A company with a fine heritage, it revels in its exclusivity. Now in their one-hundredth year since their first days of existence in a village in the hills of north-eastern Italy, hyperbole and glitz are not for Montegrappa. Instead their route is a considered combination of fine engineering, exquisite styling, and genuine endorsement.
Known throughout most of their history for the creation of fine writing instruments, Montegrappa have recently begun to transfer their aesthetics to a broader range of gentleman’s essentials – most intriguingly watches. However as Charles Nahhas, Middle East Managing Director, explains, they continue to steer and finely judged course and remain true to all that has gone before throughout their first century.
It is to the watches we turn first. Having just returned from a second successful year exhibiting at BaselWorld, Charles professes himself quietly satisfied with the reception their watches have received. “We’ve launched a range of automatic watches to compliment our initial quartz collection. We now have a respectable collection”, he adds, “when you first launch any new line it is easy for people not to take you seriously. I think now though we have shown we are committed to creating a watch line on a par with our writing instruments”.
There is no doubting the quality in the design of Montegrappa’s watches – the DNA between watch and pens is clear for all to see. A tight collection is offered – each reflecting Montegrappa’s familial octagon signature look.
Any expansion from core products carries its own risks. However Charles is mildly bullish in regard to the outlook for their new lines – remaining true to Montegrappa’s quality in design and ethics is the key to retaining their existing client-base and indeed adding to it.
It has done no harm to Montegrappa’s public profile to see them aligned with celebrities, yet it is a well-trodden path by numerous ‘exclusive’ brands and one which (due perhaps to lack of substance in the celebrity / brand link) can easily back-fire. This is something Charles is acutely aware of, yet in Montegrappa’s case there is always great synergy between the company and those who endorse the brand.
Two of the best known – actor Sylvester Stallone and race-car driver Jean Alesi – developed sufficient connection with the brand that they now own equity in Montegrappa. Others, including writer Paulo Coelho, have gone beyond simply appending their name to the brand and have taken an active role in something that is at the very center of Montegrappa’s soul – writing. Coelho, in conjunction with Montegrappa, has become closely involved in initiatives to encourage creative writing. There can be no higher endorsement than this, for sure.
Montegrappa is a brand that is in exactly the right place just now. The launch of their new collections have been well received.
As Montegrappa move proudly into their second century, they move forward with more than a passing glance to their history.
We expect a continuation of design classics, engineered with precision, and enhanced with their unique depth of style.
Montegrappa is available within the Trafalgar boutiques at The Avenues, Marina Mall, and 360 Mall.
First Published in Men's Passion Issue #40 May 2012