What’s so special about Montblanc pens?
For most people (not just fastidious pen collectors), Montblanc is the first brand that comes to mind when you think about prestigious pen brands. It’s a brand steeped in history, and the luxurious connotations of the famous Montblanc snowcap emblem means that it has an almost mystical power when it comes to the world of fine writing instruments.
As a leading luxury pen specialist, we know that many pen collectors love the craftsmanship that Montblanc is known for. Whether they want to invest in a luxury pen for the first time, or they want to purchase rare limited edition Montblanc pens to add to their collection, they know what to expect.
We love having the opportunity to talk to people about the significance of the brand and hearing people’s stories as to why they want to buy pre-loved Montblanc pens.
But to understand what makes the brand so special, we have to look back at its history.
The Montblanc story…
Montblanc is one of the world’s oldest luxury brands, establishing itself in 1906. The intial designs, under the name of the Simplo Filler Pen Company, were created by two men: designer August Eberstein and banker Alfred Nehemias. They wanted a simple to use fountain pen and developed an entire range. The style and craftsmanship of the pens were quickly noticed by Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen, and Claus Johannes Voss who bought the company, and Montblanc was born.
The Montblanc name was created in 1909, inspired by the highest European mountain. The famous Montblanc star represents the snow-capped peak of Mont Blanc. The emblem was trademarked in 1913 and is now one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable luxury brand logos.
Montblanc came to prominence in the 1920s with the launch of the iconic Meisterstück range (launched in 1924) and it wasn’t until the early 1950’s when the legendary 149 was first offered. These pens remain very much at the heart of the Montblanc collection, and the timeless style of these luxury writing instruments means that that the 149 is often the ultimate pen that many fans aspire to own. Did you know that the 4810 marking on a Montblanc nib refers to the height, in metres, of the Mont blanc…this was first added in 1929 and remains to this day!
Post-World War II, the brand began to produce new ranges and product lines, each with the quality and craftsmanship that Montblanc were known for. Thanks to strategic partnerships and sponsorships within the art and culture communities, Montblanc capitalised on its brand awareness and opened up boutiques around the world.
In recent years, the brand has grown exponentially. With the model range now being more diverse than ever, from traditional yearly offerings from the Writers Edition and Patron of Arts collections, through to the ever-popular Donation and Great Characters series – names associated with these ranges include John Lennon, Leonardo da Vinci, Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Mahatma Gandhi and countless others.
So what started out as a company that wanted to make “reliable products”, has now grown in to a truly global company, which inspires tens of thousands of Instagram posts every day and has collectors and fans captivated. Although mostly known for pens, Montblanc now produces a range of small luxury goods including wallets, watches, jewellery, and fragrances.
The craftsmanship of Montblanc pens…
Montblanc pens remain extremely popular with pen collectors because they have a timeless style and fantastic levels of craftsmanship – did you know for instance that it takes 35 people to make one Montblanc 149 nib! The company has always led the way in design and technology when it comes to writing instruments, but at the same time part of the success is down to evolution rather than revolution – for example, the 149 has barely changed since its launch in the 1950’s. There are several key material changes on the original pens (including the fabled sterling silver cap rings) and that’s a discussion for another day, but the overall appearance remains very similar.
Although most customers prefer to opt for fine, medium or broad nibs, Montblanc are also known for their more unusual nib offerings – with recent years seeing the introduction of the calligraphy flex 149 for example. We’re always delighted when we uncover an oblique double broad (OBB) on a vintage 149!
Many pen collectors consider Montblanc’s home in Hamburg to be an almost Willy Wonka like experience, but instead of chocolate, it’s a mythical place of pen craftsmanship.
The limited edition offerings are perfect for collectors.
For many people considering their first Montblanc pen, they will often enjoy the fact that they can then progress and collect series of pens that are of interest to them. The two most well-known yearly offerings are the Writers Edition and Patron of Art series. Both launched in 1992, these have seen names such as Catherine the Great, Peggy Guggenheim, Sir Henry Tate, Louis XIV honoured for the Patron of Art series and Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and Rudyard Kipling being paid tribute to via the Writers Editions.
Each pen released through the different collections tells a unique story and include features that tell the story of their life or one of their particular works – let’s take the Carlo Collodi Writers Edition for instance. Each of the writing instruments takes its inspiration from his most famous work, Pinochio. The skeletonised cap shows Pinocchio and his companions, the good fairy, the loyal cricket, the shady fox, the deceitful cat and the whale. The shape is a nod to his nose and the screw set into the clip is symbolic of the joints of this famous marionette.
The rarity of these pens makes them highly sought-after. Collectors may choose to invest because they have an affinity with the person or theme that the pen pays tribute to, or they may wish to start acquiring the entire collection.
We can help you to find the right addition to your Montblanc collection
As trusted and experienced Montblanc pen specialists , we work with clients around the world to help them find the right additions to their Montblanc collection. You may be looking for a fountain pen, a rollerball pen, ballpoint pen or even a mechanical pencil, and our experience and knowledge of the Montblanc range and their models means that we can help you to find the right addition to your collection.
If you are looking to purchase a specific Montblanc pen, or you are unsure which luxury pen is right for you, please contact us. We’re always delighted to chat with customers old and new and are happy to offer advice, with no obligation to purchase.