Not all watches are made equal, and nor should they be. Even at the pinnacle of fine watch-making, there are differences. Back in 1821, Nicolas Rieussec, watchmaker by appointment to the King of France, showed the world his ‘time writer’ with turning disc and ink-writing hand, receiving a patent for it the following year. This fascinating piece of innovation is well known today as the chronograph.
In 2008, Montblanc paid homage to the French genius with its first Nicolas Rieussec chronograph, and since then, has continued to expand the collection. Its latest offering is the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Open Hometime, a simultaneously sporty and elegant timepiece with its black alligator-skin wristband and distinctively designed dial.
It also carries a noble and weighty feel, thanks to the smoothly polished 18-carat red gold bezel and clasp. Encased within is a new in-house movement Caliber MB R210, uniquely joining classical chronograph mechanisms with modern technical solutions, a combination that is irresistibly sexy, in my opinion.
The watch also features local and home time, with a second zone boasting a gorgeous rotating skeletonised disc instead of a second hour-hand. This means that when one leaves one time zone and enters another, one can reset the hour-hand easily without affecting its movement and rate. It also has a 72-hour power reserve so that one can take it off for a weekend and put it on again without it skipping a beat.
Also, rather than having 2 clunky buttons on either side of the crown like in typical chronographs, this watch has a single ‘monopusher’ chronograph, relying on a single button at the ‘8 o’clock’ spot to trigger the start, stop and zero-return functions. As if that wasn’t mesmerising enough, half the time, you’re left admiring the back of the watch through a transparent pane of sapphire crystal, with the artistic finishing on the tiny moving bits works of art in themselves.
This work of art is now available at the Montblanc flagship at Mandarin Gallery, so if you are in the market for a one-of-a-kind chronograph, you know where to go.