At the dawn of the 20th century, German technician August Eberstein teamed up with Hamburg entrepreneurs Alfred Nehemias and Claus Johannes Voss to create a line of writing instruments with non-leaking technology. This pioneering vision would change the course of writing history.
The first Montblanc writing instrument, introduced in 1909, eliminated the risk of ink stains. As a result, it was given the sobriquet "Rouge et Noir", reffering to the safest way of playing roulette: betting on both red and black at the same time. A year later, inspired by the highest peak in European Alps and symbolising the founders' vision of excellence and pursuit of innovation, Montblanc was chosen for the company's name. The six-point white star, representing the six snow-covered glaciers of the majestic mountain, became the company's emblem ad has features on every Montblanc writing instrument ever since.
At the heart of the Montblanc Manufacture in Hamburg lies the Artisan Atelier, where, in the hands of the master goldsmiths and stone setters, a writing instrument becomes a work of art. Here, specially trained artisans combine traditional craftsmanship and modern production techniques to produce the soul of every Montblanc fountain pen: the nib.
Countless meticulous steps are involved in the process, using rare materials from platinum and solid gold to unique wood and precious stones to realise limited editions such as Patron of Art, Writers Edition, Great Characters, or the High Artistry collection.
It takes 35 skilled steps to craft a nib and an additional 70 steps to assemble and test a Montblanc fountain pen until it is deemed ready to become yours. Each Montblanc nib is handcrafted from either 14K or 18K gold. Under the pressure of up to 18 tons, the nib’s silhouette is stamped out and then carefully pressed into shape. Next, Montblanc artisans accurately grind the exceptionally hard iridium tip by hand until it is the perfect width and size. After the final assembly and setting, every nib must pass a thorough writing test to ensure it delivers the ultimate writing experience. In addition to how the instrument feels writing, a good ear plays a vital role in the rigorous quality test: the in-house trained nib grinder listens attentively to the sound each nib makes as it glides over the paper. Only nibs that do not scratch or snag, and generate a continuous sound, will pass the special inspection.
Choosing the right nib to match a personal writing style will allow you to write effortlessly. The current assortment enables different styles of writing and artistic expression by offering a selection of eight different nib widths and the innovative flexible nib, part of the 2019 calligraphy programme. Additionally, the artisans create special made-to-order nibs for a personal and exclusive writing experience.