A big year for Montblanc
Thanks to the vast resources at their disposal, Montblanc has the ability to release more special and limited edition pens than any other company.
This prolificness can be hard to keep track of. For this reason, we thought we’d take a step back and look at Montblanc’s most notable releases of 2016.
Montblanc regularly releases upwards of ten limited edition pens a year, however, 2o16 being their 110th anniversary saw a flurry of spectacular releases throughout the year. Most models that Montblanc release have three tiers. The top tier of each release is the most expensive and exclusive, whilst the bottom tier is somewhat more accessible (of course everything is relative!).
Montblanc 2016 pen releases
Montblanc Patron of Art – Peggy Guggenheim
Every year, since 1992, Montblanc has released a Patron of Art model, inspired by an influential artist. In 2016, the inspiration is legendary art collector Peggy Guggenheim. In this series, there are three different pens released; the first of which is the ‘Limited Edition 81’.
Along with the ultra-exclusive limited edition 81, Montblanc also released the limited edition 888. The 888 draws inspiration from Palazzo Venier Dei Leoni, Peggy Guggenheim’s Venice residence.
The final pen in the Montblanc 2016 Patron of Art series is the Peggy Guggenheim Limited Edition 4810. The 4810 is of a similar Art-Deco design to the 888, however, the platinum coated finish and lack of jewels make it by far the most affordable pen in the series.
Montblanc Heritage collection Rouge Et Noir
After a rather tame release for their 100th anniversary, it was good to see Montblanc go all out for their 110th birthday. The theme of this anniversary collection is the serpent design which graced many Montblanc pens in the 1920’s. The Rouge Et Noir name harks back to the very first pens released by the Montblanc company (before it was called Montblanc).
The standout release in this line is the jaw-dropping Rouge Et Noir ‘The Ultimate Serpent’ Limited Edition 1. This €1.2 million pen is limited to just one example. The barrel of the Limited Edition 1 is crafted from a staggering 99 grams of gold and is covered in 153 individually cut diamonds.
Other limited edition pens in the Rouge Et Noir include; The Imperial Serpent Limited Edition 3, The Royal Serpent Limited Edition 10 and The Serpent Limited Edition 110. All of these pens feature extravagant gold and diamond barrels and feature the serpent prominently.
The final pens in the series are the Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge Et Noir Special Editions, which feature a resin body in either Black or Coral. These two special edition models are far more affordable and can be found at many popular retailers. The long, thin barrel of the Rouge Et Noir Special Edition are not far from the standard 1912 heritage edition pens. You can find some excellent reviews of this pen over at The Pen Addict and our friend Manllectables.
Montblanc for BMW
The same year Montblanc celebrates 110 years, fellow German luxury maker, BMW, celebrate its 100th anniversary. To celebrate, Montblanc produced this stunning Mantblanc for BMW Centennial fountain pen. Somewhat reminiscent of the Montblanc Blue Hour, the BMW Centennial pen is a work of art befitting the luxury automobile marque. Just 100 of these skelotonized beauties have been made and each will accompany a special edition BMW 7 Series.
Whilst this pen is out of reach for most, the relationship also wielded an ink that can be purchased through most BMW dealerships. The ink is bright blue with decent shading. It comes in a 30ml bottle and price will vary greatly on availabilty, as with most Montblanc limited editon inks.
Montblanc Artisan Edition homage to Wassily Kandinsky
Another very limited release from Montblanc, this time, paying tribute to one of the most influential painters and art theorists of the 20th Century. The Homage to Wassily Kandinsky was released as a ‘Limited Edition 3’ and ‘Limited Edition 77’. The Limited Edition 3 pen takes its inspiration from Kandinsky’s famous ‘Yellow-Red-Blue’ piece, painted in 1925.
The Limited Edition 77 is also inspired by Yellow-Red-Green, however, it incorporates the geometric shapes into the body as well.
Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black Special Edition
To go along with the 110th birthday celebrations, Montblanc also added an ultra stealthy Special Edition Meisterstück. The pens are finished in a matt black resin and also feature a black nib to complete the look. The Ultra Black Special Edition is available in Fountain Pen LeGrand, Rollerball LeGrand, Ballpoint Fountain Pen Classique, Rollerball Classique, Ballpoint Pen Classique and the new Midsize. To coincide with the release of the Meisterstück Ultra Black Special Edition, Montblanc has created a special Ultra Black ink.
Montblanc Writers Edition William Shakespeare
The next Montblanc release was the latest extension to the Writers Edition. This time, Montblanc pays tribute to the most famous playwright ever, William Shakespeare. According to Montblanc, “The design of the Writers Edition William Shakespeare is inspired by the broad spectrum of Shakespeare’s plays, ranging from dark tragedies to light comedies.” Both the pens in this series take large design cues from The Globe theatre, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed. Just 1597 of ‘The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet edition’ examples were made, whilst 8700 of the standard white and black models have been produced.
Montblanc Augmented paper
Augmented paper seemed to be all the rage a couple of years ago. People had very high hopes for the technology, however, much of that initial enthusiasm has diminished as it seems like nobody has got it quite right. Much like other smart paper, the Montblanc Augmented notebook recognises handwriting and converts it into digital text that can be accessed via any device. Whilst the notebook and accompanying pen are very expensive, initial feedback on the product has been mostly positive. We think it is a step in the right direction for what could be very functional technology.
Montblanc Masters for Meisterstück Firenze Alligator
The famous leather markets of Firenze are the inspiration for this latest Masters series. “Combining the craftsmanship of the Meisterstück with the leather excellence of Florence, the collection honours the city’s exceptional talent with refined elegance. The quality and precision of the writing instrument paired with the touch and appearance of the finest leather deliver an elevated writing experience.”
Montblanc Great Characters Miles Davis
With its Great Characters Limited Edition writing instruments, Montblanc pays homage to the exceptional individuals whose lives and work have made a lasting impact on human civilisation. 2016 was no different, with the stunning Miles Davis limited and special editions. The Limited Edition 90 takes its inspiration from Miles Davis’ album ‘Kind of Blue’. The pen features a skeletonized cap and a stunning trumpet finished in white gold.
The Limited Edition 1926 features a similarly designed cap and barrel. The evolution of Miles Davis’ journey through the music world can be found engraved on the platinum barrel.
Finally, the Special Edition pen features a resin barrel with a platinum coated trumped adorning the cap. “The pattern on the cap and barrel brings to life the five diverse movements Miles Davis was part of: Be-bob, the style that dominated the early part of his career; Cool Jazz and the Miles Davis nonet that performed on the seminal “Birth of Cool” recordings; Hard Bop with its African influences; Modal Jazz with an oriental theme and finally; Jazz Fusion represented by the mixed shapes and techniques.”.
So, we have had a look at the highlights of Montblanc in 2016, but what can we expect for 2017? Well, only two days into the year they released a new pen. The Montblanc Bonheur is inspired by the 1920’s fashion revolution, where women went from wearing corsets to a time where they could wear more practical clothes.
Apart from the Bonheur, there are a couple of rumoured releases for 2017. The first of these rumoured pens is a new steel version of the ‘M’. The M series is a new line that was created by renowned designer Marc Newson. The release of a Beatles inspired pen is also rumoured, however with a John Lennon Great Characters pen being released just a few years ago, we can’t hold our breath on this one. Some anniversaries to look out for this year are; The death of Jane Austen 200 years ago, the 80th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disseverance and the 40th anniversary Elvis Presley’s death. These are just some anniversaries which could be recognised by Montblanc this year.
What releases would you like to see from Montblanc this year?