Inspired by the “doctor’s watches” of the 1930s, Montblanc’s new Vintage Pulsographe radiates vintage charm. The 39.5 mm case makes it the first chronograph from Villeret with a diameter under 40 mm. Below the genuine grand feu enamel dial is a modern monopusher chronograph movement with vintage qualities. Find wallpaper, complete specs and pricing inside.
The calibre MB M13.21 chronograph movement incorporates the attributes of classical chronograph mechanisms and traditional manufacture craftsmanship, such as column-wheel control and horizontal wheel coupling. As a monopusher, the movement relies on a three-phase control: the chronograph function starts the first time the button is pressed; the chronograph’s hands stop the next time it is pressed; and these hands return to their zero positions the third time it is pressed. The sequence begins anew the next time the button is activated.
The sapphire crystal case back reveals hand-decorated components: all levers and springs are polished on their planar surfaces and satin-finished on their sides, while their edges are manually beveled. All functional surfaces in every movement are individually and manually adjusted to guarantee smooth and reliable triggering. Plates and bridges are made of rhodium-plated nickel silver. The bridges are embellished with manually polished bevels and classical Geneva waves. The pale silver grey of the movement’s chassis contrasts with the red gemstone bearings and the large 11.4 mm balance, which has adjustable screws along its rim and which oscillates at the classical pace of 2.5 Hz or 18,000 vph, allowing the chronograph to time events to the nearest 1/5 of a second.
The dial is made from solid gold, as are all dials in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858. For the Vintage Pulsographe, it’s fired at 850° Celsius to fuse it to its grand feu enamel coating. The red gold model has a black dial with white markings; the white gold version features a white dial with black markings.
The outermost edge of the Vintage Pulsographe’s dial is marked with a red pulse scale and the phrase “GRADUÉ POUR 30 PULSATIONS” (i.e. “calibrated for 30 pulse beats”). Further inward, this scale is followed by the minutes and elapsed-seconds scale (the latter with 1/5 of a second subdivisions), then by the hour-circle with large Arabic numerals, and finally by a railroad-style scale marked with the hours from 13 to 24. A subdial at the 9 o’clock position indicates the continually running seconds. Another subdial at the 3 can tally a maximum of thirty elapsed minutes.
Eighty years ago, physicians relied on wristwatch chronographs to measure patients’ pulse rates without having to continue feeling the pulse for a full minute. A physician wearing a wristwatch with a pulsograph scale could start his timepiece’s chronograph function the moment he felt the patient’s pulse. If the scale was calibrated for thirty pulse beats, he would continue counting the throbs until he had felt the thirtieth pulsation, whereupon he would stop his chronograph: the tip of the designated hand would indicate the point along the pulse scale corresponding to the patient’s pulse rate per minute. This saved precious seconds and was a convincing reason to own such a watch, especially if the physician’s ward rounds required him to measure the pulse rates of fifty or more patients. Wristwatches with pulsograph scales soon became known as “doctor’s watches.”
The Vintage Pulsographe case is available in 18K white or red gold. The winding crown is adorned with the Montblanc emblem in mother-of-pearl. The sapphire crystal has been anti-reflectively treated on both sides.
This case is affixed to a hand-sewn large-scale alligator strap that closes by means of a pronged buckle made of solid gold. Only 58 pieces of each model will be produced. The number refers to the year 1858 when the Minerva manufacture was first established.
The Vintage Pulsographe is priced at 37,000 euros in red gold and 35,000 euros in white gold. Complete technical specifications appear below the image, which may be enlarged with a click.
Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 – Vintage Pulsographe
Movement: Manufacture Calibre MB M13-21
Type: Hand-winding with chronograph function and small second
Chronograph: Monopusher with column wheel and horizontal coupling
Dimensions: Ø 29,5 mm, Height: 6.4 mm
No. of components: 239 (complete movement)
No. of jewels: 22 (hemispherical, domed, olive-cut)
Power reserve: 60 hours
Balance: Screw balance, Ø 11,4 mm; 26 mgcm2
Frequency: 18.000 semi-oscillations per hour (2,5 Hertz)
Spring: With Phillips terminal curve
Plate: Rhodium-plated nickel silver with circular graining on both surfaces
Bridges: Rhodium-plated nickel silver with “Côtes de Genève” decoration
Going-train: Gold-plated, faceted arms, diamond polished hubs
Indications, time: hours and minutes from the centre, small seconds at 9 o’clock
Indications, chronograph: Center seconds, 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock
Pulse scale: pulse scale allows to measure the pulse without calculating the number of pulsations per minute. Starting the chronograph hand by pressing the monopusher when starting to feel the pulse and stopping the chronograph when feeling the 30th pulsation. The number of pulsations per minute is indicated by the figure on the pulse scale, the chronograph hand points to.
Case: 18K red or white gold, domed sapphire crystal, screwed back with transparent pane of sapphire crystal
Dimensions: Ø 39,5 mm, Height: 12,03 mm
Water resistance: to 30m (3 bar)
Crown: 18 Karat gold with Mother-of-Pearl Montblanc emblem
Pusher: Monopusher in red or white gold at “2”
Dial: Grand Feu-Email on 18 Karat Gold (black for the red gold model, white for the white gold model)
Hands: blued stainless steel for the white gold model, gold for the red gold model
Bracelet: Alligator-skin, hand-sewn, 18 carat red or white gold buckle
Limitation: 58 pieces in red gold, 58 pieces in white gold