For the next five years, that timing will be provided by Montblanc. Founded in 1906, it is of course best known as a maker of fine writing instruments. But with its acquisition of the Minerva ‘manufacture’ in Switzerland’s Jura mountains, it became a highly credible and desirable watchmaker too.
It also acquired a long and enviable association with motorsport. Founded in 1858 in Villeret, Minerva made some of the world’s most accurate and innovative precision timers. Its purely mechanical instruments could measure time to one-fifth of a second as early as 1911, and to one-hundredth of a second just five years later. It made both hand-held stopwatches and wrist-worn chronographs, and registered a series of patents.
Naturally, Minerva’s instruments were sought-after by early, pioneering racing drivers and aviators. In 1960 it introduced the famous Rally Timer, a dash-mounted stopwatch which would now grace the cockpit of any period Ferrari competing in one of the world’s great historic rallies.