With the arrival of Davide Cerrato in the company five years ago as the head of watches, Montblanc has completely reinvented its watchmaking division in this short timespan. Shifting focus from design-oriented modern timepieces, the brand has integrated the rich legacy of Minerva watchmaking traditions more boldly to create heritage-inspired watches that are now extremely popular with collectors. It’s an incredible achievement for Montblanc considering the fact that it’s a relatively new entrant in the business of high watchmaking. Montblanc started as a luxury pen manufacturer in Germany in 1908 under the name “Simplo Filler Pen Company.” The company’s second fountain pen line was named Montblanc, after Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Europe, and went on to become the brand’s official name in 1934. The German company continued to diversify its business and consistently looked for more opportunities in other markets, including leather goods and men’s jewelry and accessories. It was in 1997 when Montblanc decided to enter the watch industry and built a state-of-the-art watch factory in Le Locle, Switzerland.
Montblanc has been a part of Richemont’s extensive family of top-tier names since 1993, which went by the name Vendôme Luxury Group during that time. Being the second-largest luxury brand in the world with 17 Maisons under its umbrella, Montblanc hugely benefitted from it and new possibilities opened up for the German manufacturer. However, things completely changed for it when Richemont acquired famed watch firm Minerva with the intension to help Montblanc expand its watch division by drawing from the technical prowess in high watchmaking. The origin of the Minerva watch brand dates back to 1858 when a small workshop started making watches in the sleepy Swiss town of Villeret under the H. & C. Robert name. It quickly became very famous for its high-quality movements along with hand-finished mechanical chronographs and stopwatches. To date, Minerva continues to operate out of the same workshop, sticking to traditional watchmaking techniques. While, for a short period of time, it operated as a subsidiary with its own line dubbed Villeret, Davide Cerrato was responsible for completely integrating Minerva with Montblanc’s watch division, embracing its heritage and spawning new collections that celebrate the history of the Minerva brand. For 2020, Montblanc has revamped its Heritage and Star Legacy collections by adding new models that design inspiration from Minerva watches from the early 1900s along with the ‘40s and ‘50s.
Montblanc Heritage Automatic
The new iteration of the Montblanc Heritage Automatic arrives in a new colorway while retaining the same clean 40 mm case design. The case is in 18-karat yellow gold, which is contrasted by a lacquered dial finished in a deep hue of British racing green. Powering the watch is the manufacture Caliber 24.27 automatic movement that offers a 42-hour power reserve. It comes mounted on an Italian made alligator leather strap, also finished in green. It is priced at £4,200 (about $5,200 USD).
Star Legacy Chronograph Day & Date 43 mm
The timepiece is a modern reinterpretation of Minerva’s pocket watches of the early 1900s with an all-new 43 mm stainless steel case featuring many design elements. Powering the watch is the 7750-based Caliber MB 25.07 automatic chronograph movement that offers a 48-hour power reserve. It is priced at $4,500.
Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition 100
The midcentury “doctor’s watch” has been reinvented for 2020 and arrives with a warm and luxurious new color palette. Instead of stainless steel, the 40mm case is now available in 18-karat polished rose gold and the lacquered dial surface is finished in rich cocoa brown. is powered by the in-house Calibre MB M13.21, a handwound column wheel chronograph movement with horizontal clutch. As the name suggests, it is limited to only 100 examples and is priced at $33,000.