racing in 2018
Last year’s blazing launch of Montblanc’s TimeWalker Collection was a recall of the legacy Minerva manufacture’s close ties to vintage racing. The vintage timepieces of Minerva, a maker of stopwatches and chronographs which Montblanc acquired in 2006, became the inspiration block to this bevy of new sporty timepieces coded in historical aesthetics.
For 2018, the new Montblanc TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph in 43mm satin-finished stainless steel casing features a tri-counter ‘panda’ dial. The so called ‘panda’ design of three black counters – popularised in the 60s and 70s – offers a deep contrast for the gentleman driver – much like the dashboards which adorned classic racing cars. A five-minute track in SuperLumiNova coating offers visibility in low light, while rhodium-plated hour and minute hands, as well as a vivid red chronograph seconds hand (complete with a Minerva arrow) races around the dial when activated. To complete the vintage look is a perforated brown Sfumato aged calf leather strap, borne from the hands of Montblanc’s artisans at it Pelletteria in Florence.
A second piece, the Montblanc TimeWalker Rally Timer Chronograph Limited Edition 100 is, as its name suggest, rather scarce in availability. Its updated look from its 2017 brethren includes the ‘reverse panda’ dial and a brand-new Sfumato aged leather calf strap. The transformative quality of this timepiece into pocket watch and dashboard piece are augmented by its hardy 50mm case milled from grade-two titanium. Inside, the manual-wound monopusher chronograph calibre MB M16.29 utilises column wheel, horizontal coupling and 50 hours of power reserve to set the rhodium-plated seconds hand racing across jet black dial. Both these timepieces undergo the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 which simulate intense real-life wear conditions across 500 hours.