The Montblanc Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph gets a contemporary look in a limited edition of 88 pieces in distressed steel
A New Limited Edition
Following the release of two limited editions of the Montblanc Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph in 2022 in Lime Gold (limited edition of 18 pieces) and stainless steel (limited to 58 pieces), Montblanc is unveiling a new limited edition in distressed steel, giving this model a more contemporary look.
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.
This new version comes with a white gold fluted bezel inspired by Minerva’s first fluted bezel that dates back to 1927, adding a new level of finesse to the model. It is fitted with a black nubuck alligator strap with a distressed steel triple-folding clasp, and includes a caseback featuring an engraving of the historic Minerva Manufacture.
A Closer Look at the Monopusher Chronograph
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.
This is one of the first times in Minerva’s 165-year history that a timepiece features the movement on the dial, making it an object of desire for watch lovers who wish to admire the movement without altering their timepiece.
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.
Signature Minerva Movement Design
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. This Montblanc Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition unveils the secret of the Maison’s watchmaking past in a timepiece that is contemporary for today’s watch lovers.