The newly established Meisterstuck Heritage collection of Montblanc which saw its unveiling at the SIHH 2014 includes a real treat – Pulsograph timepiece. As it is hinted on the dial of the watch and clearly visible through the case-back, the newcomer runs on a hand-wound column-wheel chronograph movement which was manufactured in the legendary Minerva Villeret workshops. It is a modernized version of the iconic Calibre 13.20 which Minerva created for its chronographs in the middle of the 20th century. In accordance with Minerva’s practice, the movement is made in-house, as well as assembled and opulently finished by hand. The timekeeper will be made in a limited edition of 90 pieces and it will be available for sale this fall. The price of the new timekeeper with a pulsograph scale will be quite steep at around $36,950, mostly due to the choice of a red gold as the material for the housing and the extent of decorations on its exquisite movement.
Check Your Patient’s Pulse in Style
This newcomer stems from the novel Meisterstuck Heritage collection whose launch was used to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Montblanc legendary Mesiterstuck (German for “Masterpiece”) fountain pen in 1924. Some of the universal traits of all of the watches from the new series which can be also seen at the Pulsograph model are a silvery-white colored dial with a sunburst pattern, dauphine-shaped hands, applied indices and a Roman numeral at the twelve o’clock position (in this case there is also a numeral at the six o’clock position). The same as the other timekeepers from the series which was premiered in Geneva, the watch is made to be classical in design and in agreement with the “less is more” philosophy.
The watch’s dial likewise includes two chrono counters (small seconds and 30 minute scales) and an interesting pulsograph scale that actually gave the name to this new piece. The feature in question is more or less a thing of the past, though it can be still used. On the periphery of the dial, we can notice a scale which is designed to be used by physicians while measuring their patient’s pulse. As the inscription on the dial states, this scale is graduated for 30 pulsations. The doctor should thus activate the chrono feature at the start of the measurement and stop it after 30 pulsations, without the need to do it for a whole minute. Moreover, the face of the watch with gilded hands, indices and numerals also includes a couple of nods to the iconic manufacturer of the watch’s movement – Minerva Villeret. These are a blue pointer with the arrow shaped tip used for chrono minutes and a stylized letter M which are both recognizable traits of Minerva timekeepers from the past.
Column-Wheel Mono-Pusher Chronograph Movement with Amazing Finishes
As a matter a fact, the fact that the watch possesses a Minerva-produced movement is its main strongpoint. Minerva Villeret which was estanlished in the mid 19th century is a movement manufacturer with an outstanding reputation and a glorious past. However, as it unfortunately often happens, the firm faced several hardships in the modern times and it was first acquired by Richemont group in 2006 and subsequently integrated into the Montblanc’s production line. Prior to the introduction of the Meisterstuck Heritage series, its movements were utilized in the pieces from the Montblanc’s Villeret 1858 collection.
The specific movement used in the newcomer is Calibre MB M13.21 column-wheel chronograph with horizontal coupling. It is operated with a single pusher (thus making it a mono-pusher chronograph) and possesses a control mechanism that functions in three phases. This hand-assembled caliber is a modern interpretation of the Minerva’s legendary Calibre 13.20 used in its chronograph in the middle of the last century. This is especially visible in the construction of a specific chrono bridge in the shape of a letter V which bears the inscription Minerva Villeret. The fact that the movement only states who built it demonstrates the level of respect which Montblanc’s management has for the Minerva’s watchmakers expertise and level of skill.
Hand Finishes All over the Place
All of the components of the chrono complication, including levers and springs, are with multiple finishes: polished on flat surfaces, their sides are with satin-finish decoration, while edges are beveled. To ensure the optimal functionality of the complication, all necessary planes are adjusted by hand. The same level of decorations and quality is featured throughout this caliber with the frequency of 2.5 Hz. For the plate and bridges, the Minerva’s watchmakers used rhodium-plated nickel silver. The main-plate is decorated with circular graining on both sides, while bridges are with the Geneva stripes motif. Additionally, we can see that the gear train is gilded and made with faceted arms, as well as with hubs which are polished in the middle.
It should also be said that the movement with 22 bright red rubies includes a massive screw balance (11.4 mm wide) and even a hairspring with a Philipps terminal curve which were completely manufactured and adjusted in the Minerva’s workshops. Furthermore, manually wound Calibre MB M13.21 includes a large single barrel which is decorated even on the surfaces that are not visible. The single barrel provides a power reserve of around 55 hours. All in all, the 239 component caliber is a true masterpiece (which makes it quite appropriate for the Meisterstuck collection) crafted in accordance with the noblest traditions of fine watchmaking. Though undoubtedly extremely impressive, it should be noted that this is not a new movement and that it was featured in another pulsograph model from the Villeret 1858 collection which Montblanc launched a couple of years ago.
41 mm Wide Gold Case
The round 18 k red gold case is also crafted with a lot of attention to detail it includes alternating polished and satin-brushed surfaces, as well as a crown with the relief that depicts the Montblanc’s logo (another characteristic which is present throughout the new series). It is made with the diameter of 41 mm, larger of two available sizes used in the collection (the other one is 39 mm). Its thickness measures to 11.8 mm. On the front side, there is a slightly cambered sapphire crystal (the dial is also curved in the same fashion) with anti-reflective treatment surrounded with a stationary bezel. The other side likewise includes a sapphire section that enables the wearer to observe the functioning of the glorious movement. Finally, the attachment used for the timepiece with the reference number 111626 is a black alligator strap which locks with a pronged buckle made of 18 K red gold.
Montblanc Meistrestuck Heritage Pulsograph is made in a limited edition which consists of 90 copies which signifies the number of years since the introduction of the brand’s famed fountain pen. When it hits the stores later next fall it will definitely enrich the brand’s palette. Unfortunately, since the watch has a 41 mm wide gold case, its price is quite steep. It remains to be seen if Montblanc will launch a steel version of the timepiece which would cost less than the current $36,950 and which would enable less wealthy watch enthusiasts to buy this magnificent watch with an even more impressive Minerva movement.