In January this year, the 29th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie welcomed journalists from around the globe to introduce the latest in Swiss timepieces. As one of the most anticipated tradeshows in the watch industry, it was the perfect venue for German luxury brand Montblanc to launch new novelties in their 1858 collection, including the 1858 Automatic; 1858 Automatic Chronograph; and 1858 Geosphere.
Championing the spirit of the great outdoors, these three new editions are inspired by the legendary, military-spec Minerva watches manufactured between 1920-1930. ‘Tough”, ”resilient” and “precise” are the key words, and it’s clear from the specialised design and engineering that they have been created with a particular audience in mind — namely, modern-day pioneers who hike through dense forests or rugged travellers traversing steep mountain peaks.
In keeping with the “great outdoors” vibe, each of the new 1858 editions possesses a very earthy look. The bronze cases and khaki-green dials blend well with natural environs, and the former is calibrated for controlled patination. NATO straps are handwoven in France and wrap comfortably around wrists of all but the biggest size.
Given their vintage inspiration, the watches have fluted crowns, much like those seen on many period timepieces. Domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal adds to the traditional touch. And to ensure enhanced legibility, the green dials contrast with luminescent cathedral-shaped hands. Large, beige-coloured Arabic indexes (coated in Luminova) ensure excellent visibility, particularly in the outdoor nighttime context which Montblanc is championing these new timepieces in. On the caseback, wearers will find an engraved relief of the Montblanc summit, combined with a compass and crossed pickaxes — a nod to the spirit of mountain exploration.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
The Geosphere is powered by the calibre 29.25MB — a self-winding movement derived from the Sellita SW300, which possesses a 42-hour power reserve and worldtime complication. The 42mm bronze casing is more or less in line with what we’ve come to expect from Montblanc, and is a useful foil to the dial. Speaking of, the dial on the Geosphere features a couple of vintage details that are lateral references to timepieces put out by the historic Minerva manufacture: the hour & minute hands are cathedral-shaped and the world time display is shaded in a sort of faux-patinated beige colourway that will tickle the fancy of vintage timepiece lovers.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph
A crowd pleaser at last year’s edition of SIHH, the newest 1858 Chronograph doesn’t exactly break bad on the mechanical front. It’s powered by the calibre 25.11MB — a Sellita-derived column-wheel chronograph that tops out at 48 hours of reserve power. The biggest point of difference is the khaki green dial: again, featuring the Minerva-inspired cathedral hands; and registering at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic
The daily wearer of the bunch, the new 1858 automatic possesses a design language which will likely appeal to a wide array of both seasoned and novice collectors. Powered by the calibre 24.15, this two-hander yields a 38-hour power reserve and is available in two variations: the first features a khaki dial and bronze case; and the second, a slick black dial encased in stainless steel (non-limited).
The Montblanc 1858 Automatic, Automatic Chronograph and Geosphere novelties in bronze will be produced in a limited allocation of 1,858 pieces each. To learn more, visit Montblanc online.