Montblanc Meisterstück Soft Grain Leather: Harnessing The Timeless Luxury Of A Snow-Capped Icon
by Nancy Olson
Montblanc’s earliest history is in pen making, and each of the lifestyle products that followed – watches, jewelry, leather, fragrance, and more – in some way acknowledges the foundational writing instrument. The new Meisterstück leather collection is no exception, paying very evident respect to the pen whose name it shares.
“The aim was to bring the design of the [leather] collection even closer to Montblanc’s iconic symbol of timeless luxury, the Meisterstück writing instrument,” said Marco Tomasetta, Montblanc’s new artistic director. “By mirroring some of its distinguishing features like the nib itself, as well as the color and shine of the pen’s precious resin with its smooth sensual touch, we have created pieces that truly stand out.”
Montblanc Meisterstück soft grain leather
Tomasetta, who graduated from the Instituto Europeo de Design in Milan, says he spent much time at Montblanc’s Hamburg archives when he joined the company a little over a year ago. There he gained insight about the brand and its history, which he incorporated into this collection, his first for Montblanc. As an example, he chose to draw greater attention to the familiar Montblanc snow-cap emblem in keeping with its historical significance.
“The logo was very much present,” Tomasetta said of its archival bearing. “So I wanted to apply this original dimension of the emblem to the leather goods [to impart] a different sense of strength.”
So, too, the brand we know and love for its black and white products and iconography actually incorporated color in its writing instruments and advertisements early in its history (the vintage red and black Rouge et Noir, for example, is a grail pen among collectors).
The Meisterstück leather accessories collection does the same, introducing a touch of red and blue to its mostly all-black range of bags, portfolios, wallets and more. But black remains the flagship, and Tomasetta again looked to the Meisterstück for guidance in its translation.
The new Florence-sourced leather accessories are deeper toned, and their finish is more brilliant with rounded shapes that somehow make them more approachable than their earlier counterparts. The nib-inspired details like the metal zipper pulls and cutout leather components once again point to the pen.
Beauty in the details
With Tomasetta’s background in fashion – his resumé includes such luxury brands as Prada, Chloé, Louis Vuitton, and, most recently, Givenchy – it’s no wonder proportion is key in his designs. And to me this is what makes each of his products viscerally “correct” at first glance.
“I think that beautiful things have the right proportions, which is why I love sculpture,” he shared, adding that he’s also an avid film buff. “I seek harmony in what I create and sometimes I add an element and then remove it [considering] the proportion.”
Functionality is also high on his list. The new leather products include user-friendly inside compartments and even separately sold straps that morph some of the smaller items into crossbody bags or wrist accessories. This is genius, particularly when traveling, and can lessen the fumbling for money, passport, and proof of vaccines (take it from a master fumbler). The optional straps also add a dose of trendy fashion.
Power of writing
Tomasetta said that during the pandemic lockdown that he spent much time writing and drawing and thinking, concluding that all artists – and, indeed, all people – need to write.
“It’s almost like painting,” he said of his time spent with a pen.
He also concluded that people today are looking for products that are reassuring with solid provenance and dependable quality.
“[They want] objects they can use and enjoy spending time with,” he said. “And Montblanc has beautiful things that may be used everywhere, outside or inside. Everyone wants beauty – safety, comfort, and beauty.”
For more information, please visit www.montblanc.com/en-us/collection/bags-leather-goods/meisterstuck-soft-grain.
Quick Facts Meisterstück Soft Grain Leather products
Collection: large, medium, and small leather goods from the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence
Material: black, red, and blue leather
Price: under $200 for luggage tag to over $2,000 for large duffle bag