Montblanc Brand

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch ’21 Unique Piece

Luxferity, 12.07.2021

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This year marks the 9th edition of the renowned Only Watch charity auction and also the 200th anniversary of the inking chronograph created by Nicolas Rieussec. To celebrate both important milestones, Montblanc has decided to pay tribute to both events with the creation of the Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch’21 Unique Piece that will be auctioned together with a wooden replica of the historical chronograph from 1821, and an exclusive immersive high watchmaking experience, all in support of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch ’21 Unique Piece

Montblanc & Only Watch Charity Auction 9th Edition

Since 2009, Montblanc has supported the Only Watch Charity Auction held by Luc Pettavino, President of the Association Mon gasque contre les Myopathies and the founder of Only Watch that has raised over 70 million Euros to date. The auction is under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and is organized in partnership with Christie’s. This 9th edition will unite 53 watchmakers from both the large groups and small independents who all express their creativity and generosity through exceptional timepieces crafted from the heart. The luxury watches will embark on a world tour starting on September 22nd, 2021 at the Monaco Yacht Show in the charity’s hometown.

This year, the event will be extraordinary as we celebrate the 9th Edition of Only Watch along with the bicentenary of the first inking chronograph invented by the French watchmaker, Nicolas Rieussec. Over the last few years, Montblanc watches have been successful at auctions, with prices increasing significantly, as they are synonymous with high quality, great value, expertise, and craftsmanship.

The success story will continue as Montblanc is honoured to donate a one-of-a-kind Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch’21 Unique Piece and pusher a replica of Nicolas Rieussec’s 1821 historical inking chronograph, as well as an immersive high watchmaking experience.

The Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch’21 Unique Piece

The Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch’21 Unique Piece features the two recognisable, rotating, horizontally-aligned, chronograph discs with fixed double index, combined with a gold coloured dial inspired by the original chronograph device from 1821.

The 200th Anniversary of the Rieussec Inking Chronograph Invention

For history lovers, Nicolas Rieussec (1781 – 1866) was the sixth royal watchmaker to the King of France. On September 1st, 1821, he went to the Champ-de-Mars Arrondissement de la Seine horse race in Paris to test out one of his latest inventions, a chronometer designed to consistently measure the time horses take to travel the race distance. The beauty of his innovative mechanism was that not only did it time the winning horse, but also all the horses that crossed the line.

It worked using a fixed double index that would place a black mark on two rotating counters the moment each horse crossed the finish line. A few weeks later, he presented his new invention to the country’s Academy of Sciences in Paris who were fascinated by Rieussec’s device and named it a “chronograph”, taken from the Greek “chronos” for time and “graphein” to write. The word chronograph was born and Nicolas Rieussec became the inventor of the world’s first inking chronograph, marking the history of fine watchmaking. The principle of the rotating counters was the inspiration for the design and the movement of the Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch’21 Unique Piece, giving the watch its unmistakable appearance.

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch ’21 Unique Piece

A unique timepiece dedicated to Only Watch

This one-of-a-kind timepiece comes in a 43 mm 18 K yellow gold case that is shaped like a pebble, offering comfort and elegance on the wrist. For Montblanc, the details make all the difference, with sapphire crystal on the front that has been treated with an anti-reflective coating on both sides to allow the wearer to admire the dial. Paying tribute to the charity auction, the caseback features a special engraving Only Watch Unique Piece. Furthermore, the movement’s oscillating weight has been crafted out of 18 K yellow gold and decorated with a guilloché grain d’orge pattern. It also includes a cartridge where a further engraving can be added – either Only Watch 2021 or the name of the future owner, making this unique timekeeper a true collector’s piece. For each Only Watch auction, a colour theme is chosen, which for this 9th edition will be orange. Following this fun theme, Montblanc has added subtle orange touches to the dial’s railway track, the skeletonized second time zone hand, the chronograph’s double index, and the date number six, as a nod to the day of the auction.

The complex dial is composed of six different parts, providing a three-dimensional effect. It has been developed with particular attention paid to the proportions of the aesthetic as well as the horological details. Like on the original timekeeper, the base of the dial is made in a gold colour with a traditional guilloché grain d’orge decoration. Paying tribute to the famous chronograph’s inventor, a ring with the inscriptions Nicolas Rieussec and Homage 200 ans (Tribute to 200 years) has been applied on the outer part of the dial and is surrounded by a refined filet sauté guilloché.

The contemporary shape and classic finishes of the Montblanc Manufacture calibre MB R200 can be admired through the sapphire crystal caseback. A keen eye will notice that the bridges feature Geneva stripes with bevelled and polished edges, while rubies, blued screws, and gold-coated wheels complete the ensemble. This automatic monopusher chronograph has a column wheel and vertical disc clutch, double barrels, and a power reserve of 72 hours.

The unique piece is paired with a new brown alligator strap featuring orange stitching and alligator lining as a nod to the edition’s auction colour.

The wooden replica of Nicolas Rieussec’s historical inking chronograph

For this special occasion and, for the first time, Montblanc has developed a wooden replica of the Nicolas Rieussec historical inking chronograph from 1821. Inspired by the original device, it is made of a walnut burl and features two white enamel rotating chronograph discs that can be easily started and stopped by a pusher located on the left of the device. The zero-reset has to be done manually by turning the counters with the help of the central axes like on the original one.

A unique watchmaking experience at the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret

In addition to the one-of-a-kind timepiece and the historical chronograph replica, the successful bidder will receive a special invitation to a rare experience at the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret in the beautiful area of the Jura mountains. The lucky owner will have the opportunity to discover the know-how and craftsmanship of the Manufacture. He or she will also be able to assemble a Montblanc Calibre MB R200 with the master watchmaker who has created the unique chronograph. As a final touch, the personalised 18 K yellow gold oscillating weight will be assembled in the presence of the watch’s owner.

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch ’21 Unique Piece

For more Information about the Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB R200.

A Chronograph designed to reach a high level of efficiency & aesthetics

The Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch’21 Unique Piece is powered by the automatic Manufacture Monopusher Chronograph Movement MB R200. Everything in the movement has been designed to reach technical efficiency and aesthetics:

  • As someone would expect from a Manufacture Chronograph, it is equipped with a column-wheel mechanism that controls the monopusher mechanism.
  • To improve the chronograph’s start, the connection between the gear train and the chronograph's wheels is alternately engaged and disengaged by a vertical disc clutch and functions almost without any wear and tear. This mechanism prevents the elapsed time discs from jumping when the chronograph is switched on. The timepiece features a monopusher, which is ergonomically positioned at 8 o’clock, where the wearer’s thumb can conveniently operate it.
  • Additionally, a rapid-reset mechanism for the hour and date is practical for travellers who journey from one time zone to another. These indicators can be set either clockwise or counter-clockwise without affecting the position of the minute hand.
  • The rate is regulated by a large 9.7-mm-diameter balance wheel with screws and oscillates regularly. Thanks to a double barrel of 72-hour power reserve, the rate remains constant without being affected by the chronograph function. Furthermore, the balance bridge is transversal, meaning that it is screwed down at both extremities allowing precise positioning and improving shock resistance.
Montblanc - A Swiss Watchmaker since 1858

Montblanc watchmaking is built on a unique set-up that brings two Manufactures together, based in Le Locle and in Villeret, in the Swiss Jura mountains.

The Montblanc watchmaking story began in 1858 when Mr. Charles-Ivan Robert founded a watch workshop in the Saint-Imier valley. This marked the beginning of the historic Minerva era. By the end of the 19th century, pocket watches started to gain recognition for their crown winding system. The Minerva Manufacture’s success resulted in the company becoming a leading specialist in professional watches (stopwatches and chronographs) for measuring small intervals of time with high precision during the 20th century.

Today, Montblanc timepieces continue the journey of over 160 years of Minerva history through four fine watchmaking product lines: Star Legacy, Bohème, 1858, and Heritage, all linking the past and the present through design, style, and technical innovation.

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch’21 Unique Piece

Ident. 129314

Movement: Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB R200

- Type of movement: Mechanical movement with automatic winding mechanism, chronograph and double barrel

- Chronograph: Monopusher with column-wheel and vertical disc clutch

- Dimensions: Diameter = 31 mm; height = 8.46 mm

- Number of components: 319

- Number of rubies: 40

- Power Reserve: Approx. 72 hours

- Oscillating weight: 18 K yellow gold with either Only Watch 2021 or personalized engraving

- Balance: Screw balance, diameter = 9.7 mm; moment of inertia = 12 mgcm

- Frequency: 28,800 A/h (4 Hz)

- Hairspring :Flat

- Plate: Rhodium-coated with circular graining

- Bridges: Rhodium-coated with “Côtes de Genève”

- Going train: Special toothing for more efficient power transmission

- Displays:

     - Off-centred hour- and minute-hands, second time zone on same axis as hour- and minute-hands with day/night display

     - Date: window at 6 o’clock

     - 60 elapsed-second and 30 elapsed-minute counters on rotating discs with central motionless fixed double index

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

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Only Watch ’21 Unique Piece


- Case: 18 K yellow gold, polished case

- Crystal: Scratch-resistant, domed sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both sides

- Back: 18 K yellow gold with inset pane of sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and Only Watch Unique Piece engraving

- Dimensions: Diameter = 43 mm; Height = 15.02 mm

- Watertightness: 5 bar (50 m)

- Crown: 18 K yellow gold with mother-of-pearl Montblanc emblem

- Pusher: Monopusher chronograph at 8 o’clock

- Dial: Gold-coloured with guilloché pattern in places, white lacquered domed hour-circle with gold-coloured sunray-finishing in the centre and black coloured Roman numerals, filet sauté guilloch around the dial, blued leaf hour- and minute hands, orange-coloured skeletonized second time zone hand, gold-coloured titanium domed chronograph counters discs with satin-finishing, orange-coloured fixed double index

- Wristband: Brown alligator leather strap with orange stitching and lining, 18K yellow gold pin buckle

- Limited Edition: Unique piece

- Certified by the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500

Nicolas Rieussec’s historical chronograph replica of the 1821 model


- Type of movement: Mechanical movement

- Chronograph: Monopusher


- Case: Walnut burl

- Dimensions: Height = 80 mm, length = 176 mm, width = 150 mm

- Pushers: Monopusher chronograph

- Dial: Gold-coloured, white enamel chronograph counter discs, orange-coloured fixed double index

About Montblanc

Synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and design, Montblanc has been pushing the boundaries of innovation ever since the Maison first revolutionized the culture of writing in 1906. Ingenuity and imagination continue to be driving forces for the Maison today as it advances its expression of fine craftsmanship across product categories: writing instruments, watches, leather goods, new technologies and accessories. Reflecting upon its ongoing mission to create fine lifetime companions born from bold ideas and expertly crafted through the skills of the Maison’s artisans, the iconic Montblanc Emblem has become the ultimate seal of performance, quality and an expression of sophisticated style. As part of its on-going commitment to elevating and support those who strive to leave their mark, Montblanc continues to assert its encouragement of education programs around the world and initiatives that inspire people to express their full potential.