Features

Published: Wednesday August 6, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday August 6, 2014 MYT 8:46:26 AM

Montblanc: Excellence that endures

In celebration of its fine European craftsmanship, Montblanc looks back at 90 years of heritage.

THE heart and soul of the Montblanc brand is said to embody a resolute need for perfection. Writing instruments, timepieces, leather goods and jewellery – these products from Montblanc are apparently as exquisite as can be.

However much, the people behind the scenes matter to the brand too. Described as “soul makers”, its artisans are prized for possessing both the passion and commitment in shaping different objects of desire.

The Montblanc Craftsmanship Exhibition (which opens tomorrow at Suria KLCC) thus seeks to not only showcase the brand’s historical milestones, but lesser known facets of its craftsmanship as well.

Renard thinks owners of Montblanc products have a refined taste.
Renard thinks owners of Montblanc products have a refined taste.

Speaking to Star2 in a face-to-face interview, Montblanc’s president for the Asia Pacific region, Julien Renard states: “Most people just see our offerings in-store without realising the amount of work and effort that goes into making them.

"This is what the exhibition aims to change. We will be celebrating our roots with regards to craftsmanship, as well as the passion we have for beautifully intricate designs,” he explains.

According to Renard, Montblanc goods are only produced in Europe. There is the writing instruments manufacture in Germany, plus two other watchmaking workshops in Switzerland, and a leather goods manufacture in Italy.

“It is important for everyone to know the brand’s back story, and not just what we have in our boutiques. Particular questions like ‘Where does this item come from?’ can be answered with this exhibition,” he comments.

The theme for the Montblanc Craftsmanship Exhibition is “Celebrating 90 Years of the Spirit of Meisterstück”.

It pays tribute to one of the brand’s most recognisable creations – the Meisterstück fountain pen.

Montblanc Meisterstück 90 Years Collection 149 fountain pen.

As Montblanc’s Meisterstück turns 90 this year, the brand has introduced the Meisterstück Heritage Collection of timepieces.

These comprise the Pulsograph, Perpetual Calendar, Moonphase and Automatic Date watches.

There is a new collection of writing instruments for the anniversary, which ranges from the 149 Fountain Pen, to Classique and LeGrand, as well as Rollerball and Ballpoint.

A special line of leather goods and men’s jewellery mark the occasion too.

They carry unique decorative touches like a leather jacquard pattern based on Montblanc’s 1924 logo or engraving of the Meisterstück font.

“Every product category of ours has an iconic standout. The Meisterstück happens to be one of them. These different Meisterstück collections will be showcased during the exhibition,” says Renard.

Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Automatic Date.
Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Automatic Date.

The Montblanc Craftsmanship Exhibition will see some of the brand’s skilled artisans in attendance – offering visitors an engaging insight into the intricacies of their trade.

Montblanc’s bespoke services will be a highlight.

“We have a machine for example, which is able to tailor make your pen nibs.

“Just write on a piece of paper and it will tell you which nib you need. We have eight different nibs that we can offer to a customer,” says Renard.

“If a person wants to have a certain type of writing instrument made of a certain material, he or she can have it done. We are able to do it for watches, jewellery and leather goods as well, but these are for select clients only.”

When asked, Renard says that he thinks owners of Montblanc products have a refined taste.

To him, these people target quality above all else and often only seek for the best that can be offered.

“Any one customer of ours is seen to want a kind of status symbol that Montblanc products can offer. The person is probably someone who appreciates the history and heritage that comes with our craftsmanship.” he states in conclusion.

Located at the Centrecourt of Suria KLCC’s Concourse Level, the Montblanc Craftsmanship Exhibition will run from Aug 7-11.


Matter of fact

To honour the anniversary of the Meisterstück, Montblanc has collected 90 interesting facts about its iconic fountain pen.

They are being released online (facebook.com/Montblanc) throughout the year, but here’s a look at some of them:

  • The number 4810 that is engraved on all Meisterstück nibs stands for the height of the Mont Blanc mountain (in metres) that has become the symbol of the brand.
  • A very loyal team works at the Montblanc writing instruments manufacture in Hamburg. True experts, most of them have been with the company for over 30 years.
  • One hundred working steps are required by a master craftsman to create a Meisterstück. The nib itself needs 35 steps.
  • The hole in the Meisterstück nib is called a “heart hole”. In former times, it took the shape of a heart to ensure proper ink flow.
  • Every single Meisterstück undergoes a handwriting test. The trained craftsmen would hear or feel it if a pen is otherwise not up to standard.
  • No matter if a person is left- or right-handed, the round tip of a Meisterstück nib will ensure smooth writing.
  • The exact material composition of the Meisterstück black body remains to be a closely guarded secret. Only a selected few in the manufacture are privy to it.
  • Every Meisterstück nib has a tip made of iridium. Gold (otherwise used for the shank) is too soft and would be quickly “written away”.


Tags / Keywords: Montblanc, Montblanc Craftsmanship Exhibition, Suria KLCC

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