Montblanc and the Minerva heritage: Chronograph VD 712

Sep 16, 2015,03:41 AM

Hi Robin and fellow Montblac members,


As we all know, Montblanc have a rich heritage from Minerva when it comes to wrist watches and especially chronographs!

So, I like to share my Minerva chronograph reference VD 712 here in the Montblac forum.


The Minerva reference VD 712 is a 12-hours chronograph from the mid-late 1950s.

As a Swede I find this watch extra interesting due to the military connection!

Records are thin but I have confirmed that the VD 712 was used by the Swedish Marine during the late 1950s and 1960s. Some indications even say that it was in use all the way into the 1980s.


The Swedish marine had two-three of these chronograph watches on each ship or submarine to use while navigate or calculate fire range.


My watch is an early example, this you may see on the dial. The word WATERPROOF and SHOCK-ABSORBER was on the early versions while on later these words were replaced with INCABLOCK.

Like on this one:


The dial is a three sub-dials version. Running seconds at 9, minute counter at 3 and hour counter at 6. Central second is the Chronograph seconds.

Dial was original off white, but here age has taken its toll – a nice yellow patina!



Hands are heated blue steel filled with luminous material and the numerals are luminous as well.


The case measure 37 mm in diameter, 44.5 mm from lug to lug and 18 mm between the lugs. Thickness including plexi 14mm.


On the back is another tell that this is an early version – the engraving is less decorative.


In the center, the reference VD 712.


This watch comes from Karlskrona which is one of the big Marine bases here in Sweden, the early version and the lack of military engraving makes me speculate that this may be one of the first watches tried out by the Marine (pure speculation from my side, this could as well be a civilian watch).

On later versions the case back looks like this: same text but displayed in a more decorative way.

Also notice the military engraving which is handmade, 122 and the three Swedish crowns.

On even later versions I noticed machine engravings.


Now the big mystery starts, the same reference VD 712 I have also observed on other Minerva chronograph models which includes triple calendar – date, day and month. I am having a hard time thinking that Minerva used the same reference for different watches. I am more inclined to believe that that the case back was replaced on a few triple date chronograph watches…

If anybody could shed some light about this I would be very grateful.

Inside is a manual Valjoux 72 movement.


Minerva signed bridge but you see the 72R mark under the balance wheel.



Inside of the case back have the Minerva seal.


One interesting detail is that the pushers are not symmetric located around the crown, as you can see in this shot:


On the wrist the watch is a delight!



The long slender lugs make the watch sit perfect on your wrist.


The patina plays very well in different lights!


This is one of these watches that you may sit and admire for hours….


Hope you enjoyed a small piece of the Montblac history of the Minerva heritage!




This message has been edited by blomman on 2015-09-16 03:42:06

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Comments: view entire thread


That is a nice piece of History you have, here.

 By: amanico : September 16th, 2015-03:58
A nice chrono, but this is its history which makes a huge difference, I must say. When it comes to Minerva Chronos, I am only hunting those who house Minerva movements, which I personally find more interesting than the more common Valjoux 72. But I also h... 

The Swedish connection and history....

 By: blomman Mr Blue : September 16th, 2015-11:53
Was what made me hunt this one! :) Thank you, my friend. Still Swedish MIL watches are less than some other countries... The interesting thing is that since Sweden always had a small military, not many watches around! Like the big Lemania chrono - 400 in ... 

Yes, the big Lemania Chrono is quite hard to find...

 By: amanico : September 16th, 2015-11:54
I missed a few of them, sadly. Best, Nicolas

Only 399 left for sale...! ;) [nt]

 By: blomman Mr Blue : September 16th, 2015-11:56

Blue hands + patina

 By: wisPete : September 16th, 2015-05:33
is a killer combo. I am very much a fan of this. Thanks for sharing my friend!

Killer combo indeed! :)

 By: blomman Mr Blue : September 16th, 2015-11:53
Thank you, my friend! Very happy with this one. Best Blomman

Well, indeed.. A really nice Chrono, although in general I like dials with a bit more contrast, although on the 3rd shot in the palm, that also looks very much ok !..

 By: hs111 : September 16th, 2015-06:19
Just on the first 2 pics light appears to influence this differently. This, however, should in no way "belittle" this piece.. Its patinated appeal & the design lines are obviously carrying enough DNA to reach up for today.. Thx for sharing.. One more in t... 

I guess the "no chrono boy" is gone....! ;)

 By: blomman Mr Blue : September 16th, 2015-11:55
Thank you, my friend. Will show you next time we meet. Best Blomman

I love your vintage Minerva chronograph Blomman!

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : September 18th, 2015-04:57
a PuristS watch indeed! The patina on the dial is to die for. Even a non vintage guy like me can see how beautiful the patina color is on this dial :) Thanks for the lovely post. I will show to the Montblanc Villeret watchmaker and see if he can find answ... 

Please do!

 By: blomman Mr Blue : September 18th, 2015-11:41
Thank you, Robin - a pleasure to finally be a part of this great Montblac forum! Best Blomman

Thank you! :) [nt]

 By: blomman Mr Blue : September 18th, 2015-11:40

Great post!

 By: TheMadDruid : September 18th, 2015-16:57
It's always fun to read about historical pieces; and especially meaningful ones to the writer. And chronographs are always great to look at.

Thank you, Padj! :)

 By: blomman Mr Blue : September 19th, 2015-00:55
Yes, the history adds the "little extra" to this sweet chrono! Best Blomman