When Montblac developed the ‘Rouge et Noir’ fountain pen in 1906 it was considered an outstanding technical achievement. This type of perfection helped establish a brand value from the outset of the company, also established in 1906, by the vision of its three founders – merchant Alfred Nehemias, engineer August Eberstein and stationery trader Claus-Johannes Voss. It was their dream to create a writing instrument that would revolutionize the industry.
This week, to celebrate its 110th anniversary, Montblanc returned to the origins of this technology to unveil a new celebratory collection in New York City. A sophisticated re-imagining of some of the house’s first products each sporting a serpent motif that first appeared in Montblanc’s archives around the 1920s. The 110th anniversary collection features the undulating serpant on writing instruments, leather goods, timepieces and women’s accessories.
Available in three iterations – a smooth all-black resin, bright coral resin and a matte ebonite (a combination of hard rubber, sulphur and linseed oil) version in ode to the 1906 original – the Montblanc Heritage Collection ‘Rouge et Noir’ writing instruments are each completed by a two-tone gold nib engraved with the serpent’s head, so that the design can be enjoyed even when the pen’s cap has been removed.
Montblanc’s nods to its craftsmanship and innovation continue with a limited edition watch, featuring an in-house one-minute tourbillon, double cylindrical balance spring and a three-dimensional anthracite serpent that’s been engraved by hand into the bezel. Together with the floating hands, exposed mechanism and black rhodium-plated bridges and plates, this stunning timepiece is of the highest calibre – only three have been made.
Leather goods and women’s accessories round out the anniversary collection. Again embracing the serpent motif as well as the red and black color pairing, the leather offering sees an assortment of all-black, soft grain leather accessories, serpentine cuff links, and a bracelet, the showpiece in this range is the ‘Steamer’ bag – a modern rendition of a nostalgic style of luggage that was de rigeur at the turn of the 20th century.
Elegantly constructed, lined with suede and emblazoned with a red snake, the softly structured bag is a fine piece of kit, perfect for today’s stylish traveler.