This is a hardcore dream chronograph and perhaps the truest expression of ‘if you know, you know’ collecting. This Minerva was released in 2002 under Beppe Menaldo and a master watchmaker Demetrio Cabbidu within the 1858 series, meant to pay homage to the marque’s immense history. Although largely overlooked today, neo-vintage Minerva is true haute horology on the same curve as CPCP, first generation Overseas, and mission-patch Speedies.
The calibre 16-29 it houses is a manually-wound, column-wheel monopusher chronograph with center seconds. Every one of the two-hundred and fifty-two components are finished by hand. That is an immense amount of loving effort and it shows. The design is a nod to Minerva’s past with modern touches. It features a concave bezel, fluted concave lugs, pulsations scale, and hinged back. Pulsations scales are a nod to historic use of the chronograph to measure patients’ heartbeats. Watches were often sold to doctors in the early 20th century for this express purpose. The copper salmon dial is a rare specimen, also finished by hand in spectacular fashion. I hesitate to ever comment on future valuations, however I feel this is a period of manufacture and marque that has yet to be fully understood. Examples are rare and scholarship is only just forming around the second major period in Minerva’s history.
This example is what one would hope. The 1858 chronograph range featured a wide variety of chronograph styles. Even this monopusher model featured many dials and metals. The steel and copper-salmon with pulsations scale shown here were chosen perfectly. This is the equivalent of seeing a British racing green Aston Martin DBS with tan interior; someone specced this specimen perfectly. Its case shows very slight surface wear but nothing major. The movement looks perfect. It comes naked with box from a private collector.
Find this 1858 Monopusher here on Chrono24 for 17200 USD.