YEAR OF THE SERPENT

Montblanc celebrates 110 years of craftsmanship by working a sinuous symbol of renewal into exceptional pieces across its collections.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Montblanc celebrates 110 years of craftsmanship by working a sinuous symbol of renewal into exceptional pieces across its collections.

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COILED AND READY TO WRITE
Back in 1906, two men in Hamburg decided to reinvent the American fountain pen. One takeover and three years of development later, a non-leaking fountain pen series called Rouge et Noir was finally born – and the expanding company was christened Montblanc.

This year, to celebrate its 110th birthday, the brand has decided to invoke the name of its pioneer pen, and also to resurrect the motif of the serpent – which first featured on a Montblanc writing instrument as a clip in the 1920s, and is aptly a symbol of rebirth and renewal.

The Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir, Serpent Limited Edition series, includes some very special writing instruments, ranging from a one-of-a-kind piece to jewelled versions made in batches of up to 110. The star of the collection is undoubtedly the Ultimate Serpent Limited Edition 1, a glitzy interpretation of the early Rouge et Noir model. On the 2016 incarnation, a serpent entwines a rose-gold pen that boasts a 6.15-carat Montblanc diamond at the crown, a cap and barrel set in full pave with 15.34 carats of sapphires, and a body decorated with 153 individually cut diamonds. Two rubies also form the eyes of a snake on the pen’s nib. 

With only one piece worldwide, such exclusivity comes with a price tag of 1.2 million euros (S$1.85 million). Forget pens; think of this as art that is actually functional.

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BAG TO THE FUTURE
Montblanc’s Meisterstuck Soft Grain Collection sees the addition of new black styles bearing removable, coral-coloured leather luggage tags imprinted with a serpent motif. Pieces such as a messenger bag in ultra-soft Italian full-grain cowhide combine timeless form with 21st-century functionality.

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REPTILIAN LINKS
The serpent also slithers across a new men’s accessories collection, including an assortment of cufflinks, tie bars and bracelets. One slinky standout: The Heritage Rouge & Noir Limited Edition solid red gold cufflinks with emerald stones for eyes. They are also available with ruby or sapphire eyes.