Why Did Montblanc Release The 1858 Series After The Villeret Series?

Not long ago (October 20th), Richemont Group brand Montblanc has launched a brand new series-1858 Collection, which is a brand created by Minerva in 1858. ) The second series specially created by the movement factory for high-end watchmaking tradition can be seen from the fact that Montblanc values ​​the watchmaking tradition and Minerva plays an important role for the brand.

Montblanc 1858 series (chronograph is also available in steel)

   Since 2006, when the Minerva movement factory was taken over by Montblanc, Montblanc’s road to fine watchmaking finally has a solid backing, which has also greatly enhanced Montblanc’s status as a ‘river’. However, it is slightly strange that Montblanc has previously released the Villeret series (intriguingly, the original name was Villeret 1858 and later changed it) in order to inherit the excellent watchmaking craftsmanship and tradition of the Minerva movement factory. Want to set up a new series in a similar direction?
Respect for heritage

Montblanc Le Locle Watch Factory
   Montblanc has two watch factories, one in Le Locle and the other is the Minerva movement factory located in the small town of Villeret in the Jura Valley. (Note: The movement factory has been renamed Villeret movement factory since its incorporation into Montblanc. To Minerva Movement Factory). The two work separately and cooperate with each other. The Lelock watch factory is mainly engaged in the assembly of watches and movements, the production of movements and parts, and the inspection of watches. The Villeret movement factory is mainly engaged in the development and production of advanced movements and watches. Of course Le Locle Watch Factory also develops and produces advanced and complex movements, such as Montblanc’s Nicholas Kies series watches, but the main force responsible for the development of advanced movements is still the Villeret movement factory, and this is the key to Montblanc’s rising status Where. From this point of view, Montblanc specially sets up a series that inherits the watchmaking tradition and precision technology of the Minerva movement factory, which is very necessary.

Former Minerva Movement Factory
   As we all know, the Minerva Movement Factory was established in 1858, but the name was changed to Miverva (the name of the goddess of wisdom Athena in ancient Greek mythology) was in 1929, after undergoing multiple name changes in the middle. In 1902, the watch factory began to involve the watch design and the production of most key components. In 1909, the first watch was released, so Minerva was not actually a mere movement factory. What made Minerva famous is the No.20 mechanical chronograph movement released by the watch factory in 1923. This movement has a column-wheel chronograph structure, and its performance has been greatly recognized. Since then, the watch factory has become famous. Yuan Yang became the official timepiece of the Winter Olympics in 1936. In the following historical trends, Minerva movements have been favored, including Rolex, Panerai, Patek Philippe and other well-known first-line brands, as well as some brands that no longer exist. Therefore, it is not surprising that whenever we mention Minerva, we can’t help but think of its chronograph movement.

Minerva chronograph movement used by Panerai

Continuing aesthetic standards
    Of course, there are reasons for the popularity of Minerva movements. From the perspective of the movement itself, there are two reasons: good structure and good workmanship. From the many antique watches equipped with Minerva chronograph movements appearing on the auction market, we can find many traces. The structure of Minerva’s manual chronograph movement is full of layers. The splint and pusher are rich in lines. The entire movement does not have a large large splint to block the beauty of the movement. In addition, the timing control is smooth and accurate. Even the movements developed by many brands today cannot be compared with them in terms of aesthetics or structure. This is also why watches equipped with NOS (New Old Stock) Minerva chronograph movements are so popular, and good-quality antique watches are one of the reasons. In terms of craftsmanship, the Minerva movement is exquisitely crafted. These beautiful arcs were not made by the lathe at that time. Many of them had to be modified by time-consuming and manual polishing to achieve the ideal arc. This is exactly why it is not only liked, but also respected and treasured.

Manually adjusted hairspring

Watchmaker at Villeret
   When the Minerva movement was included in the Richemont Group, every brand in the group had the opportunity to fight for the factory to be owned by it, and after a period of competition, it finally fell into the hands of Montblanc. The facts have also proved this measure Great success. Today, the Minerva movement factory still maintains the original excellent watchmaking tradition. There are only a few CNC machines in the watch factory to stamp the prototype parts. After that, the most important processes are still completed by hand. For example, the hairspring is only used by machinery. The operation is controlled to 85% of the correct size, and the remaining 15% is processed by hand. The end curve of the hairspring is manually completed by its watchmaker. Therefore, it can achieve details that cannot be achieved by mechanical processing, achieving a high balance of quality and aesthetics. . Each year, the factory produces only a few hundred watches (only 250 in 2009), each of which is a masterpiece of master craftsmanship, which also gives us the opportunity to experience the mechanical essence of Menela again.

Montblanc 1858 chronograph

   As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the essence of Minerva’s watchmaking spanning 157 years has been perfectly reflected in the Villeret series. So what is the new 1858 series? In fact, the focus of the Villeret series is not to show the sense of history of Minerva (Villeret movement factory), it pays more attention to the distinctive timepieces and outstanding mechanical achievements, while the 1858 series is to reproduce the classic In addition to inheriting the superb watchmaking skills of Minerva, the doctrine style focuses on the design and aims to give consumers a more classic timepiece experience. The new 1815 series of four timepieces all use the eye-catching design of the 1930s pilot watch, large Arabic numerals, snake hands, luminous coverage, modern and classic, perhaps this is the original intention.

Updated: 10. March 2021 — 20:26
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