Timekeepers Club / July 21, 2022

Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow Limited Edition

The Return of the Red Arrow: Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88. The new Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 takes to the skies.

Throughout history, the human desire for exploration has led to new discoveries. From the first prehistoric men and women who ventured over the next hill or mountain, to the sailors who braved the high seas, the daredevils who learned to fly, and the mountaineers who set their own challenges. This spirit of adventure and exploration has always been at the heart of Montblanc with the creation of diverse timekeeping instruments to accompany the fearless on their adventures. 

The 1920s and 30s were the formative decades of aviation with rapidly advancing technology and the start of both civilian and military flights. A reliable timekeeper was an essential piece of a pilot’s equipment and a Swiss manufacture in Villeret, called Minerva at the time, was at the forefront of producing professional stopwatches and chronographs for navigation and tracking time in the air.

Historical moments from Montblanc 

In 1927, the Minerva Manufacture in Villeret was among the very first manufactures to make a fluted bezel and an internal countdown rotating bezel. This was followed in 1939 by its first wrist watch chronograph with an external rotating bezel and a reset function.

Over the years,  Minerva  became a leading specialist in professional watches for measuring elapsed time with high precision, using accurate in-house movements such as the Calibre 19.09 or the Calibre 13.20. The manufacture is noted for having created both pocket watches and wristwatches with fluted bezels for both officers and non-commissioned officers with black dials and luminescent numerals and hands. 

The new Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88

In 1927, Minerva was already a leader in the field of pilots’ watches with the introduction of a stopwatch with an internal rotating bezel for countdown timing. This followed, in 1939, by a chronograph wristwatch featuring an external rotating bezel. Today, two of these rare external rotating bezel models are part of Montblanc’s treasured museum collection and are the inspiration behind this new 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88. 

The key elements from the past include a fluted bezel, this time in 18K white gold – for easy use with pilots’ gloves – and the Maison’s signature red arrow that allowed a quick and easy reading of elapsed time. The red arrow is a nod to the Roman Goddess Minerva, the goddess of craftsmanship, who carried a spear with an arrow at its tip.

How it works

The combination of the fluted bi-directional bezel and the red arrow can be used in numerous ways. Firstly, it is possible to track elapsed time by aligning the red arrow with the seconds, minute, or hour hand. This allows the wearer to see how much time has passed. Secondly, it is possible to set a countdown timer by rotating the bezel so that the red arrow is positioned at a specific time in the future, for example, 15 minutes after the minute hand. The time has elapsed when the minute hand reaches the red arrow marker. 

A look at the dial

A jet-black dial is enhanced with beige Super-LumiNova® hands and Arabic numerals glowing green in low light. There is also a telemeter scale that runs around the outside of the dial – a typical feature of these legendary chronographs – as well as a tachymeter (base 1000) in the centre of the dial in a colimaçon snail shape. A 30-minute chronograph counter is located at three o’clock, a small second counter is positioned at nine o’clock, and the chronograph seconds are indicated by a central hand.

Calibre MB M13.21

The Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 is powered by the Calibre MB M13.21 split second chronograph with a column wheel mechanism that allows the user to measure intermediate times without interrupting the ongoing measurement of a longer elapsed time.

Designed on the basis of the original movement reference MB M19.09, this new calibre features the same V bridge as the original, a shape that was inspired by the view of the mountain ridge seen from the windows of the workshop. A shape so distinctive that its design was protected in 1912. The hairspring is created in-house – a very rare occurrence in the watch industry today – and other noteworthy details include handmade snail finishing, as well as hand chamfering and decoration on the Minerva arrow.

The design of the original Minerva aviation watches was a direct result of the needs of early-day pilots for supreme legibility. The Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 reproduces this legible style with its black dial and luminescent details. The timepiece comes in a 42mm stainless steel case with a special engraving on the case back and is completed by a black alligator leather strap with beige stitching.

This limited edition of 88 pieces is a beautiful reminder of the courageous men and women who took to the skies in the early days of aviation. Their courage and passion for exploration are transmitted through time with this vintage-inspired timepiece that brings the best of the past into the present. 

Technical specifications

Montblanc 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow Limited Edition

Reference: 129614

Limited edition of 88 pieces


  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Diameter: 42 mm
  • Glass: Scratch-resistant, domed box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating 
  • Bezel Fluted bidirectional white gold satinated and polished 
  • Crown Fluted crown, stainless steel with Montblanc emblem engraved, satinated and polished finishing 
  • Back: Steel brushed finishing, sapphire crystal caseback
  • Water-resistant to 30 meters (3 bar)

Dial and hands

  • Black-coloured opaline dial with Arabic numerals indexes 1 to 12
  • Telemeter and tachymeter scale, seconds counter and minute chronograph counter
  • Beige Super-LumiNova® on indexes with green emission
  • Inscriptions of Montblanc-Swiss Made-Minerva Arrow
  • Hands: Brass silvered hour and minute with beige Super-LumiNova® with green emission, chronograph minute and seconds in brass polished silver 


  • Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M13.21
  • Hand-finished and manually wound movement
  • Type of movement Manual Monopusher Chronograph  
  • Complication Hour Minute Seconds Monopusher Chronograph
  • with column wheel and horizontal coupling
  • Diameter: 29.50mm
  • Thickness: 6.40mm  
  • Number of parts: 239
  • Number of jewels: 22
  • Balance Balance with screws, diameter = 11.40mm 
  • Frequency: 18'000 vph (2.5 Hz) 
  • Hairspring With Phillips terminal curve
  • Plate: Rhodium plated German Silver with circular graining on both sides, hand-chamfered edges,  Rhodium plated German Silver bridges with Geneva Stripes, circular graining on both sides, hand-chamfered edges 
  • Going-train Gold-plated, circular grained, chamfered, diamond hubs on both sides 
  • Power reserve Approx. 60 hours 


  • Hour and minute from the center, small seconds at 9 o’clock 
  • Chronograph’s elapsed-seconds hand from the dial’s center,
  • 30-elapsed minute counter at 3 o’clock 

Strap and buckle

  • Semi-mat black coloured alligator leather strap with beige coloured stitching and black lining
  • Polished stainless steel double deployant buckle 


  • CHF 30'000
  • EUR 32'000

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