The Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph pays tribute to the innovative French watchmaker, Nicolas Rieussec, who invented the first inking chronograph in 1821. The design traces its origins to the Champs-de-Mars horse track in Paris, where in 1821, Rieussec tested his inking chronograph as an instrument to record the time when the horses crossed the finish line. His device had a fixed nib that would place a drop of ink on two rotating counters (one for the minutes, the other for the seconds) as a measure of time. Inspired by this concept, Montblanc unveiled the Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec collection in 2007, with one index marker that pointed to both elapsed minutes and seconds on rotating counters. The latest in this series, Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph 43 mm, Ref. 130985, has an anthracite Clou de Paris motif on its dial and is limited to 500 pieces. A non-limited-edition 43 mm variant, Ref. 130986, has been launched as well; it has a blue Clou de Paris dial.
Both the 43 mm ― reduced from the case size of 44.8 mm of the previous models ―variants feature two rotating discs on the dials. Each of the watches has a 60-second counter at 8 o'clock and a 30-minute counter at 5 o’clock. On both models, the monopushers are activated via the pushers at 8 o'clock. On the first 500-piece limited-edition watch, the case, the lugs, and the crown are crafted from black DLC-coated stainless steel; there is an off-centred subdial at 12 o’clock that gets a sunray finishing in the centre, along with cut-out black dauphine hour markers, green luminescent rose gold-coated hour and minute hands with beige Super-LumiNova®, a black rhodium-coated dual time skeletonised hand, and a rose gold-coated chronograph double index. A black-background date window with a rose gold numeral can be spotted at 6 o’clock.
This model gets a black DLC-coated stainless steel caseback with an inset pane of semi-transparent black sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. The model’s finishing includes bridges with rhodium coating and Côtes de Genève, and a black Clou de Paris pattern and an openworked Montblanc emblem on the oscillating weight. The model is finished on a black interchangeable textile strap with a Clou de Paris pattern and a black DLC-coated stainless steel triple-folding clasp.
The non-limited-edition watch gets a stainless steel polished case, lugs, a crown, and a monopusher. There is a blue Clou de Paris off-centred dial at 12 o’clock with silver-white hour markers and chronograph counters, blue luminescent rhodium-coated hour and minute hands with white Super-LumiNova®, a rhodium-coated dual time skeletonised hand, and a chronograph double index. There is also a blue-background date window with white numerals at 6 o’clock. The model is finished on a blue interchangeable textile strap with a Clou de Paris pattern and a stainless steel triple-folding clasp.
Both watches are powered by the automatic winding in-house monopusher chronograph movement, Caliber MB R200. The watch is equipped with a column wheel that controls the monopusher mechanism, two barrels, and a 72-hour power reserve. Both models have been tested for 500 hours each at the Montblanc Laboratory. Each has engravings of “Chronographe Nicolas Rieussec” at 12 o’clock and “Academie Des Sciences De Paris - 1821” at 6 o’clock on the outer periphery. The Star Legacy collection is released for delivery only when the quality assurance team at Montblanc's location in Le Locle is convinced that a watch upholds the brand’s strict quality standards. Each watch that passes the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 is issued with an individual test certificate, labelling it worthy of Montblanc’s exacting standards.