Founded in 1908 in Hamburg as the Simplo Filler Pen Co., Montblanc (Mont Blanc is a common misspelling) began its history as a manufacturer of fountain pens with built-in ink wells. Taking its name from Europe's highest mountain, Montblanc first placed a white tip on the caps of its pens in 1910; this all-white tip would evolve in 1913 into a rounded star to represent an overhead view of the snow-capped peak.
Like most pen companies in the first half of the 20th century, Montblanc started out making eyedropper pens, in which ink was dropped into the pen’s well. Leak-proof safety pens quickly followed, with barrels and caps made of hard rubber and gold nibs (tips) imported from the United States.
By the 1920s, Montblanc was producing its own nibs and putting them into pens with names like Rouge et Noir (its first safety pen in 1909), Simplo, and Diplomat. Particularly prized by collectors is the Montblanc no. 4, a lever-filler with silver filigree in the shape of a spider web; the Montblanc no. 0, a stunning sterling silver and white-incised-enamel safety pen; and the Montblanc no. 2, whose repoussé (hammered from the reverse side) gold-filled barrel and cap is evocative of Art Nouveau.
But the biggest brand of the 1920s for Montblanc—indeed, it remains the company’s most enduring brand to this day—was the Meisterstück, or Masterpiece. In particular, the Meisterstück 149 from 1924 had narrow bands of sterling silver on its wide, gold-filled cap. Its heft in the hand made it a pleasure to hold, if not always to write with—for some, the weight is a problem. Other writers have complained that the pen’s cap never stays on when it’s in use and, worst of all, that the pens have a tendency to leak. Still, for collectors, a vintage, pre-1962 Meisterstück 149 is most desirable. Nibs on pens made from 1926 are engraved with the number 4810, a reference to the height of Mont Blanc (4,810 meters).
The vintage Montblanc safety pens from the 1930s are also collectible, whether they have twist-button fillers or piston fillers. In the 1930s, the sealed ink chambers inside Montblanc pens continued to give users problems, but that has not stopped contemporary collectors from seeking them out. One of the most rare pens from that decade is the 1936 Montblanc no. 128PL, a platinum-lined pen with a twist filler mechanism. Few of these pens made it to the United States, which makes them real finds in the U.S. today.
During the war, Montblanc’s German factory was destroyed, and in the years immediately after the war, Allied forces administered the firm. With the local economy decimated, Montblanc began producing pens for export, including the Montblanc no. 244, a striped piston filler that was not designated a Meisterstück but is collectible nonetheless.
By the 1950s, Montblanc was back, aided in large part by the launch in 1955 of the "60 Line," which was the first major new line of pens for the company since Meisterstück. Another popular and reliable vintage pen from this decade and into the early 1960s was the Montblanc no. 342 (an economy version called the MonteRosa 042 was also produced). Smaller than most Montblancs, it was popular for daily use, and its piston filler worked flawlessly. Perhaps most collectible is the Montblanc no. 444. This rare, piston-filling ballpoint had a brushed stainless steel cap and gold-filled details...
One of the most famous moments for Montblanc pens occurred in 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was visiting Germany. At one stop, he and German chancellor Konrad Adenauer were signing a guest book. Kennedy signed his name but Adenauer apparently did not have a pen with him, at which point Kennedy offered the chancellor the use of his—a Montblanc Meisterstück 149.
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Bohemian rhapsody: Montblanc launches new collectionThe Star Online, September 16th
The glitzy global launch of Montblanc's Bohème Collection in China was all about the women with a host of international stars descending to the Shanghai Children's Art Theatre to celebrate luxury timepieces, jewellery and writing instruments, created...Read more
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Smart Pen Revealed As Gear Blink Gets Possible ...International Business Times AU, September 14th
One of these is the smart pens offered by Montblanc. First shown off over at the Samsung Unpacked 2014 event, the e-Starwalker and the Pix Pen have both been announced for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. These accessories combine the stylus S Pen ...Read more
Montblanc And Samsung Introduce 'Smart' Pens And Accessories For Galaxy ...Forbes, September 11th
I am the editor-in-chief and co-founder of QuillandPad.com. Beyond that, I contribute my horological expertise to a variety of magazines, websites and publications all over the world. With more than two decades' experience covering the watch industry...Read more
Montblanc apresentou a S Pen mais bonita até agoraTudocelular.com, September 3rd
O charme e o atrativo da linha Note da Samsung é a S Pen. A caneta, em conjunto a TouchWiz, oferece diversas funções e utilidades aos usuários. Entretanto, a funcionada não é o único quesito procurado por alguns usuários. O design é um fator muito ...Read more
Samsung And Montblanc Make Premium S Pen For Galaxy Note 4Ubergizmo, September 3rd
Ever since Samsung launched the Galaxy Note lineup the S Pen has remained an integral part of the phablet. This company stuck to it at a time when almost everyone believed that styluses were long gone. The performance of Samsung's Galaxy Note ...Read more
Montblanc's Extreme Screen Writer For Use With The Note 4 Is A High End Pen ...Android Headlines - Android News, September 3rd
The Extreme ScreenWriter pen from Montblanc is their first pen designed specifically for use with touch screens like the Note 4, and it carries the capability of different sized tips for potential various uses like taking notes, sketching or whatever...Read more
Samsung partners with Montblanc on a chic Galaxy Note 4 stylusEngadget, September 3rd
At IFA 2014 Unpacked, Samsung has announced that it's partnering with venerable pen maker Montblanc on two custom styluses for its new Galaxy Note 4. The "Pix" and the "e-StarWalker" are done in the pen maker's classic, chunky style for any Note ...Read more
Samsung gets Montblanc to make fancy Note 4 stylusesThe Verge, September 3rd
Montblanc's Pix and e-StarWalker look like high-end pens, but under the cap, they're designed for use with the Galaxy Note 4 or a tablet, with swappable nubs that mimic different pen nibs. Montblanc has also designed two leather cases, in case you'd...Read more