Post-SIHH 2018: Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph Watch

By Dhananjay Pathak

The Montblanc 1858 watch collection was released back in 2015 and comprises of some nice looking vintage flavored watches. The source of inspiration behind these watches were Minerva designs from the past, something that seemed pretty obvious given that Minerva was acquired by Montblanc in the year 2006. Nevertheless, we are now in 2018 and for this year’s SIHH event Montblanc is refreshing the 1858 collection by introducing a new chronograph called the Montblanc 1858 automatic chronograph. This new watch shares quite a few design queues with the more expensive Montblanc 1858 chronograph tachymeter limited edition but comes in at a much more accessible price point and a more wearable size.

The dial on the Montblanc 1858 automatic chronograph features a bicompax layout and is very easy to read. The military roots of this watch are evident through the big and bold Arabic numerals which have been painted with luminous material for enhanced visibility in low light situations. The cathedral shaped handset is nicely proportioned and has also been filled with custard colored luminous paint adding to the vintage appeal of the watch. The chronograph registers at 3 and 9 have been nicely executed and use a railroad style track to display the minutes and seconds respectively. One of my favorite detail on this dial though is the absence of a date display, which once again adds to the clean aesthetic of the dial.

The case of this watch is 42mm in diameter which is a nice modern size and should make this watch wear comfortably on varied wrist sizes especially compared to the rather large 44mm chronographs currently existing in the 1858 collection. The front of the watch has a domed sapphire crystal whereas the back has a simple closed case back with an embossed motif of a mountain which can also be seen in between the branding text on the dial. The case is water resistant to 100 metres which is a nice detail and would ensure peace of mind in case you get stuck in heavy rainfall with this watch on your wrist or should you wish to go light swimming with it.

The movement powering this watch is Mont Blanc’s calibre MB25.11, which is basically a slightly modified Sellita SW-510 and operates at a frequency of 4Hz, offering a power reserve of around 48 hours. Although this is an apt choice of movement for this watch as it has helped Montblanc keep the price under control, it would have been interesting to see this watch equipped with Montblanc’s brand new in-house chronograph calibre MB25.10 which would be powering the new Montblanc Timewalker Manufacture chronograph watch.

Overall Mont Blanc has definitely seems to have nailed it with the Montblanc 1858 automatic chronograph offering a handsome looking watch at a relatively affordable price point. The watch would come in two dial/case variations; a stainless steel case with a black dial and a bronze case with a beautiful champagne dial with sun-burst finish. The bronze case would come fitted with a cognac-colored leather strap whereas the stainless steel version would either come on a grey nato strap or a black leather strap. The watch would be priced somewhere between 4000 and 5000 Euros.