Born first as a fine writing instrument company, Montblanc has branched out to creating fine luxury timepieces, leather goods, jewelry, and more. Owned by the Richemont Group, the originally German brand (based in Hamburg) now has watchmaking manufactures in Switzerland and owns the legendary Minerva factory in Villeret. Its most beloved watch collections include the Heritage, the Montblanc 1858, and the Star Legacy lines.
Montblanc was founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 1906 by Alfred Nehemias, August Eberstein, and Claus Voss. The three men laid the foundations for a company that would manufacture the newly invented non-leaking fountain pen. After three years of development, they revolutionized the culture of writing with the launch of their first fountain pen series, the “Rouge et Noir”.
In 1910 the company started using the name Montblanc, inspired by the highest mountain in Europe and symbolizing their pursuit of excellence. The six-point star, representing the six snow-covered glaciers of the Montblanc mountain, was introduced and is still today featured on all of their writing instruments. By 1924 they were already selling their fountain pens in over 60 countries.
Montblanc Montre S.A. was founded in 1997 in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking region Le Locle. Their first watch collection launched under the name Meisterstück. In 1998 Montblanc is acquired by the Richemont group, one of the world’s largest luxury conglomerates. Over the years, they branch out into eyewear, fragrances, jewelry, and leather goods.
Richemont bought Minerva, a small manufacture famous for its handmade movements, in 2006. By 2007 Montblanc further enhances its watchmaking expertise by creating the “Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie” at Villeret, Switzerland. With the establishment of the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret, their watchmaking expertise becomes older than their writing instrument history.
In 2008 the first entirely Montblanc manufactured in-house movement, the MB R100 caliber, is unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. The new movement powers the Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher Chronograph, a nod to the first patented chronograph and Minerva’s inventor, known for their chronographs.
Award-winning actor Hugh Jackman became a Montblanc Brand Ambassador in 2014, appearing in their advertising campaigns and attending international Montblanc events. He was joined by two China brand ambassadors, Taiwanese actress Gwai Lun Mei and two-time Olympic and five-time World Badminton Champion Lin Dan. In 2015, Charlotte Casiraghi, equestrian champion, writer, and producer, joined Montblanc as a global brand ambassador.
Montblanc is owned by the Compagnie Financiere Richemont S.A., who also owns such prestigious brands as Cartier and Vacheron Constantin.
In 1983 Montblanc uses precious metals for the first time with their Meisterstück Solitaire Collection. The Meisterstück Solitaire 149 fountain pen in solid gold enters the Guinness Book of Records as the most expensive fountain pen in the world. Roger Moore uses the Meisterstück as a lifesaver in the James Bond film “Octopussy.”