SIHH 2013 Spotlight: Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours Watch
After observing the evolution of Montblanc’s Nicolas Rieussec chronographs, one might be tempted to conclude that time is a disc. Montblanc first used rotating discs to replace the hands on the chronograph’s counters for sixty elapsed seconds and thirty elapsed minutes. A rotating disc was afterwards installed to indicate the hour in a second time zone. And now the Montblanc manufacture debuts its Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours, which relies on two discs, one atop the other, to show not only the twelve hours, but to also indicate whether each of the dozen is a daytime or night-time hour.
Although the time display on the Rising Hours chronograph is new and revolutionary, this timepiece is nevertheless a typical member of the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Collection, which first embodied an outstandingly successful idea in 2008, when the brand launched the first wristwatch chronograph with a genuinely new look in which the discs turn and its hands stand still. Now this principle has undergone further evolution to display the “ordinary” (i.e. non-elapsed) hours, which Montblanc’s engineers have augmented with an appealing complication: they’ve built a day/night indication into the hour display.
This unusual time display is made possible by the new manufacture calibre MB R220, which boasts an elaborate patented mechanism consisting of two rotating discs positioned one atop the other. The Arabic numerals 1 to 12 are cut from the upper disc. This twelve-hour disc turns above the bicolour day/night disc, which is half pastel blue and half black so that a light or dark hue appears in the skeletonised numeral in the window depending on the time of day or night. The twelve-hour disc rotates continually, while the day/night disc turns in intervals and at variable speeds to produce the desired colour change (pale blue for the night, black for the day) in the cut-out numerals. This complex motion is controlled with the aid of a Maltese cross mechanism consisting of two cam-like wheels. One of these cams is mounted on the propelling staff of the day/night disc; the other is affixed to an extension of the hour-staff.
Each cam’s profile is specially shaped so that the cams turn idly past one another between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (and again between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.); the day/night disc is accordingly motionless throughout both these intervals. Meshing begins at 3 a.m. (and 3 p.m.). This engagement causes the day/night disc to turn at an increasingly faster pace until two teeth on either side engage in a way that the day/night disc no longer accelerates but instead continues to turn synchronously with the twelve-hour disc – this occurs from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. (and from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.). Afterwards, the day/night disc decelerates between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. (and between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.) until the meshing is completely separated, whereupon the day/night disc comes to a standstill.
This patented “Rising Hours” mechanism is particularly self-explanatory twice a day: at six o’clock each morning, the pierced digit “6” appears light blue on the left and black on the right to symbolize that night is ending and day is dawning; at six o’clock each evening, black daylight at the left yields to pastel blue night-time hours at the right.
In addition to this double-disc mechanism, four other disc displays rotate in the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours. The day of the week is shown in a window at the “9” and the date appears in an aperture at the “3”. Naturally, the chronograph’s function likewise relies on the same unmistakable concept, with one disc to count sixty elapsed seconds and another to tally up to thirty elapsed minutes. The technical basis of the calibre with integrated chronograph is largely identical with the movements in the other Nicolas Rieussec models. This latest chronograph likewise has only one button, which is unconventionally but ergonomically positioned at “8 o’clock”, where the wearer’s thumb can conveniently operate it. In accord with tradition, this chronograph is controlled by a column-wheel which couples and uncouples in a very modern and low-wear manner via a vertical friction coupling. Also noteworthy are the innovative profiles on the gear-train’s teeth, which optimize energy transfer while minimizing both wear and energy consumption. The rate is regulated by a massy 10-mm-diameter screw balance which oscillates very regularly thanks to its high moment of inertia (12 mgcm²) and its frequency of 28,000 A/h (4 Hz). The regularity of the rate is further enhanced by the double barrel, which amasses a 72-hour power reserve and maintains a very constant level of torque throughout a lengthy interval. A self-winding mechanism keeps the power reserve constantly high as long as the watch is worn.
The Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours chronograph is also available in 950 platinum and in stainless steel versions. The platinum variant is limited to 28 timepieces, each of which is affixed to a grey alligator-leather strap with a white gold folding clasp. The stainless steel version has a black alligator-leather strap with a folding clasp.
Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours Watch Specifications
Movement: Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB R220
Type of movement: Mechanical movement with automatic winding mechanism and twin barrels
Chronograph: Monopusher with column-wheel control and vertical disc clutch
No. of components: 343
No. of jewels: 42
Power reserve: 72 hours
Balance Screw: balance Ø 9,70 mm ; Moment of inertia: 12 mgcm²
Frequency: 28’800 bph (4 Hz)
Indications: Hours and minutes on off-center dial
– Digital hour display with integrated day/night indication
– Day by disc
– Date by disc
– Power reserve indicator on case back
Chronograph: Chronograph tallies 60 elapsed seconds and 30 elapsed minutes on rotating
discs with motionless hands
Case: 18 K red gold
– Domed sapphire crystal with double antireflective coating
– Screwed case back with transparent sapphire crystal
Water resistance: To 3 bar / 30 m
Dimensions: Ø 43 mm; Height 15,30 mm
Crown: 18 K red gold with inlaid mother-of-pearl Montblanc emblem
Push-piece: Monopusher at 8 o`clock
Dial: Silver-colored with Grain d`Orges guilloche
– Digital hour display
Strap: Brown Alligator-skin strap with triple-folding clasp made of 18 K red gold
King Jewelers is an authorized dealer for Montblanc watches and writing instruments in Middle Tennessee and South Florida, as well as over forty luxury Swiss watch brands including Bell & Ross, Breguet, Breitling, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, DeWitt, Harry Winston, Hublot, IWC, Jaquet Droz, Roger Dubuis and TAG Heuer. King Jewelers is a member of the American Watch Guild and has been named a Leading Watch Retailer in North America by International Wristwatch Magazine. King Jewelers also offers expert watch repair and watch restoration at their retail locations in Aventura, FL and Nashville, TN. For more information on Montblanc watches, please visit www.montblanc.com or take a look at our Montblanc page.