Watches and Wonders 2023: Hands on review on the Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Timekeeper Minerva Limited Edition.
Last year, Montblanc surprised us with the Unveiled Secret and the Red Arrow. This year, there is another version of the Unveiled Secret, but I would like to first focus on the real novelty of this year, which is, in my opinion, one of the most surprising and original watches, all brands included, the 1858 Unveiled Timekeer.
In fact, there are two versions, one in steel, limited to 100 pieces, and one in lime gold, limited to 28 pieces:
It obviously is a Chronograph, but there lies a question: Where is the pusher? For a moment, I thought it was subtly located in the crown, but it is not the case.
So, how does it work?
The originality which, as far as I know is unique, is that the chronograph starts, stops and resets to zero through the... Bezel! Turn it clockwise once, and it starts. Twice, and it stops, and a third time and it resets to zero. The feeling is not very smooth, but how funny it is to activate the chronograph functions this way!
I only know three chronographs which don't have pushers: A Habring, which uses its crown, the Jaeger Lecoultre Amvox 2 and 7, which uses the pivoting case, and this Montblanc, with its bezel.
Without the(se) pushers, the case gains in purity and class. I would have preferred a slimmer bezel, though. As for the bezels, they both are in gold ( white for the steel / lime for the... Lime gold case ).
The case is 42, 5 mm big, 13, 85 mm high, which is, if my memory serves me well, the bigger case housing the Cal 13.21. The case is water resistant to 30 meters. The beveled lugs are generous, which is a detail I enjoy a lot.
The crown, I find it to be really exquisite. And original, as its shape is different from the other Montblanc Minerva watches I know.
The front sapphire glass is domed. And below, you find a traditional 1858 dial, which is a sunray decorated in blue for the steel and in green for the lime gold, with Cathedral hands.
A notable difference with the other 1858 dials is the presence of applied hour markers, filled with luminova.
Some live photos of the 1858 Unveiled Timekeeper:
The feast is also in the back case, with, as always with Montblanc Minerva, the Cal 13.21. It is a rather small chronograph movement, with a diameter of only 29, 5 mm. But what a beauty! The level of decoration and finishings is on par with the best manual winding chronographs you can find on the market.
Let's remember that it has a power reserve of 60 hours.
If I had to find three flaws with this " Unveiled Timekeeper ", it would be the a bit too large bezel, a tad too big case. 40 / 41 mm would have been more to my taste. Third flaw, the price... 45, 000 Euros for the steel, 60, 500 Euros for the lime gold, that starts to become... Pricey.
But the price is relative, compared to what the contenders offer at this level of quality.
Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,