You can never go wrong with black

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“THE SYMBOLISM of black as a color for clothing seems stronger and more durable than that of any color except white – and black retains its advantage because of its standard sinister connotations,” said writes Anne Hollander in her seminal work. See through clothing, a discussion of fashion, its representation and symbolism in art and society.

The luxury brand Montblanc seems to agree, launching a collection called Ultrablack. A brand statement reads: “Black is the absolute of all colors, the statement of endless beauty and exceptional design in luxury.” The same statement points out that ebonite (a type of hard rubber) was used as the main ingredient in the production of Montblanc’s original writing instruments, and one of only two colors in the company’s emblem, created in 1913.

At a press conference on September 29, the brand presented the collection consisting of the Montblanc Ultrablack Leather collection, Montblanc Starwalker Ultrablack writing instruments and the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Ultrablack watch. The company is also immersing itself in electronics with a connected watch (Montblanc Summit Lite Aluminum Leather Strap x Montblanc Ultrablack Collection), headphones (the Montblanc MB 01 x Montblanc Ultrablack Collection on-ear headphones) and augmented paper (Montblanc Augmented Paper x Montblanc Ultrablack Collection).

The Ultrablack Leather collection consists of a backpack, a pouch and a Mini Folio. The bags feature an embossed pattern consisting of the letter M and are completely black. A new expression of the iconic Montblanc emblem transforms the iconic star from decorative element to a functional, technical, tactile and playful feature of anodized aluminum. The closure of the emblem becomes a distinctive element and allows easy opening. The backpack is equipped with exterior and interior pockets including a padded compartment for a laptop computer; the Clutch and the Mini Folio can be carried by hand or over the shoulder thanks to the removable shoulder strap.

The Montblanc Starwalker Ultrablack writing instruments feature a Montblanc emblem that appears to be floating in the air on a gray base. The range includes an all-black Precious Resin edition with contrasting metallic trims, and a Doué edition with a black resin body paired with a metal cap or front end. Each edition is available as a fountain pen, ballpoint pen and fine felt pen.

The watch, on the other hand, features the Manufacture Worldtime complication with two rotating dome-shaped hemispherical globes that complete a full rotation in 24 hours, providing an instinctive way to read different time zones. This timepiece is presented in a distinctive black coated steel case with a special satin finish, obtained by manual washing and brushing. The 1858 Geosphere UltraBlack glows in the dark as the cathedral-shaped hands, indexes, compass indications and hemispherical globes are all hand-coated in white SuperLumiNova. On the back of the case is engraved a drawing of the mountain of Mont Blanc, two intersecting ice peaks and a compass surrounded by the seven peaks, namely Mount Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, the Vinson, the Puncak Jaya.

In a different configuration, the smartwatch’s lightweight 43mm all-black case is made from recycled aluminum and the original Montblanc M_Gram 4810 M pattern is stamped onto the black leather strap. The watch has a special UltraBlack color dial. The brand’s first connected watch was designed in 2017.

As for the headphones, they feature elegant metal and leather finishes, and the Montblanc M_Gram 4810 M pattern is embossed on the silicone ear cups. The company’s first headphones were released last year.

Finally, with the company known for its writing instruments, the Montblanc Augmented Paper allows handwritten notes to be transferred to a mobile device and translated into digital text. The fact that it’s in an embossed black leather wrap only adds to its appeal.

“Black has been the DNA of the house since its creation in 1906. It is emblematic of the brand,” Benjamin Goh, regional marketing director for Montblanc Southeast Asia, said at the press conference. “I think black is a timeless color. If we interpret it differently, we are looking to launch a timeless collection.

“It goes well with anything,” he said. “You can never go wrong with black.” – Joseph L. Garcia

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