Watches and Wonders 2022: A view on the Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronographs.

May 10, 2022,09:23 AM

There are more and more fans of Montblanc Minerva Chronographs, with years passing, and rightly so. Basically, you have two gorgeous manual winding movements, the Cal 13.21 and the much bigger Cal 16.29 whose level of finishings is among the best, IF NOT the best. 

If you are a fan of fine movements, you might have been tempted to wear your beloved watch upside down, I mean with the back side instead of the front side,which is not very practical nor comfortable, except if you have a skeleton watch or a watch like the Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso. 

With the 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph, you can read the time AND admire your chronograph movement. 

The knack? Take a Cal 16.29 and install it upside down, the back of the movement on the dial side. 

The problem? The hands. Montlblanc had to adapt the movement, by adding 21 extra components, in order to install them on the backside of the movement, which is now upside down. So, from 252 parts, you now have 273 parts for this movement whose reference has changed, too, which is the Cal 16.26 instead of the Cal 16.29.

My passionate and young interlocutor at Montblanc told me that they changed the reference of this movement because it is a new movement AND because when you turn a 9 upside down, you have a 6. Great idea, in my opinion. 

Some other different details have to be mentioned. 

- While the 1858 housing a Cal 16.29 used a 44 mm case, here we have a 43 mm case, with some deliciously beveled lugs. Here you have two versions, one in lime gold, which has a hue between green and yellow, and the other in steel, with a white gold bezel. 

The generous bevels on the lugs: 

The lime gold case is not a first, as there was an exclusive 1858 Split Seconds which used this specific color, issued in 2021. 

- Both versions have a fluted bezel, which is another novelty for a 1858 " Cal 16.29 ".

- Last but not least, this is the only 1858 housing a Minerva movement having a... Solid Case Back! This option makes sense, since the show has been replaced on the dial side. 
Moreover, the engraving is superb. And it also enhances the sculptural beauty of this movement. I am not sure it would be as beautiful if it had been a skeleton. 

To be complete, The steel version is limited to 58 pieces, while the lime gold is only 18 pieces. 

I could see both in real life, I was allowed to take photos of the steel only, because the Secret didn't have to be unveiled on the Lime gold, yet and I found both very appealing. I am not a colored gold fan, so my preference goes for the steel, naturally, but I cannot deny a strong charm to the Lime Gold. The only thing I am not totally mad about is the fluted bezel. A smooth one would have made my day. 

Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,



More posts: 1858 CollectionCalibresMonopusher Chronograph

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Was waiting for this write up!

 By: TeutonicCarFan : May 10th, 2022-10:04
I am a big fan. I love the idea of seeing the movement in action. Actually after seeing your photos and a weh koh video I went and reserved a steel one. I was very excited to be able to see the movement in action. Very appealing. However, after reflecting... 

Keep us posted!

 By: amanico : May 10th, 2022-16:41

I will 😁

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 10th, 2022-21:56

Hehehe, yes!

 By: amanico : May 10th, 2022-10:31

Yes I think you are right on that one my friend!

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 10th, 2022-16:25

I really forward to be able to see it in the flesh, assuming this plan materialize for my AD who was kind enough to ensure we could see it before buying it…

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 11th, 2022-10:28
There is always a chance Montblanc does not send my AD the watch but we shall see

I am highly tempted.

 By: amanico : May 11th, 2022-11:12

Montblanc CEO Mr. Baretzki wore the steel version yesterday evening

 By: penfriend : May 11th, 2022-14:51
at the grand opening of the new Montblanc museum

Cool! Any pictures online? I guess i will check!

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 11th, 2022-15:42


 By: amanico : May 12th, 2022-11:13

Here you Go

 By: penfriend : May 12th, 2022-22:51
On my wrist ...  

Wow! Spectacular!

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : May 12th, 2022-23:09


 By: amanico : May 12th, 2022-11:13

This is a very compelling proposition!

 By: mrds : May 10th, 2022-10:55
The whole package is very well thought out and executed.

Let me attach the missing picture

 By: penfriend : May 10th, 2022-13:05
Needless to say i love it ...  

I met the MD of Villeret yesterday evening

 By: penfriend : May 11th, 2022-09:02
there was the grand opening of the new Montblanc House with 300 guests; he told me end of 2022 for lime gold

I have not asked tbh

 By: penfriend : May 11th, 2022-09:42
what about the Hentschel pick-up in June by the way - will we meet?

this movement by itself stands tall with all the merits...

 By: mahesh : May 10th, 2022-19:21
open dial brings it to another level. Montblanc has done a great job ! Best, mahesh.,


 By: patrick_y : May 10th, 2022-23:12

An interesting concept to flip the movement

 By: xiu laba : May 10th, 2022-23:45
I remember Voutilainen did a similar thing with one of their watch too. Would the extra components increase the thickness of the watch by much?


 By: keks : May 15th, 2022-08:29
My favorite still is the green dial smaller version… for the color combo but mostly for the lesser size. But these new additions are truly wonderful offerings!

Aaah, this one...

 By: amanico : May 15th, 2022-09:34


 By: keks : May 15th, 2022-20:55
Smaller diameter as I recall! And lovely color as well!

Yes, 40 mm.

 By: amanico : May 15th, 2022-21:01

Thanks for sharing Nico..

 By: jp884 : May 18th, 2022-16:48
The Lime gold appears too much like bronze, is that the case in real life?

Yes, a bit, indeed.

 By: amanico : May 18th, 2022-17:49

only a bit

 By: penfriend : May 18th, 2022-20:54
it is actually pretty green. I also had the chance to see the LE18 lime gold rattrapante last week. Spectacular in the metal

Greetings from the green side of life

 By: penfriend : May 18th, 2022-21:42
Enter text ...  


 By: amanico : May 18th, 2022-22:10

Yes, indeed.

 By: amanico : May 23rd, 2022-05:40

Such as this one?

 By: amanico : May 23rd, 2022-09:31


 By: Ping.Timeout : May 23rd, 2022-12:14

Thanks for the info

 By: Ping.Timeout : May 23rd, 2022-22:31

Pleasure, mon ami.

 By: amanico : May 24th, 2022-06:35

Amazing pieces!

 By: fuigo : May 23rd, 2022-00:47
Such a under the radar brand. One of the best kept secrets in the hobby.