The Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Anniversary edition was unveiled on the occasion of the 190th anniversary of the chronograph
The first mechanical movement manufactured in Montblanc's own workshops in Le Locle took its inspiration from Nicolas Rieussec's 1821 invention of the world’s first chronograph. The hand-wound Montblanc calibre MB R100 is the driving force in the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph, featuring a classic column-wheel mechanism and a vertical disc clutch, which ensures virtually friction-free power transmission to the wheels of the chronograph.
The Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Anniversary edition was unveiled recently, on the occasion of the 190th anniversary of the chronograph.
A watch complication which is nearer and dearer to the heart of Montblanc, a brand which not only epitomizes the art of high-quality Swiss watchmaking, but is also the world’s best-known manufacturer of fine writing instruments? Chronos means “time” and graphein means “to write.” The “time-writing” device, the first chronograph was unveiled by its inventor, Nicolas Rieussec, in 1821. Born in Paris in 1781, Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec established a watchmaking business on the Île de la Cité at the youthful age of twenty and studied with the best watchmakers of his era. He was appointed watchmaker to the royal court in 1817.
Montblanc first paid homage to the inventor of the device for measuring brief intervals of time by dedicating its innovative Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph to the ingenious watchmaker in 2008. As on the original chronograph from 1821, the chronograph hands do not rotate above the dials; instead, they remain motionless while the seconds-disk and minutes-disk turn underneath them. With this, Montblanc created a new face to the chronograph combining tradition with innovation.
The Rieussec chronograph is the first chronograph where the time display does not interact with the chronograph function. Thus, providing better legibility of both indications and giving the watch a strong, unique look. All subsequent Nicolas Rieussec Chronographs from Montblanc have followed this same principle. For the 190th anniversary in 2011, the watch Manufacture in the Swiss watchmaking centre of Le Locle now launches the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Anniversary Edition, which will be available in a strictly limited edition.
Perhaps the most eye-catching feature of the new Anniversary Edition is its unmistakable face, which distinguishes every Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph. A very subtle and pure, yet classique guilloche pattern gives emphasis to the watches iconic features. An hours-circle with black or white numerals displays the ordinary time of day: this subdial is off-centred toward the “12 o’clock” position of the main dial and held firmly in place by blued screws.
At the “6 o’clock” position, the dial is traversed by the unique “smiling” V-shaped bridge which holds the ruby counter-bearings for the two chronograph-disks: the subdial at the left can tally up to sixty elapsed seconds, while the disk at the right can count a maximum of thirty elapsed minutes. Below the hour-hand and minute-hand turns a finely skeletonized date-disk, between the spokes of which can be seen a plate adorned with Geneva waves and the “MONTBLANC”
Red Gold, White Gold or Platinum for the Anniversary Edition
To do justice to the anniversary and the limited edition, the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Anniversary Edition Chronograph will be available only in 950 platinum and in 18 carat white or red gold. The right side of the case bears a nonslip knurled crown embellished with an inlaid Montblanc emblem in mother-of-pearl. The chronograph’s push-piece on the case’s flank occupies an unusual location at “8 o’clock,” where it is well protected against inadvertent triggering yet easily operable by the wearer’s right thumb.
Chronographs currently rank among the most avidly sought types of mechanical watches. This popularity makes it all more appropriate that Montblanc has chosen to pay homage to the inventor of this popular and practical complication by launching the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Anniversary Edition in 2011, the year in which the chronograph celebrates its190th birthday. The Anniversary Edition will be available only in a limited and individually numbered edition: 190 watches in eighteen carat red gold, 90 watches in eighteen carat white gold and 25 watches in 950 platinum.