You can tell when a fountain pen is performing well by the way it glides across the paper. Quite similar to tyres, when a set of high-performance tyres can make all the difference on the track. You might find this comparison a little unusual, but it was made on purpose, as Montblanc’s latest collection pays tribute to the excellence of Pirelli, a pioneer of innovation in the world of tyres since 1872.
Even though their partnership has started in 2019, this is the first writing instrument developed by Montblanc in collaboration with the Italian manufacturer. Before we go any further, you should know that Pirelli’s spirit for innovation has been the same from the beginning: around 1894 Pirelli developed and patented an ingenious production method that came to resolve a quite important problem at the time: keeping the tyre on the wheel, while making it easier to fit. This ingenious system was originally designed for bicycles, it was later used for cars and motorcycles.
Another great achievement for Pirelli came with the creation of “Superflex” tyres in 1924, a new range of low pressure tyres which were both lighter and more comfortable and helped Gastone Brilli Peri win the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 1925 in his Alfa Romeo and be crowned World Champion.
Over the years, Pirelli has never stopped innovating, but the biggest opportunity came with the year the Milan-based tyre manufacturer was nominated the tyre supplier for FIA Formula One World Championship™. Since 2011, Formula 1 has been for Pirelli the perfect laboratory for innovative designs, ideas, concepts and experiences and has helped the tyre manufacturer to accelerate the development processes and increase the quality of tyres.
Today’s collection is all about innovation, and the creative mind behind it must have been a genius. You might be wondering what the two manufacturers have in common. Well, besides their passion for performance, Pirelli and Montblanc are further connected by the material that defined their origin stories: rubber. While Pirelli began by manufacturing rubber products of all kinds, you might know that the first Montblanc fountain pens were also made from ebonite, a hard rubber obtained by vulcanising natural rubber. But there are even more similarities, that said, let’s take a look at the collection.
The fountain pen
Crafted from black rubber, both the cap and barrel of the Meisterstück Great Masters Pirelli Limited Edition 1872 are engraved with a pattern inspired by a historic graphic treatment of the Pirelli logo, dating back to 1966. We like that the matt effect of the rubber is beautifully contrasted by the deep-black gloss of the ruthenium-coated fittings. The already famous “P” in use since 1908 symbolising the elastic qualities of rubber is finely engraved on the 18k gold nib above a running tyre with the Montblanc emblem placed at its centre.
To maintain standards at the highest level, every nib is crafted by hand: from the engraving part to skilled processes such as welding the iridium point and slitting the nib to testing the sound of the nib on paper for a proper ink flow. Just as Montblanc has its talented craftsmen, so does Pirelli: called sgorbiatori, they are true masters of their craft, expertly carving the virtually developed treads by hand in the surface of the prototype tyres. Their manual skill requires a high level of precision and flexibility, especially in the early phases of development when swift adjustments of tread design are crucial.
A rollerball pen crafted in the same meticulous manner as the fountain pen and featuring similar design completes the collection and might be a great alternative for those concerned about leaving ink stains on paper.
The Montblanc Meisterstück Great Master Pirelli Limited Edition 1872 is available from September 2021 at Montblanc boutiques worldwide.
Are you ready to add it to your collection?