Writing with a fountain pen is like pouring one’s soul on paper. Hence, inspired writing is not just intellectual but rather a shared desire of mind and heart: the desire to ‘sling ink’ via a fine Goose quill or well made writing instrument is literally half the battle. Over 5000 years on, writing, having developed to serve complicated needs and desires of trading, is ever the more pleasurable, having been evolved with Montblanc’s pioneering 19th century innovation, the gold nib.
Just like how the written word has changed, the arrival of the printing press too heralded a new era of information dissemination: the travelling scholar and his portable library of printed and written texts, greatly aided on his journey with the knapsack.
Due to the proximity of the Arno river, providing an endless supply of water necessary for the tanning process, the Florentine tradition of working leather dates back into antiquity. Noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments, Florence too became home to some of the world’s greatest libraries – like Europe’s most important: Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze or the Renaissance’s most majestic: the Laurentian Library designed by Michelangelo between 1519 and 1534.
It is here in our contemporaneous times that Montblanc joins these great names in this confluence of written word and its eventual dissemination: as contributors to our shared cultural heritage as makers of writing instruments and well crafted leather goods. Montblanc’s latest global campaign The Library Spirit is an invitation to discover the dynamic and diverse identity of cities around the world through their literary spaces and the explorers who navigate the bookshelves in search of new ideas and inspiration.
“Libraries are such compelling and fascinating windows into the soul of a city, a country, a culture. They are places of enlightenment, inspiration and creation where stories are stored, ideas are treasured waiting to be discovered or rediscovered. Our campaign journey has taken us around the world because while the power of words is universal, every city has its own influences expressed in its libraries, and the explorers who inhabit them have their own unique personality and styles with Montblanc as part of their journey of discovery,” – Marco Tomasetta, Montblanc Artistic Director.
First launched in July 2022, Montblanc’s signature leather collection Extreme 3.0 returns to serve the needs of its historical forebears, meeting the demands of everyday movement while balancing practicality with contemporary style. Artistic director Tomasetta, who previously held design roles at Louis Vuitton and most recently Givenchy, designed what the Maison’s most trendy selection of leather goods yet.
The briefcases and holdalls are still present but in their latest evolution but the Montblanc Extreme motif has been enlarged on two different scales ‒ a bigger treatment for bags and a smaller one for small accessories. The extended Extreme 3.0 collection now introduces fern blue, a sophisticated shade of teal to its colour selection, and broadens leather offering in two existing shades – British green and forged iron, a sophisticated grey.
Our favourite element: A fascinating technical detail, the original M Lock 4810 buckle can also be found in transparent Plexiglas to expose the inner workings of the lock – much like the sapphire caseback on one of the House’s timepieces. Inspired by the closures and carabiners used in the climbing world, the M Lock buckle features a special mechanism that guarantees secure closure while remaining easy to open when required. The new Extreme 3.0 Backpack showcases these re-designed buckles and while the Large Backpack features 3 Compartments. It is these tests that ensure durability in addition to the demands of fashion.
Suffice it to say, Montblanc pushes the boundaries of technical innovation to achieve new heights of durability and performance, the fashionable accessories embody the aesthetic demands of a stylishly discerning clientele without losing any of its seriousness. The elevated look comes by way of the new textures drawing inspiration from the graphic images created by Grete Gross, Montblancʼs Head of Advertising who deeply influenced Montblancʼs visual language in the 1920s, which debuted on the first range, as well as trendy, functional shapes, new formats and an original leather design.
Little yet thoughtful callbacks to the Maison’s writing heritage can be found in accessories like the Montblanc 142 Bag with its sleek, elongated design recalling the Meisterstück piston filler, the only filling system used in Montblanc writing instruments since 1948. The rational and geometrical visuals were directly influenced by the Bauhaus style of the time, abound on our favourite, arguably the most versatile of carry-alls – Montblanc 146 Bag in the form of an open tote.
The Extreme 3.0 collection showcases of a selection of different shapes, sizes and functions designed to fit the lifestyles of those for whom every day is not about routine but about adventure, whether at work or at play. The collection’s compact shapes also follow the latest trend of incorporating small accessories to larger bags: a selection of small accessories feature rings that can be attached to the bags via hooks, allowing each wearer to create new contrasts of volumes and colours with many customisation possibilities.
The expanded Montblanc Extreme 3.0 collection is available from September 2023