Provocative, innovative design for an era is one thing. A style that continues to allure over centuries is remarkable. Montblanc began in 1906 in Hamburg, when German technician August Eberstein felt inspired by a visit to the United States. Eberstein wanted to create a fountain pen for Europe. Writing instruments during Eberstien’s were quite messy and inconvenient. One had to choose only from quill-and-ink, or early fountain pens that were challenging to refill and required a deft touch to operate. Surely you can imagine that besides blotting documents with stray splashes, clothing, and tabletops were also inundated by ink stains. Eberstein came up with the idea for a pen that removed these risks from the act of putting pen to paper. Yet, the premise was a daring concept—the first Montblanc pen would be called a French name, and the juxtaposition of a black case and red ink called to mind the colors used for betting in the game roulette. Thus, the Rouge et Noir was born in 1909, and it embodied both risk and reward. The Montblanc designer still makes Rouge et Noir writing instruments today.
Montblanc’s signature symbol, a white, six-peaked shape that adorns the cap of each writing instrument, is another element of the designer’s everlasting design prowess. It is fashioned after the Montblanc mountain in the Alps. A dark casing and a white snow-capped top together signify a proud pinnacle. This shape has also been interpreted as other vibrant nature symbols such as a flower, a star, or a mirror or space in which to invent oneself and reflect on one’s potential.
The operations for Montblanc writing instruments remain in Hamburg, where each tool used to create these pens is made in-house. This means that the designer holds maximum control over the quality of the product. Precious metals, including gold and platinum, are used for many components. Sometimes stones and wood are incorporated. Each Montblanc pen is completed with a rich resin casing and hand-polished to perfection. Not only does it take 35 steps to create a Montblanc masterpiece, but assembly and testing also consist of an additional 70 steps! Finally, every instrument must pass a writing test to ensure supremely smooth and sonorous bliss when nib touches paper. No uncomfortable scratchy noises will pass in a Montblanc pen that is bound for your desk.
The type of nib you choose should complement your writing style, so we do recommend that you give a selection of the eight nib width options a test drive for the feel and look of your handwriting in this precious ink.
Besides writing instruments, Montblanc also creates leather goods, watches, and other accessories that are held to the same high standards. Leather goods hail from Florence and watches from Switzerland.
One of the most magical aspects of Montblanc pens is that each one has a story. For example, the Meisterstuck Around the World in 80 Days features design elements that capture the novel, from the Mediterranean blue resin barrel to the wave pattern on the cap, the ace of spades on the clip, and even a lasered steamboat. You must see it to believe it!
The Starwalker takes cues from a space odyssey, from its translucent helmet-like dome to its “ultra black” matte resin. As you can gather, travel is a strong theme for Montblanc and harkens back to the designers’ pioneering foundations.
When we mentioned everlasting design, we weren’t kidding. The Heritage Collection Rouge et Noir is based on the first Montblanc creation from 110 years ago, with twists for the modern-day writer. This instrument is slimmer than the original and is adorned with a vintage-style snake-shaped clip.
The Meisterstuck Classique is another beloved style that originally dropped jaws in 1924 because it incorporated gold. The concept was scandalous at the time. Miesterstuck, meaning masterpiece, has been held over the decades by many history-making hands, including John F. Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth, and Barrack Obama.
Montblanc watches are a natural extension of this designer’s talent. Their production is handled by skilled Swiss watchmakers who typify the same care and elegance as Montblanc pen craftspeople use in Hamburg. Montblanc watch designs draw from the excitement and bravery one musters when approaching worldwide voyages. Therefore, in spirit, the 4810 Collection of timepieces is meant to bridge the Atlantic ocean.
The early 20th-century handling of the roman numerals on this 4810 Collection black dial watch is sophisticated against careful red accents and an undulating texturing treatment on the dark face. In this design, waves spread out from an off-center Montblanc logo, continuing to demonstrate the perfect versatility of this symbol. The same wave pattern etched into the 4810 Collection watch with a silver dial is made a maximum centerpiece by the face and case’s brightness against the dark black alligator leather band. The 4810 Automatic Chronograph is similarly elegant, but includes additional modern elements such as a self-winding caliber and a double chronograph.
While Montblanc pens and watches might be inspired by the extraordinary, they are instruments that are made to elevate not just your boldest days, but also your daily life. This designer’s dedication to artful craft results in objects that are both built to last and meant to be passed on. Find your next heirloom piece from Montblanc at Lux Bond & Green at one of our stores across Connecticut or in Wellesley, Massachusetts.