Calligraphy, the ancient Greek word for “beautiful writing”, is the art of giving handwritten letters and text a graceful and artistic appearance.
While it may have its origin centuries ago across different cultures and continents, the art form has become increasingly popular today among makers and handwriting aficionados looking to put pen to paper in a creative and personalized way. Exquisitely formed ink letters require skill, patience and practice, but also the right tools.
Elevating the Art of Writing
Montblanc has been synonymous with the art of writing, developing writing instruments by continuously pushing boundaries and applying new mechanisms to keep it at the forefront of writing technology. Since 1906 the nib, referred to as the very soul of every Montblanc writing instrument, continues to require a lot of patience and skill to craft by pairing high precision tools and manual work that takes years to master. Hand-sculpted from solid gold by master artisans who oversee 35 skilled steps, each nib is the result of absolute expertise, intuition and boundless patience. With its new Meisterstück Calligraphy Collection, Montblanc leans into its know how to elevate the art of hand lettering with a new nib, the Flex Nib. Made from gold to bend and spread more easily, it allows for more elaborate and more expressive calligraphy, with vertical lines varying from just 0.3mm to 1.4mm thick depending on the pressure applied to the pen.
The renown Meisterstück Yellow Gold 149 carries the new Flex nib made exclusively from gold with special flexible features that allow a variety of writing styles and delivers a remarkable writing sensation. Due to the slenderness of the tines and the special geometry of the nib point, a high level of precision can be achieved whilst writing. The Flex nib wings close rapidly when writing pressure is reduced, an important characteristic for many calligraphy styles. Variation of line breadth is achieved by exerting pressure, with varying breadths producing different hues of colour on paper.
With the Meisterstück Calligraphy edition, Montblanc pays tribute to the golden age of calligraphy and illumination, celebrating the beauty of language and the importance of culture transmitted by writing. Masterpieces prized by kings, princes, cardinals and noble families in the medieval times and the Renaissance, illuminated manuscripts were elaborate expressions of calligraphy. In their pursuit of accomplishment, illuminators applied radiant colours and gold leaf to manuscripts to enhance the magnificent lettering of scribes. Real gold leaf is applied to the black lacquer cap and barrel of the Meisterstück Calligraphy, then covered by a translucent lacquer. The gold leaf for this edition is hand applied, giving each piece its very own character. With fittings in black PVD, the edition is available as a Fountain Pen with the 18K solid gold flexible Expression Nib, as a Fountain Pen Le Grand with the standard Meisterstück 18K ruthenium-coated nib or as a Rollerball Le Grand.
To complete the Meisterstück Calligraphy writing experience, Montblanc introduces three different notebooks in black leather with gold or silver foil, as well as a red colored metallic foil. The paper inside each notebook is by Awagami, a manufacturer that has been making paper since 1825 for some of the world’s leading artists, photographers, designers, bookbinders and conservators. Each notebook tells the historical evolution of calligraphy in three chapters: Western, Islamic and East Asian. The notebook features a writing exercise at the end of each chapter.
A tribute to Japanese artistry, the Meisterstück Calligraphy Maki-e Limited Edition 88 brings together the centuries-old artistic heritage of Chisō, one of the leading yuzen kimono atelier founded in 1555 that created elaborate silk kimonos for the Imperial court, with the Japanese craft of maki-e lacquer. In a process that takes three months to complete, the ancient “urushi” lacquering technique has been used on the cap and barrel of the edition, applying, smoothing, sanding and polishing many paper-thin layers of blue semi-transparent “urushi” lacquer by hand. Gold powder and tiny particles of cracked abalone shells are then skilfully interspersed between the layers.
The design captures the Japanese philosophy of the eternal beauty of calligraphy standing in opposition to vanity, a symbol of inescapable mortality. The cherry tree blossom, one of the most important symbols in Japanese culture signals the beginning of spring and also stands for youth, awakening into life and budding love. As a counterpart to the cherry blossom in spring, the autumn moon celebrates a rich harvest. The cap of this Edition is decorated with an Au 750 white gold inlay in the shape of the full moon and delicate cherry blossom twigs in Au 750 gold. The barrel is decorated with yellow gold inlays representing the skull, symbol of vanity. With a limitation number of 88 in reference to the lucky and prosperous nature of the number 8, the Meisterstück Calligraphy Maki-e Limited Edition features a 18K rose gold rhodium plated flexible calligraphy nib, with special blossom design.
A celebration of the rare art of kara-kami, an unbroken tradition of craftsmanship since 1624 using paper, paint and wooden printing blocks, the Calligraphy Kara-Kami Fine Stationery notebook features premium handmade Karakami paper with gold leaf with thin washi paper dividers and traditional Japanese binding on the backbone. Precious objets d’art for any calligrapher’s desk, Montblanc has commissioned a Gold Leaf and Black Urushi Lacquer Box LE3 and a special Cracked Shell, Gold and Urushi Lacquer Box LE1 made in the great Japanese tradition with urushi lacquer and featuring artwork made of precious gold and shell inlays.
The Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy Collection is available from September 2019 from Montblanc boutiques worldwide. For more information, visit www.montblanc.com
Synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and design, Montblanc has been pushing the boundaries of innovation ever since the Maison first revolutionized the culture of writing in 1906. Ingenuity and imagination continue to be driving forces for the Maison today as it advances its expression of fine craftsmanship across product categories: luxury writing instruments, watches, leather goods, new technologies and accessories. Reflecting upon its ongoing mission to create fine lifetime companions born from bold ideas and expertly crafted through the skills of the Maison’s artisans, the iconic Montblanc Emblem has become the ultimate seal of performance, quality and an expression of sophisticated style. With its origins deeply rooted in the culture of handwriting, Montblanc continues to assert its cultural commitment around the world honouring modern day patrons who support the advancement of the arts, as well as wide-ranging initiatives that promote arts and culture.