As the world has opened up again, so have the experiences and the events we are happy to participate in. One of the reasons we launched 8JS Magazine was to bring you news and stories about the world which 8JS is a part of. Today we’re taking you to Modena, where we were amongst the privileged few to experience live, the release of a collaborative product ventured by two iconic brands, Montblanc and Ferrari.
There’s a lot to be said about both Maisons. Ferrari has forever changed the world of motor racing, intrinsically linked to the story of Formula One and the dreams of generations of boys, girls, men and women equally drawn to its fabulous machines of desire.
Montblanc, created in 1906 along with its Meisterstück fountain pens has become undoubtedly associated with luxury, sophistication and quality over the years. It has remained at the top of its respective art through the challenges of a changing world and the arrival of technology.
In the era of collaborations and joint ventures it is not unusual to witness brands coming together in order to create unique products, benefiting from both of their respective communities and the transmission of common values. A subtle art that both brands and consumers have come to love. However, let’s look at this specific alliance in a little more detail…
A CLASH OF NATIONS.
Aside from producing exceptional automobiles, Ferrari is a testament of Italian craftsmanship. A brand so deeply rooted into the Italian household that those who could never have the means of experiencing its cars firsthand will boast an alternative product to carry its name forward, like the symbol of a nation. Simply witness the dynamics of a Monza Grand-Prix weekend, and you’ll fully acknowledge the influence of the prancing horse on its own people.
Montblanc is distinctly German. The penmaker from Hamburg has since expanded into the realm of luxury items since its birth. From day one, Montblanc has been awarded the values of precision and quality. The brand is synonymous with business, the color black, and a sense of maturity in a contrast to Ferrari’s wild and passionate following, symbolizing toys for the rich and famous, previously infamous widow-makers as well as racetrack superstars.
A MATCH MADE BY THE VALUES OF A MAN.
This is where it gets interesting, and you will slowly understand the point I am trying to make.
I am a marketer and therefore it is possible I fall victim to marketing coups even more than the average consumer, as brands are a passion.
Montblanc’s association with Ferrari is held together by the charismatic genius of its founder, Enzo Ferrari. As part of its collection, Great Characters, Montblanc has traveled the world and ages seeking to tell stories about the men and women who touched humanity with their great ideas; (past editions include, JFK, John F. Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Walt Disney and even James Dean).
In my opinion, that is precisely the way such a partnership must be done. Focusing on the human side which turned a small race car manufacturer from Maranello into one of the most famous brands, cross-industry, that the world has ever seen.
Over the last 40 years the prancing horse has made an appearance on almost every product imaginable. However, I believe this partnership is one of the many actions taken by Ferrari to refocus its branding on products that truly match with their values and especially their vision.
Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898 to a working class family in Modena. His father, Alfredo, ran a local mechanical parts factory. The early life of Enzo is marked by the flu as well as the war which takes away several of his family members. A survivor of the disease, he is discharged from the military and left to pursue his true passion, racing.
The story of his life is well known and has been told many times over; Alfa Romeo, the creation of Scuderia Ferrari, the victories, the tragedies, Fiat and its legacy. All of these events helped turn Enzo Ferrari into a household name all over the world.
THAT IS WHAT THIS PARTNERSHIP FOCUSES ON, AND THE STORY IT SEEKS TO TELL.
In Maranello, visiting the factory can be compared to a pilgrimage. The mecca of supercar manufacturing if you will. The famous gate at the entrance of the plant and the simple fact that Enzo kept his office at the entrance to see every car that came in, and every car that came out tells you a lot about his personality.
The factory tour is set up as you would expect. Engine room, assembly and racing department (corse clienti).
The visit was a state-of-the-art experience. But what I truly love about Marenello what you are witnessing when on the grounds. The assembly line of the V8 powered cars is a state mega-hall of technology, skill and capital expenditure done right. Yet all the bodies arrive by truck from the carrozzeria in Modena, and wait outside the hall after the paint-job to enter their 10-day road to transformation. On the streets of what has become a small town, seeing the car bodies on chariots is as Italian as it gets. This adds to the charm of Ferrari and reflects back to the sense of entrepreneurship and fighter mentality that Enzo quite rightfully fed into the Scuderia’s beginnings. This is what makes a Great Character, and hence why Germany’s most famous penmaker and the epitome of Italian savoir-faire can safely approach the community of fountain pen aficionados and petrol heads alike, with confidence.
Enzo Ferrari was no stranger to fountain pens. I was told by none other than Piero Ferrari himself that his father would keep a journal and write everything down using a fountain pen with purple ink. The same permanent ink was used for stamps, in order to prohibit a counterfeit document. This is perhaps one of the strongest arguments that go towards Enzo’s undeniable sense of power, and an applause to his charisma.
In his own words “you cannot describe passion, you can only live it”. Words of inspiration for entrepreneurs big and small.
One day you may just come across a document bearing my signature in a beautiful and permanent purple ink…
Follow with the official press release here.