Unexpected, surprising, intriguing, these are the words which immediately come to mind when you look at such a piece.
Extremely modern outside, hyper classic Inside, this is the Watch of paradoxes.
Of course, the Jaeger-Lecoultre fan couldn't help smiling when I saw the " Chrono " 100, at its case is very close looking to the Extrem Lab, because of this blend of materials, and the shape.
But it is way much more than a Parody of the Extrem Lab.
Let's focus on some détails.
1/ The case has some generous volumes, is undisputably big and high ( 45, 60 mm / 15, 48 ), but is that a problem? I don't think so.
On the wrist, it is light and comfortable, with a big and pleasant presence.
Modern it is, with the use of titanium and carbon for the case, and a black DLC coated bezel.
Modernity, again, with the dial, made of... Transparent sapphire, which is an excellent idea as it allows us to have a look on the dial side of the movement, and it is really Worth it.
Unusual and original, the chronopusher... I had tought time to find it... At 12 o clock. Why? Because I've been said that it was an homage to a Minerva Stpwatch made in 1916, whose chronopusher was located at the very same place. It is generously dimensionned, as it takes almost all the space between the lugs.
The sapphire glass is domed, to add a sensual touch to this modern " horological landscape ".
The sapphire case back shows the superb Minerva Cal 66.25.
2/ The dial: Modern, sporty, chic somehow, with an original configuration:
- At 9 o clock, you have the small seconds with a Arrow shaped repere which shows the eaxct second it is.
- At 6 o clock, you have a chrono monocounter, displaying the seconds, and the minutes ( 15 minutes only... Bad or good? ), but I have a soft spot for these monocounter chronographs, I must say...
- The dial of the time is centered, and " eaten " by the small second and chrono counter.
- On the outside part of the dial, a ring showing a zero to 100 graduation, just to remind you that you are in presence of a Chronograph which is able to time hundredths of seconds.
A design I appreciate a lot for its coherence. Why? Simple!
First, this Watch has been thought as a Chronograph, as soon as its conception. How many chronographs are time keepers in which you add two or three subdials, aesthetically?
Here, a particular importance has been given to the Chronograph. I would even say that I see the eaten time ring as a symbol: The chronograph is more important than the time. Which is astute and very à propos when you offer a 100th of seconds Chronograph.
The generous 1 / 100th of a second ring + the long second hand, much longer and demonstrative than the short minute and hour hands, seem to confirm the intentions of the designers. I quite like that, too!
The last point, the dial side movement, which is part of the dial... An homage to the movement. Well done, in my opinion.
3/ The movement.
The Cal 66.25 is first of all a feast for the eyes.
Cotes De Genève, very nice anglages, perlages, the shape of the plates and bridges, all is conform to what we expect from a fine movement. More, this is a sculptural beauty, made in rhodium plated german silver.
It is quite big, with a diameter of 38, 40 mm and thick, too ( 10, 6 mm ) which explains the generous volumes of the case.
Here you have two balance wheels: One, large, for the time function, beating at the pace of 18 000 alternances per hour, one small, " dancing " at 50 Hz, which represents... 360 000 vibrations per hour.
The power reserve of the movement is 100 hours, while it is only 45 minutes for the chronograph.
The whole movement is made of 472 parts.
Here it is as you can see it through the sapphire case back:
You understood it, I love this Chronograph a lot.
Because it is well thought, with a touch of Madness, a modern evocation of what was a stop Watch, a fresh and Young design housing a superb movement.
I also appreciate the monopusher original location, and the monocounter a lot.
I would have appreciated a more specific case, though, rather than this close inspiration of the Jaeger-Lecoultre Extrem Lab one ( the case and the reference ), but I am positively impressed by Montblanc ability to depict- or interpret?- Minerva classicism in such a modern way.
Two final words, to be complete: This chronograph will be limited to 100 pieces. And the retail is around 50 000 Euros.
Nicolas. January 2014.
This message has been edited by amanico on 2014-02-02 00:53:06 This message has been edited by amanico on 2014-02-06 06:42:52