Brand History: Montblanc

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Thinking about leading creators of luxury writing instruments, the brand Montblanc immediately comes to mind. At The Pen Shop, we are proud to promote our status as a Montblanc Authorised retailer and are stockists of a wide selection of Montblanc writing instruments and refills, notebooks and other accessories.

As a global leader in luxury accessories, Montblanc have been operating for nearly a century, having diversified into other areas of the luxury goods market over those years. The unique White Star logo on the tip of each piece and accessory, ensures the Montblanc name is strongly identifiable.

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The name Montblanc was registered in 1910, and was said to have been based on an analogy between the great writing instrument and the highest peak in the Alps, the Mont Blanc. The shape of the logo itself represents the snow-covered peak of Mont Blanc.

Montblanc expanded quickly, and by the end of the 1920’s, the company was already operating in over 60 countries. Their attention to some striking advertising campaigns at that time, ensured they caught worldwide attention.

The consideration given to the detail in Montblanc products is evident in all of the products they produce. But especially in the early production of their iconic Meisterstück fountain pen in 1929, they inscribed ‘4810’ in the nib. Representing the height of the Mont Blanc mountain, this is a traditional detail that continues to this day. Meisterstück remain one of the most popular lines that we sell today at The Pen Shop, with the range covering fountain, rollerball and ballpoint pens as well as mechanical pencils, all available in a range of colours, sizes and finishes.

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Following the success of the Meisterstück, Montblanc went on to develop other exciting new ranges with more more designs. From the ‘60 Line’ range in 1955, up to the current New Editions of today, Montblanc remain at the forefront of design and technology in the world of writing.

1986 was the year that Montblanc would create their famous phrase “Montblanc – The Art of Writing’, as well as being a time for the company to engage in many art and cultural collaborations, strengthening their support of the world of the arts. Developing a range of Limited Edition writing pieces, Montblanc continue to celebrate the great renowned artists and writers of previous generations.

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Montblanc expanded its empire into the Asian market in 1990, the beginning of their openings of Montblanc stand-alone Boutiques. The success continued with more boutiques opening in Paris and London, a number today which now stands at over 350 boutiques in over 70 countries.

The Boutiques stock a range of Montblanc pieces including the writing instruments the brand are most known for, as well as watches, leather goods, accessories, jewellery, eyewear and fragrance. In the various Pen Shop concessions and stand-alone stores around the UK, we stock some of the most popular Montblanc Collections and products; a perfect gift for loved ones or yourself, to be cherished for years and generations to come.

Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway

In April, Montblanc will launch two new Patron of Art 2014 Limited Edition writing instruments in honour of Henry E. Steinway, the father of the grand piano and one of the greatest patron of the arts.

The Limited Edition 888 cap is adorned with the representation of a piano harp made from precious 750 solid gold. Through the delicately crafted skeletonised cap, the gold nib can be seen finely decorated with a filigree portrait of Steinway. The barrel features the depiction of one octave of piano keys in black and white. The Limited Edition 4810 fountain pen features the distinctive black and gold colour combination of a classic Steinway grand piano, with the barrel in deep black lacquer and gold-plated fittings.

Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway

A tribute to the grand master of piano manufacturing, Montblanc’s Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway is inspired by the man who revolutionized the world of music, dedicating his life to the advancement of the arts. German-born Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (1797 – 1871) built his first pianos in his kitchen, before immigrating to the United States to set up one of the greatest legacies in modern music history. With his countless patents, Steinway pioneered the modern piano and set the high standards that still prevail in piano manufacturing today.

Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway

Available in two editions, the design of the writing instrument is masterfully shaped by Steinway’s vision, celebrating both his remarkable piano innovations, and his outstanding contribution as an influential patron of the arts. He supported many artists through the Steinway Artists’ Programme that still promotes musicians today, and he made music accessible to large audiences at the Steinway Hall, once New York City’s largest concert venue.

Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway

Created with traditional manufacturing techniques and the quest for perfection in Montblanc’s Atelier in Hamburg the Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway 4810 features the distinctive black and gold colour combination of a classic Steinway grand piano, with the barrel in deep black lacquer and gold-plated fittings. The fountain pen’s cap is decorated with the heart of the iconic music instrument – the harp, or overstrung piano. Hidden inside the piano, these strings play a central role in producing the instrument’s unmistakable sound, much like Steinway’s discreet role in shaping modern music history.

Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway

The shape of the gold-plated clip references the once-patented screw clamps used for bending the grand piano rim into its distinctive sweeping curve. The name “Steinway & Sons”, found above the keyboard of every piano produced by Steinway, is immortalised as a fine engraving on the gold-plated cone ring, while the 750 gold nib is intricately engraved with a portrait of Henry E. Steinway himself, capturing the noble aspects of his character: determination, perfectionism and passion. The Montblanc emblem in black and white precious resin crowns the fountain pen.

Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway

Displaying all the most iconic features of a Steinway grand piano, the Limited Edition 888 cap is adorned with the representation of a piano harp made from precious 750 solid gold. Through the delicately crafted skeletonised cap, the gold nib can be seen finely decorated with a filigree portrait of Steinway. The barrel features the depiction of one octave of piano keys in black and white, celebrating the exquisite balance, flexibility and smoothness that make a Steinway keyboard so unique. The pattern on the cap ring is inspired by the decor of the domed rotunda in the Steinway Hall in New York. For this edition, the iconic Montblanc emblem is created from precious mother-of-pearl.

With every design detail, Montblanc’s limited edition writing instrument captures the remarkable achievements and personality of Henry E. Steinway: the father of the grand piano, and undoubtedly one of the great patrons of the arts.

To pre-order the Montblanc Henry E. Steinway limited edition please Contact Us.

Celebrities and Their Pens

Last week David Dimbleby visited our Regent Street store to purchase a Parker Sonnet Black Lacquer Gold Trim Fountain Pen which he used on BBC Question Time. This made us curious as to other famous people and which pens they used. After researching this we were delighted to discover we are not the only pen lovers, here we have listed a few fellow celebrity collectors.

Patterson

1.    Robert Patterson famously bought pen collector Kirsten Stewart a $46,000 limited edition Tibaldi Bentley Crewe fountain pen for her birthday. From a limited edition of 40 the pen has a two-tone 18-carat yellow gold nib covered in rhodium and ruthenium.

2.    Stephen King used a Waterman Fountain Pen to write his novel Dreamcatcher and even mentioned this in the Author’s Note: “One final note.  This book was written with the world’s finest word processor, a Waterman cartridge fountain pen.  To write the first draft of such a long book by hand put me in touch with the language as I haven’t been in years.  I even wrote one night (during a power outage) by candlelight.  One rarely finds such opportunities in the twenty-first century, and they are to be savored.”-Stephen King

Doyle

3.    Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his later Sherlock novels with a Parker Duofold Fountain Pen. The new BBC Sherlock series pays homage to this when Holmes comments by looking at a letter that it was written by a Parker pen.

4.    Anne Frank apparently wrote her now famous diary with a Montblanc Fountain Pen. When her pen was destroyed after she accidently threw it into the fireplace she was so devastated she wrote an ‘ode’ to her pen.

5.    The Queen has used a Parker 51 for personal use since 1959 and both HM The Queen and The Prince of Wales have given Royal Warrants to Parker.

6.    Walt Disney himself was often seen in pictures with Sheaffer pens. A well-used Sheaffer Balance Fountain Pen was found in Walt Disney’s desk in 1970 when his office was being inventoried.

Stallone

7. Sylvester Stallone loves Montegrappa pens so much he is now the brands ambassador and collaborated with the company to produce the Chaos pen range which he used in Expendables II. Sylvester Stallone’s “Chaos” pen is fashioned from precious materials and produced in limited numbers.

8.    Author Neil Gaimen is an avid Fountain Pen collector telling the BBC: ‘My current favourite is a Visconti because it has a magnet in the lid which goes clunk when I put the top on – I am easily satisfied. I probably have between 40 and 60 fountain pens, which is a bit silly, but once people are aware that you like them, they like to give them as gifts.’

9.    Dragons’ Den regular Peter Jones is thought to favour a Yard-O-Led Viceroy, which is hand made from English Hallmarked Sterling Silver.

Einstein

10.    Albert Einstein used both a Pelikan 100 N and a Waterman Taper-cap Fountain Pen which he used to develop the Theory of Relativity. The Waterman pen is on display at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden.

11. Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar’s adviser in the BBC series The Apprentice, is often seen chewing on the end of his Lamy pen as he takes notes on the misadventures of candidates. In an interview with the Daily Express he said: “I’m not one for ostentatious treaty-signing type pens but I do think in business making an effort with the little things sends out a signal that you are serious about what you are doing.”

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