We all come across timepieces that appeal to us but sometimes we are fortunate enough to come across a watch with a beautifully finished movement comparable to many of the best independents and being sold at a staggering attractive price. In addition, when the watch is made in very limited numbers and sold by a big brand giving one the much needed reassurance, the allure is even more irresistable. Well, at least that is the excuse I gave myself after three visits to the Montblanc boutique in London before pulling the trigger to acquire this hidden gem. Why 3 visits?? Well, for a start, I am one of those who seldom buys a watch on my first visit as I want to go home, settle myself down and rationally see if the allure of the timepiece remains after a few days. We all know how we can get trapped in the moment at a lovely watch boutique served by an exceptionally attractive and charming sales person and buying a watch that appears to be more desirable than it really is! And in this particular instance, some of you may have read that I had bought two Pateks and a FP Journe in the space of 6 weeks so I needed to practise some sort of futile self discipline
I have to confess that I am not the greatest fan of Montblanc watches but I am aware of the quality of the movements produced by Minerva. So when I heard that a limited edition of 38 pieces would be produced of the recently discovered MB M62.00 movement manufactured between 2003 and 2006, I knew I had to at least have a look at one of these watches. In the early 2000s, Minerva was owned by Emilio Gnutti who transformed Minerva into a brand that produced exceptionally finished movements before its eventual sale to the Richemont group in 2006. A Minerva movement is built by a single watchmaker who brings his personal touch to it, making every single Minerva timepiece truly unique and is demonstrated through such details as its Minerva devil tail, Its swan's neck and racket adjustment system, beveled chamfered edges, circular graining on both sides and black polishing. Plates and bridges are now in German silver and the sharp interior angles on the bridges indicate that the beveling was performed by hand. The teeth on the wheels are faceted and the ruby sinks are fitted with gold chatons. The escapement is equipped with a double adjusting system where the hairspring can be positioned with stud that allows a watchmaker to centre it. All this transforms the watch to be a very impressive high end movement.
The salmon dial is a two tone lacquered dial with a good depth and texture while the numerals and markers are Super-Luminova. Unlike any other Montblanc watches, there is a secret signature with the name, Minerva, between 4 and 5 o'clock, paying homage to the origins of the movement. The watch is 39mm in diameter and the lugs and nice and slender making the watch very wearable even on my small wrist. For me as important as a movement is on a watch, the dial is arguably more important as this is the side of the watch that we see more than the other,
If I have one complaint of this watch, it would be that the winding mechanism is not as smooth it could be but this I am told is down to the fact that a large degree of the movement was finished by hand. Don't get me wrong - the watch winds well but I, being a perfectionist, am comparing it to the very best in winding mechanisms. I think to truly appreciate this watch, one has to firstly understand and appreciate the movement. In my opinion, this watch offers amazing value for money. If it bore the name of a more illustrious watch brand, I am quite certain that it would easily be priced double or even triple the price I paid for it.
Thank you very much for reading!