October 11, 2014
by Ariel Adams
The newest Nicolas Rieussec watch by Montblanc for 2014 is actually a limited edition, versus a permanent part of the larger Nicolas Rieussec collection. Montblanc originally released the avant garde-looking Nicolas Rieussec collection of watches several years ago not only as a celebration of the “chronograph” (time writer – an appropriate theme for a brand that once only produced writing instruments), but also because at the time, Nicolas Rieussec was thought to be the inventor of the chronograph.
The newest piece is this Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec watch, and it offers an elegant and simple execution on the in-house made MB R200 movement. You can see our original review on the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Automatic watch here. Both that watch and the 2014 Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec model share the same movement, and you can see our previous article for more information on the movement and the genesis of the collection.
What I really like about the Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec is its simplicity. The dial is very clean and, according to Montblanc, inspired by the original design of Nicolas Rieussec’s chronograph machine from 1821. There is a sort of neat trick to the dial, in the form of hidden luminant. Most Nicolas Rieussec watches are identified not only by their novel case and dial design, but because of the typical Montblanc font used for the hour indicators. There are no express hour indicator numerals on the dial of the Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec timepiece… unless you are viewing it in the dark.
The stylized Arabic hour numerals are painted in luminant on the dial and only show themselves after being charged by light and in the dark. It is a neat little feature that isn’t strictly speaking new, but I’ve never seen it applied to a watch like this. More so, when you look at the dial you really can’t tell there is luminant unless you look really closely.
Montblanc retains the same 43mm wide case design of the Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec, and for this limited edition, it will be available in either 18k rose gold or steel. While a dressier watch, the Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec is not thin, being 14.8mm thick. Then again, the MB R200 movement does a lot and is an automatic. The case is only water resistant to 30 meters and comes attached to an attractive and thick black alligator strap with deployant clasp.
Visible through the sapphire crystal caseback is the in-house made in Le Locle, Switzerland MB R200 automatic movement. This 4Hz movement represents a median between Montblanc’s stock ETA movements and their much higher-end Montblanc Villeret (Minerva) produced movements. The watch features the time with a second time zone hand (basically an extra hour hand), a day/night indicator, the date, and a 30 minute chronograph operated via a monopusher (single button chronograph). The movement has a decent power reserve of 3 days (72 hours).
While it is a quirky dial it does a lot of things well, and for the Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec edition, Montblanc changed up the dial a bit with additional enhancements that focus on simplicity. Anyone who felt the original Nicolas Rieussec watches were too busy looking might really get a kick out of the Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec models.
Note that the Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec version has a slightly tweaked readout for the chronograph. From the beginning, the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec watches have features discs versus hands to indicate the chronograph readout. Nothing has changed about that, but the place where you read the information has moved to the side, along the double-sized blued-steel hand.
As a limited edition, Montblanc will predictably produce less models of the Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec in 18k rose gold and more in steel, but the collection is still relatively limited. Montblanc will produce 193 Montblanc Homage To Nicolas Rieussec timepieces in 18k rose gold and 565 pieces in steel priced at $34,400 and $11,500 respectively. montblanc.com