160 years Minerva
Montblanc Villeret’s watchmaking tradition began 160 years ago, when in 1858 Charles-Yvan Robert founded a watch workshop in the Saint-Imier valley.
As early as the 1880s, Minerva had already gained international recognition for its precise time measuring timekeepers, such as its innovative golden pocket watches that could be wound without a key. They were among the first to be wound without a separate key and the reason why Minerva experienced global success and expansion so early on.
Minerva also developed stopwatches that could measure 1/5th of a second as early as 1911, rapidly increasing to 1/10th of a second. In this innovative spirit, in 1916, Minerva was one of the first to produce a high-frequency movement that could measure 1/100th of a second, a development that was further improved in 1936, putting Minerva on the map as the specialist of professional watches and stopwatches.
In the 1920s, Minerva wrote a new chapter in its history with the first manually wound monopusher chronograph – the caliber 13.20 (13 lines/launched in 1920). Developed for wristwatches, it featured the iconic V-shaped bridge, a column wheel, a horizontal coupling and a frequency of 18,000 A/h.
These developments symbolize the level of mastery and innovation obtained by Minerva since 1858, and consolidate its reputation in the manufacture of pocket watches and chronographs.