Montblanc Special Edition Fountain Pen Review: Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman
Montblanc Garbo, Dietrich, Bergman
Montblanc selection of special theme and limited edition fountain pens can match the brand's entire standard oeuvre – including Meisterstuck, Boheme, and Starwalker – both for quantity, and originality and inventiveness of design. In fact, we claim that in the latter department, such collections as Patron of the Art, Writers Edition, and Actresses (Divas) Special Theme outbalance those lines for fashionable verve and scope of aesthetic. After all, these are mostly collector's items, and as such enjoy leeway standard products cannot afford (despite the platinum and the diamonds).
In this review we focus on the Hollywood segment – Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman – for two main reasons. First, Montblanc's other special editions include only four female characters, Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, Catherine the Great, and Queen Elizabeth – out of almost forty famous and infamous personae. (We wish to compensate by writing this dedicated article.) Second, and more to the issue of fountain pens, because they break with classic pen architecture, presenting completely different, reinvented contours that lead to some surprising and delicious effects.
All three actresses enjoyed early success during the twenties and thirties of the 20th century – when Art Deco flourished as a style, achieving a widespread popularity across many design spheres.
Supreme elegance, and strong oriental/ancient influences became two core Art Deco principles, introduced in one way or another into various objects; Montblanc replicate this stylistic approach in the three fountain pen collections titled after the divas. All instruments feature the signature of their respective source.
When capped, Ingrid Bergman pen resembles an ancient Egyptian attire: a fluted cap (white lacquer), shaped like a reversed cone, with an amethyst set clip. Indeed, Cleopatra herself comes to mind – a queen who was also considered a goddess. The entire set-up projects a sense of timeless, monumental elegance.
Greta Garbo is the curvier, the softer design of the three. This time the cap alludes to Byzantine, eastern-inspired headgear, with fairy tale, remotely utopian elements. When capped, the pen appears to simulate the female form, and radiates an insistent vibe of seduction, and even lust.
Marlene Dietrich is quite different and, not surprisingly, unique: embodying willful, capricious, abrasive traits, these pens reveal a more confrontational (and perhaps modern) character. In terms of elegance, the design returns to ancient Egypt, yet also adds a touch of masculinity, just enough to spice up the overall composition with contemporary ideas.