Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Montblanc

Rhapsody in Blue — a composition I used to wake myself up for years. As if understanding how hard it is to start a day, it starts with a slow and random clarinet melodies. But then it raises to an orchestra with dynamic harmonies to absorb the spirit with no stop to our soul. And that is how life used to begin for years.

Its composer, George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937), was an American composer and pianist whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Besides Rhapsody in Blue, his best-known works are an orchestral work An American in Paris (1928), the jazz standard I Got Rhythm (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935) which gave birth to the hit Summertime.

Montblanc has an annual tradition to launch donation pen collection for honouring world-famous classical musicians. This program supports selected cultural projects from pioneering artists the world over with a donation of 20 euros per fountain pen (and 10 euros per ballpoint or rollerball). The edition of 2019 paid the tribute to George Gershwin.

The design of Gershwin fountain pen is quite distinctive — easily recognised. The clip is in the shape of a clarinet — a tribute to the clarinet opening from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Another tribute to Rhapsody in Blue is the ink window which features a blue colour. The cap ring is inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge to symbolise the close relationship George Gershwin had with his place of birth. The cap and barrel are made out of black resin combined with platinum-coated fittings. The length of the pen with the cap is 15.6 cm, and the total weight is 89.84 grams.

Franz Kafka — Montblanc

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a Bohemian author, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic. It typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers. It has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. His best known works include Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle).

In 2004, Montblanc has launched a special edition for Franz Kafka. The design of the fountain pen of this series is not only reminiscent of the simple and yet artful style of its eponym, but also pays tribute to Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. In the fascinating change from square to round in the writing instrument’s form, the metamorphosis described in Kafka’s story has found its equivalent.

Top, clip and rings made of 925 sterling silver offer a thrilling contrast to the dark red translucent aura of the barrel. A further reference to The Metamorphosis is on the rhodium-plated 18-karat gold nib: a finely engraved cockroach.

Die ungeheure Welt, die ich im Kopfe habe. Aber wie mich befreien und sie befreien, ohne zu zerreißen. Und tausendmal lieber zerreißen, als in mir sie zurückhalten oder begraben. Dazu bin ich ja hier, das ist mir ganz klar

Franz Kafka 21-06-1913

Saint-Exupéry — Montblanc

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (29 June 1900 – 31 July 1944), was a French author, journalist and pioneering aviator. He became a laureate of several of France’s highest literary awards and also won the United States National Book Award. He is best remembered for his novella Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) and for his lyrical aviation writings, including Wind, Sand and Stars and Night Flight.

As a part of the Writer Series, in 2017 Montblanc has launched a special edition for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The overall design and shape of the fountain pen was inspired by St-Ex’ iconic Caudron Simoun plane and his famous novel Night Flight. Engravings on the barrel and cap show the sky as seen by Saint-Exupéry on November 1, 1929, at 23:00.

As the director of the newly formed company Aeroposta Argentina S.A, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry conducted Aeroposta’s inaugural flight on 1 November 1929, flying from an airfield at Villa Harding Green to Comodoro Rivadavia. The fittings are inspired by the cockpit of his plane.

The geographic positions of important cities in Saint-Exupéry’s life are engraved on the cone. The nib recalls his most famous novel, The Little Prince. This Writers Edition is limited to 1931 pieces, the year Saint-Exupéry published Night Flight.