Montblanc: Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph14 April 2023
Following the release of two limited editions of the Montblanc Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph in 2022 in Lime Gold and stainless steel, Montblanc is unveiling a new limited edition in distressed steel.
This distressed steel finish is achieved by treating the 43mm stainless steel case with a black coating. The material is then manually washed and brushed with quartzite from the Mont-Blanc and limestones from the “V”-shaped mountain opposite the Villeret Manufacture, called La Combe Grède, bringing the mountain and the valley together. This interesting treatment gives each timepiece its very own individual patina and appearance.
THE MINERVA MB M16.29 CALIBER
The Montblanc Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition features a historic hand-wound Minerva MB M16.29 movement with all its meticulous hand-finishing. This mesmerizing movement has been flipped over to display all the mechanical action on the dial side of the watch. At first glance, the viewer may think it is a skeletonized movement, but a closer look reveals that this historic chronograph movement is on full display on the dial side of the watch.
Turning a movement over sounds simple, but it is a technical feat as the direction of the hands also has to be reversed. The MB M16.29 calibre was one of the only movements in Montblanc’s archive of chronographs where this could be achieved. Reversing the direction of the dial hands required the addition of 21 components, making this more than an aesthetic feature, but a truly technical one too.
And just for fun, the Maison has turned the last digit of the reference number upside down to represent this change, so MB M16.29 becomes MB M16.26.
WHEN THE MOVEMENT BECOMES THE DIAL
Looking through the sapphire crystal into the depths of the movement, the viewer can immediately perceive the detailed level of finishing on the sanded German silver movement and the beauty of the bridges and plates that have been coated with anthracite ruthenium to match the tone of the case. A keen eye will also detect the Maison’s unique snailed diamantage coquille motif and the thorough polishing, which includes the inner angles of the components, a feat in itself.
In keeping with all Montblanc’s complicated movements, the distinctive Minerva arrow and the Maison’s “V”-shaped bridge are also on display. The Minerva arrow is a tribute to the Roman Goddess who is always depicted with her arrow-tipped staff in hand, and the unusual “V”-shaped bridge comes from the view of the mountains seen from the watchmakers’ window in Villeret, a sight that has been a constant since the founding of the workshop in 1858.
Particular attention has been paid to the indications so that they don’t distract from the movement with an open-worked 30-minute chronograph counter, an open-worked small seconds display, and elegant hands and indexes that have been created with Super-LumiNova® for enhanced legibility. A a white gold fluted bezel inspired by Minerva’s first fluted bezel that dates back to 1927 completes the design of the watch.
Limited to only 88 pieces, the new Montblanc Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph is paired with a black nubuck alligator strap with a distressed steel triple-folding clasp. (Price €. 41,000)