My ONLY Watch 2011 previews roll on with the one-of-a-kind Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph watch. I’ve written about various Pulsograph watches over the years, including the Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph watch (debuted at SIHH 2011) and my personal favorite the Eterna Heritage Pulsometer watch (pulsometer being a synonym for pulsograph). The aforementioned rose gold Montblanc Pulsographe has a black enamel dial – but this “piece unique” definitely looks better and more legible with its unique white enamel dial. Note also that the movement on this watch is a monopusher chronograph — what a beautifully sculpted movement!
Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph for ONLY WATCH 2011
39.5mm red gold case, white “Grand Feu” enamel dial, red gold hands,
Did You Know?
Eighty years ago, artillery officers and physicians numbered among the first users of wristwatch chronographs: the soldiers relied on their timepieces to perform ballistic calculations, while the doctors used theirs to measure patients’ pulse rates without having to continue feeling the pulse for a full minute. A physician wearing a wristwatch with a pulsograph’s scale could start his timepiece’s chronograph function the moment he began to palpate the patient’s pulse. If the scale was calibrated for thirty pulse beats, he would continue counting the throbs until he had felt the thirtieth pulsation, whereupon he would stop his chronograph: the tip of the designated hand would indicate the point along the pulsograph scale corresponding to the patient’s pulse rate per minute. This saved between thirty and forty seconds per patient and was a convincing reason to own such a watch, especially if the physician’s ward rounds required him to measure the pulse rates of fifty or more patients. Wristwatches with pulsograph scales soon earned fame as so-called “doctor’s watches.”
While their functionality has been seriously surpassed by modern technology (in fact couldn’t the same be said of most any modern mechanical watch?), I really like “pulosgraph” or “pulsometer” watches for the benefit they provided to Physician’s back in the day.