General Introduction of Replica Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition

Last Year, Richemont obtained the Minerva manufacture in Villeret, Switzerland, and folded the historic chronograph maker into Montblanc’s watch division. The results over the years have been pretty significant, with a number of cool vintage-inspired chronographs that make use of Minerva’s stunning movements. The latest is this limited edition replica in bronze and titanium with a salmon-colored dial. I got to spend several minutes with the piece last week, and I have to say, I’m greatly impressed.
This fake watch is an evolution of a family first launched about a year ago, just before SIHH 2017. The original was also a limited edition, and it was the first of Montblanc replica watches to utilize the 44mm x 13.15mm bronze case you see here. Like that model, you will find that the one comes with a titanium back with a bronze-colored coating so that it’s a few gentler on the skin. What sets the latest limited edition apart is the dial, which is a beautiful shade of salmon, something that you most often see on vintage chronographs from the 1930s and 40s. Here it’s complemented by blued steel hands and bold luminous Arabic numerals.
I guess most of us were put off the moment I said the watch is 44mm across and 13.15mm thick, but honestly it doesn’t wear like a replica watch of that size at all. Sure, it’s big, no getting around that, but it doesn’t feel like something from the mid-2000s that is closer to a dinner plate than a wristwatch. Two positive consequences of the size are that the fake watch is super legible and the monopusher chronograph is very much easy to use. There’s no fiddling, as the button in the crown is nice and big, and the red tip on the seconds hand makes it easy to use the tachymeter scale at the dial’s edge.
However, the movement is the most exciting thing about this watch. Turn the 1858 over and you’re greeted by the Minerva Caliber MB M16.29. This is a 16 ligne (almost 36.1mm) movement first based on a slightly bigger design first made in 1929 (hence the name, 16.29), and it’s a button chronograph with two registers and a column wheel. Both the architecture and finishing of the 16.29 are stunning, and it’s executed in German silver with a rose gold plating to give it come extra color. Just check out the steel work on the arrow-shaped lever – this is great stuff, people. The caliber is manually-wound with a 50-hour power reserve, and even the balance spring is made in-house at the manufacture in Villeret.
Eventually, if you’re a fan of perfect chronographs, this watch is definitely worth a closer look. The size might be off-putting to some, but it’s a product of using a movement originally designed for pocket rolex¬† replica watches, and for the right collector it won’t be a problem.