Luxury goods brand Montblanc, known for its humanitarian efforts such as those sustained by its annual Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, among others, is once again melding its resources and its principles. The new (Montblanc M) RED collection was designed to assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, with a portion of every pen sold slated for that cause.
The Montblanc M, designed by Marc Newson, was first introduced in 2015, and it was acclaimed as the first-ever design partnership in the Maison’s long history. Championed by then-CEO of Montblanc, Jérôme Lambert, it was a revolutionary move that resulted in a provocative precedent.
“For over 110 years, Montblanc has built a heritage of creating fine writing instruments that have a special meaning for their owners,” says Montblanc CEO Nicolas Baretzki. “Through our partnership with (RED) we continue this long tradition, creating a special lifetime companion that makes a real impact by supporting the goal towards an HIV-free society. Montblanc is proud to be a part of supporting this great cause, and we hope our customers will embark on this journey with us.”
“Montblanc M brings together Newson’s trademark biomorphic style, defined by its fluid and pure organic forms, and Montblanc’s iconic design cues, resulting in a new and unexpected expression for writing instruments,” said Lambert at the time of the pen’s debut.
This first-generation Montblanc M writing instrument was clearly part of the Montblanc writing instrument family, with its high-gloss black exterior and crowning snowcap emblem. But Newson’s thoughtful take on what constitutes the perfect pen resulted in some dramatic functional and aesthetic details. And these have been carried forward in the new collection, which is crafted in red resin in recognition of the nonprofit organization (RED).
The unique shape of the pen, which includes a flat section (the “plateau”) on the barrel, is an immediately noticeable departure from the typically round pen. Other details include the ingenious use of a magnet that allows the perfect alignment of the clip and plateau when affixing the cap to the barrel; an additional snap closure ensures the cap remains firmly in place. The Montblanc emblem, made of white resin, is ultrasonically welded to the plateau to maintain the flat surface, while the platinum-plated clip is mounted invisibly on the cap for an uninterrupted flow of the design.
The platinum-coated gripping section is not only decorative, but also balances the writing instrument, adding just enough weight to the forepart of the pen for a comfortable writing experience. The fountain pen nib is rhodium-coated 14-karat gold with a ruthenium-coated inlay, and the cap crown features a second Montblanc emblem, also in white resin.
(Montblanc M) REDcomprises a fountain pen, rollerball and ballpoint pen. (Montblanc) RED accessories – a sketchbook, bracelet and cufflinks – are also available. The sketchbook is crafted in Italian calfskin, and the bracelet is woven leather with a stainless steel closure. The round stainless steel cufflinks feature red lacquered inlays.
“It’s poetic that Montblanc, so synonymous with craftsmanship and quality, has collaborated with one of the world’s foremost design pioneers, Marc Newson, to help write the next chapter in the AIDS fight through the launch of the striking (Montblanc M) RED. Each and every purchase will generate money for the Global Fund to save lives and ensure future generations are HIV-free,” says Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED).
To put it in perspective, each product sold generates enough money to provide more than 25 days of HIV medication. To date, (RED), founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006, has generated over $500 million.