In an era when most of the world types or texts hundreds of times a day, beautiful pens seem more like an indulgence than ever. Montblanc, one of the most recognizable names among pen-makers, keeps up its artistic heritage despite our digital fever and infuses every special edition with its own story, to perhaps better write our own.
Handcraftsmanship is found at every step—from carving and setting precious stones to stamping patterns in gold fountain nibs (never steel)—but increasingly sophisticated digital tools are just as essential. The company aims to push the boundaries with every new offering, bringing in experts in resin or leather to create something that has never been done before on a pen. For Montblanc’s base model, the Meisterstück, designers wanted to make a version with leather but no glue on the seam. Creative director Zaim Kamal’s team found an artist in Florence who wraps the steering wheels of racing cars and could stitch the pen’s leather in a way that maintained tension. In some cases, the brand has even had to make miniature versions of an artisan’s tools to work on a challenging new design.
This fall, the Egyptomania pen is being released, with prices running from $570 for a base model to $2.2 million for the Treasure LE1 edition within the high-artistry collection. “Using a Montblanc won’t make you a better writer,” says Kamal, “but it is a reliable companion. For a brief moment you notice its beauty in some aspect, then you go back to writing and you feel a certain satisfaction.” And with any luck, that excellence begets yet another level of artistry from the scratches of ink on your page.