Voltaire knew: “Perfect is the enemy of good.” In this sense, the excitement of Davide Cerrato, Managing Director Montblanc Watch Division is very reasonable. He currently has one of the brands best watch stories to tell – about the origins of the Montblanc Heritage Small Second Limited Edition 38. He calls this watch “Magical”, a rare collectors dream, and a true lucky strike thanks to a fortunate find in the still slightly jumble archives of Minerva.
In there, they discovered 38 calibres of the manual wound movement Minerva MB M62.00 from 2003, which is inspired by a Minerva Pythagore calibre from 1948 – with an identical setup, yet an improved finishing. The large escapement in this movement runs with a slow-paced frequency of 18.000 vph (2,5 Hz) and offers a power reserve of 50 hours. Emerging from these 38 movements, Montblanc now established the new Heritage Small Second Limited Edition 38.
A watch that due to its particular genesis tells about very different stages of the brands history – from decades of upswing of the manufacture that was founded in 1858, from the highly praised calibres of the first half of the 20th century, from the time after the quartz crisis, from the many years under the lead of former owner Emilio Gnutti and his demand of highest workmanship. And eventually, from the acquisition by Richemont in 2006, when Minerva’s history was implemented into the horological ambitions of Montblanc, that today belongs to the Richemont Group.
Ever since, Minerva – based in the Swiss town of Villeret – is in charge for the most exquisite amongst the precious watches of the Montblanc collection. And the Heritage Small Second Limited Edition 38 is one of the most extraordinary models of recent times. It is not artificially limited for marketing reasons, but due to the lack of ‘material’, in this case new-old-stock-movements.
Inspired by design elements from the 1940s, one can certainly spot a touch of vintage. At the same time, Super-LumiNova has been used for hands, numerals and indices to combine the beauty of the past with modern technical approaches. Hence, the horological possibilities of 2020 meet with 160 years of tradition – today and yesterday and ere yesterday mingle in this timeless dress watch.
The dial with a small seconds indication at six o’clock is decorated in two nostalgic-romantic rose shades and will most likely please vintage collectors as well as fans of contemporary design. This shade is highly coveted at the moment. Another subtle highlight reveals just underneath the 4 and 5 o’clock position – it shows a Minerva lettering on the dial, that Montblanc calls a secret signature. This is the very first time since the acquisition of the manufacture by Montblanc, and is ought to remain an exception, a unique homage to underline the brands history.
The movement and dial are bedded in a very classical, fully polished stainless-steel case with curved horns, 39 mm case diameter and a domed box-shaped sapphire crystal glass. The watch wears comfortable on almost any wrist, however at a price of 17.900 euros, one or the other potential wearer might probably have wished for a white gold case. Anyway, it is a watch with a unique story, the name of Minerva on the dial and a natural limitation and thus nevertheless a very tempting model for Minerva and Montblanc collectors.
A limitation of only 38 pieces means there are only a few watches per continent available, Davide Cerrato emphasises. To actually meet another person with this exceptional piece must be highly unlikely. But if it happens, that’s for sure: They will get on well and take a rosy look into the past, and also future.