Something quite special!

Feb 11, 2020,01:46 AM

We all come across timepieces that appeal to us but sometimes we are fortunate enough to come across a watch with a beautifully finished movement comparable to many of the best independents and being sold at a staggering attractive price. In addition, when the watch is made in very limited numbers and sold by a big brand giving one the much needed reassurance, the allure is even more irresistable.  Well, at least that is the excuse I gave myself after three visits to the Montblanc boutique in London before pulling the trigger to acquire this hidden gem.  Why 3 visits??  Well,  for a start, I am one of those who seldom buys a watch on my first visit as I want to go home, settle myself down and rationally see if the allure of the timepiece remains after a few days.  We all know how we can get trapped in the moment at a lovely watch boutique served by an exceptionally attractive and charming sales person and buying a watch that appears to be more desirable than it really is!  And in this particular instance, some of you may have read that I had bought two Pateks and a FP Journe in the space of 6 weeks so I needed to practise some sort of futile self discipline

I have to confess that I am not the greatest fan of Montblanc watches but I am aware of the quality of the movements produced by Minerva. So when I heard that a limited edition of 38 pieces would be produced of the recently discovered MB M62.00 movement manufactured between 2003 and 2006, I knew I had to at least have a look at one of these watches.  In the early 2000s, Minerva was owned by Emilio Gnutti who transformed Minerva into a brand that produced exceptionally finished movements before its eventual sale to the Richemont group in 2006. A Minerva movement is built by a single watchmaker who brings his personal touch to it, making every single Minerva timepiece truly unique and is demonstrated through such details as its Minerva devil tail, Its swan's neck and racket adjustment system, beveled chamfered edges, circular graining on both sides and black polishing. Plates and bridges are now in German silver and the sharp interior angles on the bridges indicate that the beveling was performed by hand.   The teeth on the wheels are faceted and the ruby sinks are fitted with gold chatons.  The escapement is equipped with a double adjusting system where the hairspring can be positioned with stud that allows a watchmaker to centre it. All this transforms the watch to be a very impressive high end movement.

The salmon dial is a two tone lacquered dial with a good depth and texture while the numerals and markers are Super-Luminova. Unlike any other Montblanc watches, there is a secret signature with the name, Minerva, between 4 and 5 o'clock, paying homage to the origins of the movement. The watch is 39mm in diameter and the lugs and nice and slender making the watch very wearable even on my small wrist.  For me as important as a movement is on a watch, the dial is arguably more important as this is the side of the watch that we see more than the other,

If I have one complaint of this watch, it would be that the winding mechanism is not as smooth it could be but this I am told is down to the fact that a large degree of the movement was finished by hand. Don't get me wrong - the watch winds well but I, being a perfectionist, am comparing it to the very best in winding mechanisms. I think to truly appreciate this watch, one has to firstly understand and appreciate the movement.   In my opinion, this watch offers amazing value for money. If it bore the name of a more illustrious watch brand, I am quite certain that it would easily be priced double or even triple the price I paid for it.

Thank you very much for reading!

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Comments: view entire thread


Something very special for sure

 By: rnaden : February 11th, 2020-01:59
This is above catch my friend. Big congrats (I’m saying this to you far too often in recent weeks). I have to agree that this movement is really beautiful and very nicely finished. The little tail is so cool too. Salmon dial is the icing on the cake, natu... 

Thanks Richard!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-02:28
And the main reason I decided to buy it is because as you aptly put it, 'this is above catch'!! These will not arrive in Malaysia (I checked) and he UK had one piece which HQ in Hamburg wanted back due to the demand for the watch. Our next GTG should be f... 

Thank you so much!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-02:29
I consider myself blessed to own this watch. I guess my trip to London or rather to the MB boutique was timed just right!

Thank Nico!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-02:55
It is almost a stealth watch as from the front, one could mistake the watch for an automaitc 40mm wacth from the Heritage range but turn the watch over and phwoar!!


 By: batholith : February 11th, 2020-02:45
Congratulations. That is a beauty, indeed. And a gorgeous movement.

Thank you very much!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-02:57
I will try to behave and not spoil myself with more watches in the next 6 weeks!!


 By: batholith : February 11th, 2020-03:47
I've been enjoying your posts and I'm sure you've been enjoying your new additions. Wear them in good health, friend.

Thank you my friend for your kind words

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-03:59
and for reading my posts. You take care and have a pleasant day.

You’ve been on quite an acquisition spree...

 By: Euroasianstar : February 11th, 2020-03:22
...these past few weeks and I admire all your choices. This MB is a fine timepiece. Enjoy

Thank you so much for saying so!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-03:27
Nowadays, I cannot afford any more 'mistakes' when acquiring a watch and they have to convince me that they will be keepers! Yes as crazy as it sounds, the watch must talk to me (preferably in a language I understand!! )

well chosen Sham...wear in the best of your health !

 By: mahesh : February 11th, 2020-03:36
love the dial & equally the manually wound caliber. Best, mahesh.,

Thank you Mahesh!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-03:42
I have too many automatic Pateks in my small collection so I felt I needed to dilute it with some quality manual movements!

Congratulations on your choice!

 By: penfriend : February 11th, 2020-07:09
And I have fallen several times for the same logic: superb movements, limited production run and a well-known brand. More to that I appreciate that the Minerva inspired dials look so different. Regarding your point with the smoothness of the hand winding ... 

Thank you very much for your reply

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-11:38
especially on your feedback on the winding mechanism. I too once owned a 13.21 monopusher which had a smoother winding mechanism and I really should not nitpick on the winding mechanism on a near perfect watch. I can see you know your Minervas well!!

Excellent choice. [nt]

 By: Watchlover78 : February 11th, 2020-07:13

Thank you for saying so!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-11:40
A three handed watch with a well made movement always seems to attract me over something more complicated.

This is a remake of the Pythagore caliber from 1948

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-12:11
I am not sure if that was called the Caliber 48. The layout as you correctly state is the same but the finishing is a lot better. It was reinterpreted in 2003 with more classical shapes and high end finishings.

Thanks, yeah that was the caliber I was referring to.

 By: KtWP : February 11th, 2020-12:40
To be honest, I would've preferred if they updated the finishing but maintained the Pythagore's original bridges - they were uniquely angular, almost brutalist. A smaller case size to fit the movement would also be great, although I guess almost all the m... 

I agree that a smaller case say

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-12:51
37mm to 38mm would have been ideal since the movement is not too large. Fortunately, the slim curved lugs help!

Huge Congrats my friend , I knew immediately that you bought this watch when you told me you purchased a Salmon dial watch with a special movement 😉

 By: Watchonthewrist : February 11th, 2020-13:03
Its a spectacular watch , great choice and i hope to see more pics of it soon . You will know after a while why i love these Salmon dials so much . There gorgeous, timeless and give a nice warm glow when look at them imho

Thank you my dear friend!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-13:07
Have you not considered getting one of these for your Salmon collection?! I know you focus on independents but this watch is quite special and in a way combines the best of both worlds.

I have been looking at this watch my friend . I like it a lot but I don’t have a unlimited funds 😬

 By: Watchonthewrist : February 12th, 2020-02:21
I have some other projects that i like to add this year and they will take away a large amount of my budget so need to be selective this year

I fully understand your predicament my friend!

 By: sham1 : February 12th, 2020-03:38
If I were to buy anything else in the next few months, I would have to sell something. Good luck with your new projects!!

I REALLY like this piece

 By: ChristianDK : February 11th, 2020-13:29
The movement is wonderful, traditional and elaborate. The overall design is great and very no nonsense. I hope to see much more pictures. I’m not normally interested in MB as a watch maker but I am aware of the glorious past of Minerva. This seems like a ... 

Thank you Christian!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-19:41
We share similar sentiments about MB and this piece!


 By: Weems@8 : February 11th, 2020-15:08
At this moment i am studying Minerva or Montblanc. I compare models, read articles, and enjoy that history. The fact it is so deep into watchmaking, passion, and the outstanding design, make me want a peace of the part. I try to find the Minerva of choice... 

Thank you!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-19:47
I have little doubt you know much more about the brand than I do and I wish you all the best in your quest to find the right watch for yourself!

my problem

 By: Weems@8 : February 12th, 2020-11:06
I have a problem. with the name Montblanc. Why? It is easy to chose a mountain as a name. It is not original, a sort of lazy. What i like is that a name tells me prestige, heritage, bon yard, jet set and so on. And they have a logo that is some sharp sket... 

your problem in understanding and appreciating the brand is

 By: penfriend : February 12th, 2020-14:01
that you have not researched properly. Montblanc as a trademark was established in 1910 - that is a lot of heritage. Moreover, they produce fountain pens (and very seldom ballpoints). And about 10 pens per year are sold at >1.5 million Euros and are highl... 


 By: Weems@8 : February 12th, 2020-15:03
I go rethink it. It is good to give it a rest. Later on, i wil see what to do. The white mountain wil stay, and not put it in a box with Rolex in my opinion.

Congratulations, I have The other Minerva Salmond dial Bronze

 By: : February 11th, 2020-15:45
These are beautiful movements, I own both the Salmond and blue dial Chrono’s with the Minerva movements and use/love them both. Mine are 44mm but what I like abut the movement different than yours is it fills the entire back of the case, strictly objectiv...  

You have some fabulous MBs!!

 By: sham1 : February 11th, 2020-19:49
And I totally agree with you that I would have preferred it of the movement fills up the case better on my watch ie by making the case 2 or even 3mm smaller. A movement when displayed should try, in my opinion, to fill the case back as much as possible!


 By: 997c4gts : February 12th, 2020-15:31
I know you had been considering this one for a while. Bought the Salmon Dial Heritage as an impulse buy last year being so taken with the dial. Have since been considering the Salmon Heritage Pulsograph or the 38 now that I’ve learnt more about MB. Doubt ... 

Thank you for the congratulations message!

 By: sham1 : February 12th, 2020-18:02
I have actually seen quite a number of salmon pulsographs still for sale despite being limited to only 100 pieces. I too was considering one but found the watch a little on the thick side compared to its rivals from Patek and Lange. But the Heritage 38 be... 

Agreed !

 By: 997c4gts : February 13th, 2020-13:08
I think the price point was of the Pulsograph was a little too high for general watch collectors, especially when previous editions of the same movement were cased in PM rather than SS for similar prices. The entry level Heritage Auto has a lot of the sam...  

Thank you very much for your reply

 By: sham1 : February 13th, 2020-18:28
I think MB felt that they had priced the pulsograph competitively against rivals from Lange, Vacheron and Patek but what it fails to appreciate is many potential clients will still favour the three aforementioned brands due to their history. You and I app... 


 By: Gus4 : February 19th, 2020-08:48
I recently had the chance to visit Montblanc at LeLocle and Villeret. The manufacturer at Villeret (Minerva) was stunning. Also joined the small seconds club ... ...  

Oh wow!

 By: sham1 : February 19th, 2020-08:56
It is a pleasure to meet one of the lucky 38 owners of this watch. I would love to visit the Manufacture one day. Congratulations on your exquisite timepiece!!