Just a couple hundred years ago, the world was still under discovery. The highest peaks and the deepest valleys were yet to be explored, and in 1786, an unlikely team managed to conquer one of Western Europe’s most imposing mountains: the Mont Blanc. In 2022, in commemoration of such an impressive feat, Montblanc releases the Montblanc High Artistry The First Ascent of the Mont Blanc.

Following the feats of the unlikely pair composed of Michel-Gabriel Paccard, medic and amateur botanist, and Jacques Balmat, hunter and crystal apasionado, each version of this High Artistry collection celebrates an aspect of the conquest of the Mont Blanc peak. 

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This edition, limited to 333 pieces, shows a body and cap in translucent blue lacquer, partially hidden behind a solid gold layer, sculpted to resemble the glaciers of the Mont Blanc and to evoke the legend of a glacial monster that resides in the ice. The cap ring is engraved with the date of the momentous ascent, “8 Août 1786”, and the handmade solid gold tip is engraved with an Edelweiss flower, a natural treasure sought by mountaineers of old. 


Limited to 86 pieces in homage to the year of the ascent, this edition is full of references. The cap is made in solid walnut wood, worked to show the mountain’s natural inhabitants, such as ibises  and chamois. The cap is finished in a smoky quartz crystal which covers the Montblanc logo, set in onyx, and the clip is fashioned after the mountaineering tools of excelente, a pick and a baton. The pen body is an ode to leatherwork of old, a reference to Balmat’s diary, a fragment of which is reproduced on. The leather covered body. The golden front of the pen is engraved with the glacial monster that reminds of legends of old, while the solid gold tip is engraved with a tridimensional Edelweiss flower, an engraving that requires a specialised technique, specially developed for this line. 


The cap on this edition is made of granite, directly sourced from the Mont Blanc mountain range. A die cut solid gold depiction of the Mont Blanc itself envelops the stone, and a precious lacquer miniature picture of Balmat decorates the cap, while a crystal rock, sculpted to the shape of the Mont Blanc, finishes off the cap. The body is made in solid gold, decorated with patterns traditional to the region, and engraved with the monster that echoes the local folklore. The Edelweiss flower is beautifully engraved in the handmade tip, finishing off the masterpiece. 


A true art piece, the 5 pieces that make up this edition are an ode to the art of marquetry. The cap shows a representation of the Mont Blanc peak, made of bits and pieces of  seventeen different materials, ranging from papyrus to mother pearl, leather, wood, and precious metals. The body is covered in seven different wood types arranged to evoke a traditional pattern from the region. The front is made in solid gold, engraved with the route the climbers followed to the top, with engraved diamonds along the way. The solid gold tip is engraved with the Edelweiss flower, flawlessly engraved in a new technique. 


The jewel of the crown, this unique edition is one of a kind. The cap is covered in a precious miniature landscape of artisanal lacquer. The landscape beautifully captures every detail of the mountain range, and seamlessly flows into a diamond gradient. The body itself is completely covered in diamonds, of diverse sizes and shapes, which beautifully evoke the shimmering appearance of the icy mountains. The lower part is engraved with a hand-made depiction of the Mont Blanc, and the solid gold tip is decorated with an Edelweiss flower, set with a single diamond at its centre. 

Photos: courtesy.

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