Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The New Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow In A Nutshell
Nostalgia always manages to ring in a pleasant tune of the years long gone. As the leaves of time fritter away, the right kind of vintage still somehow manages to leave an everlasting scent.
Inspired by the fluted bezel and an internal countdown rotating bezel from its Minerva Manufacture heydays of 1927, and the subsequent 1939 launch of its first wrist watch chronograph with an external rotating bezel and a reset function, is the new Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 is a Minerva-branded watch with a black dial, bold numerals, fluted bi-directional 18K white gold bezel and the red arrow to note timings.
This cold, quiet refined case acts as the perfect backdrop for the black-coloured opaline dial to do its magic. On this dark canvas are set the bold fauxtina — Beige Super-LumiNova with green emission — Arabic numerals alongside a telemeter scale, a tachymeter scale, a seconds counter and a minute chronograph counter.
I like how despite a lot going on with the dial, these sub-dials, scales, counters and the colimaçon snail shape are all quite proportionally small compared to the vacant real-estate on the black dial, and when you pair that with the very legible Arabic numerals, the new Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 manages to present a dial that’s full of retro-charm yet good readability. The brass silvered hour and minute hands again in-filled with the same beige Super-LumiNova also provide coherency to the dial architecture.
Experience the lingering scent of classic vintage with the Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88.
Basic Specs Of The Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow
The new Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 features a 30m water resistant 42mm diameter satinated and polished steel case with a fluted bidirectional white gold satinated and polished bezel. The domed box-shaped sapphire crystal (with antireflective coating) further helps bring in that vintage vibe. I like that the fluted bezel nicely complements the fluting on the crown (that also bears a Montblanc emblem engraving). It is subtle details like these that make you appreciate a timepiece ever more.
Inside the new Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 ticks the Montblanc Manufacture monopusher chronograph with column wheel and horizontal coupling Calibre MB M13.21 which is a 29.5mm diameter and 6.4mm thick manually wound movement that is also hand-finished for your viewing pleasure. The Calibre MB M13.21 comprises 239 components and 22 jewels, beats at the low frequency of 2.5 Hz, provides 60-hour power reserve, and features a gold-plated, circular grained, and chamfered going-train, rhodium plated German Silver bridges with Geneva Stripes, and hand-chamfered edges.
Purists will appreciate that this new Calibre MB M13.21 is designed on the basis of the original movement reference MB M19.09, and it features the same V bridge as the original. They would also like to know that the hairspring has actually been created in-house.
The new Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 ref. 129614 announced at Watches & Wonders 2022 March 30 to April 5 (both online and at the Salon) is limited to 88-pieces only, and is certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500H.
Bottom line: It is an excellent re-edition of an aviation-themed timepiece that’s very well rooted in vintage-timepiece ideology but still manages to be relevant in the present day and age.
“The 1920s and 30s were the formative decades of aviation with rapidly advancing technology and the start of both civilian and military flights. A reliable timekeeper was an essential piece of a pilot’s equipment and a Swiss manufacture in Villeret, called Minerva at the time, was at the forefront of producing professional stopwatches and chronographs for navigation and tracking time in the air”.Press Release
To find out more about the new Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are © 2022 Montblanc. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties here.