Montblanc’s Recent Launches are Definitely Worth Writing Home About

Master Control: Montblanc’s Recent Launches are Definitely Worth Writing Home About

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Meisterstück, so we spoke to Laurent Lecamp, the maison’s Managing Director of Watches, about the impact the famous writing instrument had on its 2024 watch releases.

By Rhonda Riche

It is not a stretch to say that Montblanc is one of the most recognized names in luxury. After all, the company is celebrated for its watches, leather bags, perfumes, jewelry, small leather goods, and, of course, writing instruments.

In 1906, a Hamburg banker, Alfred Nehemias, and a Berlin engineer, August Eberstein, started producing simple fountain pens. Three years later, the duo was bought out by Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen, and Claus Johannes Voss, who took over the business.

Following this change in ownership, the first model they produced was called the Rouge et Noir, followed by the pen that was later to give the company its new name, Montblanc. Then, a hundred years ago, in 1924, the brand launched its most emblematic offering, the Meisterstück.

How big a deal is this birthday? And what does it have to do with watches? We met with Montblanc’s Managing Director of Watches, Laurent Lecamp, at Watches and Wonders 2024 to talk about how everything is connected.

Good Penmanship

Montblanc launched its first line of watches in 1997. The first model was called the Montblanc Meisterstück. Originally, the brand’s horological branch played up the connection to the house’s other high-end offerings. However, after Montblanc acquired Minerva in 2007, the brand began to lean into that storied company’s watchmaking history.

Then, at Watches and Wonders 2024, Lecamp told Watchonista, “Montblanc is a couture brand inspired by writing. It is time to stabilize and go back to the core. That means reconnecting all the categories.” And as Lecamp explained to us while sitting behind a Montblanc-designed writing desk, this year’s anniversary edition pens, leather goods, and watches are all about leaving your mark.

That is also the theme of “Montblanc: 100 Years of Meisterstück,” a short film starring Jason Schwartzman, Rupert Friend, and the director, Wes Anderson, because while this mini-movie is an homage to the craft of writing, it also features Montblanc’s Watches and Wonders headliners, the two new Iced Sea Automatic Date models.

This duo comes in either stainless steel or a new warm bronze case material inspired by the hues of the setting sun as it falls upon glacial planes.

The steel version sports a burgundy face, while the bronze features a black, grate-boisse ice-patterned dial. Both measure in at 41mm, which makes them fit comfortably on most wrists. Although they are powered by a Sellita SW200 automatic calibre, as opposed to an in-house movement, they are still hearty and precise and willing to take on any adventure.

The bronze version of the Iced Sea Automatic Date is priced at $3,915, while the stainless steel version sells for $3,405.

Mountain High, River Deep

“The second core element of the Meisterstück is the natural connection to the mountain,” Lecamp explained. And like the iconic caps of its pens, the crown of every Montblanc watch is marked with the famous Snow Peak logo.

The new Geosphere CARBO2 0 Oxygen Limited Edition pays tribute to the mountains via a new watch case material created using a process that captures CO2 from biogas production and mineral waste produced by recycling factories. The powder that results from this process is then combined with ultra-light and resistant carbon fiber and molded in the Geosphere CARBO2’s 42mm case.

Fun Fact: As glaciers age, they become denser and contain less oxygen, resulting in a deeper blue color.

The side of the CARBO2 case is also imbued with a glowing blue outline of the Mont Blanc peak. An image of the mountain also adorns the titanium caseback created using Montblanc’s 3D laser engraving technique.

Limited to 1,969 pieces, the Geosphere CARBO2 0 Oxygen Limited Edition lists for $9,100.

For Lecamp, all of these horological details help connect the dots to the bigger Montblanc picture: “It brings me back to everything we try to do: craftsmanship and building a society of enthusiasts. But it’s also about creating something sustainable.”

Lecamp continued: “The Montblanc pen has been around for 100 years. So, for us to sustain, we have to connect to the Montblanc and Minerva’s past to keep their stories alive. But if a watch is going to be used for 100 years, we also have to think about the next generation with everything we bring to market.”

Coming Full Circle

Finally, to celebrate 100 years of Montblanc’s famous Meisterstück writing instrument, the maison is also releasing the Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph 43mm Meisterstück 100 Years Limited Edition, which features calligraphic design elements from the writing instrument.

Specifically, its black dial is adorned with luminescent printing, revealing a blueprint of the fountain pen dated from 1920. Moreover, this piece’s gold and stainless steel elements are a shout-out to the Meisterstück’s bicolor nib.

Lastly, this 500-piece limited edition is powered by the MB R200 Manufacture monopusher chronograph movement. Price given upon request.

To learn more, check out the Montblanc website.

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