New limited edition writing instruments pays homage to the life and legacy of a Hollywood icon
From cultural icons to great thinkers and leaders, the Montblanc Great Characters Limited Edition has been paying homage since 2009 to the exceptional individuals whose lives and work have made a lasting impact on human civilisation. The latest addition to the collection celebrates the cultural legacy of James Byron Dean (1931 – 1955), one of the greatest big-screen stars of his time remembered for his leading roles in the films East of Eden, Rebel without a Cause and Giant. Despite his early death at the age of 24, his talent at portraying characters with rough edges, his charisma and his passionate delivery earned him a place in cinematic history. He embodied the essence of a tormented and misunderstood youth. Though he never won an Oscar during his short meteoric rise in Hollywood, the young actor was nominated posthumously for an Oscar – for two of his starring performances. The design of the Montblanc Great Characters Limited Edition James Dean™* narrates the story of the rebellious and unconventional hero that still captures imaginations with the authenticity of his emotionally-charged performances, nearly 65 years after his tragic disappearance.
*James Dean is a trademark of James Dean Inc.
The red precious resin of the cap and barrel of the Montblanc Great Characters James Dean™ Special Edition recalls the vibrant colour of Dean’s red jacket worn in his second film Rebel without a Cause – one of the first Technicolor productions. The pattern evokes the structure of jeans, a garment often worn by James Dean in his films. Available as a fountain pen, a rollerball and a ballpoint pen, the edition commemorates James Dean’s third and last films with the shape of the ruthenium-coated clip as a reference to the gun that his character Jett Rink carried on his shoulders in one of his most famous scenes. An inlay on the cap is inspired by the shape of a bullet. Another legendary film scene from East of Eden, James Dean’s first ever movie and one that propelled him to fame overnight, is immortalised by an engraving of the pattern of a dollar bill on the platinum-coated cap top. A reference to his intense approach to life and his unrelenting commitment to his art, one of the star’s most famous quotes is engraved around the cap: ‘Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.’ He lived his life on the edge, but also loved speed and motor racing dreaming of one day being a Grand Prix driver. It was in his Porsche 550 Spyder that James Dean met an early death in 1955. The handcrafted, rhodium-coated Au 585 gold nib is engraved with a racing flag. The engraved ring on the barrel provides the geographic position of the James Dean Memorial Junction where he died.
Limited to 99 pieces in reference of the year 1999 when the American Film Institute ranked James Dean one of the greatest male movie stars of Golden Age Hollywood, the details of the Montblanc Great Characters James Dean™ Limited Edition 99 are inspired by the legend’s outstanding contribution to cinema. The knife-shaped design of the writing instrument is a tribute to the knife fight from his second film Rebel Without A Cause. With this role as the rebellious teenager Jim Stark, Dean became a permanent icon of film history. The pen’s barrel is crafted from precious ebony with fittings made of Au 750 solid white gold. Giving it the appearance of a closed switchblade, a special mechanism hides the nib within the writing instrument when not in use. When opened with a simple flick, the nib automatically extends into position, ready for writing. The handcrafted rhodium-coated Au 750 gold nib is engraved with the racing flag design. A seal of excellence in craftsmanship, the Montblanc emblem in white resin is set on the cap top, and a mother-of-pearl emblem embellishes the cone.
Limited to just 1,931 fountain pens and 1,931 rollerballs in reference to the year James Dean was born, The Montblanc Great Characters James Dean™ Limited Edition 1931 celebrates the screen legend’s passion for fast cars. His enthusiasm for motorcars was part of this fascination with speed. He named his Porsche ‘Little Bastard’, a nickname that originated on the set of Giant, his final film. The Ag 925 sterling silver barrel is engraved with a pattern reminiscent of the oil-cooler grille on the Porsche 550 Spyder. The contrasting cap is made of precious wood, with the clip shaped like a gun inspired by the weapon carried by Dean’s character in Giant. The cap top is decorated with the East of Eden dollar bill motif, while the Au750 solid gold, rhodium-coated nib features the race flag design.
A selection of fine stationary completes the Montblanc Great Characters James Dean™ Edition including a red leather notebook and the new James Dean red ink inspired by his iconic red jacket in Rebel Without A Cause, available as an ink bottle and as rollerball or ballpoint cartridges.
It only took a year and a half for James Dean to achieve immortality, yet his rebellious non-conformism, his magnetic presence and his raw talent have inspired successive generations of actors, musicians and artists for nearly six decades. His legacy lives on and his story continues to be written through the creative artistry of Montblanc craftsmanship.
For further information please visit www.montblanc.com
Guided by the pioneering spirit since 1906, Montblanc revolutionised the culture of writing with breakthrough innovations. Today, the Maison continues to push boundaries and evolve the expression of fine craftsmanship across each of its product categories: the pinnacle of luxury writing instruments, timepieces, leather goods, accessories, fragrances and eye-wear. With every innovation, Montblanc offers new functionalities and groundbreaking designs imbued with the Maison’s heritage of sophistication and crafted to the highest standards through the skills of its artisans in each of its manufactures whether Hamburg, Germany for its writing instruments, the Swiss Jura in Le Locle and Villeret for its timepieces or Florence, Italy for its leather goods. Reflecting its ongoing mission to create fine lifetime companions born from the most pioneering ideas, the iconic Montblanc Emblem has become the ultimate seal of performance, innovation, quality and expression of style. With its origins deeply rooted in the culture of handwriting, Montblanc continues to assert its cultural commitment around the world with the creation of wide-ranging initiatives to promote arts and culture in many forms, while honouring the modern day patrons who support the advancement of the arts.