Detailed Review With The Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Watch
Historically,Swiss Montblanc was most closely associated with luxury pens, the Meisterstück being its most iconic and successful. The brand’s watchmaking debut didn’t come until 1997, when it opened up its watchmaking division in Le Locle, Switzerland. The name of its first timepiece? The Meisterstück. Like its namesake, the watch was a finely finished piece of craftsmanship, but the brand didn’t really find its footing in horology until 2006, when Richemont (who already owned Montblanc) also acquired the esteemed Swiss movement-making firm Minerva.
Montblanc took over management of Minerva's manufacture, and launched the Nicolas Rieussec watch—using the MB R100, Montblanc's first official in-house calibre. Since then, Montblanc has produced a number of beautiful timepieces with equally beautiful movements, earning its place in the ranks of high-end horology—and the new 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter is an excellent example of this.
The design is based on a 1930s pilot’s wristwatch—as is the whole Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Watch, of which this watch is part. Subtly vintage and elegantly styled, its champagne-coloured dial and Arabic numerals are wonderfully understated, and perfectly complement the design element that really sets the watch’s aesthetics apart from other pieces: the 44mm brushed bronze case. Along with the broad cathedral hands, retro-styled minute track around the edge of the dial and brown leather strap, the watch has a wonderfully sophisticated antique look to it.
The watch utilises the MB M16.29, a really handsome movement that features red gold plated bridges and baseplate, eschewing the more commonplace rhodium plating found in other Montblanc Minerva movements. It’s hand-wound and beats at 18,000vph, with a power reserve of 50 hours. The watch features a monopusher column wheel chronograph, operated by a pushpiece that is integrated into the onion crown at 3 o’clock.
The Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter is limited to just 100 pieces, and is priced at €27,500 (£23,035).