FrontRunners: Limited Access

Collectors of Montblanc (800.995.4810) limited edition Patron of the Arts 4810 fountain pens have a chance to acquire the ones that got away.

Each year since 1992, Montblanc’s Patron of the Arts series has paid homage to a historical figure known for his or her support of the arts—including Peter the Great in 1997 and Charlemagne in 2000. This year’s edition celebrates astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus with a $1,750 version limited to 4,810 (the height in meters of Mont Blanc) pieces and a more precious $5,150 version limited to 888 (eight is a lucky number in Asia). Appropriately, the pen was released in conjunction with the Montblanc Arts Patronage Award ceremony this summer. (Russell Simmons was among those honored this year for his work with Rush Philanthropic and Def Poetry on Broadway.)

While most of the previous Patron of the Arts 4810 series sold out, any pens that remained in Montblanc shops after two years were remanded to the company’s museum in Hamburg, Germany, for safekeeping. Now, Montblanc is opening its museum vaults and releasing the precious few remaining models of a handful of past editions.

“Of the four or five editions that are available, there are probably fewer than 10 of each,” says Karsten Martens, president and CEO of Montblanc North America. “If you start a collection now, it’s very difficult to get the older pieces because they sold out immediately. Whoever acquires these pieces will be very lucky.”

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