Hands-On with the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Bronze with Salmon Dial

An oversized vintage-inspired chronograph dressed for modern tastes.
Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze

Introduced first in steel and then in bronze with a champagne dial, the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter in bronze was a hit, combining retro-aviation styling with everyone’s favourite oxidising alloy. Now Montblanc brings us part two, with the same bronze case and top class movement, now fitted with a salmon dial.

The dial has a radial, brushed metallic finish and a dark salmon finish. Popular today amongst aficionados for being unusual and vintage in style, salmon is a gentle yet striking colour that is quickly noticed on the wrist.

The combination initially seems odd, since bronze is usually paired with green or blue dials, but it works. The salmon dial, blue hands and greenish Super-Luminova make for an appealing retro-flavour look.

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze 3

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze 8

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze dial

At 44mm in diameter the case is large, a property accentuated by the narrow bezel and closely-set lugs. The size is intentional as the design is inspired by 1920s Minerva wristwatches that were converted pocket watches, but it also means the watch feels big on many wrists.

Like many other retro-inspired watches, the 1858 in bronze has a domed, “box-shape” sapphire crystal

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze 7

Made up mostly of copper with a healthy dose of aluminium, the bronze case starts with a bright gold finish when new, but oxidises to a muted, more brownish tone over time. This changeable surface has made bronze the flavour of the day for watch cases.

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze wrist shot

While the case material and dial colour are faddish, the movement is old school watchmaking. The MB M16.29 inside is based on an chronograph movement conceived in 1929 – the calibre name is a contraction of “16 lignes 1929” – and originally designed for a pocket watch, hence the large size.

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze 4

While innovation is not a strong suit of the movement, classic good looks and traditional finishing are.

Like all of Montblanc’s Minerva movements, the MB M16.29 retains its the classical construction, including the screwed balance and elegantly shaped chronograph levers.

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze 5

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze 6

The finishing is impressive and detailed – notice how the teeth on the barrel ratchet wheel are individually polished – with flourishes like a sharp-tipped arrow shaped like the Minerva logo that forms the tail of a chronograph lever.

Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Salmon Bronze 1

Price and availability 

The 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter in bronze with a salmon dial (ref. 117064) is priced at US$27,500 or €27,500, exactly the same as the earlier version. It’s limited to 100 pieces.


 

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Urban Jürgensen Unveils the Alfred, That’s In-House and Entry-Level

Stainless steel and available only on-line.
Urban Jurgensen Alfred 4

An independent watchmaker with a distinctive classical styling (that predates Kari Voutilainen’s signature look incidentally), Urban Jürgensen & Sønner (UJS) is going with the flow in introducing the Alfred. It boasts the in-house P4 calibre inside a steel case, and is sold only via the brand’s own website.

Named after Jacques Alfred Jürgensen, the last member of the eponymous Danish family to run the brand, the Alfred has the typically elegant UJS case defined by sloping teardrop lugs soldered to the case band by hand. It’s 42mm in diameter, with a narrow bezel and display back.

Urban Jurgensen Alfred 2

Unlike most UJS watches that have guilloche dials, the Alfred has a grained silver dial. The dial is a disc of solid silver that’s frosted by hand, with all of the markings engraved and then filled with black lacquer.

The hands are signature UJS style, hand-made and three-dimensional in form. They are made of blued steel, with a polished steel, ring-shaped insert on the hour hand.

Urban Jurgensen Alfred 3

Most notable is the in-house P4 movement inside. Before the Alfred, the entry-level UJS wristwatch featured a Frederic Piguet automatic calibre, with the most affordable model with an in-house calibre and 18k gold case priced at almost double the Alfred.

Urban Jurgensen Alfred 5

Constructed by Jean-Francois Mojon of Chronode,the same specialist responsible for the MB&F LM1 and LM2, with Kari Voutilainen in charge of the styling and serial production, the P4 movement is a hand-wound calibre available in several variants. The top of the line features a spring detent escapement (named the P8), while the Alfred features the basic P4. It’s hand-wound with a three-day power reserve, and decorated with hand-finishing.

Urban Jurgensen Alfred 1

While the Jurgensen name is originally Danish, the brand was revived in the 1979 in Switzerland, and recently moved into a new factory in Bienne. A private tour of the factory is one of the bonuses for Alfred owners.

Price and availability 

The Alfred is available direct from Urban Jurgensen, priced at €14,300 before taxes. Buyers of the watch will be able to attend any of the quarterly launch events open only to Alfred owners, which takes place at the UJS manufacture.


 

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