When launched at SIHH 2019, the Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph with a monopusher was one of those that watches that would make you put down whatever else you were holding to reach for said watch.
Rendered in a bronze case with a black multi-scale chronograph dial, the timepiece was the perfect mix of old-world charm for the 1858 collection, ala Minerva. The movement powering the watch was the MB M16.31. A highly decorated, hand-wound split-second chronograph movement, which is on its own, is a thing to behold. And while the bronze execution of the watch was limited to 100 pieces, we’ve since seen Montblanc reprise the 1858 Split Second with several other dial executions, including one that was made of blue agate — a hard, semiprecious stone — for Only Watch 2019 and later one with a blue grand feu enamel dial (100-pieces made), both in titanium cases.
Closing 2020 off, Montblanc in partnership with Singapore based retailer, Sincere Fine Watches has issued a highly limited run of the 1858 Split Second Chronograph, this time with a red gradated lacquered dial and white detailing, and again, a titanium case.
The red of the dial isn’t simply a flat color, rather it is applied such that it radiates out to a dark shade towards the perimeter of the dial. Montblanc states that the final effect is achieved by means of applying fifteen layers of translucent lacquer with time allowed for drying between each application. Once this is done, the surface of the dial is given a polishing to bring out complete effect.
Thereafter, you have the combined 60 minute/second scaled paired with a tachymeter, around the edge of the dial. The Arabic hour numerals are in white with Super-LumiNova® coating. At 3 o’clock, you have the 30-minute chronograph totalizer and at 9 o’clock you have the running seconds. Finally, the center of the dial is printed with a snail-type tachymeter.
If you thought the dial was complicated, wait till you turn the watch over. The MB M16.31 is a thing of brilliance. The movement takes inspiration from a 1930s aviator’s chronograph made by Minerva. Owing to the split-second function, you’ll see that the movement has two column wheels, the first for the primary central chronograph seconds hand and the second for the split-second function. The integrated chronograph movement uses horizontal coupling, as is the case for most traditional integrated movements. Simply put, the 1858 Split Second Chronograph is a tour de force, showcasing the absolute depth and breadth of Montblanc’s watchmaking mastery.
“This masterpiece is a refined chronograph complication incredibly rooted into the story of Minerva featuring a telemeter scale that runs around the dial, which was a typical feature on the legendary Minerva chronographs.
The Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 is a watch for connoisseurs who appreciate hand-crafted in-house movements with meticulous hand-finishing, precision, carefully selected materials, legibility and robustness. In order to guarantee the performance of the product line, the timepieces also undergo over 500 hours of simulated wear, with specific testing and controls executed under real-life conditions,” says Matthieu Dupont, Montblanc SEAO President.
Adding on, Ong Ban, CEO Sincere Fine Watches says, “2020 has been an incredibly insightful year. It has given us the perfect opportunity to be selective in our projects. This limited edition of solely 8 pieces is a fantastic way to showcase Montblanc and Sincere Fine Watches’ determination, shared passion and resilience. By creating such amazing limited editions with Montblanc, we stay true to the brand’s values, authenticity and exclusivity.”
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 8 (Ident. 128131)
Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M16.31; hours and minutes; small running seconds at 9 o’clock; split-seconds chronograph with 30-minute totalizer; 50-hour power reserve
Diameter = 44 mm; height = 15.20 mm; grade 5 titanium; water-resistant to 30m
Black alligator-skin strap leather strap with red stitching with titanium pin buckle
Price & Availability
SGD51,000; limited edition of 8 pieces available at Sincere Fine Watch boutiques