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Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph – The Minerva Style Made Accessible (SIHH 2018)

The highly coveted style of Minerva military chronographs... In a much more accessible package!

| By Brice Goulard | 2 min read |
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph - SIHH 2018

Looking at recent collections by Montblanc, one series of watches clearly created a strong interest amongst the collecting community. You guessed it; the Minerva-inspired Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymetre and its superb (to say the least) hand-wound Monopusher movement. One not-so-superfluous problem though with these watches… Their prices. Well, if you like the Military- and vintage-inspired Minerva chronographs and if you have a normal budget, MB has the solution at the SIHH 2018: the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph.

Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph - SIHH 2018

The Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph (left) next to a 1930s Minerva Chronograph (right)

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The recipe is simple and well-known… but it works. Take most of the design elements of the 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter watches, meaning a military/pilot-style chronograph with cathedral hands, 1930s overall look, slightly modernized but not too much and, instead of the hand-finished monopusher movement, use a more standard automatic chronograph. The look without the price… This is exactly what the new Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph is.

Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph - SIHH 2018

This 1858 Automatic Chronograph takes advantage of the hype created by the previous (and relatively expensive) limited editions. Its case measures a reasonable 42mm and shows a combination of brushed surfaces and some polished details, such as the bevels that run along the casebands and the lugs. The case is indeed in the vein of military/pilot watches from WWII, yet with a few nice details to slightly modernize it.

The dial of the new Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph also reflects that same Minerva inspiration, with military-style cathedral hands and large Arabic numerals filled with cream luminous paint. The choice was made to stick to the classic bi-compax layout, again more in line with vintage watches of the era. A good point is the absence of text and date on the dial, with the exception of Montblanc’s historic logo.

Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph - SIHH 2018

The 1858 Automatic Chronograph will be available in two versions:

  • Steel case, black sunburst dial, cognac-coloured aged calf leather strap – ref. 117836
  • Steel case, black sunburst dial, black & grey Nato strap – ref. 117835
  • Bronze case, smoked champagne dial, cognac-coloured aged calf leather strap – ref. 118223

Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph - SIHH 2018

Inside this new model ticks an automatic chronograph movement, the calibre MB 25.11 based on a Sellita SW-510 – a robust movement based on the 7750-architecture – modified to only display the small second and the 30-minute counter, without the date feature. It is however certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500.

The 1858 Automatic Chronograph makes a nice entry in the collection, as an “accessible” version of the superb Minerva chronographs. It will be priced between EUR 4,000 and EUR 5,000 (to be confirmed). More details on

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