For those who have discriminating tastes in fountain pens, there are two names which stand out in the pen making industry. Montblanc founded back in 1906 in Hamburg Germany and at the same time, Van Cleef & Arpels opened their doors in Paris. The brands distinguished themselves as leaders in the industry with their one of a kind creations. When these two luxury writing accessory creators joined forces, in 2006, the result was a combination of more than 200 years of experience and innovation in the pen making a craft to arrive at the celebratory Mystery of Masterpiece pen, co-introduced to the world under both brands. The value of this pen is placed at $730,000, making it one of the most expensive collectible pens in the world. To understand the value of such a fine instrument, we must take a much closer look and discuss its attributes.
The history of The Limited Edition Mystery Masterpiece Pen
Both luxury houses Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels reached the century mark for their brands and there was a reason for each to celebrate. They got together to design a very special collaborative edition pen which would serve as a symbol of not only their successes but also to exhibit the craftsmanship and creativity of each company, giving the world a magnificent example which rolled two big names in the business into one unique masterpiece which would become the fourth most expensive pen in the world.
While one might consider the two luxury houses to be rivals or competition, they share a somewhat common history, although established in different parts of the world, there are Montblanc loyals and Van Cleef & Arpels fans, some of which cross the lines, enjoying the special uniqueness of both brands. Although each is distinguished in their own right, the two decided upon a design which featured the skillful placement of seventy high-quality precious stones to create a magnificent pattern that would be a one of a kind creation for their first edition of the pen, with more variants to follow in a strictly limited edition.
The creation of the Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels Mystery Masterpiece
The two notable brands put their finest pen designers and architects together to create the concept. They settled upon a unique Mystery Setting technique of Van Cleef and Arpels which is their own patent since 1933 to complete the setting of the gemstones in a manner that conceals the settings holding them in place. This creates the illusion that the gemstones are floating atop a clear resin which gives the pen a somewhat skeletonized styling. For those not familiar with the technique, it truly is a mystery to see the floating gem blossoms and wonder how they remain so firmly established in their places.
The foundation of the pen is a skeleton body which is made with pure white gold. The very first example, which served as a prototype, featured ruby gemstones for the blossoms as well as the leaves in a spectacular display. Each pen is hand made and after the release of the first very special edition, three variations of the Mystery Masterpiece were released with a choice of rubies, sapphires or emeralds for the proprietary stones, with embellishments of fine premium diamonds to serve as accents. We learned that the process of setting the stones for a single pen takes approximately 90 minutes of work to complete as each is adorned with approximately seventy gemstones.
What makes the Montblanc Van Cleef & Arpels Mystery Masterpiece so special?
When one sets out to determine value in terms of the monetary figure there are three top priorities involved. The first in within the inherent value of the collectible item, which in this case, is the reason for its creation and the fact that it is the single celebratory line which denotes 100 years of success in service for both of the luxury brands collaborating on its creation. Montblanc, as well as Van Cleef & Arpels, are two of the biggest names in the business, each reputed for their one of a kind luxury creations, and most of their productions selling for rather high prices. The joint effort has produced a rare and extremely limited edition pen with only nine examples ever made for distribution throughout the entire world. This establishes the second condition of rarity. This isn’t a pen that you can just go out and find anywhere. If you want to get particular about it, since there are three variants, there have only been three of each type made, making each stone type, even rarer, thus increasing the value yet more. They are each made with precious white gold, 800 premium diamonds for accents and a choice of rubies, sapphires or emeralds. Each is handcrafted and they are not only lovely display pieces, but each is also a fully functional writing instrument, made with the intention that it will be used for this purpose. When you think about the time, the quality and the history of the creation of this magnificent limited edition, it’s more understandable how these pens could have such a high-value estimation associated with them.
The Montblanc Van Cleef & Arpels Mystery Masterpiece is claimed to be among the finest examples of workmanship and design genius ever created by both major brands. This is a rare and extremely limited edition, created for those who have a passion for luxury fountain pens, but also for those who are collectors as well. The price tag of $730,000 is a bit more than the average collector can or will pay in most cases, which also adds the element of exclusivity to each of the nine examples circulating throughout the planet, but this just makes them all the more special and highly desired. Are they worth nearly three-quarters of a million dollars apiece? For some probably not, but for those who know their luxury pens and who are familiar with the elements that build true and lasting value, you bet they are!