Inspired by Minerva’s legitimate history of military timekeeping, Montblanc has reinvigorated bronze as a case material in the maison’s flagship 1858 collection.
1858 is a key number as it was the year that the Minerva Manufacture was founded in Villeret, Switzerland. Montblanc has long been mining Minerva’s exhaustive archives and storied heritage for inspiration, and this year, bronze has come to the forefront.
In these new timepieces, Montblanc uses world-renowned Minerva military watches from the 1930s as the inspiration, reinterpreting them while incorporating distinct design cues and, as always, superlative mechanical watchmaking.
Bronze and Brass
The words “bronze” and “brass” are often used interchangeably, though they do not refer to the same thing. Brass is the name for alloys of copper and zinc, while bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. They share the common element of copper and many characteristics, but they are not the same material, even though some types of brasses are called bronzes, complicating things even further.
Brass is a material that has been used in watchmaking since the dawn of the industry, primarily as movement parts and sometimes for the cases and dials. John Harrison and other master watchmakers in the 17th and 18th centuries worked with brass.