100 years history
The Watch Quote™ - June 14th, 2006
Eberstein and Nehemias had got to know the newly invented but still primitive fountain-pen in the USA and England. Vob realised the potential of a fountain-pen with its own ink container that was independent of an ink-well and so could be used anywhere.
The three entrepreneurs then founded what we would now call a “Joint Venture”: the pooling of different talents and financial resources with the aim of undertaking a commercial risk.
The three visionaries founded a factory in the “Schanzen” district of Hamburg for exclusive fountain-pens of the highest quality and in small numbers: the “Simplo Filler Pen Company“. In 1909, after almost 3 years of development, they launched the first fountain-pen series, “Rouge et Noir“, made of black ebonite with a red cap head and inspired by the famous novel of the same name by Stendhal.
Although the French name meant nothing for most German customers, the fountain-pen acquired the affectionate nickname of “Little Red Riding-Hood” and was a great success as the advertisements then claimed, “a fountain-pen that does not make blots”. One year later, the technically improved “Montblanc” fountain-pen started its successful career: the black fountain-pen with the white star on the cap does not leak at all when closed!
The dark massif with its snow-covered peaks and six icy glaciers inspired this unique product. And with this name there was no more scope in marketing terms for nicknames. As a symbol of highest quality, the name “Montblanc“ still stands today for the highest European craftsmanship. The potential of this name was recognised 100 years ago and the Montblanc “Star“ (in fact the 6 glaciers on the summit), the symbol of the snow-covered summit of Europe’s highest mountain, was registered as a trademark. The Montblanc fountain-pen was so successful that the Simplo Fillerpen Company became Montblanc Simplo GmbH.