The history of Montblanc dates back as far as 1906 to Hamburg Germany. The company was formed by business man Alfred Nehemias & engineer August Eberstein. The two men became fascinated by the concept of the fountain pen whilst travelling in the United States. Today the brand is globally recognised as a producer of exquisite pens & luxury goods. In 1997 with Richemont at the helm, a watchmaking workshop was established in the Swiss Jura. Presently the company produces a range of exceptionally high quality timepieces. The Nicolas Rieussec highlights this fact perfectly.
On March 9th 1822 Nicolas Rieussec devised the worlds first chronograph. His patented device consisted of wooden case with a clock movement that drove two rotating dials on the cover. Montblanc have acknowledged this extraordinary mans vision by incorporating it into the design of this watch. I’m sure if he were alive today he would be enchanted with the results of this glorious timepiece.
My first impression is how delightfully charming the actual watch is. The Nicolas Rieussec felt very comfortable to wear & delicately balanced on my wrists without any protrusion from the lugs. This is probably down to its subtle design & modest proportions. At 43mm x 15mm this isn’t a particularly large piece by modern standards. In essence it fits within the classical mid size category honouring the spirit of its namesake. I feel the watch will appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers due to its charismatic appearance. Ultimately this alluring timepiece could be worn for most occasions especially formal events.
The attention to detail on the Nicolas Rieussec is absolutely impeccable. The anthracite-colored dial works in perfect harmony with the white Arabic numerals. Montblanc have also used a sublime ”grain d’orge” guilloche pattern with luminescent feuille hour and minute hands. I personally love the rotating chronograph discs supported by a central bridge. Other notable features include the three apertures displaying date, day/night display & a part skeleton view of the movement. This is also visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
Underneath the watch’s highly polished stainless steel exterior lies a very accomplished bespoke engine. The Calibre MB R 210 is a self-winding mechanism with twin barrels. This bespoke 40 – jewel movement comprises 295 components & oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 bph (4 Hz). The Nicolas Rieussec also delivers on the function front featuring hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph & day/night indicator. Another impressive feature is the travel function with fast forward facility. Essentially this allows the recipient to quickly reset the hour hand and date display.
A Black alligator-skin strap with double-folding clasp made of steel accompanies all this refinement. The suggested retail price is: $14,540.