|Founded in 1858 by Charles-Yvan Robert and Hyppolite Robert of Villeret, what would
eventually become Minerva Watches, in 1887 was initially an établisseurs of
watches, an assembler of watches from parts manufactured elsewhere. It wasnt until
1902, under the
leadership of C. Roberts sons, Charles-Auguste and Georges-Louis,
that Minerva became a manufacture of watches a watchmaker that designed
and manufactured the most critical parts, such as the movement blank, in their own
Minerva watches were manufactured in 1909, but the watch companys greatest success came in 1923 with the introduction the No. 20, a calibre that perfectly illustrates the classic and refined architecture of wrist chronographs of that era, with a column-wheel mechanism, a Breguet balance-spring and 17 jewels. With the launch of this watch, the company earned its reputation as a manufacturer of complicated movements of exceptional quality.
In 1936, Minerva watches was responsible for time-keeping in the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and in the years after WWII, developed a full range of mechanical movements, complemented by automatic movements made by Ebauches S.A. In 1983, the company celebrated its 125th anniversary with the introduction of an electronic master clock, the MCT 125, which sustained and commemorated the spirit and tradition of the master watchmakers of bygone eras.
In 1988, the company produced the Tablier watch, one of the most aesthetically subtle creations in the history of watchmaking, followed by the most complex watch ever made by Minerva. Based upon the classic No. 20 chronograph movement, the company added a full analog calendar and a negative type moon phase indicator. A laurel wreath (symbol of the Roman Goddess of Wisdom, Minerva) was engraved upon its gold bezel and it was produced in a limited series of 50. The Palladio was introduced in 1991, an original mechanism for rapid-setting of a second time zone, fitted on an automatic chronograph with a chronometer certificate.
Minerva Watches at Ashford