We have two brand new additions to the Star Legacy collection that celebrates its 20th anniversary this season. These, again, are inspired by Minerva pocketwatches of the past, for example, Gold Hunter Caliber 19 from 1927. First off, we have the Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph which comes in at 42 mm with a stainless steel case that shields the Caliber MB 25.02. The new Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph comes on a grim Sfumato alligator leather strap hand-crafted by Montblanc’s Florence atelier. It is a rather traditional chronograph that includes the usual trappings you’d find, besides curved horns and steps on both side, an onion-shaped crown with the Montblanc emblem, and a curved finish on the face of the case itself.Last but not least, the Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph offers a more elegant take over the Rieussec line which has been around since 2008, which makes 2018 the anniversary. It was specifically developed to accurately measure the running times of individual horses at a race.The forthcoming 2018 version has been reworked to include a dome over the off-centered hour-circle and the chronograph’s titanium turning disks. The silvery-white dial is adorned with impressive guilloché work, blue finishing at the middle of the hour-circle, and a filet sauté ribbon which circles the dial. A ring using an Nicolas Rieussec inscription has been implemented on the dial’s outer segment.
The Montblanc Watches Bloomingdales Replica 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition 100 is a monopusher layout, using one pusher incorporated into the big aviation-styled crown to begin, stop, or reset the chronograph. The decision to go for a monopusher design instead of the practical two pushers seems to be among historic accuracy. The first Minerva chronographs this version is inspired by predate the creation of this dual pusher chronograph in 1934 by Breitling. This isn’t the initial Minerva-inspired monopusher chronograph Montblanc has introduced lately; a much more modern version in steel with a blue dial was released in 2016, and also a bronze version with a champagne dial followed recently in 2017. This latest limited release brings a new dial colour and the accession of blued hands to the mix, improving overall legibility and adding a exceptional touch.The dial is sunray-finished in a salmon color, yet another historically apt Minerva touch. The fundamental hour and second hands are quite big for a chronograph and include a “cathedral” layout, filled with Super-LumiNova and plated in 18 karat red gold. The use of big cathedral hands here may be an attractive one, but this could also affect chronograph legibility once the hands partly obscure counters between 10-20 minutes past the hour, 40-50 minutes past the hour, and between 2 to 4 o’clock and 8 to 10 o’clock. The running seconds counter is found at 9 o’clock and includes a blued and arrow-tipped hand. The chronograph function makes use of a blued central second hand with red tip and Minerva arrow counterweight, along with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock with another blued and arrow-tipped hand. The comparison of the blued hands against the skillet ought to be ideal for legibility, at least when those cathedral hands are not in the way.
A departure from the affordable watches Montblanc Watches New Collection Replica now focuses on, the Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon costs north of US$140,000, a price justified by the newly developed and handsomely finished calibre inside that’s worlds apart from the entry-level Montblanc tourbillon.
The movement features a one-minute tourbillon regulator with an extra-large, 14.5mm balance wheel suspended just above the dial, thanks to a steel cock. The tourbillon cage sits just below the balance wheel, a conceit of the ExoTourbillon that gives the watch its name. That shrinks the size of the cage, which boosts the efficiency of the movement since less energy is required to turn it.
Developed at Montblanc’s Villeret workshop, which was formerly the Minerva factory, the cal. MB M16.68 inside is a large, hand-wound movement that appears to be based on the 16-ligne Minerva chronograph movement.
It boasts several thoughtful details, including the Minerva logo incorporated into the winding click, gold chatons for the jewels, and sharply bevelled bridges. Unsurprisingly given that the movement comes from the same workshop, the level of decoration is equivalent to that found on Montblanc’s top of the line chronographs powered by Minerva movements.
The 18k red gold case is a large 44.8mm in diameter, with a dial that’s silver-plated solid gold.
Price and availability
The Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition 58 (ref. 116829) costs €120,000. An additional 28-piece limited edition features a baguette diamond-set bezel.