The beloved Mont Blanc collection is known the world over as the sought-after brand on every writer’s wish list. Not only exquisitely designed and beautifully manufactured, these writing utensils are so much more, capturing those special moments in life that we treasure for a long time to come. HL got the scoop from the company’s talented Creative Director since 2007, Carlo Giordanetti, about his passion for pens, some of their most memorable creations, and how he sums up a Mont Blanc enthusiast…
Which Mont Blanc pen is currently sitting on your desk and why have you chosen it? Today on my desk is the new Meisterstück “Tribute to the Mont Blanc” fountain pen, with which we celebrate the timeless and eternal purity of the highest European peak. It’s also thanks to this pen that we support proMont-Blanc’s fight to have our namesake and icon, the Mont Blanc mountain range, recognised as a World Cultural Heritage site. Next to it, I have the newest Writer’s Edition, dedicated to Carlo Collodi, the creator of Pinocchio – my heart is Italian after all!
Tell us about the Wedding Pen that H.S.H. Prince Albert II and princess Charlene of Monaco used to seal their union. What was the design and design process? When we were granted the honour to create the one-of-a-kind writing instrument for the wedding of H.S.H Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, we immediately had a vision of something that would celebrate both the official side of this event and the more intimate aspect of it, the one that a couple will remember for all their lives. We found our design inspiration in the architectural elements of the Palais Princier, the church of Sainte Devote, where the new Princess laid her flower bouquet, and of course, the Principality Flag. A pure gold skeleton construction, revealing the perfection of the mechanism, a precious stone setting, celebrating the importance, preciousness and glamour of the moment, as well as the romantic engravings on the gold nib, have eventually created a masterpiece that Their Serene Highnesses have truly appreciated, as a true gem of European craftsmanship.
What distinguishes the Meisterstuck fountain pen as a fine writing instrument among others? The moment in which one receives – or purchases – a Mont Blanc Meisterstück is always special, and will be remembered. Personally, I was lucky enough to receive my first Meisterstück as a gift form my grandfather, who decided I should have his own, thus embodying the ultimate essence of a true timeless icon: being passed onto the next generation. What makes this writing instrument a real icon and sets it aside form all the others is the passion, dedication, care and commitment to utmost quality that it exudes and embodies. It is a truly sensual object, in which the perfection of its functionality is enhanced and celebrated by the sophisticated touch, flawless surface, crafted details of engravings and preciousness of materials. For us at Mont Blanc, the Meisterstück is the ultimate symbol of our brand values, of our attention to integrity, quality, timeless values and innovation within a path of tradition.
What typifies a Mont Blanc enthusiast? What kind of values does this person have? Mont Blanc enthusiasts share the same values as the brand – these are people who understand and appreciate craftsmanship, love beauty in details and discovering “stories” behind a product; they have an open mind and are curious about culture and the arts. They cherish their possessions as symbols of achievement and success, but prefer timeless, elegant, classic icons to over-the-top and extreme statements. They are as much in love with the soul of a product as we are – they understand that a well crafted product can embody the soul of its makers and capture the soul of its owners. A Mont Blanc lover is a passionate humanist.
How has Mont Blanc managed to stay innovative and keep ahead of the market’s ever-evolving tastes, yet still remain true to its timeless brand? The roots of Mont Blanc, its timelessness and iconic power, are very strong and also very inspiring. The world of Mont Blanc is extremely rich, with openness to culture under many aspects, with the ability to celebrate personalities who left a meaningful sign in mankind’s evolution: it’s a wonderful and extremely open field of exploration and potential new ideas. From my side – and this may come from my Italian blood – I am passionate about passions; I believe in undertaking projects with heart, mind and soul. I find in contemporary arts and culture, as well as in classic expressions of man’s genius, the nourishment for my soul – and my job. I believe that within Mont Blanc, these two elements work together as a continuous challenge towards the lively evolution of the brand codes, products and experiences. Innovation for Mont Blanc can’t exist without expressing the power of traditions, and traditions are only relevant today if one can appreciate their power of vision and inspiration for the future. This is how I aim to contribute to Mont Blanc’s evolution within continuity.
What is the significance of celebrating art, music and culture, for the Mont Blanc brand? Deeply rooted in culture and education – thanks to its link with handwriting as a symbol of empowerment and self-expression – Mont Blanc has developed a long-standing and actively dedicated support of culture, the arts and music. These are understood as the backbone of our civilisation. Celebrating artists means celebrating freedom, beauty, passions and creativity. Supporting the arts and the arts patrons – as Mont Blanc has been doing on a worldwide scale for the last 20 years – allows new generations to benefit from heritage and exploring new paths. The arts make us richer, better human beings; they create freedom and they generate goodwill. For Mont Blanc, standing behind these values is the way to contribute to society, to actively share our beliefs and to create new energy.
The brand also extends to a premium range of watches. Are there any similarities between writing instruments and time pieces? When it comes to writing instruments, Mont Blanc has a heritage of over 100 years in fine craftsmanship: this has become the common ground and the absolute commitment for all Mont Blanc products, be it writing instruments, watches, jewellery or leather. Between watches and writing instruments, though, there is an additional element of connection: both products are actually bringing together a very strong rational side (the engineered, perfectly functional, inventive mechanism) with a very strong and powerful emotional side (unique design, strong personality, power, and an expressive look). They are both “jewels” in the making as well as masterpieces in the crafting. They exude pleasure and sensuality and build a lifelong relationship with their owners.
How was the John Lennon pen received, and can you tell us a bit about the concept during the design process? In 2010 John Lennon would have celebrated his 70th birthday and with the John Lennon Edition, Mont Blanc wanted to pay homage to one of the most talented artists ever – a man who was able to leave behind a truly world relevant message and a heritage of positive values and love. It has been a premiere for Mont Blanc to celebrate such a modern and forward-thinking human being, open to youth and newness, to creativity and provocation, to strong messages and meaningful acts. From a design standpoint, we have captured three iconic moments of John Lennon’s heritage: the vinyl texture of his records on our precious resin commemoration edition, the guitar handle as a clip with the key notes of Imagine, and the iconic self-portrait that John Lennon used as his signature. Each of these elements tells a part of John Lennon’s story; all of them are part of his legacy. We are proud to have been able to contribute towards keeping his legacy alive and making more young people aware of the power of music that John believed in, by supporting the John Lennon Tour Bus in the USA.
Can you give us the scoop on the latest Mont Blanc tribute, the Grace Kelly pen? How will this pen look and what character should it embody? The Collection Princesse Grace de Monaco has been designed as a tribute to the iconic power of a woman who has inspired many generations, through her success, beauty, style, elegance, and her enchanting story. The products we have created aim to capture a note of aristocratic glamour, to exude sensuality and style, to celebrate femininity and timeless elegance. We have been inspired by Princesse Grace’s style as well as by her love for roses – and developed these ideas in a direction that applies well to writing instruments as well as to jewellery and watches. The collection relies on signature “petal cut” stones and volumes, and brings in delicate touches of colours and sparkles of diamonds. It is designed for women who know, understand and appreciate the power of a myth and are able to capture a part of it with their own strong personality. For more details about Mont Blanc’s inspiring creations please visit montblanc.com.
Images of pens: stories.montblanc.com. Text: Charlotte von Fritschen