Montblanc Issues Two New Chronographs Inspired by Vintage Auto Racing

Montblanc continues to mine aesthetic touches from the Minerva brand it purchased years ago.

Montblanc is bolstering its chronograph assortment with two new TimeWalker models to be introduced at SIHH in Geneva next month. Both designs are heavily influenced by early pocket watches made by Minerva—the 81-year-old stopwatch and chronograph specialist that Montblanc purchased over a decade ago—and one features a brand-new movement.

The new automatic MB 25.10 caliber will debut in the TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph. It is a bi-pusher, column-wheel chronograph movement with a stop-seconds mechanism for precision setting. The design is rich with auto-inspired elements, including a black-on-white dial reminiscent of vintage race-car dashboards, semi-skeletonized horns that resemble air intakes, a black DLC crown knurled to resemble a vintage radiator cap, a rotor designed like a steering wheel, and a caseback with a smoked-glass crystal reminiscent of the windows covering some sports car engines. The 43-mm case is steel, with a five-minute track on the flange and a tachymeter scale on the black ceramic bezel. It is water resistant to approximately 328 feet.

The TimeWalker Rally Timer Chronograph—limited to 100 pieces—contains the Minerva-made MB M16.29 manual chronograph caliber, a modern chronograph movement inspired by the Minerva caliber 17.29, which was developed in 1930 for both pocket watches and wristwatches. Accordingly, the Rally Timer is something of a transformer: It can be used as a pocket watch (by folding the strap attachments under the case), a table clock (using two arms below the case), or a dashboard clock (clipped to a leather-covered metal plate that attaches to the dashboard). The knurled crown at 12 o’clock is a nod to Minerva’s pocket-watch chronometers. The design of the watch was inspired by the Minerva Rally Timer stopwatch from the 1960s, with the 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock vertically aligned with a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

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