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Montblanc Watches

A quiet place in the Jura mountains, Le Locle is one of the watchmaking centres of Switzerland. It was there that Montblanc Montre S.A. came into being, a Manufacture that produces its own movements, developed entirely in-house, as well as watches of utter technical and artistic perfection. Montblanc Villeret, which evolved from Minerva, devoted itself to “Haute Horlogerie”, the manufacture of the finest hand-made watches using Swiss tradition and the most up-to-date engineering skills.

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Montblanc Fine Watchmaking

Over 60 Years of Tradition

The Montblanc watchmaking story began in 1858, when Charles-Yvan Robert founded his workshop in Villeret, in the Swiss Jura Mountains. Though he didn’t realise it at the time, this marked the beginning of the historic Minerva era. Over the century-and-ahalf that followed, Minerva would become one of the world’s leading specialists in precision chronometry for professionals.

By the 1880s, the manufacture had built a solid reputation for innovation with pocket watches that were wound with the crown, leaving traditional winding keys behind. And that was just the beginning. Minerva then turned its focus to precision timing, becoming a leading specialist in the fabrication of professional pocket watches and stopwatches.

It began with a line of monopusher chronographs, culminating in 1916 with the production of a stopwatch accurate to 1/100th of a second. Just a few years later Minerva invented the calibre 13.20, one of the first manually wound monopusher chronographs ever developed for wristwatches, marking a new chapter in the manufacture’s history. Around a decade later, the legendary calibre 17.29 made its debut – one of the slimmest monopusher chronographs, measuring just 5.6 mm in height.

The original Minerva ateliers remain abuzz with activity, today serving as the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret. Every movement component is still carefully crafted and decorated by hand, even including the balance springs. The manufacture is one of a very select few around the world in which the watchmakers have the know-how to produce their own balance springs entirely by hand. Length is measured not with today’s electronics, but by well-trained eyes, in accordance with tradition, for the utmost accuracy.

Today, Montblanc timepieces continue the journey of Minerva’s over 160-year legacy in four fine watchmaking explorations: Star Legacy, 1858, Bohème and Heritage, every lines are linking the past and the present through design, style and technical innovation.