Montblanc Built a Temple to Handwriting in Hamburg

ByAnn Erika

May 17, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


HAMBURG, Germany — “Dear Skip Roose, Thank you for your invitation.”

So commences a longwinded detrimental RSVP handwritten on flowery paper by the late Karl Lagerfeld, displayed at the new Montblanc Haus, which blends features of a museum, art gallery, corridor of fame and university — introducing up to a special place.

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Maggie Gyllenhaal, Óscar Isaac and Dree Hemingway were being among VIPs who descended on Hamburg Tuesday to christen the new developing, which resembles a giant artist’s charcoal adhere etched with a mountain scape and stamped with the German brand’s famed snowcap emblem. (The building’s design and style is truly an homage to historic pen packaging.)

Located up coming to Montblanc’s headquarters, and output amenities for its cherished resin producing devices and hand-floor gold nibs, the three-story framework also offers a café, exhibition spaces, crafting ateliers, an archive and academy.

It is the newest “immersive model experience” served up by Europe’s big luxurious brands, which are incorporating cultural and hospitality features to their flagship assignments — even though Montblanc acknowledges that its new “house” on the fringes of Hamburg is much more of a museum and gallery than a retail outlet, and will initially be open up on weekdays only.

A pen with a dragon motif on display at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg. - Credit: DANIEL SCHAEFER

A pen with a dragon motif on display at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg. – Credit history: DANIEL SCHAEFER


So much, only groups of pupils have visited the lasting exhibitions, making an attempt their hand at calligraphy and seeing small films about the worth of writing.

On Tuesday night, editors, influencers and community dignitaries streamed by the sleek, 39,000-sq.-foot facility, gawking at diamond-studded “High Artistry” pens, Artwork Deco-design promoting posters, and examples of consumer penmanship from around the planet.

“It’s about celebrating creating,” Montblanc main govt officer Nicolas Baretzki said in an job interview, describing the monumental cell created of paper hanging in the vicinity of the entrance, and the squishy, ink-like lettering on walls that underscore the concept. “We want persons to fully grasp why handwriting is essential what are all the philosophical and cultural tips powering composing?

“If men and women go away with some enjoyment and inspiration, I believe we have accomplished the correct task,” he additional.

Montblanc Haus comes at a time when the Richemont-owned luxurious manufacturer is navigating a spike in need for its pricy pens, with its Confined Version range currently out of stock, and a latest tie-up with Ferrari selling out “in a handful of times,” Baretzki reported.

Although he declined to give precise figures, he said, “we are absolutely in excess of pre-COVID-19 figures and the big obstacle these times is creating more than enough to fulfill demand from customers.”

The executive mentioned Montblanc Haus was plunked deliberately in entrance of a few properties housing about 1,000 artisans who craft the brand’s pens, some nibs demanding 35 hand-hewn steps. Tours of the services, until now upon demand, will now be offered a lot more widely as Montblanc seeks to enthusiast desire in its most emblematic merchandise, and employing it to “leave a mark” on the environment.

“I see it as a implies to maximize our handprint,” the CEO claimed with a grin, deliberately sidestepping the word footprint to exalt the prosper of a penned word.

Varieties of handwriting and some sketches adorn the walls of Montblanc Haus. - Credit: DANIEL SCHAEFER

Versions of handwriting and some sketches adorn the walls of Montblanc Haus. – Credit rating: DANIEL SCHAEFER


About 400 fantastic crafting instruments are on display in the new facility, representing about a tenth of Montblanc’s stash, alongside with the multiple element elements.

Baretzki famous that historic writing devices have been a formidable font of inspiration for Montblanc’s inventive director, Marco Tomasetta, who arrived last 12 months. Between Tomasetta’s new leather-based merchandise models is a weekend bag in a shiny leather reminiscent of its legendary Meisterstück fountain pen, with zipper pulls and take care of tabs shaped like nibs.

“More and more, we test to chat about Montblanc and not just isolated categories,” he said. “It’s a great deal about brand themes about brand expression.”

Future up for Montblanc is an occasion in Paris on June 22 during Men’s Trend Week to unveil a new concept and a new collection by Tomasetta.

In a separate job interview, Vincent Montalescot, executive vice pres
ident of advertising, said the new facility was five many years in the producing, with groups “digging deeply in the archives.”

He famous that manufacturer discovery emporiums are far more prevalent in buyer solutions industries, mentioning the likes of Lindt’s Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg, Switzerland or the Heineken Practical experience in Amsterdam. Sites that offered the Montblanc teams some luxurious inspiration integrated the Louvre in Abu Dhabi and the L’École, Faculty of Jewellery Arts supported by Van Cleef & Arpels, which, like Montblanc, is managed by Compagnie Financière Richemont. But the archives knowledgeable anything from the architecture to the modern and glossy furnishings in black and white.

Whilst Montblanc Haus charts the company’s 116 years of record and exalts its savoir-faire, it has a broader goal of inspiring creating, and harnessing the creativeness sparked when pen hits paper, Montalescot described.

Shows and encounters are also intended to interact a wide variety of audiences, from young children to really serious pen geeks.

An immersive digital installation at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg. - Credit: DANIEL SCHAEFER

An immersive electronic set up at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg. – Credit rating: DANIEL SCHAEFER


“A collector, someone actually passionate about crafting and Montblanc, will discover awesome pieces and a kid will be influenced by the distinctive opportunities to touch, to really feel and to explore an atmosphere and the ability of composing,” Montalescot said.

People can publish postcards with Montblanc pens, indicator up for creative composing lessons and read handwritten notes from well known figures. Montalescot reported the facility is intended to inspire guests, and also invite them to “pause and mirror.”

Exhibitions blend superior-tech and outdated-college elements. People can step into a spherical home resembling a slice of a Montblanc pen and be surrounded by stunning electronic projections, even though VIPs and VICs will be ferried into a “secret room” where they don white gloves and can inspect unusual composing instruments.

“They both of those convey unique emotions,” he mentioned with a smile.

Montalescot reported the archives shelter not only treasures from the earlier, but also achievable roadmaps for the long run. To wit: Having identified autographs by writers these as Voltaire, Agatha Christie, Thomas Mann and Ernest Hemingway in storage, Montblanc decided to shift investments from up to date art into unusual signatures by the likes of Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Reinhold Messner and Spike Lee, who appeared in a worldwide Montblanc campaign in 2020.

Autographs by The Beatles are on display at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg. - Credit: DANIEL SCHAEFER

Autographs by The Beatles are on display at Montblanc Haus in Hamburg. – Credit rating: DANIEL SCHAEFER


Questioned how numerous website visitors Montblanc Haus may well welcome in its initially calendar year, Montelescot shrugged, describing the company product as a “work in progress” and efforts to publicize the facility in its early stages, with Tuesday’s inauguration party the huge kickoff.

Even so, the brand is mulling ideas to “digitize the experience” and export elements to other Montblanc shops and perhaps pop-up installations. In 2024, the enterprise will mark the centenary for the Meisterstück, its most iconic pen.

Alexa Schilz, director of brand heritage and sustainability at Montblanc, explained she engaged two museologists to aid contextualize and curate the archives, which involve a treasure trove of advertising and marketing strategies from 1922 by to the 1970s. These photos document how fountain pens facilitated enterprise travel — no ink perfectly to balance on a bumpy teach — and how Montblanc utilized the language and approaches of trend early, developing a assortment of pens all-around 1907 that had been presented a fancy French title, “Rouge et Noir.”

“They saw the benefit in bringing some thing chic to the marketplace,” Schilz explained.

Crafting samples on show in the exhibition places include a small leather ebook that contains the autographs of all associates of The Beatles, and a lot more prosaic exchanges, which include notes from Italian architect and household furniture designer Gio Ponti and his carpenters.

The boutique at Montblanc Haus largely showcases writing devices, some leather-based items, a little variety of watches and individualized stationery, Schilz famous.


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