A unique alloy of gold, silver and iron has been used to create the new 44mm Montblanc 1858 Split Seconds Chronograph Limited Edition 18 Lime Gold – an extremely rare expression of the watch, following its original release in 2019. We’ve already seen the chronograph with a bronze case, followed by a titanium edition, but ‘lime gold’ is an intriguing approach, coupled with eye-catching 19th century fonts, cathedral hands, and a sunray-finished dial.
The steely-eyed stoicism of legendary watchmaking maison Minerva and their 46mm Minerva military chronograph from the 1930s serve as inspiration for the 1858 Split-Seconds Chronograph.
Montblanc’s 1858 series was created as an homage to this storied aspect of the brand’s history, so to be so precise and determined in creating this unique 18 karat alloy is perfectly understandable. It’s a landmark moment for Montblanc – even more so for anyone lucky enough to get their wrist under one, given only 18 of these US$50,000 (~AU$65,610) are being made available.
The fuzzy green detailing set against that specifically worked golden glow looks unlike anything else on the market right now – playful, remarkable, and elegant. Underneath the flamboyant exterior is equally admirable, driven by the complex Montblanc Calibre MB M16.31 split-seconds chronograph monopusher.
The dynamic movement features two column wheels along with a horizontal coupling system and a power reserve of up to 50 hours. Most importantly, it channels Minerva history with the maison’s signature arrowhead logo and V-shaped chronograph bridge.
Given that the movement is manually wound, there’s no rotor to block the view through the caseback, giving the wearer unfettered visual access to the beautiful technicalities, from the German silver coated, 18 karat gold bridges and plates, to the centre position of the split-second mechanism which allows for more natural light to illuminate the impressive architecture.
Perhaps most notable is the snail-shaped tachymeter scale complication, which recalls the Minerva military chronographs of the 1930s by avoiding the typical positioning on the bezel or periphery of the dial. Given the shape, the scale is significantly longer than your typical tachymeter, allowing for time measurement of up to three minutes instead of one.
On the dial, the cathedral hour and minute hands work beautifully with the attractive Arabic numerals that are almost identical to those on historical Minerva watches. The numerals are coated with Super-LumiNova and glow-in-the-dark material which helps with the specific three-dimensional texture.
Each Montblanc 1858 Split Seconds Chronograph Limited Edition 18 Lime Gold piece comes with a vintage green nubuck alligator leather strap with beige stitching to best align with the case and dial. According to reports, the watch will go on sale later this month.