Since the acquisition of the venerable, historically significant Minerva manufacture by parent company Richemont in 2006, Montblanc has been embracing that Swiss watchmaker’s rich history in its ongoing mission to move beyond its renowned role as a purveyor of fine writing instruments and stake its claim among the top-tier maisons of high watchmaking.
At SIHH 2019 in January, Montblanc will unveil the latest iteration of its Star Legacy collection, which the brand describes as inspired by “the spirit of classical watchmaking,” enlivening the latest models with historical details echoing those of early Minerva pocketwatches and wristwatches, and adding some contemporary flair as well. Here is a preview.
Three new models in the Star Legacy collection feature stainless steel cases and dials with vintage-inspired Roman hour numerals in black. The dials’ blued hands are designed to harmonize with the blue sfumato leather straps, which are made at Montblanc’s own pellleteria in Florence, Italy. Two complications are offered among the three new watches: an automatic with a date indication, in a small round window at 6 o’clock, available in two case sizes, 39-mm and 42-mm diameter; and a full calendar, with a pointer-style date display and a moon-phase at 6 o’clock, in a 42-mm case.
The other new Star Legacy timepieces hail from Montblanc’s Nicolas Rieussec family of luxury chronographs, named for the French inventor of the first “time writer,” a proto-chronograph that used ink to measure the running times of race horses in the 1800s. The newest models in this series, whose dials are designed to resemble Rieussec’s 19th-century invention, are housed in 44.8-mm-diameter cases, one in rose gold, the other in steel, and topped by sleek anthracite dials. The dial’s hour circle, hands, and chronograph counters are finished to match the tones of the case for an elegant, unified look — rose-gold-coated on the gold watch, silvery-white on the steel.
The self-winding movement, Montblanc’s manufacture Caliber MB R2000, which endows the Rieussec model with its monopusher chronograph function, is equipped with a rose-gold rotor, a column wheel to drive the stopwatch, and a 72-hour power reserve. Prices for the new Star Legacy models will be announced at SIHH 2019.