To put it colloquially, Montblanc are killing it. As a watch fan there hasn’t been a release this year I haven’t liked (although as a money fan I’m more divided). Their Heritage Monopusher Chronograph is one of my favourite releases of 2020 thanks to its understated design and detailed Salmon dial. However, it has now been usurped by its bronze Minerva inspired brother, the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph.
In case you didn’t know, in 2007 Montblanc purchased heritage watchmaker Minerva, giving them a launch pad to produce in-house manufactured movements and a legitimate source of inspiration for their vintage style 1858 collection. The latest addition to this roster is the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph which will be available in steel or limited-edition bronze case versions. Style wise it’s not too dissimilar to the green chronograph monopusher launched in 2018, albeit a little less divisive in terms of colour palatte and with the pusher combined with the crown.
There is an overall sepia tone appeal to the dial which sets a warm beige for the numerals, indices and telemeter scale against a black backdrop. This works exceptional well with the bronze limited case and gives off an explorer vibe that Montblanc seem too often aim for. The cases are 42mm in diameter, 14.7mm thick and come with a retro domed sapphire. Ensuring the watch is useable as well as good looking they have a water resistance of 100m and an enclosed titanium case back.
At 42mm it’s certainly not a small watch, especially for one aimed at individuals with vintage sensibilities and a worry I have is that the monopusher might dig into the hand, especially if climbing a mountain as the press shots suggest. The downside of Watches & Wonders being a strictly online affair is that we can’t know for certain until we get hands on with it.
Powered by the MB 25.12 automatic movement it’s no in-house Minerva. The Sellita-based spin off, has a power reserve of 48 hours, beats at a frequency of 4hz and measures up to 30 minutes on the chronograph with a central chronograph second hand. Strap-wise the steel is available on a brown leather strap or a very cool stainless steel “beads of rice” bracelet, while the bronze will be available on a beige-gold nato number.
The price is kept competitive thanks to the movement and there’s not much difference between the two, with the steel starting at $4,900 ($5,200 for the bracelet) and the patina-developing bronze version at $5,600. You will have to move fast if you fancy the rugged bronze version as production will be limited to 1858 watches.
Price & Specs:
Model: 1858 Monopusher Chronograph
Ref: 125581 (steel and leather), 125582 (steel bracelet), 125583 (bronze)
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter x 14.7mm thickness, stainless steel or bronze
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre MB. 25.12, automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, 30-minute chronograph, central chronograph seconds
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 48h
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet or cognac-coloured calfskin strap, beige NATO strap with bronze-coated stainless steel pin (Bronze Limited Edition)
Price/availability: $4,900 (Steel and leather), $5,200 (Steel and steel bracelet), $5,600 (Bronze LE), bronze limited to 1,858 pieces
More details at Montblanc’s website.