Montblanc has released details of a new addition to its Heritage line, a limited edition powered by a stock of previously undiscovered movements found at its watchmaking manufacture in Villeret.
The watch, a 39mm hand-wound piece in stainless steel – with a salmon dial to match the rest of the collection launched at SIHH in January 2019 – uses calibre MB62.00, a movement that was apparently recently found in storage at the old Minerva HQ.
The calibre isn’t as old as that might make it sound, however. While based on a classic Minerva movement – the Pythagore, a calibre Montblanc has referenced more than once in recent years, originally produced in 1948 – these ébauches date from 2003, when the Pythagore was first revived under Montblanc. Thirty-eight of the movements were discovered, meaning this model is limited to 38 pieces.
Recognisable dial-side by its small-seconds layout, the movement is identifiable by its large (and slow-beating, at just 2.5Hz) balance wheel and geometrically curved bridges, something of a Minerva hallmark. Somewhat unusually the balance can be regulated in two different ways – first via a simple stud for centring the balance spring, and secondly by the swan-neck regulator, which allows for regulation of the length of the spring. The movement has a 50-hour power reserve, and is built from rhodium-plated German silver, with traditional Cotes de Geneve finishing, while the bridges and mainplate boast hand-bevelling and chamfering.
On the dial, the watch carries over all the distinctive features from the re-booted Heritage line that was introduced earlier in the year. That means a vivid pink-orange “salmon” tone dial, with contrasting grained, snailed and sunray finishes, plus a blue minute track and the subtlest of red details, namely at 60 and 30. The numerals are applied and luminous, with as big a bite taken out of the 6 as we’ve ever seen. In what is apparently a complete one-off addition, the watches carry a secret signature (a la Cartier or Breguet) on the dial – the word Minerva appearing between 4 and 5 o’clock.
In keeping with the rest of the range, the watch uses Montblanc’s heritage logo, with the calibre name written underneath – the cursive “M” another nod to Minerva’s own history.
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