The vintage looks of the collection have been one of the reasons for their popularity (another has been the entry price into the collection). The 1858 is named for the founding year of Minerva, now a part of Montblanc, and so it finds itself into the replica watch as well.
Following last year’s launch of its 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter in rose gold, which itself was part of a new collection whose new pilots replica watches have been a market success, Montblanc has extended the collection with the addition of a stainless steel case version of the Chronograph with a dark blue dial, in a limited edition of 100 pieces.
The historically-inspired cathedral hands, typeface and dial design are now familiar, but being a modern replica watch, the hands and numerals are coated in SuperLumiNova. It comes in a 44mm sized case (height of 13.15mm) and on a blue alligator strap to match the dial colour. The size of the case is basically down to the fact that the movement is a rather significant 38.4mm.
Inside is the manual-wind Montblanc Caliber M16.29, a pocket-watch style monopusher column-wheel chronograph, with both a large screwed balance and swan neck regulator. It is inspired by the Minerva 17.29 movement from 1929 and is hand-finished. As you can tell, if you are into replica watch photography then this will probably provide you with many hours of enjoyment. As @initialjh who photographed it likes saying, the devil is in the details – of the chronograph. The movement has 252 parts and you can see how much work has gone into it.
I liked the pilots’ replica watches when they were released last year and have not seen the rose gold version of this one to compare, but this blue and stainless steel version is a good looking replica watch and a fitting tribute both inside and out, to its 1930s inspiration. This is very much a replica watch for the chronograph fans amongst us.