Montblanc Calibre MB R200
In an attempt to be taken seriously as a manufacture, Montblanc worked with other Richemont units, especially including ValFleurier to develop their own in-house chronograph movement. This work resulted in the 2007 introduction of calibres MB R100 (hand-wound) and MB R200 (automatic). Both are double-barrel mono-pusher chronograph movements with date function, though Cal. MB R100 has a power reserve indicator on the reverse while Cal. MB R200 has a 12-hour second time zone complication with day/night indicator instead.
The dial arrangement of both calibres is unusual The time display is shifted towards 12 00, making room for chronograph minute and hour discs at roughly 4 30 and 7 30. There are no running seconds. The sole chronograph pusher is located at 8 00 rather than more conventional and historic locations like 12 00, 2 00, or co-axial with the crown at 3 00.
Displaying the chronograph time on a pair of discs is highly unusual and perhaps unique to this movement. It is reminiscent of the early chronographs created by Nicolas Rieussec, for whom Montblanc named the series of watches containing these calibres. It was not until the 2015 introduction of the Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec II that a Cal. MB R200 watch used hands rather than discs for chronograph time.
In Cal. MB R200, apertures at 9 00 and 3 00 act as day/night indicator and rising date display. This calibre also features a useful second timezone indicator on the main dial The primary hand can be adjusted forward and backward in one-hour increments to show local time while a skeleton hour hand remains behind at home time. The date display follows the travel hour hand, usefully advancing both forward and backward.
The top plate of the movement is nearly solid, stretching from 8 00 to 4 00. It is decorated with Geneva waves and includes the text, “Montblanc/Le Locle/Twin Barrels”. A thick bridge rests just beneath this with an individual movement number and “Cal. MB R200” engraved on it. Beneath this bridge, the symmetrical going train wheels are visible along with the vertical coupling for the mono pusher chronograph. At 6 00, the Gyromax balance is clearly visible. An aperture in the top plate at 2 30 allows the 6-pillar column wheel to be viewed. The automatic rotor includes an aperture shaped as the Montblanc 6-pointed star, which perfectly overlaps the column wheel.
Although the calibre in all automatic Nicolas Rieussec watches is based on MB R200, many variations have appeared. All feature the same basic functions with very little difference in movement architecture.