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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 October 2018

Montblanc pen pays tribute to The Little Prince 

Available as a fountain pen, rollerball and ballpoint pen, the Meisterstück Le Petit Prince takes its design cues from the beautiful hand-drawn illustrations created by author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 

Montblanc Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Special Edition. Courtesy Montblanc
Montblanc Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Special Edition. Courtesy Montblanc

Over the last 75 years, an estimated 400 million people have read Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s allegorical tale of a young boy who leaves the tiny asteroid he calls home and travels to Earth – but the story is undoubtedly imbued with added resonance when recounted by Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman.

To celebrate the launch of its latest writing instrument, a Meisterstück inspired by the adventures of the little prince, Montblanc organised a high-profile gala dinner in the observatory of One World Trade Center, New York’s tallest building. High above the streets of Manhattan, celebrities such as Charlotte Casiraghi, Milla Jovovich, Rita Ora, Chloë Sevigny and Lucky Blue Smith converged in a space that had been transformed into a magical, childlike universe. But it was Jackman, who read a passage from the book alongside fellow Montblanc ambassador Casiraghi, who stole the show.

The setting was fitting – fans of The Little Prince may be surprised to hear that French author de Saint-Exupéry wrote the book while living in New York during the Second World War. It has since been translated into 300 languages, with 200 million copies sold around the globe.

It was the story’s themes of love, imagination and friendship that resonated with Montblanc’s creative director, Zaim Kamal. “I was 10 when I read Le Petit Prince,” he recounts. “In fact, it was read to me by my cousin, who was older than me. I read it to my daughter; I read it to my brother; my brother read it to his children. This book is always transmitted. And it speaks of very universal concepts like love, friendship, imagination. These exist in every culture.”

Transference is another key theme in the book and aligns perfectly with the Montblanc ethos. “The Meisterstück is a writing instrument that is often gifted. When I have a Meisterstück and I give it to you, I create a bond, and this bond is unique. I am transmitting something – either the promise of friendship, or a reward for something,” says Kamal.

Available as a fountain pen, rollerball and ballpoint pen, the Meisterstück Le Petit Prince takes its design cues from the beautiful hand-drawn illustrations created by de Saint-Exupéry for the book.

Montblanc Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Special Edition. Courtesy Montblanc
Montblanc Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Special Edition. Courtesy Montblanc

The pens are made from night-blue resin, which references the deep blue sky of the universe around the prince and is the first-ever instance of the colour being used for one of Montblanc’s Meisterstücks. A milled cap is decorated with a fox-face pattern – for it is a fox that teaches the young prince about the bonds of human relationships. “The fox teaches him that by taming or connecting or bonding with something, it becomes unique to you – just as you become unique to it.”

A golden star adorns the clip of the pen, while a sentence from the book has been engraved onto its crown: “Créer des liens? Tu seras pour moi unique au monde” (“To establish ties? To me, you will be unique in all the world”). The prince himself makes an appearance – in miniature form on the pen’s 14K rhodium-plated nib.

“I could have just taken the drawing on the cover of the book and put it on the pen,” says Kamal. “But that’s not what Montblanc does. You have all these different aspects. It was about finding a balance between the adornment, the message, the connection and also the imagination.”