Writers Edition Homage to Victor Hugo

Montblanc pays tribute to the genius of an icon of French literature and culture
Courtesy of Montblanc

The Montblanc Writers Edition celebrates the literary giants who have made their mark on world literature through the power and artistry of their writing. The new limited edition pays tribute to the creative talent and cultural legacy of Victor Marie Hugo (1802 – 1885). Considered one of the greatest French Romantic writers, the novelist, poet, dramatist and illustrator developed his own distinctive style of imaginative realism, pairing realistic elements with abundant symbolism. Hugo firmly believed that his mission as a writer was to defend the less fortunate members of society by documenting injustice, using his work to champion the social and political causes of his time. Among his many achievements, he was elected to the Académie française in 1841, testament to his influence on French arts and letters.

While he wrote prolifically in all genres, he is best known around the world for his novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’), that have been adapted in many different versions and have earned an enduring place in popular culture. These two colossal works of French literature have inspired the design of the limited edition Montblanc writing instruments. In addition to storytelling elements drawn from the novels, the collection also pays homage to the author’s personal and private life with elegant references to Hauteville House, his beautifully decorated home in Guernsey.

Crafted in the Montblanc Ateliers, four different editions bring to life the magic of Hugo’s works from the imposing architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to the compelling characters of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.

Courtesy of Montblanc

Montblanc Writers Edition Homage To Victor Hugo Writers Edition

The author’s novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is set in Paris during the 15th century, tells the story of Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer and his unrequited love for the beautiful La Esmeralda. True to Hugo’s passion for social justice, the novel condemns a society that cruelly excludes the likes of Quasimodo and Esmeralda. The characters and themes of the novel are represented in the design of this edition in black precious resin with platinum-coated fittings.

· Cap inspired by the imposing gothic architecture of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

· Skeletonized clip inspired by the central rose window of the cathedral with a clip drop evoking the bell of Notre Dame rung by Quasimodo

· Barrel decorated with a pattern reminiscent of the wooden panels in neo-gothic side from Hugo’s oak gallery in Hauteville House

· A face behind clip inspired by an original drawing of Jean Valjean, the protagonist in Les Misérables by Gustave Brion

· A cone shaped like the pillar to which Quasimodo was chained to in Notre-Dame de Paris

· Au750 solid gold rhodium-coated nib adorned with a special engraving of a gargoyle from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame

· Montblanc emblem crafted from precious resin

Courtesy of Montblanc

Montblanc Writers Edition Homage to Victor Hugo Limited Edition 1831

This platinum-coated metal and red lacquer edition features details from the story of Jean Valjean, the principal character in Les Misérables who illustrates Hugo’s theories about the redemptive power of compassion and love.

· Cap and barrel design reminiscent of the Gothic architecture of the Notre Dame de Paris featuring a skeleton overlay with translucent red lacquer underneath, a colour inspired by the prison outfit Jean Valjean is given

· Cap decorated with Central Rosace, evoking the rose window of the Notre Dame Cathedral

· Numbers 24601 and 9430 featured on the cap are the prisoner numbers assigned to Jean Valjean during his first and second time of being imprisoned.

· Cap top engraved with the quote “Chaque homme dans sa nuit s'en va vers sa lumière” (Each man in his darkness goes towards his light”) from Hugo’s Les Contemplations, tells the story of redemption

· Cone ring features a special engraving similar to decorations on the balcony of the cathedral and a single chain link, a reference to Quasimodo’s chains

· The yellow colour on the bottom of the cone is a reference to the yellow passport that Valjean is given when he leaves prison, a reminder of his status as a convict

· Montblanc emblem crowns the edition in mother-of-pearl

· Au750 solid gold rhodium-coated nib adorned with a special engraving of a gargoyle from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame

· Limitation number of 1831 marks the year Notre Dame de Paris was first published

· Limited to 1831 fountain pens, and 1831 rollerballs.

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Montblanc Writers Edition Homage to Victor Hugo Limited Edition 83

A precious edition in solid gold takes its design cues from the gothic splendour of Notre Dame, but also gives insight into the author’s private life. Transparent hues of blue under the gold overlay evoke the blue skies he enjoyed from his lookout room at Hauteville House, and his skills as a watercolour painter.

· Cap and barrel in translucent blue resin with an Au750 solid gold skeletonized overlay

· Central Rosace in lacquer in different shades of blue

· “V” etched on the cap and “H” on the barrel, the author’s initials that were also featured on the wood panelling of the Salon Chinois at Hauteville House

· The shape of the cone is taken from the story of Quasimodo with a single chain, also featured on an early Montblanc writing instrument from the 1920s

· Mother-of-pearl inlay on the cone references his sword of Pair de France with its mother-of-pearl handle

· Limitation number of 83 commemorates the age at which the author passed away, in celebration of his life and achievements

· Solid Au 750 nib embellished with a gargoyle engraving

Courtesy of Montblanc

Montblanc Writers Edition Homage to Victor Hugo Limited Edition 8

For the first time in Montblanc’s Writers Edition collection, a very limited writing instrument of only eight pieces worldwide is presented. The value of the edition comes from the rare craftsmanship of the pliqué-a-jour enamelling technique in particular, used to create the central Rosace in different shades of red enamel. The motifs on the surface are held by fine gold partitions, making them look like miniature stained-glass windows. This enameling technique is one of the most demanding and requires painstaking detail. It is also the technique that best highlights the crystalline clarity of glass and the delicacy of the metal supporting it.

· Cap and barrel in transparent black precious resin, with black PVD coated Au 750 solid gold, skeletonized overlay in a design inspired by the gothic architecture of Notre Dame cathedral

· Three-dimensional gargoyles adorn either side of the cap

· Central Rosace in pliqué-a-jour lacquer in different shades of red

· Fittings in Au 750 solid yellow gold, decorated with brilliant cut diamonds

· Cone shaped like Quasimodo’s pillar with tsavorite and single chain link

· Montblanc emblem made of mother-of-pearl

· Au 750 solid gold nib decorated with fine gargoyle engraving.


Victor Hugo’s works continue to be widely read, studied, and adapted to this day; his heroic characters and the intense emotion capturing the imagination of readers around the world. Through the artistry and skill of Montblanc artisans, his stories are now forever immortalized as collection of limited edition writing instruments.


Montblanc Writers Edition Homage to Victor Hugo Edition is available from July 2020 from Montblanc boutiques worldwide.