Interview: Jérôme Lambert for Montblanc

From traditional craftsmanship to the relevance of fountain pens and mechanical watches in the digital age, Montblanc CEO Jérôme Lambert tells us about keeping the spirit alive and his all-time favorite writing instrument... and more.

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For a company that started with making fountain pens, Montblanc has evolved a great deal since it first established in 1906. Now also synonymous with fine watch-making, jewelry, and leather goods, one might dream up the ways and categories where Montblanc will be extending its spirit next.

But for Montblanc CEO Jérôme Lambert, there’s far more importance emphasized in making great things even greater, than in bringing in the flow of an entirely new vibe.

“It’s more of what each category can expand in its expression,” says Lambert.  “In leather, for example, we have a lot in business development and it will be interesting to further conquer elements like travel above what we’re doing now, with more functions and more ease.”

Given the age of all things digital, one might wonder of the eventual relevance of writing and its intrinsic art form – will time deem it a mere thing of the past? The answer is, of course, a resounding ‘no’ – the trick has always been to adapt to new ways, where age-old ways can live on as vividly as they once existed, in the spirit of new traditions:

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Digital technology covers almost all aspects of our daily lives. What does this mean for manual instruments like fountain pens and mechanical watches?

We are developing a lot of presence in the digital world when it comes to distribution and communication. We have also taken some initiative in our products, like in our e-Strap, the e-refiller with fine-liners, as well as having an interesting digital dimension. We consider these products to be interesting bridges between a new clientele we are introducing to the digital dimensions in a classical way of expressing the brand.

Do you see the market for Montblanc growing in Asia, especially with an increase in high net worth individuals in this part of the world?

Definitely – we see a lot of development and we’re very positive with the development that we can have in South East Asia, which has a quick growing population and an interesting array on natural resources. Including Australia which isn’t so far away, it’s a very dynamic bridge and yes we see it from high net-worth individuals but also by the proportion of youths being more and more educated and getting more important positions.

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