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Collector’s View: Montblanc Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe

by Eddie Sng on December 9, 2015

Editor’s note: The Montblanc Villeret Collection is a series started after the acquisition of Minerva, and features the movements with minor re-design and exquisite finishing. While Minerva was a capable manufacture, it was not known for its high level of finishing. However, the Villeret Collection is targetted at the high end of the market, with magnificent movements and excellent finishing. The Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe is one such exquisite example. Deployant friend and collector, Eddie Sng talks about his journey to acquire this watch, why he bought it and what it means to him. 

 

Montblanc Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe

Montblanc Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe. Black enamel dial, rose gold case. Limited edition of 58 pieces each in 18k rose gold and white gold.

 

Montblanc Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe

There is indeed such a thing as love at first sight. The feeling is very intense when you first set eyes on something of a beauty, the rush of emotions and a feeling of “I need it!”. When I first laid eyes on the Villeret Collection 1858 by Montblanc back in (probably) 2008, that was the kind of feeling I had – a feeling of “This is exquisite and this is something I want so badly.” So for the longest time, I pine for a timepiece in the Montblanc Villeret Collection.

 

Montblanc Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe. The deep darkness of the black enamel dial plays beautifully with the black and white accents, making a handsome dial.

Montblanc Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe. The deep darkness of the black enamel dial plays beautifully with the black and white accents, making a handsome dial.

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Then again in 2013, I came across the Montblanc Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe during an event at Montblanc at Mandarin Orchard and it was getting reacquainted all over again! The beauty of the enamel dial, the movement and the level of refinement of the timepiece.

 

The beauty of the enamel dial mesmerised Eddie into falling in love.

The beauty of the enamel dial mesmerised Eddie into falling in love.

We provide a wallpaper sized image measuring 1920 pixels x 1200 pixels for free download. By clicking here to download, you agree that you will only use the image for personal, non-commercial use only, and you will not modify it in any way.

 

From my earlier encounter with Montblanc and the Minerva movement, I can recall that the movements were very well finished.

 

The movement, visible through the display back is the inhouse manufactured MB13-21 manually wound column wheel chronograph movement with 60 hours of power reserve

The movement, visible through the display back is the inhouse manufactured MB13-21 manually wound column wheel chronograph movement with 60 hours of power reserve

 

As I held the Montblanc Vintage Pulsographe in my hands, I started to admire the enamel dial – flawless in my humble opinion and the chronograph movement layout sets your heart aflutter. When I examined the movement, the feeling was not quite like when I acquired the Lange 1815 Chronograph but surely as exciting.

 

The business side of the chronograph movement, showing the horizontal clutch system and the column wheel. The Devil;s tail can be seen at about 9 o'clock.

The business side of the chronograph movement, showing the horizontal clutch system and the column wheel. The Devil;s tail can be seen at about 9 o’clock.

We provide a wallpaper sized image measuring 1920 pixels x 1200 pixels for free download. By clicking here to download, you agree that you will only use the image for personal, non-commercial use only, and you will not modify it in any way. .

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The signature devli’s tail and the column wheel chronograph, expertly finished.

 

Another view of the magnificent chronograph works. Also visible is the balance cock with its swan neck fine adjustment system.

Another view of the magnificent chronograph works. Also visible is the balance cock with its swan neck fine adjustment system.

 

And the enamel dial is to die for… the clincher as they say. To me, it is the complete package.

 

The balance wheel assembly and the swan neck fine adjustment system. The balance is the traditional screw balance.

The balance wheel assembly and the swan neck fine adjustment system. The balance is the traditional screw balance.

 

A “vintage” Grand Feu enamel dial, Minerva movement column wheel chronograph (Calibre M13.21) – what more can one ask for? So it went into my list of “Dream Watches”

 

Detail of the 5 pillar column wheel and the the lever which is stylized to end with an arrow tip, known as the Devil's Tail.

Detail of the 5 pillar column wheel and the the lever which is stylized to end with an arrow tip, known as the Devil’s Tail.

 

Fast forward to the present, I managed to acquire this dream timepiece. When I held it in my hands, the movement was the first thing I turned to admire… such was the beauty of the manual winding column wheel chronograph – movement totally unobstructed and the beauty of the column wheel chronograph in full glory.

 

The grand feu enamel dial is quite exceptional.

The grand feu enamel dial is quite exceptional.

 

Next comes the dial – the Grand Feu enamel dial fired at temperatures in excess of 850 degrees celcius. The mirror like reflection of the black dial coupled with the red and white numerals. What a contrast!

 

Montblanc logo on the crown, and the pusher for the chronograph. Note the sensuous curves of the lugs and the way it harmoniously meld into the case.

Montblanc logo on the crown, and the pusher for the chronograph. Note the sensuous curves of the lugs and the way it harmoniously meld into the case.

 

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The 39mm monopusher chronograph sits nicely on a smaller wrist like mine and the timepiece is hefty as one would expect from the rose gold case. And a final detail – the Montblanc logo on the crown is made with a mother-of-pearl. Everything about the timepiece screams finesse – from the case, to the dial to the movement.

 

Finese, beauty to seduce. And to captivate. The magnificent black enamel dial, coupled with a beautiful case and the magnificent movement makes a compelling argument.

Finese, beauty to seduce. And to captivate. The magnificent black enamel dial, coupled with a beautiful case and the magnificent movement makes a compelling argument.

 

I have not felt like this about a timepiece I acquired for a long time already. This one gets me off again. And I am enjoying every minute of it. Well done Montblanc! The Villeret Collection 1858 Vintage Pulsographe is a winner!

 

Photographs and captions by The Editor.

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