Minerva’s Pythagore is one of the very few remaining hidden gems from the neo-vintage era, still waiting in the darker lit corners for some large watch media outlet to come shine a light on it. The Pythagore comes from the throws of Minervas swan song independent years, just a few years before the maison sold to Emilio Gnutti and later Richemont/Montblanc. In these final hours, it seems impecunity was indeed a mother of ingenuity. Decades later, and despite an extremely small volume of production, the Pythagore is almost the definition of a cult watch.
That ardent following comes from its totally unique, and financially ruinous, approach. See, Minerva are historically one of the world’s preeminent movement manufactures and totally vertically integrated. This allowed them to approach watchmaking in a more nuanced way than many. The Pythagore has its own dedicated movement, the calibre 48. This calibre, designed originally by André Frey, positioned the bridges in such a way that they adhere to Pythagoras’s Golden Ratio. Everything you see in its caseback is positioned at 0, 45, or 90 degrees and in the appropriate size to maintain that ratio. Bridges are Geneva striped by hand, the gears have a sunburst finish.
But that’s only the start, as the Pythagore also was produced with a wide range of case materials, hands, and dials. There are dials with Arabic or Roman numerals, sector or railroad tracks, cathedral or leaf hands, precious metal or steel. All were 35mm (of this original run, there was a later 40mm made post Emilio Gnutti acquisition) and all were signed with that lovely Minerva script, one of the best looking dial signatures around. The printing quality is equally of stellar quality. Our example sports one of the most desirable configurations out there: a vertically brushed Roman sector dial with a set steel hour track and blued steel hands. At just 8mm tall, it sits on wrist beautifully. The screw-down crown is signed with the historic Minerva arrow and allows 30m of water resistance rating. This is a total purists’ watch, but one you’re not likely to see on the wrist of anyone else any time soon.