At the beginning of the twentieth century, the world was a changing place. The Industrial Revolution of the previous century had altered the world forever, and manufacturing on a large scale was becoming commonplace. This background of innovation led to many new developments, including the design of the fountain pen. Discover the fascinating Montblanc history here.
What is Montblanc known for?
When thinking about leading creators of luxury writing instruments, the Montblanc brand immediately springs 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 has 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. Discover the top 10 Montblanc pens here.
When was Montblanc founded, and what is the Montblanc history?
The story of Montblanc origin began in 1906 when a designer from Berlin named August Eberstein, in partnership with a Hamburg banker, Alfred Nehemias, developed a range of simple-to-use fountain pens. The simplicissimus pen is a pen design which includes a built-in ink well. It wasn’t long before their company was taken over by the three men who together would set Montblanc on its journey to becoming a worldwide brand: Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen and Claus Johannes Voss.
1908-1909 – Montblanc is Born
In 1908 the company coined itself ‘manufacturers of high-class gold and fountain pens’, a phrase that still encapsulates the ethos of the company today. At this time, the company was still named ‘Simplo Filler Pen Co.’, referring to the simplicissimus pen design. Their Simplo pen became highly successful, with the first design called the Rouge et Noir. 1909 was the year that saw the Montblanc name come to the fore, supposedly during a card game.
1910-1913 – The Launch of Iconic Branding
Montblanc’s trademark was registered in 1910, inspired by the highest European mountain. The name was to symbolise the company’s high value for quality and fine European craftsmanship. In 1913, the company’s emblem of a rounded white star representing the snow-capped peak of Mont Blanc became the official brand logo for Montblanc, now an icon of luxury and class.
1924- 1929 – The Rise of the Meisterstück
The famous Meisterstück pen was launched in 1924, and the 149 Montblanc fountain pen model soon became a style icon of its time. By the end of the 1920s, Montblanc had become an international brand, known in over 60 countries. Some of this success can be accredited to revolutionary advertising methods, such as fitting cars with oversized fountain pens and commissioning the first advertising planes. Montblanc also branched out from pens to leather goods in a workshop based near Offenbach. In 1929, the Meisterstück nib was engraved with ‘4810’, representing the height of Mont Blanc which stands tall at 4,810 metres. Following suit, all future Meisterstück nibs were engraved with the number.
1935-1963 – Post-War Success and a Presidential Customer
By 1935, the lifetime guarantee for the Meisterstück was established, and Montblanc began producing branded leather pen pouches, notebooks, and writing cases. In the mid-1940s, Montblanc facilities were rebuilt after damage from WWII, and in the meantime, pens were manufactured in Denmark with representative offices established abroad. Following the success of the Meisterstück, Montblanc went on to develop other exciting new ranges with more designs. From the ‘60 Line’ range in 1955, up to the current New Editions of today, Montblanc remains at the forefront of design and technology in the world of writing. The Meisterstück continued going strong with a Meisterstück 149 personally used by President Kennedy.
The 1980s – A Cultural Icon
The eighties boomed for Montblanc, sealing sponsorship initiatives within the realm of arts and culture from literature to ballet and music. Montblanc introduced the precious metal version of the Meistertück pens and coined the brand slogan: ‘Montblanc – The Art of Writing’.
1990-2000 – Oriental Boutiques and a Glittering Masterpiece
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.
Just two years later, Montblanc established the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award which honoured excellent patrons of the arts. The first Patron of Art Limited Edition pen was named in honour of Lorenzo di Medici, and the Limited Writers Edition pen was named after Ernest Hemingway. In 1994, the Meisterstück Solitaire Royal became the world’s most expensive fountain pen which shouldn’t come as a surprise given the 4,810 diamonds, each set by hand.
2000 – today – Philanthropy and a Big Birthday
In 2000, Boheme was launched – the first major collection of pens since Meisterstück. 2003 saw Montblanc appealing to a younger audience with the StarWalker pen collection.
Engaging in philanthropy, Montblanc partnered with UNICEF in 2004 to promote the importance of the written word. 149 celebrities worked on the campaign and pens with the celebrities’’ engraved signatures were auctioned off with all proceeds donated to UNICEF.
100 years of Montblanc was celebrated in 2006 with exclusive anniversary editions released over the course of the year. These included the Montblanc Diamond, the product of eight years of research and development! The diamond cut was patented, inspired by the brand emblem, an unprecedented move.
Meisterstück remains 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.
Montblanc Watch History
Montblanc doesn’t just specialise in writing instruments and leather goods. Is there anything the brand can’t do? In 1996, the brand expanded into the men’s jewellery landscape and in 1997 established Montblanc Montre S.A in Le Locle, a Swiss district known for its link to the watch industry.
In 2000, the watch market continued to flourish with the release of the Meisterstück Sports watch collection.
2010 was another big year for Montblanc’s watchmaking venture with the creation of Metamorphosis which transforms itself from one watch face to the other with new and innovative mechanisms involving 50 individual components that move technically synchronously.
Who Owns Montblanc?
Originally founded by the banker and engineer mentioned in the history of Montblanc, before being taken over by Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen and Claus Johannes Voss, Montblanc was squired by Alfred Dunhill Ltd in 1977, and as of today, it forms part of the Richemont group and is owned by the South African Rupert family.
In all our Pen Shop stores, we stock some of the most popular Montblanc collections and products. Each writing instrument or accessory makes a perfect gift for loved ones or yourself, to be cherished for years and generations to come. Explore our selection online today, including some very special limited edition collector’s pieces, including the Great Masters James Purdey fountain pen and the Great Characters John F Kennedy fountain pen.