Vintage has been reappearing in various watch brands’ novelties this year! In a refreshing new take on old, Montblanc introduces bronze into its 1858 Collection, just in time for the 2017 SIHH. The Maison just unveiled new vintage-inspired timepieces using bronze, a first for the watchmaker. The resulting timepieces modernizes the past by reinterpreting the famous Minerva military chronographs from the 1930s, with distinct designs and exceptional mechanics that defy time. The brand actually came up with the perfect alloy of bronze that will evolve with its owner by developing its own unique, uniform and attractive patina over the years. Three new bronze timepieces dawn upon us: 1858 Chronometer Tachymeter Limited Edition 100, 1858 Automatic Dual Time and 1858 Automatic.
The 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition is of pure vintage style; from the design of the case, to the movement, strap and retro-vintage champagne dial in a sunray finish matching the 44mm satinated bronze case. The color combination and finishing gives a monochrome and mono-material aspect to the timepiece, accentuating the volume of the timepiece and drawing attention to the details. Similarly to the straps in the 1858 Collection, its cognac alligator leather straps have been crafted at the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence, and feature satinated bronze plated buckles that complement the overall design. The Minerva MB M16.29, a traditional manual monopusher chronograph, beats at the heart of the timepiece.
Taking after the famous military Minerva 1930s timepieces, the vintage-inspired Montblanc 1858 Automatic Dual Time has a highly recognizable style with its black dial, cathedral-shaped hands and beige Super-LumiNova® Arabic numerals, encased in a 44mm satinated stainless steel case with a bronze bezel and crown. Its automatic Calibre MB 29.19 movement boasts a dual time complication entirely developed and assembled in-house. The dual time function is quite practical while traveling as the wearer can set the local time hour hand to the new destination time zone without affecting the home time hour hand. The minute hand and the second hand also both continue to run uninterruptedly during this setting process, thus preserving the exact time. A day/night indicator, which is connected to the central home time hand, is visible in a small aperture at 12 o’clock. Keeping with the old, the authentic Montblanc logo from the 1930s remains on the dial, while a brand new cognac-colored calfskin strap featuring traditional beige stitches give it an aged appearance.
And sometimes, simplicity is luxury. For a pure, clean vintage look, the attractive and strikingly simple Montblanc 1858 Automatic is the obvious choice. A deep black dial, cathedral-shaped hands and Arabic Super-LumiNova® numerals in a 44mm stainless steel case with a bronze bezel and crown; straightforward and understated elegance. The case back reveals a Manufacture in Villeret engraving with the Jura Mountains in the background, along with the Roberts Frères Villeret logo, the historic Minerva logo, the Montblanc name and the arrow from the Goddess Minerva’s spear. Linking a vintage design to practical horological functionality, the precise, automatic Calibre MB 24.17 movement powers the watch, making it ideal for younger watch aficionados.
By choosing bronze, Montblanc combines traditional Swiss artisanal watchmaking with a genuine material from watchmaking history, embodying the true military spirit of the 30s. The ingenuity of the mountain peak brand resided in coupling bronze with steel for the first time in the watchmaking industry, creating a bi-color, bi-material combination that brings out the best of vintage design, at an extremely attractive price we might add!