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Object of Desire: Montblanc’s Heritage Pulsograph Watch

By Bianca Husodo

 
Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph 

Salmon pink is the new blue. Although its popularity only spiked recently — Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year, Living Coral, might have something to do with it — the genesis of pink dials can be traced back to the ’40s. Up to the ’70s, they were considered a common feature on wristwatches before its popularity significantly declined. At SIHH 2019, Montblanc, with the Heritage Pulsograph, was at the heralding forefront of the blush hue’s revival.

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Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph

The Heritage Pulsograph takes its design cues and complication from what connoisseurs dub ‘a doctor’s watch’, a vintage wristwatch originated from the ’40s and favoured by physicians of the time to measure a patient’s pulse.

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Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph

Visible through the caseback, Montblanc’s Monopusher Chronograph calibre MB13.21 is based on Minerva’s pioneering Monopusher Chronograph 13.20 calibre which was developed in the ’20s.

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Revealed at this year’s edition of SIHH, Montblanc’s recently debuted Heritage line is an underscore of the German house’s long-standing history with Minerva, its Villeret-based manufacturer that has been known for its intricate chronograph movements since the 19th century. Within the series, Montblanc deftly melds a range of movements inspired by Minerva’s most seminal calibres from the mid-20th century with an updated sophistication that adheres to the period’s design codes. Notably, the Heritage Pulsograph, with its striking, on-the-pulse salmon pink dial, is the new range’s standout highlight.

Crafted in steel, the 40-mm timepiece is built with a pulsograph complication once utilised by doctors and physicians in the 1940s to measure a patient’s heart rate. Often referred to as ‘a doctor’s watch’ by watch savants, its pulsometer is regarded as a collectable subset of watchmaking. The nostalgic charm doesn’t stop there: elongated lines on the minute chronograph markers — at three, six and nine minutes — are meant to be a romantic nod to archaic payphones; to a pre-cellphone epoch, where one would use these signs to track a phone call’s duration and have a precise gauge on when to slot more coins in.

The Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph is set to be released in a limited edition of 100 pieces in select countries this June, €28,000 (S$42,935).