The name Montblanc is said to have originated during a 1909 card game, when an analogy was drawn between the “simplicissimus pen” of the Simplo Filler Pen Co., the pinnacle of writing instruments at the time, and France’s Mont Blanc (Italy’s Monte Bianco), the tallest and most majestic peak in the Alps.
Later, after trademarking the name, the white-tipped star cap would become a visual reminder of the perennial snow atop Mont Blanc and an indicator of the brand’s commitment to meticulous quality and attention to design details. This timeline of Montblanc is fascinating.
Today, Montblanc is still based in Hamburg, while many of its products are made in Italy and Switzerland, including writing instruments, leather goods, fine watches and jewelry, eyewear, and fragrances. The brand’s most recent endeavor is into the world of smart devices, like the Summit Smartwatch.
For years, products adorned with the six-point star have served as tasteful, beautiful gifts. That they are well-made and highly useful makes the gesture even more sincere—a pen or accessory that elevates everyday tasks.
I selected some pieces from the Montblanc range to include in this blog post (and photograph with a holiday theme in mind) that reflect my personal style. I would also happily recommend them to my clients as gifts for their friends and family this holiday season.
Worth mentioning is Augmented Paper, a digital-analog hybrid tool that blends the tactile pleasure of hand writing (or sketching or doodling) with the ability to translate into digital formats seamlessly.
It’s hard to explain how well it works without experiencing first hand, but trust me when I tell you, it captures every pen stroke, every mark, and with a bluetooth connection to a iPad, Android phone, or other device, notes and drawings can be manipulated, exported, shared, and archived.
Back in business school, I remember the volume of paper and notes I accumulated and then had to refer back to for exams. Hand note-taking was preferable to computer notes (and is shown to be better for absorption to memory), but having a digital copy of those notes now would be helpful as I occasionally need to refresh myself on a concept or recall a particularly insightful graph. Of course, I didn’t pack all of those notebooks in my luggage coming home, so all I have is class materials I downloaded on my way out.
Augmented Paper is a good example of how Montblanc aims to address not only the desires for beauty and style in daily life and functional products, but also bridging the gap between traditional professional tools with new ways of thinking and operating, using technology.
On Friday, December 1, I will co-host a holiday gifting evening at Montblanc’s Tampa boutique from 6 to 8 p.m. Montblanc has graciously provided catering from Capital Grille (including a bar and signature cocktail). We will also be joined by Rebekah Lazaridis, a talented scene artist, muralist, and overall aesthete.
Join us for an introduction to the Montblanc line and chance to win an Augmented Paper set.
Please RSVP to [email protected]
*Special Note: launching December 1 is a limited edition collection of pens and accessories dedicated to The Beatles.*
- 1858 Small Second watches in stainless steel with black face, brown calfskin strap, Automatic ($2,945); blue face, “Milano” mesh strap, Manual ($3,450)
- Augmented Paper in Sartorial Red ($680) and Black ($680)
- Sartorial Business Card Holder with gusset ($170) and 5cc Pocket Card Case ($120)
- Palladium-coated Horseshoe-buckle belt with reversible strap ($250)
- Always Together Bracelet in large ($450) and small ($365)
- Stainless Steel Cufflinks with blue glass inlay ($225)
- Sartorial Jet Wash Bag ($235)
- Nightflight Liquid Flight Bag ($70)
- Sartorial Jet Large Duffel Bag ($750)
- Hard Phone case for Apple iPhone 8 ($105) and Flipside Case also for Apple iPhone 8 ($190)
- Montblanc M Rollerball pen in Ultra Black ($400) and Fountain Pen in Ultra Black ($565)
- Fine Stationery Notebooks #146 in lucky orange ($60), #145 in mint ($40)
- UNICEF Fine Stationery Notebook #146 in blue ($80)
- UNICEF Meisterstück Resin Le Grand Rollerball pen ($625)