This year, Montblanc is presenting two new chronograph models in the reworked Star Legacy Collection, inspired by the heritage of manufacturing workshop Minerva.
Richemont acquired Minerva for Montblanc in 2006 and renamed it Villeret, and the watch company has in the past few years, delved often into that heritage for inspiration - a smart move, since the young German luxury brand has a relatively young watchmaking operation that only began in 1997. Minerva, in comparison, dates back to 1858, and is well-known all around for their exquisite hand-made chronograph movements.
The inspiration for Montblanc’s new Star Legacy Collection is from Minerva’s pocket watches that were made during the late 19th century and early 20th century, like the Golden Hunter Calibre 19” from 1927. Both the new timepieces come with a round case with curved horns and steps on the side, with an onion-shaped crown decorated with Montblanc’s emblem.
The Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph is the more accessibly priced of the two, and is a practical chronograph that comes with a pure silvery-white dial, black Arabic numerals, classic blued leaf-shaped hands, a refined filet sauté guilloché and a unique railway minute track around the dial and counters.
Cased in 42mm in stainless steel, the timepiece is powered by the automatic calibre MB 25.02.
The Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph comes with even more historical appeal, and is a reinterpretation of the Rieussec monopusher chronograph that the brand launched in 2008.
Nicolas Rieussec is a French watchmaker who is credited for inventing the first inking chronograph in 1821 to measure the running times of individual horses at a horse race. Rieussec’s device literally wrote time using ink, and it cannot be any more fitting for Montblanc, with its history for writing instruments, to pay homage to Rieussec.
At 44.8mm, this stainless steel cased timepiece is slightly larger than the other Star Legacy offering. The monopusher complication means that the chronograph function started, stopped and reset itself through the same single pusher at the crown. Also featured on the dial is a GMT hand that tracked a second time zone, a day/night indicator at nine o’clock, a date window at 6 o’clock, a 60-second counter and a 30-minute counter.
Both the timepieces are completed with the same “Sfumato” blue alligator watch strap that is darker to the sides and lighter in the middle, to compliment the two elegant watches.
Stay tuned to see more of Montblanc’s offerings at SIHH 2018.
This article was updated on January 26