Ferrari teams up with Montblanc for a high-performance fountain pen
The Montblanc Ferrari Stilema SP3 is as sleek and rarefied as the company’s legendary sports cars. We spoke to Ferrari's Flavio Manzoni about the collaboration
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Although it is renowned for the breadth and scope of its merchandising operation, Ferrari chooses its core design partners with extraordinary care. Those companies that are lucky enough to collaborate with the legendary Italian brand get the full attention of Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari's Chief Design Officer. We spoke to Manzoni about the latest object to bear the fabled Ferrari name, the Montblanc Ferrari Stilema SP3.
The two companies had previously worked together on a rollerball and fountain pen range that paid homage to Enzo Ferrari, part of Montblanc’s ‘Great Characters’ series. For the Montblanc Ferrari Stilema SP3, the bar was definitely raised. ‘This was an amazing, inspiring project,’ Manzoni told us, ‘it represents a bridge between two worlds.’
Montblanc Ferrari Stilema SP3
The new Montblanc is a fountain pen, created from light titanium (unusual for the company) and carrying some stylistic and technological elements unique to both brands. The car that inspired the collaboration is the 2021 Ferrari Daytona SP3, the second car in Ferrari’s limited edition Icona series of V12 mid-engine sports cars. The SP3’s wind tunnel-hewn form gives it a dramatic, dynamic look, and the pen’s lined accents are taken directly from the horizontal slats forms on the car’s front and rear bumpers (which in turn reference the 1980s-era Ferrari Testarossa).
‘Whenever we start designing a new Ferrari, we create abstract forms that don’t necessarily even have four wheels,’ Manzoni explains. Divested from the demands of aerodynamics, the Stilema SP3 is a pure evocation is this form-finding process. ‘Every Ferrari contains technology, innovation and performance, but there is also beauty,’ the designer says. ‘It is a mix of science and art. Innovation is also key to design. Montblanc shares these values.’
The name, Stilema, means ‘style’, reflecting the core design elements that make an object instantly identifiable with its creator, whether it’s a fountain pen or a sports car. ‘While a writing instrument has a completely different function and construction to a car, our aim was to create a writing instrument that perfectly aligned with the philosophy and design language of the Prancing Horse, even before its technical qualities were revealed,’ says Montblanc’s CEO, Nicolas Baretzki.
The pen’s defining feature, the red blade, took ‘months of research’, according to Manzoni, who describes the material as looking ‘as if it is illuminated’. Manzoni notes that a pen is an extremely balanced object, with successful function defined almost entirely by ergonomics. The blade slides back to reveal the hidden filling mechanism, and is specially developed in collaboration with Montblanc. It’s unlike anything used in a pen before and confirms Manzoni’s belief that ‘there is no design without innovation’.
The pen also includes a handcrafted Au 750 solid white gold nib, designed to be perfect for writing and sketching. ‘Our focus was not only on fluidity of the form but also of function, emphasising the exceptional sensation of holding a high-calibre fountain pen,’ Manzoni says. ‘Not only is the ink fluid, but the pen supports the rapid movements of the hand as it writes, allowing thoughts to flow unimpeded.’
Ferrari’s Prancing Horse logo is laser-etched onto the cap, while the traditional Montblanc emblem is also crafted from white gold. The barrel itself exudes a monolithic solidity, with the section a slightly rounded trapezium form, complete with flattened surface to keep it correctly aligned when not in use. ‘It’s not a pen for the pocket, but a pen for the desk,’ says Manzoni. ‘Just like Ferrari, Montblanc creates exceptional objects of science and beauty. It’s about getting this balance correct to create something really pure.’
Montblanc Ferrari Stilema SP3, available by special arrangement, details at Montblanc.com (opens in new tab), Ferrari.com (opens in new tab)
Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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