This week, Montblanc becomes the first of Richemont’s major watch brands to unveil new models and collections that were originally set to debut at Watches & Wonders Geneva in late April, since cancelled along with its sister event, Baselworld. Headlining the new releases are a trio of colorful-dialed models from its Heritage collection, with designs inspired by the legendary Minerva watch maison, a chronograph specialist now incorporated into Montblanc. Here is the lowdown on the new Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition, Heritage Monopusher Chronograph, and Heritage Automatic.
Paying aesthetic tribute to Minerva watches of the 1940s and ’50s, the Heritage models are distinguished by fully polished cases with curved lugs and facets, curved Dauphine hands, multilevel dials with dot indices and a minute track, and box-shaped sapphire crystals. The flagship of this year’s collection, the Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition 100, features an eye-catching, smoked-finish tobacco dial and a matching brown Sfumato alligator leather strap. Referred to by vintage-timepiece enthusiasts as a “doctor’s watch,” its signature function is a chronograph that was once used by doctors to measure a patient’s resting heart rate via the pulsograph scale on the dial’s periphery. The dial itself is slightly domed and hosts a sunray finish in its center and a grainé pattern on its minute track. Its 18k rose-gold case measures 40 mm in diameter and contains the Montblanc Manufacture Caliber MB M13.21, which is visible through an exhibition caseback. The manually wound movement holds a 55-hour power reserve and features an extra-large balance wheel, a traditional 18,000-vph balance frequency, a column wheel with horizontal coupling, a patented V-shaped chronograph bridge — all signature elements of vintage Minerva calibers, along with the hand-decorated Minerva arrow on the bridge. The applied Arabic numerals, dot indices, and hour and minute hands are treated with Super-LumiNova; the hands, including the baton hands for the chronograph counters, are in rose gold. Another notable retro-style detail is the use of old-school payphone indications at the 3-, 6-, and 9-minute marks on the chronograph’s minute counter that would let payphone users know when to add a coin for more time. Limited to 100 pieces, the watch is priced at $33,000.
The 2020 version of Montblanc’s popular Monopusher Chronograph has a very ’50s-esque salmon-colored dial, slightly domed and boasting the same combination of sunray and graine textures as the Pulsograph. Also similar to the limited edition, this model’s dial features applied Arabic numerals and dots as indexes, here with a rhodium finish; curved Dauphine hour and minutes hands with Super-LumiNova inserts; and baton hands, on this model traditional blued rather than in gold, for the seconds and subdial indications. The chronograph minutes subdial also has the same period-appropriate “payphone” indications. This watch’s case is slightly larger, at 42 mm in fully polished stainless steel, with curved horns and a domed, box-style sapphire crystal. On this model, the caseback is solid, with an engraved rendering of the historical Minerva Manufacture. Behind it is the automatic caliber MB 25.12, with a 48-hour power reserve and a 28,800 vph frequency. The Sfumato alligator leather strap, from the Richemont Pelletteria in Florence, is in anthracite gray. It is priced at $4,950.
The latest iteration of the Montblanc Heritage Automatic makes its debut in a 40-mm yellow gold case, with a lacquered dial in British racing green and a matching dark green strap. The case’s yellow gold is echoed on the dial’s detailing, such as the familiar applied Arabic numerals and dots of the Heritage collection, as well as Dauphine hands treated with Super-LumiNova. Montblanc’s MB 24.27 automatic movement beats inside the 50-meter water-resistant case, storing a 42-hour power reserve; like the Monopusher’s movement, it’s ensconced behind a decorative engraved caseback. The Sfumato leather strap fastens to the wrist with a pin buckle made of the same yellow gold as the case. The new Heritage Automatic is priced at $8,900.