The world of montblanc
With the arrival of new CEO Jérôme Lambert, the esteemed Montblanc company is undergoing bold changes and making new statements. Plaza Watch gains insight into this evolving luxury brand.
as a guest of Montblanc usually means you never know who you’ll end up sitting next to. Case in point: most recently, I sat with some of the brand’s representatives, including new CEO Jérôme Lambert, and a beautiful woman I didn’t know who simply introduced herself as “Elettra.”
Elettra was, of course, Elettra Rosselini Wiedeman, socialite, model, actor, daughter of Isabella Rossellini, and friend of the brand. This enjoyable meal spent chatting about things such as timepieces and organic farming was very par for the course for the world of Montblanc, a place
Attending a dinner
that gleams and glitters so much from the outside that a watch enthusiast may have trouble avoiding judging this book by its cover to dig down to the heart of the matter.
Admittedly, this may also be rooted in Montblanc’s short, but terribly sweet, history as part of the world of watchmaking.
Launching the watch collection in 1997 after being on top of the pen world and then successfully entering the worlds of leather goods and accessories, Montblanc had to endure a period of growing pains before finding its rhythm and its place. Which it did by acquiring the same appreciation for fine timepieces as it already displayed for fine writing instruments. Indeed, according to leading experts in the world of stationary, Montblanc is the undisputed Patek Philippe of the field. By the by, the legendary Montblanc Meisterstück – which boasts instantly recognisable design, innovative ink supply and a manually profiled gold nib –celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.
On its way to becoming a brand to be taken seriously in the world of horology, Montblanc acquired one of the attractive art deco villas that populate Le Locle in 2008, transforming it into a lovely factory location with 130 employees that design, manufacture and assemble timepieces. But, honestly, it was the Richemont Group’s acquisition of Minerva in 2006 that has actually catapulted this Hamburg, Germany-headquartered marque into the premier league of horology.
The Heart of a Watchmaker
Minerva was a historically significant watchmaker specialising in chronographs and highquality movements. It was founded in 1858 in the village of Villeret by Charles Ivan Robert, a mem-