When “Rouge et Noir” made its debut in 1909, the Maison’s first ever fountain pen series revolutionized the world of writing with its distinctive black ebonite body and red cap top. Inspired by the famous novel by Stendhal, the innovative writing instrument was regarded as an outstanding technical achievement because it ensured simple operation without the need for dipping the nib into an inkwell. In 2016, Montblanc revisited its early pioneering spirit with an original reinterpretation of the legendary line bringing a contemporary twist to the earlier model with a slimmer and longer silhouette, as well as enhanced writing features for a more luxurious writing experience. The Montblanc Heritage Rouge & Noir Collection sees the arrival of two new editions both featuring the signature serpent coiling around the top of the writing instrument and undulating down the cap to become the clip. A recurring motif during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco period, the mysterious creature pays tribute to a 1920s pen clip design, giving each edition in the collection their elegant vintage look.
The new colours and materials introduced to the collection capture the vision and spirit of invention that has been characteristic of the Maison from its earliest history. Celebrating a rich legacy of design and a devotion to perfectly executed details, the deep brown shade of the Montblanc Heritage Rouge & Noir Tropic Brown Special Edition is a visual reference to one of the few colour variations introduced by the Maison in the early 20th century. The new brown resin on the cap and lacquered barrel is an interpretation of the tropic patina colour traditionally obtained by natural ageing under the sun and humidity of the tropics, and a colour effect also seen on the ageing organic black ebonite of early Montblanc pens. A sinuous serpent coated in champagne-tone gold coils around the end of the cap and forms the clip. Stamped as a whole piece then finely wound, the whole serpent body is not just decorative but serves as a spring function. Its diamond-shaped head is set with cognac-coloured garnets for the eyes. The serpent motif makes an appearance on the handcrafted Au585 gold nib, finely engraved on the precious metal. Available as a Fountain Pen, a Roller Ball and a Ballpoint Pen, the cap top is crowned with the traditional off-white emblem embedded in coral colour precious resin in homage to the first Rouge et Noir collection.
With its elegant all-metal appearance, the inspiration behind the Solitaire Serpent Limited Edition 1906 is a historical Montblanc metal and gold writing instrument from the 1922-1932 period. The original writing instrument featured a barrel and cap made from chased silver. The chasing technique is used on this latest limited edition, intricately decorated with a magnificent serpent engraved on the platinum-coated metal surface. Born from traditional silverware craftsmanship nurtured in Montblanc’s ateliers, the silver surface is worked by hand by indenting it using shaped tracing tolls and a chasing hammer. The serpent clip with its garnet eyes and champagne tone gold-coated fittings contrast with the brushed platinum-coated surface of the writing instrument. The diamond-shaped head of the Art Nouveau serpent is engraved on the Au750 bi-colour nib, while the Montblanc emblem is set in coral colour precious resin on the cap top. Limited to 1906 pieces in reference to the year Montblanc was founded, the Solitaire Serpent is available as both a Fountain Pen and a Rollerball.
By delving into more than 110 years of fine craftsmanship and pioneering design history, Montblanc finds inspiration for new innovations. With its vintage aesthetics and enhanced functionality, the Heritage Rouge & Noir Collection explores the wonder and sophistication of an era that reshaped the culture of writing.
Heritage Rouge & Noir Tropic Brown Special Edition and Solitaire Serpent Limited Edition 1906 are available from June 2017 in Montblanc boutiques worldwide.