Montblanc‘s major launch at SIHH 2017 is its revamped TimeWalker collection, with designs heavily influenced by the vintage stopwatches developed to time motor races in the early 20th century by Minerva, a renowned producer of chronographs that is today a part of Montblanc. The Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter, a limited edition of 100 pieces, is perhaps the most direct descendant of these Minerva road-race timers.
A 50-mm wristwatch with a black calf leather strap, the Rally Timer can also be converted into a pocketwatch by simply folding the strap attachments under the case and turning the case from 0 to 180 degrees (or from 3 to 9 o’clock). Two arms below the pocketwatch allow it to be placed on a table. The watch’s owner can also use it as a hand-held stopwatch, with the strap as a secure handle, or clip it into a metal plate covered with leather that attaches to a car’s dashboard, allowing the watch to be viewed by a driver behind the wheel.
The Rally Timer combines elements of the “vintage racing” look with those of modern Montblanc TimeWalker collection. The large, grade-two titanium case has been satinated, with a middle section that has also been knurled and coated with black DLC. Satin-finished titanium is also used for the vintage-inspired, knurled monopusher, the crown, and the strap attachments. Automotive motifs continue on the backside of the watch, which features a sapphire window in the shape of a car grille that reveals the timepiece’s movement, Montblanc’s manual-winding, manufacture Caliber MB M16.29, equipped with a monopusher chronograph function.
The black dial is engineered for maximum legibility, with white Arabic numerals, luminous coating on the indices and dauphine hands, and a central red chronograph seconds hand that runs along a tachymeter scale on the dial’s flange. The chronograph’s 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock is vertically aligned with the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, a layout reminiscent of those historical Minerva Rally Timers.
Monopusher chronograph Caliber MB M16.29, crafted for Montblanc by the factory formerly known as Minerva, features a column wheel, horizontal coupling, and a power reserve of 50 hours. It is a modern-day interpretation of the original Minerva Caliber 17.29, developed in the 1930s, which was used for both pocketwatches and wristwatches. Like its ancestors, it boasts numerous hand-executed finishes — including côtes de Genève, inner angles, circular graining and beveling on the German silver plate and bridges — and fine details such as the iconic Minerva arrow, a V-shaped chronograph bridge, and a large screwed balance with a frequency of 18,000 vph.
The Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition 100 is water-resistant to 30 meters and has been rigorously tested by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, simulating intense real-life wear for over 500 hours. Below you will find some photos we took of the watch and its movement.