Friday, 18 April 2014

An Evening with Montblanc in Kuala Lumpur

There are so many ways how a man can be measured. 

According to Greek philosopher Plato, the measure of a man lies in what he does with his power. 

If we pose similar question to the woman who conceived Harry Potter and the magical realm of Hogwarts, her answer would be through the way he treats his inferiors, not his equals. 

However, there is a notion that a man’s worth can also be measured by his writing instrument that he uses or the watch that he wears.

For centuries, writing instruments and watches to men are what designer handbags and jewelleries are to women ― the ultimate symbol of status. 

It is an absolute shame for someone of high ranking to clinch a multi-million dollar deal using a cheap pen and not a meticulously crafted fountain pen that exudes ultimate luxury and splendour. 

Albeit the market today is inundated with a multitude of writing instruments and timepiece brands, rest assured it could not surpass the legendary savoir faire of Montblanc that has exceeded a century old.

Founded by stationer Claus-Johannes Voss, banker Alfred Nehemias and engineer August Eberstein in 1906 as the Simplo Filler Pen company producing up-market pens in the Schanzen district of Hamburg, Montblanc has subsequently evolved into an iconic brand that is well-celebrated for the finesse of its unparalleled craftsmanship, well exhibited through the extensive range of products that now include leather goods, accessories, jewelleries and fragrances for both men and women. 

Adding a milestone into its long list of achievements is the 90th anniversary of its iconic writing instrument, the Meisterstück that was first introduced to the world in 1924.

Hence on a beautiful evening, Montblanc hosted its 2014 product presentation event at the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur. 

The beautiful Art Deco architecture and interior of the hotel provided a perfect backdrop to the event; a great correlation to the industrial era when Meisterstück writing instrument was conceived. 

Furthermore, the air of elegance permeated into the space as vases of calla lilies and white orchids punctuated the event ambience. 

The event started with a special product presentation presented by Mr Andreas Boesch, Managing Director of Montblanc for the South East Asia region.

Post presentation, guests were ushered to the next room where the products are exhibited. For 2014, fans of Montblanc will be served with an array of delightful treasures transcending all product categories.

If you missed the Baselworld exhibition that was held recently in Basel, Switzerland, then the exhibition will give you a gist of what the event would have been like, albeit on a smaller scale.

For instance, to
commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Meisterstück, Montblanc has created an extensive range of products encompassing all categories – leather goods, timepieces and accessories – with inspiration drawn from the legendary writing instrument. 

Here’s an interesting fact on Meisterstück: Back in 1963, as then Germany’s Chancellor Konrad Adenauer fumbled vainly for his pen, President of the United States late John F. Kennedy graciously stepped in, holding out his own Meisterstück 149 with the words, “May I help you, Mr Adenauer?”  

Fans of Montblanc timepieces will be thrilled with an assortment of limited edition pieces such as the Montblanc “Homage to Nicholas Rieussec” chronograph, produced in a limited number of 193 pieces in rose gold; ExoTourbillon Rattrapante from the Collection Villeret 1858, limited to only 18 pieces; and the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100 in a strictly limited series of 100 pieces. 

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Montblanc launched a new family of watches called Montblanc TimeWalker Extreme Chronograph DLC that simultaneously defied a new design vocabulary.  

Salient features such as architectonic lines, 43-milimetre case, narrow bezel and elegantly skeletonised horn with characteristic lancet-shaped hands, just to list a few, are further improved with innovative wristband boasting complex material combination and manufacturing process.

Similar material is also used to conceive a collection of sporty leather goods under Extreme collection. 

Meisterstück aside, this year Montblanc pays tribute to Henry E. Steinway, the man who pioneered the modern piano and hence, revolutionising the contemporary music industry. 

Available in two editions, the design of the instrument is masterfully shaped by Steinway’s vision that celebrates his remarkable piano innovations and his outstanding contribution as an influential patron of arts. 

The Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Henry E. Steinway 4810 features distinctive black and gold colour combination of a classic Steinway grand piano with the barrel in deep black lacquer and gold-plated fittings.

The fountain pen’s cap is decorated with the heart of the iconic music instrument – the harp, or overstrung piano. Hidden inside the piano, these strings play a central role in producing the instrument’s unmistakable sound, much like Steinway’s discreet role in shaping modern music history.  

Displaying all the most iconic features of a Steinway grand piano, the Limited Edition 888 cap is adorned with the representation of a piano harp made from the precious 750 solid gold.

Through the delicately crafted skeletonised cap, the gold nib can be seen finely decorated with a filigree portrait of Steinway. The barrel features the depiction of one octave of piano keys in black and white, celebrating the exquisite balance, flexibility and smoothness that make a Steinway keyboard so unique.   

The pattern on the cap ring is inspired by the decor of the domed rotunda in the Steinway Hall in New York. For this edition, the iconic Montblanc emblem is created from precious mother-of-pearl.

Leather goods, timepieces, writing instruments and jewelleries aside, members of the media also were given the privilege to preview a unique pen created by Montblanc to be used on iPad and portable tablets. 

Guests were then feted to a lavish buffet spread, hence providing a high note to the splendid evening. What’s more, I even had the privilege to meet and mingle with Mr Andreas Boesch in person as we helped ourselves to the sumptuous buffet.

Thus, million thanks to Montblanc and Richemont Luxury Malaysia for the kind invitation. Montblanc 2014 collections will be available in Montblanc boutiques and authorised retailers worldwide in stage.

*Photos courtesy of Montblanc

Montblanc - G29, Ground Floor, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur; Lot 2.18 and 3.20, Level 2 & 3, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.

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