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.
NON MAGNETIC, INCABLOCK – WATER and SHOCK RESISTANT, STAINLESS STEEL.
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!
BlommanThis message has been edited by blomman on 2015-09-16 03:42:06