For the 8th Edition of Only Watch, an international watchmaking charity event to support the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy (a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness), Montblanc presents a one of a kind 1858 Split Second Chronograph timepiece.
For the very first time, this 1930’s inspired military monopusher chronograph combines a 44 mm case in full satin-finished titanium grade-two, the hand-crafted Montblanc Manufacture Monopusher Chronograph calibre MB M16.31, a brand-new matching Sfumato alligator strap and a special dial made of degraded blue Agate, a natural stone, giving a unique blue appearance – all those elements making it the ideal watch for collectors.
The dial isn’t too cluttered and has design elements that connect it with its origins. You’ve got a double tachymetric scale (base 1000) at the centre in a “colimaçon” (snail shape), which allows the user to measure a length of time up to three minutes instead of one minute in a traditional chronograph scale around the dial. A telemeter scale which runs around the dial (a typical feature on the legendary Minerva chronographs), makes it possible to measure the distance of a phenomenon which is both visible and audible, like the lightning and thunder in a storm.
The timepiece features the historical design codes taken from the original 1930s Minerva chronograph including large cathedral hands with a cloisonné design filled with white Super-LumiNova® and luminescent Arabic numerals. Other design details include the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s era with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain in the centre. For utmost visibility, the chronograph indications are displayed with a black-rhodium-coated central chronograph second hand, a red-coloured split second hand to measure a second time interval and a chronograph minute counter at three o’clock.
Just like the bronze 1858 Split Second Chronograph introduced earlier this year at SIHH 2019, the watch features a “rattrapante” (split second) complication that allows the owner to measure intermediate times without interrupting the ongoing measurement of a longer elapsing time. The “rattrapante” can be admired through the sapphire glass of the case back.
On the case back, the sapphire crystal reveals the beauty of the Montblanc Manufacture monopusher chronograph Calibre MB M16.31, that features two column wheels, a horizontal coupling, a power reserve of 50 hours and a large screwed balance beating at the traditional frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour. The Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret is part of only a select group of Maisons that possess the know-how to produce the hairspring internally allowing to have one of the largest screwed balance wheel.
As wth most Minerva movements, found in Montblanc watches, the MB M16.31 calibre is exceptionally designed. The calibre itself is recognisable thanks to its handcrafted finishings – Côtes de Genève stripes, inner angles, circular graining and bevelling – as well as its fine details such as the Minerva arrow and the chronograph bridge shaped in the form of a “V” whose design was protected in 1912.
Talk about some serious horological firepower!!!!