Figurado Creation Privée Fountain Pen
Montblanc finds itself in a unique position being both a mass luxury brand and bespoke artisan. With a 112 year history, Montblanc started as a purveyor of writing implements but now has a wide range of products: Pens, Leather Goods, Watches, Jewellery, Sunglasses, Perfume, Cufflinks etc.
For watch discussions, please visit Luxe178.com horology website.
We’ve featured Montblanc’s Leather skill from their own Florentine ‘pelleria’ that could make you some exquisite leather goods.
When it comes to a bespoke piece, anything is possible with Creation Privée, Montblanc’s ultimate made-to-measure offering. Each creation is usually a unique work of art, a personal edition that incorporates the tastes and inspiration from its owner. Replete with consummate creativity and masterful skills, the designers and craftsmen at Artisan Atelier tackle the challenge of materialising any concept into a piece unique.
Of course, the owner can attend the creative meetings in person but since “Time is Precious”, everyone on the project can interact regularly on the most particular design details and progress updates via SKYPE or Web Chat.
One such project utilised tobacco leaves. Prepared with the alchemy of the creative arts, the thin and fragile leaves are transformed into a writing instrument that is impossible to replicate. The Figurado Creation Privée was custom-designed to make a pen look like an exceptional cigar. The cap and barrel are covered in the finest cigar leaves.
The oils from the leaves had to be extracted before they were wrapped around the metal body of the fountain pen. Then, they were protected in perpetuity with multiple layers of cellulose lacquers, as used by restorers of oil paintings. Even the banderol paper label of a cigar is emulated along with features like the retractable 18K gold nib, a precious tourmaline in the cone, white gold fittings set with tourmaline stones and a Montblanc diamond on the cap top.
Beauty in Imperfection
The stunning beauty of the leaves have not simply been covered under a thick layer of lacquer like a pheasant-under-glace. The tobacco leaves maintain their cracks and irregular surface. Direct contact with the leaves is maintained and the ‘spirit of the cigar’ is still evident.
What looks like a hollow tobacco leaf is the pen clip affixed to the barrel instead of the usual cap of the pen. This allows the ‘vanishing nib’ complicated mechanism that allows the nib to retract inside the pen with a twist of the top section of the barrel. Usually, such pens do not need a pen cap but the Figurado still has one. This is because it is inspired by the Heritage 1912 model with the same mechanism. The twisting knob at the top is pulled first and then twisted to engage the ink filling mechanism.
18k White Gold and Gems
The metal trimmings are made from solid 18k white gold with mirro-polish to contrast with the natural grain and matte finish of the leaves. The owner’s signature adorns the pen grip as a personalised touch.
The owner’s humour is evident from an engraving of his upper torso on the nib. The identity is a secret but close relatives and friends may recognise the middle aged figure, with a flamboyant hair style, sporting a luxury watch and a cigar in his hand. The flamboyant style is continued with gem-set tourmaline and a diamond at the base of the cap that looks like a hat with a Montblanc-shaped-diamond placed above the rim.
The Figurado pen was delivered in a real humidor to protect the tobacco leaves and accompanied by accessories like a leather case for a real cigar and the pen, a Dunhill lighter enrobed in tobacco leaves too, a cutter and an ashtray.
Creation Privée Watches
Montblanc’s Haute Horlogerie Manufacture in Villeret can also create extraordinary and unique timepieces – Créations Privées – culminating in the unique, entirely individual piece designed to be the ultimate expression of your personality.
The skilled hands of master watchmakers create the unique timepiece that features the personal sense of wit and style and reflects the individual character of its future owner.
Dials can be transformed into miniature art works through the skilled craft of enamelling and its disciplines. Mother-of-pearl marquetry inlays or hand-engraved decorations can transform a watch into an unmistakable precious object. Fine craftmanship of a jeweller can adorn the case, bracelet and dial of a watch with precious gems that transmute the timepiece into a sparkling little treasure.
Of course, it would be tacky to mention money but Montblanc sources hinted that bespoke pieces start at 250,000 Euros, so we can let our imaginations run wild….
Previous Montblanc Features
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of 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 travelogue ‘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).