Wednesday, April 9, 2008

SIHH 2008 Preview: Montblanc Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph Calibres

Montblanc unveiled its first watch movement manufactured entirely in-house at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.

On Monday, 7 April 2008 Montblanc's announced the presentation of its very first chronograph featuring a movement developed and manufactured entirely in the company's own workshops - The Montblanc Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph.

This watch is the first one ever to feature a movement that has been developed, produced and assembled in Montblanc's own workshops. The two chronograph movements (the MB R100 handwound calibre and the MB R200 automatic) are yet another highlight in a success story going back more than ten years for Montblanc watches: 'We're very proud of the fact that this first movement of our own further justifies our claim to be a provider of traditional European craftsmanship in the mechanical watch sector. And it means we've set up a further milestone in the success story of Montblanc watch manufacture,' explains Lutz Bethge, CEO Montblanc International. It also means that the Montblanc brand not only joins an exclusive circle of classical watch manufacturers by demonstrating its expertise and professionalism in this market segment, but also underpins something the brand embodies in all its product lines: the practice and cultivation of European craftsmanship and an authentic tradition of manufacturing by hand.

Rieussec: a name that writes the history of time

The Montblanc Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher is dedicated to Nicolas Rieussec, who invented the chronograph in 1821: his was a wooden case containing a clock movement that drove two rotating dials on the lid. Above them was a fixed index that left a drop of ink on the rotating dials whenever a button was pushed. For the first time ever, the device made it possible to record the exact times put up by individual horses at racing events. The principle used gave the chronograph its name and comes from the Greek: chronos for time and graphein for write. It seems only logical that the first watch movement to be developed by Montblanc, which has established itself as the world's leading manufacturer of top-quality writing instruments, should be one that 'writes time'. The principle of the rotating dials was the inspiration for the design of the new Montblanc chronograph and gives the watch its unmistakable appearance.

A stopwatch that fuses tradition and innovation

The Montblanc MB R100 calibre is a hand-wound movement with displays for the time of day, the date and a chronograph that combines classical column wheel operation with a modern vertical plate clutch. The chronograph is operated using a pushbutton in the side of the case at 8 o'clock. The time of day is displayed in an off-centre dial that features a 1 to 31 scale for the date indicator within the hour circle. The movement has two barrels, which generate a 72-hour power reserve. The remaining power reserve is shown on a display at the back of the movement, which can be seen through the sapphire glass cover. Alternatively, Montblanc also offers its own automatic movement, the Montblanc MB R200 calibre.

Montblanc Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph: a watch for connoisseurs in a limited edition
The Montblanc Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph is a piece for connoisseurs that will be available only in limited numbers: 25 watches in platinum 950, 75 in 18 K white gold and 75 in 18 K yellow gold, together with 125 watches in 18 K red gold. In keeping with traditional watchmaking methods the precious metal cases, measuring 43 millimetres in diameter, are cold-moulded and painstakingly finished by hand. A convex sapphire glass with an antireflective coating on both sides covers the dial while a sapphire glass back cover provides a view of the ornately decorated movement and its visible chronograph mechanism and power reserve display. With its unique combination of features, complex precision mechanics and limited availability, the Montblanc Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph has all the makings of a much sought-after collector's item.


The case measures 43mm X 14.8mm with 22mm lugs. The crystal is sapphire with AR-coating, as is the display back. It is water resistant to 30 meters. It is available in a rose gold version of 125 pieces, with a platinum version of 25 pieces and a white gold version of 75 pieces.

The movement, the in-house Montblanc Caliber MB R100 is hand-wound, with twin barrels and stop balance wheel. It has 286 parts, with 33 jewels, beating at 28,800 bph and with a power reserve of 72 hours. The plates are Rhodium-plated and circular-grained; Bridge are Rhodium-plated with Geneva stripes. The chronograph features a new type of display on 60-second and 30-minute counters using rotating discs and fixed hands, with a power reserve display on the case back. Monopusher operation at 8 o'clock features column wheel control and a vertical disc clutch.

Info via Montblanc press file

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