Despite his early death at the age of 24, James Byron Dean has been the essential embodiment of a tormented and misunderstood youth, through his leading roles in the films East of Eden (1955), Rebel without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956).
Though he never won an Oscar during his short meteoric rise in Hollywood, the young actor was nominated posthumously for an Oscar, for his talent at portraying characters with rough edges, his charisma and his passionate delivery that has earned him a place in cinematic history. It only took a year and a half for James Dean to achieve immortality, yet his rebellious non-conformism, his magnetic presence and his raw talent have inspired successive generations of actors, musicians and artists for nearly six decades.
Following a history of paying homage to the exceptional individuals, whose lives and work have made a lasting impact on human civilisation since 2009, the latest addition to the Montblanc Great Characters Limited Edition celebrates the cultural legacy of James Dean, one of the greatest big-screen stars of his time.
The design of the Montblanc Great Characters James Dean narrates the story of the rebellious and unconventional hero that still captures the imaginations of many, nearly 65 years after his tragic disappearance.
Limited to just 1,931 fountain pens and rollerballs each, in reference to the year James Dean was born, the Montblanc Great Characters James Dean Limited Edition 1931 celebrates the screen legend’s passion for fast cars, an enthusiasm borne from his final film, Giant, followed by the naming of his Porsche ‘Little Bastard’, a nickname that originated from the set – which the Hollywood icon met his early and rather ironic death in, in 1955.
The Ag 925 sterling silver barrel is engraved with a pattern reminiscent of the oil-cooler grille on the Porsche 550 Spyder, whereas the contrasting cap is made of precious wood, with the clip shaped like a gun, inspired by the weapon carried by Dean’s character Jett Rink on his shoulders in one of his most famous scenes for his third and last film Giant.
Another legendary film scene from East of Eden, James Dean’s first ever movie and one that propelled him to fame overnight, is immortalised through the dollar bill motif on the cap top, while the Au750 solid gold, rhodium-coated nib features the race flag design.
The Montblanc Great Characters James Dean Special Edition with its red precious resin of the cap and barrel recalls the vibrant colour of Dean’s red jacket worn in his second film Rebel without a Cause – one of the first Technicolor productions back then, with a pattern that evokes the structure of jeans, a garment often worn by James Dean in his films.
Available as a fountain pen, a rollerball and a ballpoint pen, the edition commemorates his Giant role with the shape of the ruthenium-coated clip as a reference to the gun that his character carried, and an inlay on the cap inspired by the shape of a bullet. His role in East of Eden is further immortalised with the engraving of the dollar bill pattern on the platinum-coated cap top.
A reference to his intense approach to life and his unrelenting commitment to his art, one of the star’s most famous quotes is engraved around the cap: Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. The handcrafted, rhodium-coated Au 585 gold nib is engraved with a racing flag, while the engraved ring on the barrel provides the geographic position of the James Dean Memorial Junction where he died, at the junction of the California State Route 46 and 41.
Limited to 99 pieces in reference of the year 1999, when the American Film Institute ranked James Dean one of the greatest male movie stars of Golden Age Hollywood, the details of the Montblanc Great Characters James Dean Limited Edition 99 are inspired by the legend’s outstanding contribution to cinema.
The knife-shaped design of the writing instrument is a tribute to the knife fight from his second film Rebel without a Cause, in which his role as the rebellious teenager Jim Stark became a permanent icon of film history. The handcrafted rhodium-coated Au 750 gold nib is engraved with the racing flag design, whereas the Montblanc emblem – a seal of excellence in craftsmanship, is set on the cap top in white resin, and a mother-of-pearl emblem embellishes the cone.
The pen’s barrel is crafted from precious ebony with fittings made of Au 750 solid white gold. A special mechanism hides the nib within the writing instrument when not in use, giving it the appearance of a closed switchblade; when opened with a simple flick, the nib automatically extends into position, ready for writing.
The Montblanc Great Characters James Dean Edition finishes off with a red leather notebook, and a new James Dean red ink, inspired by his iconic red jacket in Rebel without a Cause, available as an ink bottle, and as rollerball or ballpoint cartridges.