In the case of Montblanc, it all started with a writing instrument that was then known as the simplicissimus pens.
The pens were produced by two partners from different vocational background — a banker and an engineer — and two different German cities — Hamburg and Berlin — in 1906.
Three years later, Montblanc debuted its safety fountain pen “Rouge et Noir” in the market, promising no more blots on your Sunday best – a common problem that happened to gentlemen whenever they place their pens inside the pockets of their Sunday best shirts.
However, the star of the brand; icon of the Montblanc universe was born in 1924 — 18 years after the birth of simplicissimus pens.
Known as Meisterstück 149, the fountain pen is a symbol of long-lasting quality and artisanal dedication. It is also one of the best known and most famous writing instruments ever conceived during our time.
To create one Meisterstück pen, a master craftsman has to take one hundred working steps with the nib of the instrument itself requires 35 steps.
What’s more, every single Meisterstück pen undergoes a handwriting test, where the trained craftsmen would determine the quality of the pen whether it is passable for sale or not through the sound and feel of the pen.
And no matter what your writing preferences are — left-handed or right-handed – the round tip of the Meisterstück nib will provide smooth writing.
This year, the iconic Meisterstück pen is celebrating its 90th anniversary with utmost splendour, starting with a special collection of luxurious goods inspired by the legendary writing instrument and an arresting advertising campaign featuring Australian actor and Hollywood’s bankable action hero of our generation, Hugh Jackman.
Recently, the centre court of the Concourse area of Suria KLCC was transformed into an open air workshop where three Montblanc artisans were flown in for the Montblanc craftsmanship exhibition with “Celebrating 90 years of The Spirit of Meisterstück” as its theme, held from August 7 to 11.
A soiree attended by members of the media, celebrities and also, the city’s crème de la crème, guests were given a first-hand, rare glimpse on how the masterpieces of Montblanc were produced.
Stationed at their respective ephemeral workstations, the artisans demonstrated their hard-earned skills to the curious visitors while detailing out every part of the crafting process.
For example, at the leather works station, you can see how the leathers are prepared, starting from the cutting to the sewing by the Montblanc artisan who was flown into the city, all the way from Florence - the cradle of quality leather goods purveyor.
Under the microscope, you could also see how the micro-sized gems are set on Montblanc's coveted jewellery collection. Guests also took the opportunity to marvel and test the timepieces for themselves, with the assistance of Montblanc staffers.
Apart from that, a selection of archival limited edition pieces with impeccable craftsmanship were flown in and exhibited, all representing various milestones achieved by Montblanc since its inception.
Artisanal demonstrations aside, the launch evening was graced by the presence of notable TV personalities, all sporting unique, limited edition Montblanc timepieces.
Also present during the evening was Mr. Andreas Boesch, Montblanc Southeast Asia Managing Director who shared the brand’s philosophy with the guests as homage to the time-honoured traditions.
Following suit, between servings of delicious finger foods and refreshments, guests were treated to an inspirational play, showcasing the Montblanc Meisterstück 90 Years collection to depict the identity of Montblanc as the ‘Maison of Fine Lifetime Companion’, offering diverse product range made to cater individuals as accompaniment to every journey of their lifetime.
Jazz singer Janet Lee wrapped up the evening with her soulful yet sophisticated rendition of jazz music. Montblanc Meisterstück 90 Years collection is available now at all Montblanc boutiques.
*Photos courtesy of Montblanc
Montblanc - 2.18.00 & 3.20.00, Level 2 and 3, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur; G29, Ground Floor, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088, Kuala Lumpur