Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Luxury lifestyle brand Montblanc means many things to many people, with much overlap among its fervent fans. For some pen lovers, it provides the locus of their premium collections: a storied company offering exquisite limited editions within defined assortments, like the High Artistry or Writers Editions. For others, it is a well-known German writing instrument company with over a century of expertise that provides handsome pens for daily writing pleasure.

But first and foremost—and by its own definition—Montblanc is a source of inspiration, holding the prospect of the discovery of oneself and the world through the potency of the handwritten word.

Montblanc Haus

Montblanc’s latest venture, Montblanc Haus, which formally opened its doors just last week, is a state-of-the-art testament to the company’s commitment to writing. Situated adjacent to its Hamburg headquarters, the museum is an interactive study of the many facets of Montblanc’s 116-year history. And it invites pen enthusiasts or the simply curious to become part of something bigger—something integral to our humanity—as it looks to the successes of the past while celebrating the promise of the future.

“Every part of the Haus breathes writing,” says Montblanc CEO Nicolas Baretzki, of the three-story, 3,600-square-meter building, engagingly built in the shape of a Montblanc writing instrument box.

“We envisioned a special home for the art of writing, a place where people could discover or rediscover the incredible power of handwriting and the creativity, imagination and emotion it unlocks in everyone,” he explained of the project that was conceived about five years ago.

The Haus features a number of permanent exhibitions, including an extensive archive (visits by appointment), which would be the perfect place for a pen devotee to spend an afternoon—or a month—poring over historic pens, advertisements, letters, and other fascinating curiosities from the past.

“The Montblanc Haus has allowed us to uncover some treasures from our archive that we are eager to share with the world,” said Vincent Montalescot, Executive Vice President of Marketing. He adds that this space is dedicated to all the incredible stories that have been written over time, including those yet to be written.

Other thematic galleries include an Autograph Library with 30 handwritten notes spanning time and talent—from Ernest Hemingway to Spike Lee—where visitors can leave their own mark via a digital guestbook. Glass display cases enshrine a marvelous selection of limited editions and High Artistry pieces in the Collections section, while Legacy and Vision tells the story of Montblanc via the emblematic Meisterstück. Artfully displayed pen models, collateral material and more demonstrate Montblanc’s trendsetting chic and use of avant-garde advertising throughout its history.

The power of writing and creativity are evident throughout, from the “handwriting on the wall” to a nook designed for visitors to write and send postcards all over the world. Commissioned artwork demonstrating the indisputable influence of the pen include Studio Marianne Guély’s dramatic paper sculpture suspended inside the dome of the building and Paris-based artist Wendy Andreu’s art fashioned from wool dyed with ink that greets visitors upon their arrival. Even the neutral-walled interior of the Haus makes a statement, acting as counterpoint to the museum’s dark exterior to convey Montblanc’s signature colors of black and white.

Visitors may avail themselves of a series of classes, including calligraphy and creative writing, in the Writing Atelier, and artful opportunities for students and young adults are on the calendar.

Destination Hamburg

Montblanc Haus is accessible to the public, near and far, and with summer travel right around the corner, its opening is fortuitous. Reservations may be made online.

Baretzki’s invitation is clear and sincere: “It is our hope that Montblanc Haus becomes a meaningful landmark for Hamburg, a city that is so important to the history and identity of Montblanc, and for local communities and faraway visitors to discover and enjoy.”

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