Lux Launch: Montblanc M by Marc Newson

Sam Kessler (Online Editor)
Montblanc's first design collaboration - and with one of the most important designers of his generation no less

Montblanc are rightly rather protective over the design of their pens. They have a good reason to be after all; they are historically at the heart of the brand. The Meisterstuck is a legend of understated design and sophisticated luxury and has pervaded Montblanc’s signature style for decades.

But that was the old Montblanc. As we went into at length, the pen maker/watchmaker/leatherworker/trunk maker has come a long way in the past few years. Even then however, you may well have expected their pens to be almost sacrosanct. Even in their most ambitious limited editions, there have been no collaborations, no external influences. Every aspect has been designed and created in-house… up until now.

Montblanc M 968 3

Montblanc have finally released their first collaborative effort in their entire history. It’s a momentous occasion, especially because of who it is that actually designed the pen in question. After all, Marc Newson has been described as the most influential designer of his generation. Montblanc could certainly do worse.

Newson’s own designs, no matter who or what they happen to be for, all follow the tenets of biomorphism which, as the name suggests, uses the natural world to create uniquely sculptural forms. Having designed everything from Louis Vuitton backpacks to private jet interiors to… taps, a pen doesn’t seem that strange as his latest project. If anything, it seems comparatively normal.

One of the keys to biomorphism is continuous, sinuous lines without breaks, which is certainly a hallmark of the new Montblanc M. The flawlessly smooth black resin, a staple of the maison’s pens, seems to almost flow along its length, ending in a striking plateau emblazoned with the Montblanc star.

This star deserves a little aside in itself. Rather than being applied or set, the emblem is ultrasonically welded to the resin. Technical terms aside, this results in a perfectly flat surface, flawlessly smooth to the touch. The platinum clip too is fastened in such a way that it doesn’t interrupt the flowing form of the M.

Montblanc M 968 2.jpg

As Montblanc CEO Jérôme Lambert puts it, “Montblanc M brings together Newson’s trademark biomorphic style, defined by its fluid and pure organic forms, and Montblanc’s iconic design cues, resulting in a new and unexpected expression for writing instruments.”

However, Montblanc M is more than just an unusual shape. Another hallmark of Newson’s particular brand of biomorphism is the balance of form and functionality. Everything has to serve a purpose. Of course, a pen by its very nature is functional, but the M takes in every element of the design.

A unique alignment of magnets ensures that, as you put on the lid, the clip lines up perfectly with the aforementioned plateau. With the lid off, the plateau itself holds the lid in place ensuring it stays in place. These magnets are also strong enough to give a pleasing snap, a tactile way to keep the lid on securely.

To put the emphasis back squarely on its credentials as a pen, the M is weighted using an engraved ruthenium-plated metal forepart, making it far easier to write with. Of course, this is a mere counterpoint to Montblanc’s famous nib, here for the first time plated two-tone in both rhodium and ruthenium.

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“Like Montblanc, I seek to strike a balance in the design between the simplicity of the functional qualities of this product and the creation of a sensory experience in its use,” explains Newson. “From the sight of the shape’s clean lines or the detailed plating of the nib, from the touch and feel of the writing instrument with its polished surface and ruthenium forepart, to the sound of the click of the cap as it is drawn to the body of the writing instrument with the magnet, Montblanc M offers a seamless writing experience that engages the senses.”

The final touch to the pen is the initials MN engraved onto the nib, a fitting tribute to the world famous designer behind what is possibly one of the most important steps in Montblanc’s long, illustrious history.

The Montblanc M is available in a Fountain Pen, Rollerball, Ballpoint Pen, ScreenWriter for use on touch screens and as a thin Montblanc Artfineliner for technical drawing. The range is currently available exclusively at Harrods and will be coming to Montblanc boutiques in September.

Find your nearest Montblanc boutique HERE.

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