Claus-Johannes Voss, Alfred Nehemias & August Eberstein
Montblanc International GmbH is a German manufacturer of writing instruments, watches and accessories, often identified by their "White Star" logo.
Founded by the stationer Claus-Johannes Voss, the banker Alfred Nehemias and the engineer August Eberstein in 1906, the company began as the Simplo Filler Pen company producing up-market pens in the Schanzen district of Hamburg. Their first model was the Rouge Et Noir in 1909 followed in 1910 by the pen that was later to give the company its new name, the Mont Blanc. The first pen (a fountain pen) known as the Meisterstück or Masterpiece (the name used for export) was produced in 1925. Today the Montblanc brand is on other goods besides pens, including leather goods and eyewear.
The company was successful despite its founder, Eberstein, fleeing to the US to avoid prosecution for stealing company funds in 1909. In 1934 the company changed its name to Montblanc-Simplo GmbH, and introduced its first piston filler.
The company was acquired by Dunhill in 1977, following which lower price pens were dropped and the brand was used on a wide range of luxury goods other than pens.
Today Montblanc forms part of the Richemont group. Its sister companies include luxury brands Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chloé, and Baume et Mercier. Since 2000, Montblanc has manufactured all the components for Montegrappa and Cartier branded pens.