California-based Collective Horology have done it again with their latest release, this time in collaboration with Montblanc for the 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph “Blue Arrow” P.05. Montblanc has steadily released lovingly created pieces under the historic Minerva name since they acquired it back in 2007. For vintage chronograph lovers, it really doesn’t get better than these low-production monopushers and the white dial with blue and yellow accents is like a breath of fresh air in the space.
You’ll recall Collective Horology’s last collaboration piece was the the Czapek Antarctique “Lanikai” with that beautiful textured enamel dial. Sharp-eyed Minerva fans will easily spot not just the fun reinterpretation of the red arrow redone in blue (which is fairly obvious given the name) but also the double-stamped dial with Minerva name and logo noticeably placed right at 6 o’clock. For the uninitiated, the “Red Arrow” is the name given to a Minerva chronograph dating back to 1939 that was designed for pilots to easily rotate the fluted bezel to check elapsed time. The blue arrow and fluted rotating bezel on this watch work the same way.
The white lacquered dial with blue and yellow accents looks great and is a fun play on these vintage inspired watches that tend to lean more towards “historically accurate” and conservative designs. The glossy depth of white lacquer is lovingly joined by the thermally blued central chronograph and sub-dial hands. I’m a sucker for the little details that mark the difference between a very good and a truly great watch. While most of the value of the 1958 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph comes from the movement, the attention paid to the dial demonstrates these little details. And then there’s the fact that the rotating fluted bezel is done in white gold. Pure *chef’s kiss* stuff here.
The 42mm wide stainless steel case is water resistant to 30m so if you were thinking of going for a swim with this watch on: please don’t. Also I have several questions for anyone who takes a dip or dive with a monopusher chronograph.
Turning the watch over reveals the real reason for the season: the Caliber MB M13.21 movement. The contemporary iteration of the century-old Calibre 13.20, the movement is entirely made in-house in Villeret with the exception of the jewels and some screws. It takes two full days to do all the hand-finishing that includes Rhodium-coated German silver bridges done with Geneva stripes, hand-chamfering, and circular graining throughout. The MB13.21 boasts a column-wheel and iconic Devil’s tail lateral clutch; this is a 30-minute chronograph with 60-hours of power reserve.
This is truly one of the great chronograph movements of our time and it gladdens me to see a group like Collective Horology doing their part in introducing new and fresh designs while honoring this great watchmaking tradition. Of course, production numbers will be low with just 30 pieces being produced. The Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph “Blue Arrow” P.05 for Collective Horology is priced at $34,500 with delivery expected around December 2023. Pre-orders are open now exclusively at collectivehorology.com