A tribute to the genius and artistry of the music legend that rocked the world with his electric guitar
With its Great Characters Edition, Montblanc celebrates the life and achievements of eminent figures who have shaped the cultural history of humankind. Widely recognised as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix reimagined the possibilities of the electric guitar. While the career of James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix (1942-1970) spanned just four years, he was immortalized with out-of-this-world sounds and his sophisticated technical skill. Revered as a guitar god, he rose to fame in the 1960s rock ‘n’ roll culture, revolutionising the music world along the way, coaxing almost-never-before-heard noises from the instrument, and proclaiming a message of peace and love with his music. The Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Special Edition is dedicated to this music idol of an entire generation, with design details telling the story of an exceptional artist who left an indelible mark on the world of music.
Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Special Edition
Guitar legends like Eric Clapton were speechless when Jimi Hendrix got up on stage and drove his cream-coloured Fender Stratocaster guitar to new heights with his inventive and unconventional technique. It is the colour of that guitar that has inspired the shade of the precious resin on the cap of the Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Special Edition. Available as a fountain pen, ballpoint and rollerball, the geometric pattern of this work of art recalls the pattern of Hendrix’s embroidered guitar strap. The tremolo bar that was so important to his personal sound informed the shape of the platinum-coated clip, covered in cream-coloured precious resin at the tip. The artist’s debut album title Are You Experienced decorates the clip top, as a finishing touch.
The date ’18-06-1967′ on the platinum-coated barrel ring is reminiscent of Hendrix’s spectacular performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, during the “Summer of Love”, while the ring’s surface texture is a reference to the connecting end of a Fender guitar cable. Hendrix loved experimenting with sound effects using the wah-wah pedal – an electronic device used to manipulate the sound of an electric guitar. The surface of this pedal is reflected in the structure of the black precious resin barrel, and the cone is imprinted with the word ‘WAH’. The red precious resin inlay at the end of the cone parallels in colour the pilot light of a Marshall Super Lead amplifier. The cap top is crowned with the Montblanc emblem and an embossing of the finger positions for the opening chords of ‘Purple Haze’, a powerful interval nicknamed the devil’s triton, as well as a violet ring. The handcrafted, rhodium-coated Au 585 solid gold nib is decorated with a portrait of the guitarist. Nuanced traces of Hendrix guitar stylings can be found throughout the collection.
Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Limited Edition 1942
Production capped at 1,942, commemorating the year of his birth, the Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Limited Edition 1942, in its red and golden colour palette pays respect to the cover of the 1968 album Electric Ladyland performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience – a milestone in rock music. A metal plate with lacquer inlay on the cap is based on a famous logo from Jimi Hendrix’s career. The cap’s textured black surface imitates the cover of Hendrix’s preferred Marshall Super Lead amplifier. The yellow gold-coated tremolo bar clip is covered in black precious resin at the tip. The title of the famous album Electric Ladyland is engraved around the top of the clip.
The date imprinted on the yellow gold-coated barrel ring, ’10-05-1968′, refers to another monumental performance by Hendrix at the Joshua Light Show in New York City, made famous by its pioneering liquid light effects. The yellow gold-coated cap top bears a ring in red precious lacquer and the ‘Purple Haze’ finger positions embossed on it. The degradé lacquer on the barrel, which fades gradually from red to black, is in keeping with the look of the album cover – as are the bold stripes of the yellow gold-coated skeleton. The red precious resin inlay in the end of the cone is modelled on the pilot light of a Marshall Super Lead amplifier. The guitarist’s portrait is engraved on the handcrafted Au 750 solid yellow gold nib.
Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Limited Edition 99
The limitation number of the Montblanc Great Characters Jimi Hendrix Limited Edition 99 refers to the 30th anniversary of Woodstock in 1999, when Hendrix’s posthumous album Live at Woodstock was released. The writing instrument’s design is inspired by the Woodstock Festival in 1969, one of the pivotal concerts in Jimi Hendrix’s career, as well as the electric guitar, the instrument that gave voice to his musical vision, and became an extension of himself. Cream-coloured lacquer is used on the cap to mirror the look of the Fender Stratocaster guitar he played at the festival, while an engraved Au 750 solid white gold plaque is etched with the names of the songs from his Woodstock set.
The cap top features a skeletonised Au 750 solid white gold overlay carved out with the peace sign and the Montblanc emblem to reveal the blue transparent dome underneath. The lacquer ring beneath the dome is inspired by the hot pink headband Hendrix wore on stage that August day in Woodstock, New York, while the name ‘Woodstock’ is imprinted around the top of the clip. Hendrix’s ability to reinvent music and sound, as well as his habit of turning right-handed guitars around to play left-handed, led designers in conceptualizing a functional feature of the writing instrument: instead of removing the cap to reveal the nib, one unscrews the barrel to write. As a result, what appears to be the cap top actually serves as the cone, and vice versa.
The tremolo bar that Hendrix used so expressively to create his soul-stirring sound encouraged the shape of the palladium-coated clip, which is covered in precious resin at the tip. His portrait is engraved on the handcrafted Au 750 solid bi-colour gold nib, while the Au 750 solid white gold forepart is engraved with his signature alongside the same geometric pattern that decorated Hendrix’s guitar strap at Woodstock
To complement the limited edition, Montblanc is releasing a calf leather notebook and violet-coloured ink (available as an ink bottle) recalling his hit ‘Purple Haze’. The nuanced traces of Hendrix’s guitar stylings found throughout the collection offer the ultimate tribute to one of the greatest musical contributors of our time, in impeccable Montblanc fashion.