Q&A: Marco Tomasetta Is Taking Montblanc's Meisterstück Leather Collection to New Levels of Luxury and Boldness
Change is, for the most part, good. Even iconic pieces from an equally iconic brand, like say, Montblanc could use a refresh now and then—especially when the changes are done under expert hands. Marco Tomasetta, Montblanc's new artistic director, undertook the task by redefining the Germany company's Meisterstück leather collection and taking it to new levels of luxury.
"The aim was to bring the design of the collection even closer to Montblanc's iconic symbol of timeless luxury—the Meisterstück writing instrument," he says. "By mirroring some of its distinguishing features like the nib itself as well as the color and shine of the pen's precious resin with its smooth sensual touch, we have created pieces that truly stand out." In other words, you get more of Montblanc's DNA with each design detail.
We caught up with the Montblanc artistic director to talk about how the Meisterstück leather collection came together—from his design ethos, using Montblanc's DNA, and more. The good news is, Tomasetta is just as obsessed with the iconic collection as the rest of us.
Esquire Philippines: What was your design ethos going into redefining the Meisterstück Leather collection?
There is no other brand in the world that has such a connection to the culture of writing, so I really wanted to lean into this. I saw real opportunity to bring the design of the collection even closer to Montblanc's iconic symbol of timeless luxury—the Meisterstück writing instrument. The design exploration focused on mirroring some of its distinguishing features like the nib itself as well as the colour and shine of the pen's precious resin with its smooth sensual touch. This resulted in contemporary round shapes, new design details, and a luxurious new leather to achieve a softer touch and a deeper tone of black with a distinctive brilliant finish inspired by the texture of the pen's precious resin. We created a new larger emblem inspired by the original writing instrument logo. An object of exceptional purity, the Meisterstück is an obsession of mine and a powerful source of inspiration. It breaks the boundaries, and has been doing that for almost 100 years.
What was the whole design process like?
When I joined Montblanc, it was essential for me to start with the archive to understand the origins and the evolution of the brand and its design identity. It was a fascinating experience because there is so much history and moments of innovation to uncover in the expansive Montblanc archive. I also had to think about the functionalities of each product. Will it truly serve its owner in a way that matters? I thought carefully about quality, a critical element and non-negotiable for a luxury brand like Montblanc. Finally, collections have to have a surprising factor so that's where research on the type of leather, the shapes, and the special design details that made the collection bold and unique.
Meisterstück Card Holder
How did you come to the decision of doing rounder shapes? Why did it feel like the right move?
My creative vision for Montblanc is to elevate the design to new levels of luxury but also be bolder. The rounder shapes makes each piece stylish and desirable. However, the concept is also inspired by the very design of the Meisterstück which has those unmistakable rounded and voluptuous lines. When you are working with such a design icon, there are so many new creative ways to reimagine its features. That's exactly what I did here.
You mentioned mirroring the Meisterstück writing instrument for the collection in the release. How important was it for you to showcase Montblanc's DNA?
It was absolutely essential for me to showcase Montblanc's DNA through the design of the collection. There is so much to be inspired by in the Montblanc archive, but I decided that the place to start was with an object that was quintessentially Montblanc, but also symbolic of the role the brand has played as a pioneer of writing culture through the years. The lines of the pen, the nib, the texture and feel. My goal was to take each one of these features and turn it into something new, while ensuring that the collection embodied the elements of the brand's DNA—craftsmanship, timeless design, quality—in every way.
Meisterstück Neo Briefcase
What are some of your personal favorites from the collection?
What I like about the collection is that beyond the aesthetic qualities of each piece, there is true functionality to them. They are designed to serve purpose to their owner. Based on that, I do love the Duffle because I love weekend escapes and it's perfect for that, and the Messenger is also a favorite of mine.