What do Walt Disney, James Dean, Enzo Ferrari and Jimi Hendrix have in common? Their legend is exalted in the Montblanc Great Characters edition, a series of writing instruments coveted by collectors and those who get pleasure from the art of writing. The latest addition, the Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Special Edition, celebrates the “guitar god” in true Montblanc storytelling fashion.
The mainstream career of James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix (1942-1970) was short-lived, but he made his mark on rock ‘n roll culture with the sound he achieved through the Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face pedal.
Montblanc’s Great Characters editions aim to inspire writing by providing instruments to create, to enable the writer to leave their mark, imbued with design detail that makes them works of art.
For example, Hendrix’s cream-coloured Fender Stratocaster guitar inspired the colour chosen for the cap of the Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Special Edition. The geometric pattern recalls that of Hendrix’s embroidered guitar strap.
A Montblanc writing instrument is all about the details, and this one is no exception. Hendrix’s debut album title, ‘Are You Experienced’, adds a flourish to the clip top, the date ‘18-06-1967’ on the platinum-coated barrel ring references his performance during the Summer of Love at the Monterey Pop Festival. In contrast, the ring’s surface texture reflects the connecting end of a Fender guitar cable.
The surface of the wah-wah pedal, another one of the devices electric guitarists use to manipulate sound (so popular that Beatles legend George Harrison reportedly wrote a song about it), is reflected in the structure of the black precious-resin barrel. The word ‘WAH’ is imprinted on the cone. Meanwhile, the red precious-resin inlay at the end of the cone mimics the colour of a Marshall Super Lead amplifier pilot light.
The Montblanc emblem adorns the cap top, and a portrait of the guitarist decorates the handcrafted, rhodium-coated Au 585 solid gold nib.
Collectors’ items include the Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Limited Edition 1942 for which production is capped at 1,942 to acknowledge the year of his birth, and the Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Limited Edition 99, restricted in output to link to the 30th anniversary of Woodstock in 1999. That was the year when ‘Live at Woodstock’ was released after Hendrix’s death. Both pieces have remarkable signature detail. The limited edition is complemented by a calf leather notebook and violet-coloured ink (available as an ink bottle), an insightful connection to Hendrix’s hit ‘Purple Haze’.
Subtle traces of Hendrix’s guitar stylings can be found throughout the collection, which includes a fountain pen, ballpoint, and rollerball.
The Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Special Edition Foundation Pen F starts at R19 500.