Minerva Villeret „1858 Fait a Main” Monopoussoir Chronograph M132001

Minerva Villeret „1858 Fait a Main” Monopoussoir Chronograph M132001

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The Swiss company, Minerva, is a great watch manufactory founded back in the nineteenth century (registered under its current name in 1887). Since the beginning of the twentieth century, it has been producing its own mechanisms for pocket and wristwatches of top quality.

The biggest brand development within its midst occurred in 2000, when Emilio Gnutti – financier from Brescia and collector of watches and vintage vehicles – bought the manufacture from the Frey family. Emilio Gnutti is a reputable figure, who was one of the richest Italians at the beginning of the twenty-first century, forefronting the so-called „Gruppo Bresciano” – a group of trusted people, consisting of great entrepreneurs, designers and financiers.

It is Emilio Gnutti who decided to transform Minvera into a manufacture of top-class watches, with their own complex mechanisms. He strived to achieve what largest producers did, and, according to many, in terms of performance he managed to get to the very top. During the period under Gnutti’s management, Minerva watches have become to be consiered masterpieces, both from the mechanical and visual point of view. His watches were of the finest quality – sophisticated, elegant and expensive as dictated by their class.

In 2006, the economic crisis thwarted plans of Minerva for further development of the brand, and, preoccupied with financial issues, Emilio Gnutti was forced to sell his beloved manufacture to the Richemont Group conglomerate.

Minerva has been transformed into a subcontractor of the most complicated mechanisms for other watch manufacturers associated with Richemont Group.

The new collection immediately catches one’s eyes with the unique case construction. Common to all watches is the elaborated case shape with convex and concave forms, an extremely costly to produce vaulted sapphire crystal (reportedly as expensive to produce as a traditional standard movement), a crown with an enamelled ‚Minerva’ logo and buckle with reflects the case shape once more.

The remarkable movements are hidden under a hinged back cover which are concavely formed to perfectly follow the shapes of the owner’s wrist. But where’s the pusher to open the case-back? The solution Minerva opted for shows how much toughts went into their timepieces: The case-back mechanism is operated by a push on the upper noose of the strap and releases, via the spring-bar that attaches the strap to the lugs, a small pin. Then the back can be opened to allow a view on the marvel behind it.

The dials appeal with perfect printing, a harmony of different surface finishings and give an interesting contrast of several layers. Proudly they claim what we’ve already seen: ‚Fait Main à Villeret’ (hand made in Villeret).

The Minerva Cal. 13-21 Collection (Hour, Minute, Small Seconds; handwind):

The Cal. 13-21 is well-known. The Cal. 13 drove many classical Minerva Chronographs (as mono- and bi-pusher movement, with 30min or 45min counter) and was one of the few manufacture Chronograph calibres on the market. Its most significant and immediately recognisable feature is the position of the pushers: Instead of the usual 30° angle from the crown, the Cal. 13’s pushers have moved to the lugs and are located in a greater angle of 37°. As the Cal. 62-00, this movement is completely newly computed and comes in the same beautiful finish. Like many vintage Chronographs, it is a monopusher design (start-stop-reset controlled in this sequence by only one pusher) and sports the Chronograph pusher at 2 o’clock. The movement has a diameter of 29.5mm and consists of 239 handfinished parts – including the column wheel!

Watch is almost brand new, never worn, in perfect condition. Comes with very elegant certificate and wooden box.

Movement: Manual winding in-house chronograph movement Minerva Cal. 13-21 Signed.

Dimensions: 41mm X 49mm X 13mm

Case: Massive 18K Pink Gold round case in 3parts. Movement secured by screws with a see-thru glass and hidden under a hinged back cover which is concavely formed to perfectly follow the shapes of the owner’s wrist. Signed crown.
Front & back sapphire crystal.

Dial: Chocolate dial with Blue Arabic numerals and gold indexes. White signature. Gold hands.

Strap: Fitted with original brown alligator strap, signed + hallmarked 18K buckle.

Dial, case and movement signed.

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