The head of the lifetime company
July 11, 2014
I became CEO of Montblanc a year ago [July 2013], but before that I worked at Jaeger-LeCoultre for 12 years. The move was hard as it was much like leaving a house that you helped build; one that you know every single millimetre of. Thankfully Montblanc is an amazing house and the creativity they have across each of its categories inspires me.
I am a watch man at heart, so while my appointment might be seen as consolidation that Montblanc will continue to focus on hard luxury goods [watches and jewellery], the writing instruments still remain at the very heart of the company.
Montblanc exists to be a luxury lifestyle companion, which involves combining all the different aspects of luxury from timepieces and writing instruments to leather goods and jewellery.
I was seven years old when I received my first watch. It was a Texas Instrument, but I can’t remember the model. It was a gift from my grandfather for, what we call in France, l’age de raison
– the time when you are considered old enough to take responsibility and to make decisions for yourself.
The watch was a symbol of that, which was amusing because after that I used to challenge my parents a lot, declaring that I was old enough to make decisions by myself!
[gallery link="none" ids="5377,5378,5379,5380"]
We try to stress that Montblanc is a lifetime company. That means that we want our customers to see themselves spending an entire lifetime with us.
If they travel, then we need to make travel goods; if they need their writing instruments to work in different environments, then we will make sure that it is possible.
The key is to keep our capability relevant and offer our people the tools to compliment their achievements.
Know what you want
The most important thing for a modern-day man is a strong set of ethics.
Mightier than the sword
I read the other day that a Michelin chef in New York was asked what was the most important object in his kitchen, and he said his Montblanc pen. He said that it was the one thing that was always with him, as he constantly scribbles down notes and adjusts recipes.
I see it as evidence that the process of receiving a message; transmitting that message; and then passing it on is still at the centre of society.
Write of passage
Because of the history and reputation that comes with Montblanc, our limited-edition artisan pens – some which can take up to four years to produce – have long been collectors items.
A Montblanc makes a statement about your achievements, and owning one is a good way to associate with the heritage and quality of the brand.
Right pen for the occasion
My favourite story about Montblanc is about a former US Culture Minister, who held up the signing of an important treaty because he wanted to do it with a Montblanc pen! He said that he wanted to do the agreement justice by signing it with a pen of note.
Details: visit Montblanc.com