German luxury goods manufacturer, Montblanc recently launch a new artistic collection of fountain pens called ‘High Artistry The First Ascent of the Mont Blanc’. The limited-edition collection is a tribute to Europe’s highest peak after which the company is named. The elegant pen has detailing of the Mont Blanc, which was first ascended in 1786, on its body.
About the pioneers
As Western Europe’s tallest peak, the Mont Blanc stands tall at 4,696m. The mountain with its dangerous peaks posed quite a challenge for climbers back in the day. It was only 1786 when a duo of climbers finally conquered the heights of Mont Blanc. Jacques Balmat, a hunter and crystal collector, and Michel-Gabriel Paccard, an alpinist and physician ascended Mont Blanc on August 8, 1786.
The Mont Blanc summit influenced the foundation of Montblanc, inspiring the three visionaries who founded the Maison Montblanc. The three pioneers were Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen and Claus Johannes Voss, who used the mountain as a symbol of perfection, to measure their every achievement.
Honouring the story and the renowned mountain, Mont Blanc continues to use time-honoured skills like diamond cutting, wood carving, marquetry, enamelling and hand-painted miniature portraits, to stay true to the crafts of the bygone era.
Revisiting and honouring the first ascend of the “White Giant”, Montblanc’s new collection pays homage to the climbers while celebrating the Maison’s pioneering spirit over the years.
The limited-edition collection includes five unique fountain pens decorated extravagantly with gold, diamonds and other precious stones, along with miniature paintings, intricate carvings and engravings.
Limited Edition 1 is a spectacular representation of the Mont Blanc massif. The pen is made entirely of solid white gold with rhodium-plated elements. The cap features a miniature grisaille enamel painting of the icy mountaintops adorned with vibrant ribbons of alternating sapphires and diamonds. The bottom half of the cap is bejewelled with diamonds, in mixed settings and mixed cuts.
A rounded rock crystal opens to reveal a skeletonized ‘Mont Blanc massif’ holding the high-value centre stone resting atop an engraved Montblanc emblem.
The clip ring is engraved with ‘8 Août 1786’ (8 August 1786) and is a miniature replica of two of the most essential tools used by the first climbers to reach the summit of Mont Blanc: the alpenstock and axe.
The Au 750 solid white gold rhodium-coated barrel is also set with diamonds in mixed cuts and mixed settings to evoke the reflective awe of the snowy and icy Mont Blanc peak in the sunshine.
Limited Edition 5 has a few more subtle tributes to the Mont Blanc massif. It unites precious metals and gemstones with skilled marquetry work. The cap captures the beauty of the landscape around the mountains with a unique seventeen colour palette. Materials like mother-of-pearl, leather and a selection of precious wood add a certain depth.
The barrel of the pen, on the other hand, combines fine woodwork using seven different types of wood creating a pattern inspired by the Savoy rosette, a traditional decoration of the region. It is set with cognac-coloured tourmalines.
The cap top is crowned with a smoky quartz that opens to reveal the treasure within: a skeletonized ‘Mont Blanc massif’ set with an approx. 2 ct. diamond above an engraving of the Montblanc emblem.
On the forepart of this pen is an engraving tracing the route taken by Balmat and Paccard; it is set with brilliant cut diamonds in a string of precious steps to the summit. A splendid malachite cabochon under sapphire glass is set into the end of the cone.
Limited Edition 10 goes a step closer to the Mont Blanc massif. The cap on the pen is crafted from granite obtained from Mont Blanc itself. It is then refined with a lacquered engraving of ‘JqB 1786’, the initials of Jacques Balmat and the year of the first ascent of Mont Blanc. A 3D depiction of the Mont Blanc massif made with Au 750 solid white gold overlay encircles the natural rock surface.
Like the Limited Edition 5, Limited Edition 100 too, traces the route to Mont Blanc with brilliant-cut diamonds, while the cap is adorned with a handcrafted miniature painting of Balmat. It is surrounded by a frame with a hand-engraved mountain scene. The cap top is crowned with a detachable rounded rock crystal with the shape of the Mont Blanc massif artfully worked out of the centre.
The forepart of the Au 750 solid white gold is engraved with a depiction of the Mer de Glace glacier near Chamonix. Below this icy creature, the Au 750 solid yellow gold barrel is hand engraved with traditional ornamentation from the Chamonix area and set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The handcrafted Au 750 solid yellow gold nib is engraved with a 3D relief depicting the edelweiss flower.
Unlike the rest of the collection, Limited Edition 86 is made from wood and leather giving it a different aesthetic. While the walnut wood cap is carved with images of alpine ibex and chamois in their native habitat on the slopes of the Mont Blanc, the vegetable-tanned leather barrel is embossed with an excerpt from Balmat’s handwritten account of that historic day in 1786.
The forepart of this pen too is engraved with a depiction of the Mer de Glace glacier near Chamonix with the date of the ascent on the clip ring.
The alpinist’s essential tools, alpenstock and axe, are all miniaturized on the clip. The cone is adorned with granite cabochon while the cap top features a smoky quartz that can be detached to reveal the Montblanc emblem made of mother-of-pearl embedded in black onyx underneath.
Limited Edition 333
For centuries, the glaciers nestled in dark mountain valleys were feared as “devil objects” and “realms of evil spirits” – or even home to dragons. In tribute to the Mont Blanc legend, this Au750 solid gold fountain pen features an intricate engraving of a monster glacier. The Au 750 solid gold rhodium-coated skeleton overlay adorning the cap and barrel of the Montblanc Limited Edition 333 traces the shape of the Mer de Glace glacier near Chamonix.
A frosted overlay with translucent glacial blue lacquer echoes the icy blue colours of a glacier. The Au 750 solid gold rhodium-coated cap top of the Montblanc Limited Edition 333 is crowned by the Montblanc emblem crafted out of granite originating from the mountain range where the Mont Blanc is located – the Alps. This symbol of both the Maison Montblanc and the summit of the highest mountain in Western Europe is embedded in polished black onyx.