Montblanc Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph
Montblanc is one of many luxury brands belonging to the luxury goods group Richemont.
Montblanc launched its line of wristwatches in 1997 under CEO Norbert Platt and watchmaker Thierry Pellaton. At first, the company's watches capitalized on the black and gold aesthetic of the Meisterstück fountain pen. But the company quickly added more traditional looks in stainless. All Montblanc watches featured the company's star logo on the crown. In 1999, Montblanc celebrated 75 years of the Meisterstück pen by introducing the Rèveil Automatic, with the historic AS 5008 alarm movement.
Montblanc began transitioning to become a serious manufacture in the next decade. With the help of ValFleurier and other Richemont assets, Montblanc established a base in Le Locle to produce a new manufacture calibre, the MB R100, in 2008. It celebrated its spectacular debut in the model Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph. With this new movement, Montblanc can count itself now to the skilled manufactures and thus finally leaves the sphere of mere accessory production focussed on passing fashions. The name Rieussec refers to the actual meaning of the word “Chronograph”, namely “time writer”. It was this French watchmaker, who in 1821 had registered the first real time writer with ink as a patent. The new monopusher chronograph now adopts the basic idea via an interesting slice display, which is used instead of the usual display of hand-stopping time measurement. Montblanc added an automatic version of this calibre, MB R200, shortly after. A second manufacture calibre, MB LL100, was created for the Timewalker TwinFly chronograph in 2011, with a different architecture but similar specifications.
Meanwhile, in 2007, Richemont purchased the traditional watch manufacture, Minerva. Located in Villeret, Minerva was renowned for their column wheel chronograph movements and hand finishing. Montblanc established “Villeret” as their top line, with additional “1858” pieces added in 2015.
Montblanc Calibre MB R100
The initial Montblanc watches used ETA movements, but the company has mostly switched to Sellita as movement supplier for most lower-priced watches today. Many in the Heritage Chronométre line use modules on Sellita bases.
Montblanc has moved to become a true manufacture by building their own calibres at their facility in Le Locle as well as at their subsidiary, Minerva. Design and assortments come from ValFleurier to Le Locle.
Montblanc International GmbH
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