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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hugh Jackman Finalizes Deal To Be Montblanc’s Global Ambassador

International film star Hugh Jackman recently signed a deal to be the ambassador for Montblanc in North America, which completes the two-year journey of becoming the worldwide spokesman for the luxury brand. 

For the past two years, Jackman was the international ambassador for Montblanc, with the exception of North America. 

There are few celebrities who are both as well known and as free of controversy as Jackman. He and his wife, Deborra-Lee, recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. The couple has two children. His accomplished career, from playing a comic book super hero to being a leading man in musicals for theater productions around the world, shows range and diversity. Certainly his rugged good looks is an ideal fit for the masculine brand.

The actor, singer and producer was introduced to a North American audience for the first time as a representative of Montblanc April 5 at the Rainbow Room in New York, where he helped celebrate the brand’s 110th anniversary with other celebrities and VIP guests, including actress and model Kate Bosworth, Montblanc brand ambassador Charlotte Casiraghi, actor Matthew Morrison, socialite Olivia Palermo and model Johannes Huebl. 

Hugh Jackman attends the Montblanc 110 Year Anniversary Gala Dinner on April 5 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Montblanc)”

Jackman, before introducing a short film about the brand in which he starred, described the Hamburg-based company as having a “family atmosphere.” 

“I’m the baby of the family but even after (two) years it is a place that I’m proud to be associated with, to call our friends,” he said. “What it represents are qualities if I could half emulate I would be very happy. It is attention to detail, craftsmanship on the highest order, a real commitment to design. But more than anything what I love is they have one eye permanently on the past and their heritage; but one eye permanently on the future. 

He said that as an artist he has an appreciation for this approach. “You can’t rest, you have to keep creating you have to be innovative, you have to keep moving forward (and) you have to take risks.”

The promotional film celebrates the founders of Montblanc (stationer Claus-Johannes Voss, banker Alfred Nehemias and engineer August Eberstein), their entrepreneurship and their pioneering spirit that took them on a ship to America to return with the idea for its first watch, the 4810. Later they would create the Meisterstück, arguably the world’s most iconic luxury writing instrument. 

Prior to Jackman’s presentation, Jerome Lambert, Montblanc CEO, explained the depth and breadth of the Hamburg, Germany-based company and its diverse product portfolio. Its headquarters is where its writing instruments are manufactured, including its high artisan products. In Switzerland, the company has two facilities for watchmaking: Its main manufacturing operation in Le Locle; and the artisan watchmaking facility, Villeret, in the town by the same name. Formerly known as Minerva, it specializes in producing handcrafted movements. Finally, its leather goods operation is based in Florence, Italy. 

For its anniversary the company went to its heritage to create new products. In this case it went back to its very first writing instrument: the Rouge et Noir (“Red and Black”), introduced in 1909, when the company was named the Simplo Filler pen company. It was crafted in black ebonite and fitted with a red-crowned cap. A year later the company took on the Montblanc name and in 1913 crowned each pen with its iconic 6-pointed star emblem, representing the peak of Mont Blanc. During the 1920s the company designed a serpent clip for some of its writing instruments as an expression of the Art Deco period. 

Montblanc recreated this history with a new collection of writing instruments, timepieces, leather goods and cufflinks called “Montblanc Heritage Collection, Rouge & Noir.” The products were led by a one-of-a-kind bejeweled writing instrument with a $1.3 million price tag, the Ultimate Serpent Limited Edition 1, and the Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary timepiece, limited to three pieces.

However, there are many other Heritage Collection, Rouge & Noir products in varying price ranges and different levels of availability. For example, there’s a pair of one-of-kind red gold cufflinks (pictured above) in a skeletonized frame designed to be worn with the Ultimate Serpent Limited Edition 1 writing instrument. Each cufflink is topped with a 1.9-carat diamond in the shape of the Montblanc Star.

Three other Heritage Collection limited edition fountain pens feature similar motif and artisan attributes of the one-of-a-kind writing instrument. 

The Imperial Serpent Limited Edition 3 features the snake creature engraved in solid white ruthenium-coated gold filigree, set with 55 diamonds and 106 sapphires. Limited to just three pieces, the cap and barrel of the writing instrument are hand engraved with a snakeskin design finished in grey ruthenium, while the crown is topped with a 2.25-carat internally flawless Montblanc star-shaped diamond. Finally, the serpent’s green eyes (made of tsavorites) stand out on the clip and the engraved 18k gold nib. 

The Royal Serpent Limited Edition 10 combines grey PVD-coated snakeskin motif with a cone, crown and fittings crafted from white gold. The serpent, which swirls around the fountain pen, is set with diamonds and rubies, while the Montblanc emblem is set with a pavé of 72 diamonds. The pen is limited to 10 pieces.

The Serpent Limited Edition 110 is made of PVD coated titanium in a graphite color, with the winding hand-engraved serpent crafted of 18k white gold. Red rubies are used for the eyes of the snake on the clip and the 18k white gold nib. The clip features a flexible tongue like a real hissing serpent. The Montblanc emblem is crafted from mother-of-pearl embedded in bright coral and ivory colored resin.

Among its leather goods offerings is the Montblanc 110th Anniversary Steamer Bag, Montblanc’s first interpretation of early 20th century luggage. Originally designed to accompany larger trunks for sea voyages, the colors are inspired by Rouge & Noir fountain pen with contemporary design references. A red serpent wraps around the bag to the “M.B.” personalization mark reminiscent of Montblanc’s early visual identity. The motif is repeated on the suede lining inside the bag. 

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