate stone dial.
It is now presented in a 44 mm satin-finished, grade 5 titanium case. The use of grand feu enamel dial is a nod to the pocketwatches and chronographs Minerva made in the early 20th century. The striking blue dial really stands out against the brushed gray titanium case. The watch has a snail shaped tachymetric scale in white that wraps itself around the center of the dial. A telemeter scale is placed on the periphery of the dial and the bright orange accents of the dial really pop. While the original Minerva was powered by renowned Caliber 17.29, this watch is powered by Caliber 16.31, an exquisitely-finished movement made by the artisans at Minerva. This watch is priced at €39,500. You can read more about this watch here.
The second watch in this collection is the 1858 Geosphere Blue, a modern tool watch execution of the brand’s vintage-inspired tool watch with that quirky worldtime complication. Presented again in a grade 5 titanium case with a blue gradient dial, the watch debuts a stylish bi-metal beads-of-rice bracelet. . You can read more about this watch and watch our 1-minute review video here. The new Geosphere is priced at €5,600.
The next watch in the collection is the 1858 Automatic Chronograph. This uses a 42 mm stainless steel case with polished and brushed finishes. The caseback has an engraving just like on the Geosphere - the emblematic Mont Blanc peak, a compass, and two crossed ice pick-axes, as a nod to the Spirit of Mountain Exploration that exemplifies this collection. A big difference in this year’s collection is the presence of the bi-directional ceramic bezel with the compass markings just like in the Geosphere. This has been done across the watches in the collection apart from the watches that come out of Villeret. A domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating is also new for this collection.
The dial again is the same blue gradient dial seen on the Geosphere Blue. The bi-compax chronograph layout sees a small seconds counter at 9 o’ clock and a 30-minute counter at 3. This watch is powered by Caliber MB.25.13, a Sellita SW500 movement. The movement has a power reserve of 48 hours and an escapement that beats at 4 Hz. It will retail at €4,350.
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic has the same blue theme across the dial, case and strap. The case has a new bi-directional steel bezel with a matching shiny blue ceramic and displays the four engraved luminescent cardinal points.
The watch uses a modest 40 mm stainless steel case with slim curved horns decorated with polished and satin-finishing. It is 11 mm thick and has the same engraved caseback as seen on the above models. It is 11 mm thick and a domed sapphire crystal with anti-
reflective coating rises above the ceramic bezel. The watch is powered by Calibre MB 24.15, a Sellita SW200 movement with a power reserve of 38 hours and an escapement that beats at 4 hz. Like all watches in this collection, this is also depth-rated to 100 meters. Price €2,450