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July 12, 2013updated Sep 10, 2013

Only Watch 2013: Montblanc

By Chris Boyle

montblancThis September 28, Monaco will play host to the fifth edition of the ‘Only Watch’ charity watch auction benefiting research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Recognized as the world’s first ever charity watch auction, Only Watch is conducted by the watch auctioneers, Antiquorum.

33 of the world’s leading watch manufacturers are donating a unique timepiece specially created for the occasion, one of which will feature on Elite’s website every day leading up to this not-to-be-missed auction.

The proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy, promoter of Only Watch with Antiquorum Auctioneers and the Monaco Yacht Show, to help finance research for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative neuromuscular disease affecting 1 in 3,500 boys and therefore 250,000 children, adolescents, and young adults around the world.

From September 6, an international exhibit of the Only Watch collection of timepieces for men and women will also travel the world – Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York – and will be concluded by a presentation during the Monaco Yacht Show (September 25 to 28).

The Only Watch auction itself takes place on September 28 at 11am (GMT+1) in the ‘Salle Belle Epoque’ of the Hôtel Hermitage.


For the fifth edition, Montblanc is reinforcing its commitment by supporting in-depth research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy with the donation of a unique timepiece: the ‘Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours for Monaco’ under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

For this exclusive event, Montblanc has designed and developed this unique watch – an alliance of red gold and steel with dual carbon treatment – in its manufacture in Le Locle.

The appearance of this unique piece reveals that it is not a conventional one. It illustrates how the art of contrast refinement and the judicious use of colours gives rise to an exceptional piece exclusively developed for Only Watch.

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The ‘Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours for Monaco’ features a black dial with grain d’orge guilloché décor, which ranks among the most traditional decorative techniques in the art of watchmaking. It is encased in a 43 mm stainless steel with a glossy Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) finish.

The extremely resistant surface of the DLC coating is completed by the stainless-steel material of the case, which is also especially hardened to assure that the steel – that is already very strong – will be even more unyielding.

A thermal treatment applied to the 0.03-mm-thick outer layer of the case’s surface fuses it with additional carbon atoms to further increase the hardness of the exterior stratum to as much as 1,000 Vickers. Only afterwards is the black DLC coating applied.

The outstanding results of this Dual Carbon process speak for themselves: the case of the ‘Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours for Monaco’ is not only significantly more resistant than the cases of standard DLC watches, it’s also five times harder than a conventional stainless-steel case. This toughness predestines it for an active life in our modern, dynamic world.

The case is equipped with finely terraced horns that hold a black alligator-skin strap with a contrasting red-gold coloured stitching. A triple-folding clasp made of red gold closes and opens the strap. The fluted crown, which is likewise made of 18 ct red gold, bears a mother-of-pearl inlay shaped like Montblanc’s emblem.

This wristwatch is a stylistic statement that transcends mere externals. The deep black of the case, dial and wristband sets a timelessly contemporary chromatic trend that simultaneously expresses a high degree of technical sovereignty. The glow of red gold produces fascinatingly warm contrasts to give the desired “human touch” to this technical ensemble. The domed sapphire crystal above the dial is antireflective on both its surfaces. A second pane of sapphire is inserted into the screwed back to reveal the winding black rotor.

The exterior of the Rising Hours unmistakably announces that this is a Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec timepiece. Characteristic features include rotating discs under motionless pointers for the elapsed minutes and seconds, as well as a two-armed bridge at “6 o’clock” with bright red ruby bearings, which makes the dial look as though it was smiling. Above it is the off-centre dial to show the ordinary time of day or night via a skeletonised minute-hand and digital hour numerals.

The day of the week appears in a semicircular aperture at its left, the date in a similar window at the right. The unoccupied spaces between and alongside these displays are embellished with grain d’orge (barleycorn) guilloche.

For this exclusive event, the ‘Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours for Monaco’ features a special engraving on the case back: “ONLY WATCH ’13 UNIQUE PIECE”.

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