Early this year Montblanc released two Minerva-branded salmon dial watches as a part of its Heritage collection. The headline act was the Heritage Pulsometer LE (100 pieces) with its Manufacture manual-wind monopusher Calibre MB M13.21 column wheel chronograph movement based on the Minerva 13.20 and its support, the time-only Heritage Automatic (also available in silvery white).
The 40mm sized steel Heritage Pulsometer’s design was influenced by Minerva watches from the 1940s/ 1950s, featuring a domed box-shaped crystal, dauphine (lumed) hands, and guilloché sub dials. The Heritage Automatic is the same size and uses the automatic Calibre MB 24.26 movement.
Both watches come on a Grey Sfumato alligator skin strap. The Montblanc Heritage Pulsometer was released at EUR 28,000, whilst the Heritage Automatic was EUR 1,950 .
Now, Montblanc has revealed a special addition to its Heritage collection. The brand has chosen the new Heritage Small Second Limited Edition 38 (Ref. 124781), another new salmon-dialled family member, as the model in which to use a small ‘found’ stash of Minerva MB M62.00 calibres from 2003.
Along with the dial colour, the overall look of this piece is like the other two mentioned. The stainless steel case measures 39mm with a thickness of 9.45mm, and has a water resistance of 50m. It has an AR-coated domed box-shaped sapphire crystal, case back with a commemorative ‘Historical Minerva Movement’ engraving. The watch is double signed, with the MB62.00 calibre on the dial.
The lacquered dial has a grained hour ring and sunray finishing, and black rhodium Super-LumiNova coated numerals, dots, and hands, including for the small seconds. The seconds sub dial is set slightly lower than the main dial and has azuré finishing. The ‘6’ beneath the latter is not so much ‘cut out’ by the sub dial as truncated and separated. Perhaps having a dot rather than this half 6 might have been an option? Along with a railway track there is a historical Montblanc logo at 12 o’clock and for the first time, a Minerva signature between four and five o’clock.
The manual-wind NOS movement beats at 18,000VPH and a power reserve of 50 hours. This Minerva developed movement was previously used in the Villeret 1858 Collection and like other Villeret movements, has an in-house produced flat hairspring. Hand finishing includes circular graining, hand chamfered edges on the rhodium-coated German silver main plate, bridges with Côtes de Genève, and a gold-coated wheels. The Villeret origins are proudly alluded to in an engraved form on the movement itself. One thing to note is that the movement’s dimensions are 23.6mm (diametre) with a height of 3.90mm; I mention this because the case is 39mm.
It comes on a grey sfumato alligator leather strap from the Richemont Pelletteria in Florence, Italy with a stainless steel triple-folding clasp.
There were only 38 movements found and thus only 38 will be made. Each will be assembled from beginning to end by the same master watchmaker at the Montblanc in Villeret.
[Photo credit : Montblanc]