Over here at Hours and Minutes, we love our Montblanc timepieces. It’s one of the very few brands out there that has achieved so much in such little time in the watch space. And then of course when we hear the name Nicolas Rieussec, it elevates the excitement level even further. It’s not everyday you across a timepiece that is so distinctive, aesthetically and technically. Call it their most ambitious assault on the biggies of the watch world or watchmaking with a difference, the new Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph is making enormous waves with its enthusiasts.
Montblanc’s first Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph was introduced in 2008; a tribute to the legendary French Watchmaker who invented the first inking chronograph in 1821.
Nicolas Rieussec developed this construction to more precisely measure the running times of individual horses at a horserace. His device was literally a “time writer,” so he accordingly named it a “chronograph” from the Greek words“ chronos” (time) and “graphein” (to write). In 1822, the Académie des Sciences in Paris granted a patent to Nicolas Rieussec for his device and he became the inventor of the world’s first patented chronograph, marking the history of fine watchmaking.
Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph
This year at SIHH 2018, Montblanc presented a new version of the much loved timepiece – The Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph. This new version features a beautiful rich silvery – white dial has been entirely reworked, with particular attention paid to the proportions of the aesthetic and horological details, allowing better visibility and fine watchmaking aesthetics. The date has been placed at 6 o’clock and enhanced with a sophisticated display applied on the dial with blued screws. Providing fine watchmaking appearance, the dial has been highlighted with an elegant guilloché pat tern in places, azuré finishing in the centre of the hour – circle, and a filet sauté guilloché decoration that runs around the dial. Paying tribute to the famous chronograph’s inventor, a ring with the Nicolas Rieussec inscription has been applied on the outer part of the dial.
The off – centred hour – circle and the chronograph’s titanium turning discs have been domed, giving it a 3D effect. The black arabic numerals are now a fraction slimmer and surrounded by a railway minute track. Classic blued leaf – shaped hands complete the overall design.
Personally, we found the 44.8mm case to be quite wrist friendly all thanks to the curved finishing on the sides, and horns that have steps on the sides. The pebble effect is a result of the domed sapphire crystal glass that surrounds the three – dimensional dial. Other details include a recognisable and easy – grip onion – shape crown adorned with the Montblanc emblem.
Powered by the iconic Manufacture monopusher chronograph movement with automatic winding, the Calibre MB R200 equipped with a column – wheel mechanism that controls the monopusher chronograph. The connection between the gear train and the chronograph’s wheels is alternately engaged and disengaged by a vertical coupling and functions nearly without any wear and tear and prevents the elapsed time discs from jumping when the chronograph is switched on. The movement has two barrels thats store enough energy for a 72 hour power reserve.
Turn the watch around and you’ll notice a play of colours – Red jewels, blued screws and golden-coated wheels complete the ensemble.
The timepiece is equipped with two rotating horizontally – aligned discs for the monopusher chronograph’s 60 – second and 30 – minute counters that turn below a blued fixed double index like on the original device. Additionally, a second time zone is displayed via a skeletonized hand on the off – centred dial.
As with most Montblanc timepieces, the Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph is also certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 and is water resistant to 30 metres. It is fitted with a new matching blue Sfumato alligator leather strap comes from the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence, Italy and equipped with a triple folding clasp.
The real question is: Do you have an appetite big enough for the Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph?