Sometime ago, I was browsing through the internet for newly introduced
watch models when I came across the Watchbizz website (http://www.watchbizz.com).
I checked through the Minerva model they listed on the website and saw this
very fine looking Minerva Athena II for the first time. It looks similar
to the original Minerva Athena, except that it is in 925 sterling silver.
Since then, I had been trying to locate the availability of this model through
many websites in USA and Europe, but was not successful.
About a month ago, I came across a German jeweller website (Ralf Haffner
Juwelier - http://www.uhrenhaeffner.de) and discovered that they sell Minerva
watches. To my surprise, they listed this model, but did not provide a scan.
I wasn't sure whether the watch is still available. Thus, I email them,
and I was so delighted when I received the email from Fr. Kopp that the
watch is available. The price was also within what I can afford (<US$1500.00)
and after the VAT deduction and addition of FedEX charges, it was about
US1100.00. Without my wife's knowledge, I faxed my credit card information
to Germany and ordered a piece. It took about 3 days before I received another
email from Fr. Kopp saying that she will be shipping the watch out to me
the following day. The watch arrived within 4 working days and I must praised
Ralf Haffner Juwelier for their excellent packaging. They also provided
me with their collection catalogue.
Just like my Minerva Pythagore Aviation, the Athena II was nicely placed
in a blue leather Minerva box. The box was very finely made and the Minerva
logo was emblemed on the cover. The watch case is relatively similar to
a 1929 model produced by Minerva (can be found in the Minerva's website),
except that it is a 925 sterling silver case. Just like any other Minerva
watches, it is finely made and polished. The see-through caseback (sapphire
glass) exposed the Valjoux 7750 movement with the word 'Minerva Watch Co.'
engraved on the rotor. There is a number of blue-colored screws on the movement
which increases its appeal to viewing it from close.
I was a bit disappointed to find that the crown was not signed, but I
guess the original Athena was not signed either. The peripheral side of
the case is classic-looking, reminding me of the vintage wristwatches from
the early era. The watch comes with a navy-blue colored ostrich leather
strap with highly polished Minerva buckle. It is very comfortable when worn.
My wife was excited when she saw the watch (thank God!). I guess she
knows this is a value-for-money buy. She was amazed with the fine craftmanship
adopted by Minerva on the works on the dial.
As with any other watches that I bought, one of my main concern is its
accuracy. I managed to struggle through with a short study for the past
two weeks. The watch was worn on average of 12 hours daily with watch placed
to the positions below when not worn. Each test was repeated for 3X and
their average results are as followed:
up: + 6 sec/day Dial down: +5 sec/day Crown up: + 5 sec/day
down: +2 sec/day
Here are some specifications on the Minerva Athena II:
925 Sterling Silver
diameter: 37 mm (without crown)
thickness: 12.5 mm
Sapphire (both top and back)
Valjoux 7750 (unmodified)
3 registers chronograph, date at 3 o'clock, ostrich leather strap on Minerva
In summary, the Minerva Athena II is a wonderful vintage looking watch
that is value-for-money with chronograph feature. I would like to highly
recommend it to everyone who are looking for a chronograph below $1500.00
with an affection vintage looking wristwatch. I believe there are now available
in limited numbers only. If I can be of any further assistance, please do
not hesitate to contact me (my email: email@example.com).