Pre-SIHH 2014: Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”

Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 565 in steel. 8990 Euro.

This is a stunning beautiful, new interpretation of Rieussec’s chronograph from 1821. And this is just the beginning of my extensive presentation of the Montblanc novelties. Click here to read more…

Today I am very proud to be able to present you one of the first 2014 highlights coming from Montblanc. is the only English website that will offer you these insights until Monday morning when the SIHH 2014 starts.

But on Monday you will again be the very first to discover all the Montblanc novelties ahead of time, since on next Monday at 08:30 CET, when the SIHH officially opens its doors, all the Montblanc novelties 2014 will be already online here.

You will see all the Montblanc novelties photographed and presented in the way I am used to do it.

You will see the photos and you will be able to listen to the personal comments of Alexander Schmiedt, who is the person in charge of the watch development at Montblanc.

Later next Monday I will also publish an interview with Montblanc-CEO Jerome Lambert for you.

So there are many good reasons to come back as often as you can!

Now let me present you the new Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”

Nicolas Rieussec’s first patented chronograph from 1821 inspired the watchmakers at Montblanc to create the Nicolas Rieussec watch collection with manufacture movements and distinctive styling. The timepiece’s unmistakable appearance combines an off-centre hour-circle in the upper part of the dial and the chronograph’s elapsed-time displays in the lower portion of the face. As on the original from 1821, elapsed time is shown on two rotating discs, above each of which a motionless hand indicates the passing seconds and minutes. Nicolas Rieussec, watchmaker to the French royal court, invented this construction to precisely measure the running times of individual horses at a horserace. When the starting gun was fired at the track, the patented “ink chronograph” was set in motion so that two white enameled discs began to turn: one disc was calibrated for 60 elapsed seconds, the other for 30 elapsed minutes. The user pressed a button each time a horse crossed the finish line: this pressure momentarily lowered an elongated rhombic carrier with two ink-filled tips onto the enamel discs, where each tip left a droplet of ink. These inky markings on the scales of the chronograph’s discs enabled the user to read the exact running time of each horse. Rieussec’s 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 on this device to Nicolas Rieussec, who went down in horological history as the inventor of the world’s first patented chronograph.


Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec Seconds Chronograph (1821/1822) belonging to the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec Seconds Chronograph (1821/1822) belonging to the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.


>>> Please click  HERE  to discover even more pictures of the original Rieussec-Chronograph produced in 1821. <<<


In 2014, Montblanc pays tribute to this great clockmaker with a new interpretation of his chronograph from 1821. The Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec” chronograph faithfully replicates every detail of the color scheme and the styling of the hands as they appeared on the original “time writer”, but relies on innovative materials and technologies to transport the historical device into our contemporary day and age. The new “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec” chronograph from the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec collection shows the date, indicates the time in two different time zones and also offers a day/night display. The timepiece will be manufactured in limited editions in rose gold and steel.

In an unprecedented innovation, the chronograph’s hand is designed as a double index: each of the two tips of an elongated horizontal blued-metal rhombus points to a calibrated scale on one of two rotating discs. Each index is shaped exactly like the ink carriers on the original chronograph from 1821. The two white- lacquered discs – one at the left for 60 elapsed seconds and the other at the right for 30 elapsed minutes – are likewise inspired by the appearance of the original timepiece.


Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 193 rose gold. 26.900 Euro
Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 193 rose gold. 26.900 Euro


At first glance, the watch’s hour-circle seems to lack hour numerals and to bear only a minute-scale. With slim black strokes alternating with Arabic numerals at ten-minute intervals, the minute-circle faithfully emulates its counterpart on the original “time writer”, the position of the hands allows precise legibility of the hours.

The hour-circle reveals its special feature in the dark, when an unprecedented technique causes the formerly hidden hour numerals to appear on the dial. The traditionally styled hour-circle is crafted from ultramodern hybrid ceramic (Made in Austria!) permeated with Super-LumiNova pigments. These luminous pigments form the Arabic hour numerals in the characteristic font of the Montblanc Rieussec collection. The digits are invisible in daylight because they’re precisely embedded into the hour ring, with which they share exactly the same color. But when the ambient light starts to dim, the luminous pigments that fill the numerals – as well as the Super-LumiNova-filled hour-hand and minute-hand – begin to glow, thus assuring perfect legibility and simultaneously giving this watch its characteristic appearance.


Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 193 rose gold. 26.900 Euro
Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 193 rose gold. 26.900 Euro


The pale, shiny, enamel-like surfaces of the hour-circle and the chronograph’s discs create an unusual contrast with the fine-grained (grainé) texture of the dial. Two apertures rimmed by finely satin-finished gradations offer an unobstructed view of the date display at “3 o’clock” and the finely guilloche-embellished day/night indicator at “9 o’clock”. A skeletonized hour-hand indicates the time in a second time zone.

Combining traditional watchmaker’s craftsmanship and modern engineering artistry, self-winding mechanical manufacture Calibre MB R200 ticks unseen beneath the innovative dial. A laboriously milled column-wheel controls the monopusher chronograph; the connection between the gear-train and chronograph’s wheels is alternately engaged and disengaged by a vertical coupling, which functions nearly without wear and prevents the elapsed-time hands from jumping when the chronograph is switched on. The double barrel stores enough power for 72 hours of continuous running. The movement’s appeal derives not only from its outstanding mechanical performance, but also from its horological aesthetic. The components are decorated with Geneva waves and have beveled, polished edges. Bright red jewels, blued screws and shiny golden brass wheels complete the handsome ensemble, which can be admired by peering through the transparent pane of sapphire crystal in the back of the case.

A slightly cambered sapphire crystal that’s been antireflective treated on both its surfaces protects the dial. The movement is ensconced inside a circular case made of 18-karat rose gold. The case’s doubly stepped horns angle slightly downward so the 43-mm-diameter watch fits ergonomically and conforms to the anatomy of its wearer’s wrist. A watch connoisseur who notices the unconventional positioning of the chronograph’s button at “8 o’clock” will correctly deduce that this is a monopusher chronograph which can be conveniently operated with the tip of the right thumb.

The rose gold crown is deeply grooved and embellished with a domed black-and-white Montblanc emblem. A pin buckle made of 18 karat gold secures the alligator-skin strap, which conforms to the curvature of the horns and the roundness of the case.

The Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec” chronograph will be available starting in the autumn of 2014 in a limited edition of 193 rose gold timepieces priced at 26.900 Euro each. The number of watches in the edition likewise pays homage to the man who invented this genre of watch – because 193 years ago was the birth of the first patented chronograph from Nicolas Rieussec.


Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 193 rose gold. 26.900 Euro
Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 193 rose gold. 26.900 Euro



Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”

Calibre Montblanc manufacture Calibre MB R200

Type of movement Mechanical movement with double barrel and automatic winding

Chronograph Monopusher with column-wheel and vertical coupling

No. of components 319

No. of rubies 40

Power reserve 72 hours

Balance Screw balance, diameter = 9.7 mm; moment of inertia = 12 mgcm2

Frequency 28,800 A/h (4 Hz)

Hairspring Flat

Plate Rhodium plating and circular graining

Bridges Rhodium plating and Geneva waves

Gear-train Special tooth profile improves the efficiency of the power transmission

Displays Hours and minutes on an off-centre subdial

Second Time Zone with day/night display

Date on a rotating disc

Power-reserve display on the back

Chronograph 60 elapsed seconds and 30 elapsed minutes on rotating discs under motionless hands

Special feature Travel function with rapid reset of hour-hand and date display either forward or backward



Case 18 karat rose gold (5N);

Cambered sapphire crystal antireflective treated on both its surfaces, screwed back includes transparent pane of sapphire crystal

Watertightness 3 bar/30 m

Dimensions Diameter = 43 mm; height = 14.8 mm

Crown 18 karat rose gold (5N) with inlaid Montblanc emblem made of mother-of-pearl

Push-piece Monopusher at “8 o’clock”

Dial Grainé dial, enamelled hour-circle with black minute-circle and Superluminova-coated Arabic numerals that are invisible under daylight conditions Rose gold-plated superluminova-coated hour-hand and minute-hand,

Skeletonised, rhodium-plated hour-hand for the second time zone

Guilloche-embellished day/night display for the second time zone in a window at “9 o’clock”

Date window at “3 o’clock”

Chronograph has two enamelled discs (one counter for 60 elapsed seconds at “8 o’clock” and a second counter for 30 elapsed minutes at “4 o’clock”) with rhombic double index made of blued steel

Strap black alligator-skin strap with large reptilian scales and triply folding clasp made of 18 karat rose gold (5N)

Limited edition 193 timepieces

Price 26.900 Euro


Also available in stainless steel with as well in a limitation of 565 pieces for 8990 Euro.

Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”,  limited edition of 565 in steel. 8990 Euro.
Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 565 in steel. 8990 Euro.
Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 565 in steel. 8990 Euro
Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec”, limited edition of 565 in steel. 8990 Euro






9 replies on “Pre-SIHH 2014: Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec””
  1. says: Pawel

    I’m a long-time fan of the brand, and own numerous pens and leather goods. I can’t believe how far they have come in terms of watch design, their Nicolas Rieussec line is an iconic design that very watch brand needs, similar to the Royal Oak, Reverso, etc.

    Having said that I find the two not connected dials of past models to be way better than this proposition. Then again 9000 EUR for a 585 limited edition watch is a terrific value financially.

  2. says: Marcel

    Nice design but the hands are much to long (by daylight). It is a funny gimmick that the numbers only appears by night but all day long I would have to look at hands which do not have the right length. Finally the GMT hand is not readable at all, neither by day nor night.

    Regarding the new dial design you really feel the influence of Mr Lambert, it looks like the Duomètre of JLC (his former brand). The same is true for the new moon phase watch with the two hemispheres indication, very Duomètre à quantième lunaire

  3. says: Patrick Tacq

    I agree entirely with David. The steel version eyes even more discreetly and seems, in terms of the horological originality a very fair proposition financially. Can’t wait to have it on my wrist!

  4. says: Thomas

    Absolutely stunning. what a nice design. Mont Blanc surprises me more and more with very interesting high end watches. I really hope for once Patek Phillip wakes us.

  5. says: David

    By far the most elegant version… I like the steel one very much. It will be difficult to get, looking at the limitation…

Comments are closed.