Capitalist Tool

Montblanc pioneered the high-end writing industry, and 100 years later its pens remain the utensil of choice for the world's most indelible signatures

It's the pen that signed Diana and Prince Charles into marriage in 1987, and the one that in 1990 united West and East Germany on the dotted line. President John F. Kennedy offered his to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1963 so he could sign the city of Cologne's Golden Book. In the past century the Montblanc fountain pen has been on hand—and in hand—at the world's most historic moments. Created in 1906 by three residents of Hamburg, Germany, who were tired of messy inkwells, Montblanc launched its Rouge et Noir fountain pen in 1908. Two years later the trio introduced the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!