Shopping: Hong Kong – Montblanc Leather Lounge at 1881 Heritage Boutique

08/08/2016
Melvyn Teillol-Foo

Shopper’s Paradise

Hong Kong is a shopaholic’s Happy Haven, Arcadia and Elysium rolled into one. With centuries of history as an international bazaar and no sales tax, Mr and Ms World Shopper are spoilt for choice. Except in the typhoon season; you don’t want to be in Hong Kong during the typhoon season…

Montblanc Leather Corner

Montblanc Leather Corner

New Montblanc Leather Lounge

Montblanc has added to the plethora of choices with a ‘Leather Lounge’ at their flagship boutique in the 1881 Heritage venue. Store Location: G01 & G201, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. The refurbished former Hong Kong Marine Police HQ site now features a shopping mall, a heritage hotel, and an exhibition hall.

1881 Heritage

1881 Heritage photo by wing1990hk

Replete with an extensive range of leather pieces representing age-old savoir faire and expertise from their Florentine ‘pelleria’, the Montblanc Leather Lounge is also a welcomed respite from the hullabaloo of the busy Canton Road. Everything and Everyone seem to be on Canton Road!

Montblanc 1881 Heritage Boutique

Montblanc 1881 Heritage Boutique

Relish and revel in the modern decor and elegant furnishings as well as that distinctive aroma. The “touch and feel” area ensures the most comfortable and private in-store experience complete with personal consultation and embossing service.

Luxury is having your needs fulfilled and your desires anticipated.

Montblanc Pelletteria: the leather ‘competence centre’ in Florence, Italy.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Since 1935 Montblanc has been producing its own leather goods out of their workshop in Offenbach, Germany.
In 2006, this workshop was moved to Florence, the historical centre of Italian leather trade, so Montblanc’s artisans could have access to the best skins from the nearby Santa Croce tanneries. In charge of this leather workshop was Giacomo Cortesi, who previously was the production manager for Ermenegildo Zegna.

Montblanc Pelleteria

Montblanc Pelleteria

This facility serves as an atelier for bespoke leather pieces and a restoration workshop but more importantly as a prototype testing laboratory. Within its walls, Montblanc uses “robots” to test the durability of shoulder straps. There is also a climate control chamber so various leather products can be exposed to different climates to verify changes in appearance and function.

Montblanc Pelleteria Testing

Montblanc Pelleteria Testing

Complete Leather Goods Collections for the Urban Explorer

Montblanc leather goods have become synonymous with fine craftsmanship and style. With the new Leather Lounge, the exquisite products of Montblanc Pelletteria have a place to shine in Hong Kong at the Montblanc 1881 Heritage Boutique.

Urban Spirit Collection

Montblanc Urban Spirit

Montblanc Urban Spirit

This newest collection was launched in June 2016 for the urban traveller. It is defined by innovative functionality with streamlined designs, optimal comfort and smart storage solutions. Each of the 22-piece collection is crafted to fit in with the lifestyles of those ‘on the go’. At the office, on the way to meetings, at the gym , on the road or in the air to a distant destination, the stylish yet robust pieces have the versatility to be companions for everything.

Urban Spirit manufacture

Urban Spirit manufacture

For our modern electronic environment, every piece features the Montblanc Shield, a special lining added to the internal pockets of small leather goods and the internal zipped pocket of large leather goods to increase protection against the unauthorised reading, copying and tampering of personal data contained in the IC chips embedded in credit cards and passports.

urban Spirit manufacture

Urban Spirit manufacture

Urban Spirit Helmets

Montblanc Urban Spirit Helmets

Montblanc Urban Spirit Helmets

I was surprised by these two sleek companions for the distinguished motorcyclist.
Both helmets are inspired by the simple style of 1970s racing helmets but with a modern edge. The design combines tactile Urban Spirit motifs like the perforated leather of racing gloves. They are moulded on a shell with a refracting coating. The coating on the helmet shell is designed to refract light through the perforated leather as a safety function for both day and night usage.

The full-face helmet has a protective black visor, while the open face helmet has a mirrored visor. Montblanc applied the highest standards of craftsmanship to the assembly as expressed by the detailing, the finishes and the stitching of the leather.

Sartorial Collection

Montblanc Sartorial

Montblanc Sartorial

This collection builds on the long tradition of using the saffiano leather in Montblanc leather goods that started in 1926 but takes it a step further, with contemporary shapes and functionalities. The Montblanc Sartorial leather collection was created for the international traveler with clean modern lines and contemporary elegant styling. Designed around computer laptops and tablets as well as documents, the classic shapes and finest craftsmanship are shown by the Montblanc emblem and jacquard lining that provides additional touch of luxury.

The trolley bag, which come in black and indigo blue calf skin leather with saffiano print has a capacious main storage section with three removable pouches and pocket for shirts. There is a smaller front compartment to provide safe storage and immediate access for a laptop or tablet. Completing the luxurious business collection is a zipped back pocket for travel documents while quiet running wheels and an extending handle with a three-length extension and a comfortable leather grip make for effortless maneuverability.

Montblanc Sartorial

Montblanc Sartorial

The small and large document cases have comfortable handles, one and two zippers respectively, and a number of compartments and sections for pens and a phone to help with organisation.

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato Collection

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato Collection

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato Collection

The collection takes inspiration from “sfumato”, a Renaissance painting technique. Meaning “evaporated like smoke”, the fine shading and delicate graduation produces imperceptible transitions between colours and tones. Famously seen on Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’, great softness is achieved by blending colours into one another through superimposition of many layers of thin paint with tiny brushstrokes to remove lines. Montblanc innovates with masterfully painted leather goods for a contemporary and sophisticated appeal.

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato Collection

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato Collection

The collection is available in three colours: rich brown, anthracite and navy blue, where the technique allows the shadow effect of the sfumato to come through at its best. Made of the highest quality leather and embellished with the posh M-shaped leather clasp, each piece is designed as a lifelong companion.

At Montblanc’s Pelletteria in Florence, master craftsmen have applied this sfumato effect to the finest and softest calfskin giving it an elegant patina. Four layers of paint are lightly applied to each individual piece of leather creating a special finish.

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato

As each piece is delicately painted by hand before it is assembled, every bag, wallet or belt from the collection is completely unique.

It seems almost uncouth to mention prices so I will only provide one as a reference point:

Montblanc Meisterstück Selection Sfumato Brown Tote Bag – HKD 16,100 (USD $2,075)

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato Brown Tote Bag

Montblanc Meisterstück Sfumato Brown Tote Bag

So, the next time you are in Hong Kong, do check out the 1881 Heritage complex. Apart from Montblanc, you will find nearly all the top luxury brands on site or within walking distance at that end of Canton Road. Some of the best hotels are in the area including Hullett House and The Peninsula Hong Kong.

Time Ball Signal

Time Ball Signal 1908

Remember, I mentioned typhoon warnings in Hong Kong?

The Signal Tower, commonly known as Round House at the 1881 Heritage site, was constructed to provide time signals to ships in the harbour using a time ball apparatus.

Another visual signal system of drum, ball and cone was also used to inform about tropical cyclones.  Additionally, a typhoon gun was fired at the Marine Police Station to warn of imminent gale force winds.

In all honesty, a little wind and rain should not put you off visiting Hong Kong, even in the typhoon season; they are really well set up to cope with hundreds of years of experience…..   🙂

 

Author’s Biography:  Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)

Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelog ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.

Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications.  He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).