With its High Artistry Limited Editions, Montblanc pushes the boundaries of creativity and technical virtuosity to tell the stories of history’s great figures.
Pairing the traditional expertise of the métiers d’arts nurtured for over 110 years with high precision technology and tools, Montblanc artisans transform fine materials into elaborate masterpieces that defy imagination. From stone cutting and setting to hand engraving and gold work, many techniques have been used to bring to life the fascinating world of Kang Xi, the longest reigning emperor in Chinese history. Part writing instrument part jewellery creation in colourful precious stones and gold, each Montblanc High Artistry Homage to Emperor Kangxi Limited Edition is a dazzling display of the Maison’s artistry.
Honoring an Emperor of China
Considered one of China’s greatest emperors, Kang Xi (1654 – 1722) was the second emperor in the Qing dynasty whose reign brought long-term stability and prosperity after years of war and chaos. An accomplished military strategist and general, Kang Xi was victorious over the powerful Three Lords who threatened his sovereignty, and over the rebels of Inner and Outer Mongolia, successfully submitting them to Qing rule. One of the most able riders of his time, he had a passion for tiger hunting. Among the many achievements that shaped his cultural legacy, he created the Mountain Resort in Chengde, a classic masterpiece of Chinese palace architecture and one of the world’s largest royal gardens designed in the great imperial tradition. He repaired and extended the Grand Canal that linked the Yellow River and Yangtze River, from Beijing to Hangzhou. He commissioned the Kangxi Dictionary that became the standard Chinese dictionary during the 18th and 19th centuries, and essential for the development of literature, poetry and culture during the Qing dynasty and beyond.
The Dragon: a Most Valued Imperial Symbol
During the Qing Dynasty, the dragon was considered one of the most valued imperial symbols featured on the emperor’s clothing, on court furniture and objects, and throughout royal palaces. A majestic dragon made of individually cut white jade pieces and a line of brilliant cut diamonds swirls around the Montblanc High Artistry Homage to Emperor Kangxi Limited Edition 1, The Imperial Dragon fountain pen in an artistic representation of the emperor’s supreme power in champagne gold. Like the rich yellow silk of the emperor’s gown, the cap and barrel of the writing instrument are set with a full pave of yellow diamonds. The cap is cut in the shape of one of his sleeves, as depicted in imperial portraits of the powerful ruler.
Inspired by his fascination for mechanical devices and clocks, the cap top features a mechanism that drives the movement of the dragon’s eyes, opening and closing them whether the pen is upright or laying down. A reference to Kangxi’s enthusiasm for Western astronomy, the design of the cone is inspired by an armillary sphere created to represent the movements in the heavens. A 2-axis mechanism allows a 6,42 carat square emerald-cut yellow diamond in a vivid yellow-orange colour to rotate freely at its centre. Thanks to a special mechanism, the precious ornament can be detached and admired as a standalone jewel. Crowning the writing instrument, the cap top is adorned with diamonds in a pavé setting, and the clip is set with a natural white pearl. The Au750 solid gold nib is decorated with the dragon’s head.
The Montblanc High Artistry Homage to Emperor Kangxi Limited Edition 1, The Royal Blue Dragon
The Montblanc High Artistry Homage to Emperor Kangxi Limited Edition 1, The Royal Blue Dragon is a masterpiece in blue and white gold inspired by the deep colour of one of the emperor’s garments. The pavé of blue sapphires on the cap and barrel contrast with the brilliant diamonds on the dragon encircling the fountain pen, as well as the white gold fittings. The armillary sphere mechanism in the cone of the writing instrument features a brilliant 5ct white diamond (Colour D, Flawless). Mediator between heaven and earth, the dragon on the Montblanc High Artistry Homage to Emperor Kangxi Limited Edition 1, The Jade Dragon seems to float through the clouds. The mythical creature stands out in vibrant green jade against a scintillating pavé of white diamonds on the cap and barrel. A precious red 5,08ct ruby floats inside the axis mechanism in real gold, while the top of the cap is set with a pavé of diamonds.
By combining subtle variations and adjustments to traditional know-how with high precision tools and innovative technologies, the High Artistry Homage to Kangxi Limited Editions take craftsmanship to new heights of virtuosity, honouring the achievements and influence of a great Chinese emperor whose legacy continue to fascinate and delight centuries later.
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