By James Henderson
Now in fairness, I am a bit of a traditionalist. I am not a big believer in the “power of the brand”. So when news came out that Minerva had been purchased and was going to be “assigned” to Montblanc, I suffered from a wee bit of doubt. Montblanc – the folks who make pens? They had been making watches for some time, nothing too bad. But if I am honest, nothing I personally found exceptional.
Some time has passed, and I must give credit where credit is due – the new offerings coming from Montblanc are truly special. The Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph in particular has answered the doubters – including yours’ truly!
At first blush you might say, okay – a gold chronograph… that would be the understatement of the century. This is a bicompax monopush chronograph. On a scale of 1 – 10, this one’s an 11!
The folks at Monblanc showed some very welcome restraint in the design and execution of the case. A wonderfully sane 41 mm of rose gold provides the carriage for the Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph, viewable through anti-reflective sapphire crystals both top and bottom. Under the hood the Montblanc Calibre MB M13.21 finds its inspiration from the Minerva Calibre 13.20. This is hand made and hand finished, just as you’d expect. Secured by a hand-stitched black alligator strap with a matching rose gold buckle. Beautiful, classic and downright pleasant to look at, the overall balance of this time machine is what stays with me.
And because you can’t throw the name Minerva around without dipping a little deeper into the details, here are the “bona fides” –
The Montblanc Calibre MB M13.21 features a Monopusher chronograph mechanism that functions with a column-wheel and horizontal gear coupling. The chronograph functions with what has been referred to as a “three-phase control”. Essentially the first push is the start, second push the stop, the third push returns to zero.
Only 90 lucky people in the world will have an opportunity to own this chronographic bijoux, which I am informed will be available this autumn, so get on to your Monblanc dealer while the “getting is good”. For more info, please visit montblanc.com
James Henderson – Contributing Editor
Known to many in the industry as their “nagging conscience”, James Henderson writes the Tempus Fugit Blog. Prior to writing about watches he worked for DOXA Watches for three years and currently works with several brands on marketing and communication projects. Having taught English in Japan, Portugal, Finland and Scotland, James now calls Santa Barbara, California home. Read his articles here.