This feature has been produced in partnership with Montblanc
Picture the first time you ever put ink to paper. It was an artistic mess only a parent could love.
You marvelled at your creation and quickly promoted yourself to the hallway before gracing the living room with your greatest masterpiece. You were subsequently threatened with adoption.
Why the walk down memory lane? Because there’s art in every story and every story needs the perfect tool to tell it. Montblanc is a name that does exactly that in the modern world.
How The Fountain Pen Was Born
The fountain pen is a timeless writing instrument which has proven its relevance in today’s society as much as it did during its first recorded mention in the 10th century.
It was around this period that leaders of the earliest Islamic states had demanded a pen that could store ink in a reservoir so that it could be held upside-down without leaking.
From there, evidence suggests that the fountain pen began gracing the hands of history’s greatest visionaries, writers and creators.
Leonardo da Vinci rocked one during the Renaissance throughout the 14th century and in his recovered journals which survive till this day, there are cross-section drawings of what appears to be a reservoir pen operated by both gravity and capillary action.
Whilst Da Vinci’s fountain pen was never found, historians studied his handwriting and noticed a consistent contrast throughout the pages, a clue which suggests he jotted down his greatest thoughts and ideas with a fountain pen instead of a quill pen – the latter of which was notorious for leaving a fading ink pattern due to the re-dipping process.
By the start of the 17th century the fountain pen’s popularity was beginning to show in Europe.
1636 saw German inventor Daniel Schwenter describing a pen made from two quills where one quill served as a reservoir for ink inside another quill.
1827 brought on the world’s first patent for the fountain pen awarded to Romanian inventor Petrache Poenaru by the French Government (pictured). And by the mid-to-late 1800s, the fountain pen had made its way to U.S soil.
Today, Montblanc, the German name behind some of the world’s finest luxury goods is continuing to pave the future for this enduring tradition of forging art and engineering.
Leonardo da Vinci rocked one during the Renaissance throughout the 14th century
A Status Symbol To Last A Lifetime
It’s easy to question the relevance of a fountain pen in today’s rewritable digital landscape. But just like the resurgence of the mechanical wristwatch that was once destined to be superseded by the quartz movement, the fountain pen has also earned its place in the contemporary wardrobe.
Montblanc introduced their flagship Meisterstück fountain pen back in 1924 and since then they’ve made their way from the Hamburg workshop into the hands of distinguished names like Ernest Hemingway and Barack Obama.
These are milestones upheld by Montblanc’s unyielding drive to create writing instruments that transcend seamless writing in order to showcase pioneering design, innovation and heritage in every stroke.
More importantly it’s an achievement which has bridged the gap between an everyday writing tool and the modern day status symbol.
Crafted For Superior Storytelling, Refined For Pure Luxury
The functional advantages of fountain pens have long been touted by those who use them, but for those who have never had the chance, Montblanc’s extensive selection makes it an attractive proposition for anyone curious enough.
The reward is a writing experience and instrument like no other; one that takes over 100 steps to complete and 35 individual steps to finish for the nib alone.
So how are they made? The nibs are designed in elegant options of 14-karat or 18-karat yellow, red, white and champagne golds. These artisan crafted components are all embossed with Montblanc’s ‘4810’ moniker, a signature figure which represents the metric height of the Mont Blanc mountain’s highest peak.
These nibs are then buffed by hand by a diamond file to attain the perfect shape and symmetry before an iridium tip is welded on to ensure durable and smooth writing. After this step the the tip is further shaped by hand with a highly specialised and intricate ‘figure-eight’ motion – a highly critical process which will determine how a user writes.
Montblanc will repeat this process for all eight tip sizes they offer before the nib is polished and finally assembled into the fountain pen’s main body – but not before the nibs go through a rigorous testing phase in a quiet room to determine how they sound gliding over paper alongside its feel.
Some may call this over-engineering. For Montblanc it’s simply tradition and luxury refined at the highest level.
That’s why on every Montblanc fountain pen you’ll find their iconic snow cap (peak of the Mont Blanc mountain in top view) gracing the cap.
Write Your Own Piece Of History
Signing off on your life’s most celebrated achievements requires an equally celebrated instrument.
Montblanc’s range of fountain pens today marry precision German craftsmanship, detail, innovation and character to bring an age-old tradition into the future.
Your journey with superior writing and centuries old artistry begins here.
StarWalker Extreme Fountain Pen
The StarWalker Extreme Fountain Pen bears all the masculine hallmarks of a modern writing tool. The bold and strong silhouette paired with the floating Montblanc emblem enforces its statement of modernity. The cap and barrel meanwhile are made of black precious resin with diamond-cut structured inlays and ruthenium-coated clip and fittings. The nib is hand-crafted from 14 K gold and ruthenium-coated.
StarWalker Ultra Black
Montblanc’s StarWalker Ultra Black is designed for the ultimate urban explorer. The sleek lines of this fountain pen features a bold and masculine edge that evokes cutting-edge design combined with the use of contemporary materials like brushed PVD fittings and sandblasted precious resin. The tactile instrument is topped off by a characteristic clip design and the floating Montblanc emblem. The nib is hand-crafted from 14 K gold and ruthenium-coated.
Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Classique Fountain Pen
The Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Classique Fountain Pen in deep blue precious resin is inspired by the dark blue universe sky. The cap, milled with a fox face pattern, reveals a sentence from the Le Petit Prince book and is also crowned with the iconic emblem. The central ring of the three platinum-coated rings features the Montblanc brand name and the clip is embellished with a yellow lacquered star. The writing instrument is finished with a handcrafted 14 K bi-colour nib garnished with the Petit Prince and the fox.
The new (Montblanc M)RED writing instrument truly endorses art for a cause. Created in partnership with Marc Newson, the vibrant fountain pen was designed to support (RED)’s fight to end AIDS worldwide. Every item purchased from the (Montblanc M)RED writing instrument collection will contribute 5€ to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programs, which helps prevent HIV+ mothers from passing the virus onto their babies. The instrument itself is made of red precious resin handpicked by Marc Newson. It features a magnetic cap closure alongside a hand-crafted 14 K gold nib, rhodium-coated with ruthenium-coated inlay.
Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge et Noir Special Edition Coral Fountain Pen
A jewel in the collection, the ‘Rouge et Noir’ fountain pen was first developed in 1906 and considered an outstanding technical achievement, ensuring simple operation without the need for dipping the nib into an inkwell. The Heritage Collection Rouge et Noir celebrates the 110-year-old pioneering spirit of Montblanc. Reinterpreting the legendary writing instrument, it features a longer, slimmer silhouette and craftsmanship refined over generations, with coral precious resin in barrel and cap. A uniquely captivating Snake Clip comes in a vintage look with matching fittings. The clip is made by a stamping and winding process in a special alloy metal, and is aged by a unique galvanic and stripping process. The nib meanwhile is hand-crafted in 14 K gold and rhodium-coated with two-tone serpent design.