Montblanc has announced that it will serve as official timekeeper for the Belmont Stakes thoroughbred race on June 5, 2010 at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. At 1.5 miles, the Belmont Stakes is the longest and most demanding of the Triple Crown races. During the winner’s circle presentation, Montblanc North America President and CEO Jan-Patrick Schmitz will award a Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec timepiece to the owner of the winning horse.
Montblanc shares a historical connection to horse racing through its Rieussec-inspired chronograph. As the dedicated watchmaker for Louis Philippe, the last king of France, Rieussec made history on September 1, 1821 when he succeeded in recording the times of all the horses as they passed the finishing line to an accuracy of a quarter of a second. To capture the running times of the horses, Rieussec used a device in which he “wrote time” using two rotating discs placed beneath an ink-filled marker. By pushing the button on the device, the tip would come into contact with one of the dials, leaving a visible mark to measure the time. From this moment, Rieussec became known as the inventor of the first chronograph – the first way of writing time.
Montblanc introduced its Nicolas Rieussec Collection in 2008, featuring a movement inspired by Rieussec’s design. Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Schmitz said, “It is very appropriate for Montblanc to be associated with the Belmont Stakes – much like our brand culture, this race is so rich in history and tradition. This partnership underlines Montblanc’s commitment of preserving the tradition of timekeeping set out by Nicolas Rieussec in the early 19th century.”