It was love at first sight for me when I saw the Villeret 1858 Vintage Pulsographe and then I had to find out more about the timepiece.
I had acquired the rose gold black dial version and I blogged about it on Deployant. As you may know, the Vintage Pulsographe comes in two tones - the rose gold black dial version and the white gold white dial version. Both comes with Grand Feu enamel dials - beautifully fired enamel dials. So I had to find the white gold version.
I was told by my friend Andy that they still have one piece at the boutique here in Singapore. Enter Katharina Ueltschi at the Montblanc Boutique in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands. I had contacted her for a private viewing of the white gold version and she was very obliging. But on the day of the appointment, a bigger surprise awaited me! Julien Miribel showed up for the appointment and with the white gold version in hand!
The more important point is this - how does one make such a timepiece? As Montblanc, they are probably more well-known as a brand of writing instruments. Their original range in their manufacturer in Le Locle churns out commercial quantities while this, and other high end pieces are done in their other location in Villeret. The Richemont group who owns the movement maker Minerva SA started that collaboration and this and a few others were the result of that collaboration.
The black and white enamel dials are forged using the Grand Feu techniques which fires the enamel in excess of 800 degrees Celcius. Enamel dials are said to be very long lasting. That delightful shine on the enamel dial is unmistakably the work of a master. It is said as much as 30-40 dials are made for one good example!
Even the hands and markers are extremely well done making the timepiece an overall handsome proposition. The actual piece in metal is even more alluring - blue hands and red chronograph seconds hands. What a package!
At the back, what a glorious sight. Expertly hand finished column wheel chronograph movement is a sight to behold. And what more the signature devil's tail. Julien tells me hours and hours of work goes into finishing the movement and adjusting it before final encasement. And the results are stunning!
And the movement is something altogether. Not just any movement but the Calibre 13-21 which is a vintage calibre from Minerva. Smaller than the Calibre 16-29 which is suited for the larger 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter (44mm timepiece), the calibre 13-21 is no less impressive in its finishing and layout. The words Minerva clearly engraved on the movement.
A final look at the two metals. This link will bring you to my previous post on the rose gold black dial version. Both are equally magnificent. I just happen to be lucky enough to get my hands on the rose gold piece.
But it is not too late - there is still one piece left of the white gold version and it is available at the Marina Bay Sands Boutique. Head down there and see if you agree with me that this is one classy timepiece.