Montblanc Summer, 2020 Event
Montblanc — The Collections
Summer, 2020 Montblanc Event
~ After consulting FPN Montblanc Forum Moderator Kalessin for guidance as to what might be appropriate to post, this small thread is added for all to read.
The ongoing Covid-19 public health event has adversely affected Montblanc's marketing plans for major 2020 releases.
Prohibitions or severe restrictions on public gatherings in most areas of the globe have resulted in an altered introduction format.
As the situation in southern China, just above the northern border with Hong Kong, has attained a moderately stable equilibrium, Montblanc held a special event yesterday.
VIP collectors were invited to visit during assigned time slots. Although no photography was allowed, they were fortunate to see and handle the latest fountain pen creations from Hamburg.
While I'm not even remotely in their ilk, Montblanc China graciously offered me the first time slot at 10 am. I accepted, honored to have such a rare opportunity.
With the South China Regional Marketing Director, I was seated in a secluded alcove. Black silk gloves were provided for handling the pieces introduced.
Superb graphics mounted on boards explained specific design motif inspiration, which was especially valuable.
The pieces shown were those typically never shown on Montblanc international Web sites. They were the Limited Editions of 888 or 88 or 8, depending on the model.
As several models have not yet been officially announced on any Montblanc Web site, it's necessary to describe them in an oblique manner, leaving details to their release in the coming months.
Others have been officially released, therefore such indirectness isn't necessary. Please pardon the lack of explicit details in certain cases, which I wish might be provided.
First, the Moctezuma LE 888 is very impressive, due to the detailed turquoise lapidary work. The texture is smooth, with only the slightest sense of it consisting of separate pieces.
The slender red pen slips out almost as an afterthought. The pen is all about the immense cap with a spear-like clip like few others.
The tiny nib size was a surprise…almost smaller than a Classique nib. The Aztec heart motif on the nib was readily discernible when looking through a loupe.
It required several tries before I became used to the special technique used to take the small pen out of the cap on all three models shown to me.
Second, the Victor Hugo LE 83 and Victor Hugo 8 are similar. The finish and materials of the most limited edition are as expected.
The great surprise was the Victor Hugo LE 83.
When initially handling it (wearing the black silk gloves provided) I was impressed by the detailing. The superb design graphics on boards educated me as to why certain design choices had been made.
Seeing the rose window from Notre Dame on it was a pleasant surprise.
What I didn’t realize until the South China Regional Marketing Director showed me, was the nature of the cap.
She turned on a light beam in her smartphone, then placed the cap on it.
The light shines out through blue transparent material through the skeletonized cap.
The effect is stunning. Montblanc needs to show that in a video. If they do so, they’ll rapidly sell every one.
Not only that, the pen barrel also shows light through blue. It’s elegant and tasteful. A lovely design which I hadn’t anticipated.
Third there was a Dragon model intended for East Asian collectors.
One of a series, it is decorated with diamond highlights.
The barrel is decorated in lacquer with a tastefully restrained image related to the theme.
Fourth, it's no secret that Montblanc will follow-up on 2019's Calligraphy Flex Nib models with something different but comparable.
Having handled that model, and written with the nib, it's apparent that the next iteration is likely to be very well received.
The Limited Edition pen itself, and the specially crafted nib constitute a tour-de-force.
The exquisitely hand decorated pen exceeds in quality of detail nearly any other Montblanc fountain pen I've handled.
Having worked in East Asia for decades, I've gradually come to appreciate refined techniques, especially when very well executed.
In the case of the pen that I handled, looking through the loupe was ravishing, due to the wealth of detail in tasteful colors.
When the cap goes on, the design is lined up with gorgeous precision. The colors are subtle yet eye-catching.
2020's very special nib has a lovely, simple design on it for the Limited Edition.
A regular black 146 travels with the show, enabling invited guests to write with the special nib, which features the same surface motif as last year's Flex Nib.
Inked in Mystery Black, it’s effortless to use. To me it seemed much more responsive than 2019’s Flex Nib.
Playing with the nib for 7 or 8 minutes, the number of types of strokes, from OBB to EF, were impressive.
A buyer using such a nib for several hours would likely find it to be a deft sketching tool, a tool for writing Asian characters, or an unconventional handwriting instrument.
Fifth, and finally, I was shown the most extraordinary Montblanc fountain pen that I've ever seen or read about.
As it's not yet been officially announced, although it has been discussed in a speculative FPN thread, it's essential to remain frustratingly vague as to specific details.
In this case, that's quite a challenge, as the pen in question has dazzling craftsmanship and the single greatest surprise I've ever encountered in any writing instrument.
Nonetheless, no spoilers.
The Very Limited Edition pen is wholly unlike the two versions based on the same theme which will soon be available in boutiques or from the usual trusted resellers.
After leaving the Montblanc Event this morning, I thought to myself that the Hamburg design team must’ve had a great time designing this one-of-a-kind pen.
When first shown to me, I was dazzled. The finish, the discreetly placed small gemstones, the sophisticated overall aesthetic balance are as good as it gets.
At the outset, the pen seemed like the heaviest fountain pen that I’ve ever picked up. It’s ultra-bulky, or so I thought.
But the absolute shocker is the culture-specific design motif on the pen.
Those crazy Hamburg gnomes have exactly duplicated, stone for stone, an ancient design from an ornament recovered from a well-preserved tomb.
If it were possible, what a joy it would be to describe the semi-precious stones of considerable size which are mounted in an exact facsimile of long ago artistry.
It’s a shocker to see and handle. There’s no two ways about it. In a large collection of pens, it would easily stand out above others.
Yet while admiring the work through the loupe, I was asking myself where the pen was, as there was no trace of it, aside from a slender clip.
I'm unable to write more, as that would spoil the surprise for all.
There's much to say, including my own sense of delight, but it's best left until this model and its companions are released.
I was dumbfounded by the overall artistry.
The time and care which went into it are a magnificent example of Montblanc’s continuing commitment to high craftsmanship.
Again, please do pardon me for writing in a coy style which leaves more questions than it answers.
I respect Montblanc's determination to manage the marketing of their own creations.
Please know that in 2020 there are yet lovely wonders to be released from Hamburg.
There are inks associated with most of these models, but at the event, the inks had not yet arrived.