Shining glaciers of the Mont Blanc have always attracted mountaineers so, eventually, on 8 August 1786, a hunter and crystal collector, Jacques Balmat, and Michel-Gabriel Paccard, an alpinist and physician, conquered Europe’s highest peak. Just as the summit of the Mont Blanc was eventually reached by two explorers, the Maison Montblanc was founded by three visionaries who took Europe’s highest mountain as the symbol of perfection against which they measured every achievement. Like the climbers who moved from plateau to plateau into the snowy heights of the Mont Blanc massif, the maîtres d’art of the Montblanc Artisan Atelier have worked step by step, overcoming new challenges in craftsmanship to achieve new heights of their art. To pay homage to the courageous first ascent of the Mont Blanc summit, Montblanc has created the High Artistry The First Ascent of the Mont Blanc Limited Edition.
The Au 750 solid gold rhodium-coated skeleton overlay decorating the cap and barrel of the Montblanc Limited Edition 333 draws inspiration from the shape of the Mer de Glace glacier near Chamonix. Based on the legend that this glacier resembles a giant monster hugging the northern slope of Mont Blanc, the overlay’s engraving depicts a monster. Visible beneath the overlay, the translucent glacial blue lacquer resembles the icy blue color shades of a glacier. The Au 750 solid gold rhodium-coated cap top of the pen is crowned by the Montblanc emblem crafted out of granite originating from the mountain range where the Mont Blanc is located – the Alps. The Maison Montblanc symbol is embedded in polished black onyx. The Au 750 solid gold rhodium-coated cap ring is engraved with the date ‘8 Août 1786’. The handcrafted Au 750 solid gold rhodium-coated nib is embossed with an edelweiss flower, while the cone of the edition is engraved with a traditional pattern from the Chamonix valley.
The Montblanc Edition 86 is limited to just 86 pieces. The forepart of the Au 750 solid yellow gold model is carved with a depiction of the Mer de Glace glacier with an engraving envisioned as a monster. The Au 750 solid yellow gold clip ring is engraved with ‘8 Août 1786’. The alpinist’s basic tools, alpenstock and axe, are miniaturized in the clip. Inspired by Jacques Balmat’s diary bound in durable leather, the barrel of the writing instrument is made of vegetable tanned leather embossed with an excerpt from Balmat’s handwritten account of that historic day in 1786. The walnut wood cap of the Montblanc Edition 86 is carved with images of alpine ibex and chamois. The handcrafted Au 750 solid yellow gold nib is embossed with a 3D relief depicting the edelweiss flower. The pen is embellished with a granite cabochon set into the Au 750 solid yellow gold cone. The cap top features smoky quartz that reveals the Montblanc emblem made of mother-of-pearl. The white symbol of the Maison Montblanc is embedded in polished black onyx.
The cap of the Montblanc Limited Edition 10 is crafted from granite from the Mont Blanc itself. Encircling this natural rock surface is an Au 750 solid white gold overlay with a 3-dimensional depiction of the Mont Blanc massif. Brilliant-cut diamonds set into the rock surface trace the route to the summit. The date of that event, ‘8 Août 1786’, is engraved on the Au 750 solid yellow gold clip ring. Alpenstock and axe are miniaturised in the clip. Balmat’s portrait is the inspiration behind the detailed hand-crafted micro painting on the cap of the Montblanc Limited Edition 10. The circular frame, crossed tools and mountain scene are hand engraved into yellow gold-coated solid Au 750 white gold. The cap top is crowned by a detachable rounded rock crystal with the shape of the Mont Blanc massif. The space created within the mountain massif features an unrefined chunk of Au 750 solid yellow gold as a reminder of Balmat’s search for gold in the mountain. The Au 750 solid yellow gold cone is set with a green aventurine, a mineral native to the Alps, covered by a sapphire glass. The forepart of the Au 750 solid white gold model is engraved with the depiction of the Mer de Glace glacier decorated with the monster engraving. The Au 750 solid yellow gold barrel is hand-engraved with traditional ornamentation from the Chamonix area and set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The handcrafted Au 750 solid yellow gold nib is engraved with a 3D relief depicting the edelweiss flower.
The Montblanc High Artistry The First Ascent of the Mont Blanc Limited Edition 5 is garnished with precious metals and gemstones. The beauty of the mountain is depicted around the cap using a color palette of seventeen different shades and materials. The materials used to create artistic depth and dimension range from delicate parchment to shimmering mother-of-pearl, leathers and a selection of precious woods. The fine woodwork on the barrel combines seven different types of wood in a pattern inspired by the Savoy rosette – a traditional decoration of the region – set with cognac-colored tourmalines. The clip is a miniature replica of the alpenstock and axe. The cap top features smoky quartz that opens to reveal a skeletonized ‘Mont Blanc massif’ set with a diamond of approximately 2 ct. above an engraving of the Montblanc emblem. The clip ring is engraved with ‘8 Août 1786’. The forepart of this Au 750 solid rose-tone gold pen features an engraving of the route taken by Balmat and Paccard set with brilliant-cut diamonds. A malachite cabochon under sapphire glass is set into the end of the cone. The nib is handcrafted from Au 750 solid rose-tone gold adorned with a three-dimensional edelweiss flower and a cognac-colored sapphire.
The Montblanc High Artistry The First Ascent of the Mont Blanc Limited Edition 1 features the enameled icy mountain scene framed by ribbons of alternating sapphires and diamonds. The lower part of the cap is adorned with diamonds in mixed settings and mixed cuts. At the top of the cap, a rounded rock crystal opens to reveal a skeletonized ‘Mont Blanc massif’ holding the high-value center stone resting atop an engraved Montblanc emblem.
The Swiss naturalist who offered a prize for the first successful expedition to the summit, Horace- Bénédict de Saussure, also invented the cyanometer to measure the intensity of the sky’s blue color at differing altitudes. A special visualization of this device, made of diamonds and blue lacquered color fields, decorates the cap of the unique pen. The Au 750 solid white gold barrel is set with diamonds in mixed cuts and mixed settings. Further diamonds, as well as sapphires, adorn the Au 750 solid gold fittings and the cone. An azurite cabochon is encased in sapphire glass. A hand-engraved depiction of the Mont Blanc mountain, set with brilliant-cut diamonds, decorates the forepart. The handcrafted Au 750 solid white gold nib features a 3D relief of the edelweiss flower and a diamond in its center.
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