I’ve had the chance to interview one of the most incredible Montblanc collectors I know and to discover the passion behind his/her collection. @montblancgeek is a very reserved person and we don’t know much about this person other than the fact that she is a woman, which is why we were also impressed because we often meet male collectors. That probably also makes her account so interesting.
But what matters most is the impressive collection of Montblanc Limited Editions she has come to own over the years. Let’s discover together her Montblanc collecting journey.
Dear @montblancgeek, thank you for giving us the chance to do this Interview for inkstable.com. It is extremely important for us to share the point of view of customers and collectors of this industry and to show other aficionados reasons why someone decides to be so passionate about Fine Writing Instruments.
1. We’ve seen plenty of amazing posts about your collection on your Instagram account, mainly from Montblanc (as your Instagram alias name suggests). Why are you more passionate about Montblanc than any other brand?
When I first started collecting fountain pens, I already had a few pens from other brands (for example Montegrappa). But as I learned more, I found that Montblanc (as a brand) is what inspires me for many reasons. Their long history, their incredible collections (Patron of Art, Writers Edition, Great Characters, Muses… Just to name a few), the story behind them, the way they’re always innovating both in design and materials. For example, you also have the Bespoke Service they offer on which basically anything you ask for they can make come true. The Customer Service in general is unsurpassed and the way they treat their clients in all aspects is out of this world.
2. Do you also collect other brands besides Montblanc and if yes could you name one of your favorite Brands / Models that are part of your collection?
I don’t collect other brands, no. But I do have a couple of non-Montblanc ones. I kept for sentimental reasons the Lamy I used when I studied at university, since it had been a gift from my father. And just this year I bought the Richard Mille RM S05, which surprisingly writes beautifully. It has a very smooth Nib. Since I also like watches (though I wouldn’t call myself a collector), and I especially like RM, the mechanism of the pen intrigued me. A curious and interesting amalgamation of both watch and fountain pen.
3. What has been one of the most intriguing acquisitions lately?
Due to the worldwide covid pandemic I couldn’t pick up my 2020 pieces until earlier this year. Although I had seen videos and pictures, it’s not until you actually and physically see Egyptomania LE 72 that you grasp the magnificence of the pen. The whole concept of the actual writing instruments being encased in a ‘sarcophagus’ and having to open it up to take the piece out is very alluring. A procedure in and of itself. So, the pen (very slim), doesn’t have an actual cap, and you end up having 3 different pieces and not just 2. Crazy, but beautiful.
4. Is there a specific way how you collect? Do you only collect specific pieces?
At first, I was all over the place and bought whatever I liked, without discrimination. After a short while I realised that if I wanted to get serious, I couldn’t do so and needed a ‘system of sorts. Can’t have everything! So I sold various pieces that didn’t fit into my way of collecting, mainly regular Meistertück’s and Bohème’s. I tried to concentrate on POA, WE and GC and only some very special pieces and Artisan’s I liked. But that also turned out to be a massive endeavour. If you consider, I only started seriously collecting about 6 years ago, and both POA and WE have been around since 92, that’s a lot of pens on which to catch up! So finally, today, I only have POA (90% complete), GC (70% complete), and for WE I only collect the Artisans, namely from 2019 (Rudyard Kipling) onwards. That, thankfully, is 100% complete! Apart from that, there are ‘stand-alone’ (as I like to call them) Artisan pieces I have: Egyptomania 72, Taj Mahal 76 and Great Wall 88 just to name a few recent ones.
5. Why is Fountain Pen collecting so important to you? What kind of emotions does it generate in you?
While a Rollerball might have the same overall body design as the Fountain Pen, there are various editions that are not offered as such. But that is not the main reason. To me, the cherry on top is the Nib design and the engravings that go with it. The ability to have various widths and sizes to choose from that completely change the writing experience. The ritual of having to clean them with patience and utmost care. I greatly enjoy it and it’s a kind of therapy that relaxes me. I also like to dabble as an ‘alchemist’ sometimes and experiment mixing up different inks, so that’s also a plus!
6. If you could name ONE Holy Grail of your collection (I know it’s impossible, but we try to make the impossible, possible) what would it be?
Really tough! Only one? Hmmm…. Might not be the greatest or most expensive one, but Charlie Chaplin 88 is of great value to me. I always wanted that piece; it was literally a dream come true when I finally got it and my first ever big purchase. The design is breathtaking. Looks almost alive and in motion. Just look at the clip shaped as his cane! Let’s not forget the massive Nib, they really should start making Artisans again with the N.9.
7. When did you started collecting and when did you realised that you were “obsessed” with it?
I really don’t know when I would pinpoint that I started collecting, it just sorts of happened. It wasn’t a conscious or rational decision on my part. But I do think I realised I was ‘obsessed’ with it after the manager at my local boutique sold me the 64 pen collectors’ box (only had 16 pens at the time and never dreamed I would ever fill it up), and after a few months I ran out of space. Now I need a lot more!
8. What do you think about the Pen Industry and where it stands at the moment? Do you see a potential for the future?
I think every day, more people are getting more interested, serious about it and being bit by it. Specially fountain pens in general. They somehow evoke different feelings and emotions that can just be replaced with anything else. They hold a certain magic. For some it’s something new, for others it brings them back to school, for others fond childhood memories. It’s a mixture of things. It’s made for everyone: both young and adult, men or women. No matter what you’re looking for in a pen, you’ll find it somewhere. A brand will offer it at the right price to you.
9. Do you see any brand right now that has the potential to grow and become a key player in the industry?
Honestly, other than Montblanc I’m ashamed to say I don’t keep tabs on other brands. Although on my feed they obviously pop up from time to time. So far I’ve found the Montegrappa Monopoly fascinating, Otto Hutt with lots of potential, Wancher very eye catching and I could go on with the usual suspects such as Pineider, Visconti…. But I don’t think I will ever change teams. My favorite color might be red, but my heart beats the tune of black and white all day. Montblanc is the best.
10. What has been the most interesting Feedback or Experience related to Fine Writing Instruments?
When I first started my Instagram Account, I did so more as a way of entertainment and enjoyment. Didn’t really think of a page dedicated solely to Montblanc and FP’s would generate so much interest. At the same time, I also knew many people don’t usually have the opportunity to see some exclusive pieces since little information is given online (although in recent years they’ve been sharing more). It happened to me as I started to get more involved with Montblanc, there were editions I didn’t even knew existed! So, it’s a way for me to give back by sharing my passion and collection with other passionate fellow collectors. I’ve even made friends both through Instagram and at events I’ve attended, so that’s a great experience that has enriched my life and taught me as well.
11. Are you looking forward on collecting for many more years?
Yes! Never stop collecting. Providing Montblanc keeps making pens, and God willing I’m able to do so, I will collect pens for as long as I can.
12. One last thought you would like to give to the readers?
Sometimes people ask me if this is a good way to invest. No. Much like Art, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. There’s no winning formula and there are safer and better ways to do so. If you collect pens, let it be for the sole purpose of your love and passion for them. Not the bottom line. If you want to use them, do so, if on the other hand you want to store them, go ahead.
The important thing is that they make you happy!