It is said that the most colorful thing in the world is black and white because it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all. Fittingly so, it is no wonder that some of the best film classics, Casablanca, Good Night & Good Luck, Sin City, The Good German and Some Like It Hot are black and white masterpieces which bring the screenplay to life in such a colourful depiction. American screenwriter Samuel Fuller said it well when he expressed that life is in colour but reality is in black and white.
It is no wander that, technological advances aside, most visual media found its origin in black and white – a magical combination that essentially forms the beginning of any canvas open to change. One such canvas is that of the brand Montblanc. Montblanc, which is French for “White Mountain” references the highest mountain in the Alps, represents both the allure of the white peaked mountains, met with the brand’s solidly black luxuriating logo.
On the 5th April 2019, Montblanc hosted its Black & White Week event in honour of the luxury Maison’s new launches for 2019 which provided the perfect showcase for the latest editions in its vintage inspired 1858 timepiece collection. Hosted by Alain Dos Santos, Regional Managing Director of Montblanc Africa at Melrose Arch’s African Pride Hotel, the luxury immersion offered guests a special preview of this latest timepiece collection and the latest products across the range capturing the spirit of the past in a modern way and expressing the current trend of re-connecting with nature and the appeal of outdoor lifestyle pursuits.
Commenting during the event, Dos Santos said, “Montblanc’s 1858 Collection is without doubt the showpiece of this year’s event, and the immediate appeal it has enjoyed in this first preview has been exciting. We are privileged, throughout Africa, to be able to experience the beauty of nature and feel connected to the earth even when we’re in the city. Both these elements have inspired this collection, so the fact that there has been immediate resonance with all the 1858 models is quite understandable.”
This year four new 1858 editions launch in an elegant pairing of green and bronze that captures the spirit of the great outdoors, as well as a new Automatic version in steel, and a brand new Split Second Chronograph inspired by the Minerva Chronographs of the 1930s.
The distinctive 1858 Geosphere has not only become a signature timepiece for Montblanc, but also an immediately recognizable reference for the watch world. Dedicated to the world’s Seven Summit mountaineering challenge, the holy grail of mountaineering adventures, the Geosphere, created to inspire us to explore life to the fullest, is now available in the bronze/khaki colour scheme.
Two new versions of the 1858 Automatic have been introduced to the collection; one with a 40mm full bronze case paired with a khaki-green dial, and one with a steel case and black dial. The new 1858 Chronograph comes with a 42mm full bronze case with khaki-green dial, providing an ideal backdrop for the bi-compax counters.
In 1858, watchmaker Charles-Yvan Robert founded Minerva on the outskirts of Villeret – a brand which Montblanc celebrates almost two centuries later. Similarly to how the 1858 timepiece collection was as original to the Montblanc brand as black and white film is to the history of film, this original timepiece collection originated in the French-speaking region in Switzerland while in France itself, the first (short) film was created by French inventor Louis Le Prince with Roundhay Garden Scene in 1888 clocking in at 2.11 seconds followed Sortie de l’usine Lumiere de Lyon by French Louis Lumiere in 1895 – a masterpiece considered the first motion picture.
Montblanc pieces tell a vivid story of the journey from a piece’s mode of initial inception in a craftsman’s colourful mind to its realization in black & white. Just as a film begins as an idea that morphs into a screenplay held together by a plot brought to life by talent on a production set, the glory in Montblanc’s luxury pieces and the glory in film meets at the magical point where they both enhance the perspective of the individual wise enough to experience them. Naturally so, The Montblanc 1858 Collection re-sets thebar for what luxury truly is – a priceless experience that only appreciation for craftsmanship can buy.
The collection, as well as the other new collections presented during the Montblanc Black & White Week are available at all Montblanc boutiques for the discerning individual who appreciates the colourful wonder of black & white.
Guided by the pioneering spirit since 1906, Montblanc revolutionized the culture of writing with breakthrough innovations. Today, the Maison continues to push boundaries and evolve the expression of fine craftsmanship across each of its product categories: the pinnacle of luxury writing instruments, timepieces, leather goods, accessories, fragrances and eyewear. With every innovation, Montblanc offers new functionalities and groundbreaking designs imbued with the Maison’s heritage of sophistication and crafted to the highest standards through the skills of its artisans in each of its manufactures. Reflecting its ongoing mission with fine lifetime companions born from the most pioneering ideas, the iconic Montblanc Emblem has become the ultimate seal of performance, innovation, quality and expression of style. With its origins deeply rooted in the culture of handwriting, Montblanc has set an international standard of cultural commitment, with the creation of wide-ranging initiatives to promote arts and culture in many forms, while honouring the modern-day patrons who support the advancement of the arts.