There is something magical about salmon-colored dials. It’s not a dial color you see very often, but the love for them amongst enthusiasts is palpable. I also love a beautiful salmon dial. So I was more than happy to see Montblanc add the Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chronograph to its collection. With its vintage aesthetic and great salmon dial, this might just be the most stylish piece in the catalog.
We have seen a stylistic growth from Montblanc over these last few years. The brand uses the vintage looks of the Minerva watches from the early 20th century to develop its own style. Minerva professional tool watches from the 1920s and 1930 inspired the 1858 collection; the Heritage collection is inspired by the Minerva watches from the 1940s and 1950s. Both collections have helped place Montblanc on a more decisive path aesthetically.
Let’s zoom in on the Heritage collection. There is a division within the collection that must be mentioned. First, there are the regular releases with modified movements from external suppliers like ETA and Sellita. Next to that, there are the Haute Horlogerie pieces with stunning modern versions of the legendary Minerva movements. It’s these watches specifically that have captured the hearts of many watch collectors.
This creates a massive difference in appeal and price. The watches that feature Minerva movements have been limited editions that are far more expensive than the regular models. With prices starting around 25k and moving up quite significantly, they are in a completely different segment of the market.
As a result, for me, the watches powered by Minerva movements completely overshadow the pieces in the regular collection. The new Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chronograph, however, could bridge the gap between the two.
The Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chronograph may look familiar to those of you familiar with the brands’ recent releases. Last year at the SIHH 2019, Montblanc released the Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph that Balazs wrote about here. The watch stood out during the show because of its stunning Calibre MB M13.21 — based on the legendary Minerva Monopusher Chronograph 13.20 movement from the 1920s — and its gorgeous salmon dial.
It was one of those exclusive pieces (limited to 100 pieces) that many fell for immediately. And I did as well. My only beef with it was the light blue color Montblanc used for the pulsation scale. Sure, it did make for excellent readability, but it also took away from the chic aesthetic its possible to achieve with salmon dials when that color is left alone to breathe, or complimented by something a little more chromatically robust… And it’s like the people at Montblanc have listened because the new Heritage Monopusher Chronograph doesn’t use that light blue color. For the new Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chronograph, Montblanc decided to use a darker shade of blue on the dial and for the hands. I have to say I like that combination a lot better because it integrates nicely with the salmon dial and the dark grey leather strap.
Speaking of the dial, it’s the absolute focal point of the watch. The domed shape and the different textures Montblanc has used are quite extraordinary. The outer part of the dial has a smooth surface and features the seconds and minutes track in dark blue.
The red numerals at 60, 15, 30, and 45 are subtle little colorful elements that make sure the dial doesn’t become boring. The same color blue is also used for the central chronograph seconds hands, which also features a red lacquered tip.