Making old new again is one thing, but doing it well is the part that’s perhaps hardest to pull off, as luxury brands that dip into archives for the sake of offering something ‘new’ to customers have realised. But when it’s done well, it deserves to be celebrated, which brings us to Montblanc’s new 1858 Timepiece collection. Inspired by vintage lines created throughout the 157-year history of Minerva, the watch manufacturer (now owned by Montblanc, by the way), they have released four timepieces, one the 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter (shown above), the other the 1858 Small Second Special Edition (shown below).
Cast in 18K red gold and made reminiscent of chronographs worn by adventurers of that time, even the winding crown is made with extended fluted facets, a vintage throwback to the time when one had to wear gloves whilst adjusting the dial. Watch hands are luminescent, even Montblanc’s historic logo is used for that truly vintage feel, which also happens to be the bit I love the most.
More specifically, it is this that I’m loving (and eyeing) for myself. Known as the 1858 Small Second Special Edition, it’s as straightforward as it gets: a stainless steel 44 mm case (I do love my watches big) with a manually wound movement, the same glow-in-the-dark watch dial that’s limited to just 858 pieces, in tribute to Minerva’s 1858 birthday.
Paired with a black alligator strap that features contrast stitching, it’s another handsome timepiece that will work well with most anything I wear, be it dressed up or dressed down.
For those without deep pockets (because anything that comes in limited numbers will naturally cost more), here are the other two from the same collection that are more entry-level. Simply known as the 1858 Small Second, they also feature stainless steel cases but comes more pared down, one with a brown calfskin leather strap that I love love love, the other a bracelet that’s a tad odd, if you ask me. Both priced under the SGD5000 range, it will also make a great gift for the man who wants something ruggedly handsome and hardy.
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