The History of Mont Blanc Pens

Published: 02nd June 2010
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There are some things in life that are reserved for very special occasions. The Mont Blanc pen is one of them. It is recognized around the world as a statement of luxury and prestige. They are beautiful works of art that define writing. This is a very personal experience and the instrument that you write with is as important as what you write. So how did Mont Blanc become the watermark of writing tools?


In 1906, a stationer named Claus-Johannes Voss joined with a banker, Alfred Nehemias and the engineer August Eberstein to start a company named "The Simplo Filler Pen Company." Right from the beginning the company was formed with the purpose of producing up-market pens, at that time for the Schanzen district of Hamburg. The very first model produced by the firm was called the "Rouge Et Noir," this was first produced in 1909. Spurred on by the success of the Rouge Et Noir the company produced a second model in 1910, one that would be destined to become the fledgling companies new name, the Mont Blanc.

New Pens Spark a New Name

The new company name was not destined to be realized until 1934 when the name was officially changed to Montblanc-Simplo GmbH. It was also in that year that the company introduced the world's first Piston-filler pen, a revolution in pen design. Mont Blanc was, by that time, one of the premier companies in the pen industry. The Mont Blanc Pen company is recognized by its main symbol, the Edelweiss. This is the rounded, six-pointed star that is found on all Mont Blanc pens.

The star was first used by the company in 1913. The star was originally conceived to represent the appearance of the snow cap of the mountain from above and was later named the "Edelweiss." The other theme that one finds associated with Mont Blanc pens is the number, 4810. This happens to be the height of the mountain (Mont Blanc) in meters. Luxury comes from prestige and history and Mont Blanc is the very definition of these qualities.

Of Major Importance

One of the most important developments in the history of Mont Blanc came in 1977. It was in that year that the company was bought out by Dunhill ltd. The first thing that the new management of the company did was to eliminate the lower cost product lines and focus exclusively on up-market products. This was a visionary move as it re-rooted the company in its past and established it as a luxury gift that defined the concept of a pure luxury gift for the successful and famous. This led to the production of limited Editions including the Patron of the Art Series.

It is interesting to note that these series are most often produced in runs of 888 units. Today, Mont Blanc is a member of the Richmont group. Other companies in that family of luxury brands include such names as Cartier, Can Cleef & Arpels, Chloe, and Baume Et Mercier. Since 2000, Montblanc has been tasked with producing the components for Montegrappa and Cartier branded pens as well, This is quite a saga for one of the most expensive writing implements in the world.

Chris Tyrrell writes for Wheelers Luxury Gifts, stockists of Mont Blanc pens and other luxury items. Visit the website for more details.

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