Jens Henning Koch
Jens Henning Koch
Image: Supplied

I think it’s reasonable to judge a person by the company they keep. The study of an individual’s handwriting can also be quite revealing of their personality and the instrument in hand an expression of their personal style.

How old fashioned, you might think in our digital lives but according to Jens Henning Koch, executive vice president of marketing at Montblanc in the last couple of years they’ve seen writing being embraced by younger audiences.

“It is true that we have all this new technology but the less you write the more important it gets and the more you express yourself through writing. Being the composer of the elements of your life is an expression of your individuality and style. We also see a new understanding of success and finding balance. We provide the luxury tools for your mission.”

Unfortunately, not everyone in the world has the tools to shape their lives but through a 13-year partnership with UNICEF, Montblanc has managed to raise over $10m towards a literacy programme through the sale of editioned collections, which has changed the lives of millions of children around the globe.

“While it’s every child’s human right to be able to learn to read and write, many children don’t have access to basic education,” says Koch. “Our heritage started with writing instruments so we always look to enhancing and highlighting the importance of writing. It’s the basis of modern culture. Writing in today’s world is the basis for new concept ideas and leading the way with concepts and thoughts. But for far too many it is unfortunately not the start due to poverty and all the problems that stem from it. This is our way to raise awareness of those who do not have the opportunities we have.”

Montblanc’s involvement is not just about handing over pens and paper. “Sometimes it’s more important to start with drilling for water and providing water fountains as a solution so that kids do not have to walk so far and they can attend school. Sometimes it’s about improving the learning materials, or making a bigger impact through training the teachers, or improving infrastructure,” Koch says.

In attendance at the recent launch of the 2017 Montblanc for UNICEF collection at the New York City Library were the friends of the maison, ambassadors who were clearly not just paid-for celebrity endorsements. We were in good company at dinner with the likes of Australian actress and adoption advocate Deborra-Lee Furness and actor husband Hugh Jackman who are genuinely supportive and hands-on with this worthy cause, funded through special projects since 2004.

Image: Supplied

Whether you’re a Boomer or a Millennial, good citizens of the world share common values and a mutual desire to bring about meaningful change. In the world of luxury and excessive consumption, it’s also refreshing to find a company on the same page. It’s an obvious relationship but one that has also been mutually beneficial with Montblanc able to send a clear message to new consumers supportive of brands with strong core values and relevance.

This year’s Montblanc Meisterstück, Writing is a Gift collection reaffirms the company’s support. “Inspired by the Rosetta Stone, the diversity of world languages is represented in the design variations of the new collection by the first letters children learn to write at school in six different languages from around the world: Roman, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Korean and Hindi,” Koch explains.

The magnificent Skeleton 149 Edition (euro 8900, limited edition of 149) with its cap top made of precious mother-of-pearl and onyx and decorated with a dazzling 2.5 mm blue sapphire is the highlight of the collection, which includes three other editions: the Precious Resin Edition featuring a cap and barrel in the distinctive Meisterstück polished black resin and platinum-coated fittings; the Doué Classique Edition, which combines a black resin barrel with a metal cap decorated with a mosaic of alphabet letters; the Blue Solitaire Edition with the classic black being replaced with a vibrant blue lacquer. Available in Fountain Pen, Roller Ball and Ballpoint Classique.

The collection would not be complete without a bottle of the vibrant blue UNICEF ink.

Available in Montblanc boutiques. For more information visit or (011) 3255571.

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