sale mont blanc pens National International Football News

mont blanc online shop National International Football News

Manchester City are set to make a shock move to add Monaco’s Thomas Lemar to their raft of attacking options this summer.

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano says the club wants to be revered for its football in the way Barcelona have for the last decade.

Antonio Conte has insisted he will ask Eden Hazard to play as a “false nine” again if he feels it will benefit Chelsea and believes his players should express any dissatisfaction with their roles internally.

Jurgen Klopp will have no hesitation going head to head with Manchester United and Manchester City by spending big again this summer.

Swansea may face a fight to keep hold of Carlos Carvalhal next season because their manager is attracting interest from several Premier League clubs after his outstanding start at the Liberty Stadium.
sale mont blanc pens National International Football News

mont blanc range Missed the Perseids Meteor Shower

montblanc limited edition pens prices Missed the Perseids Meteor Shower

The Milky Way is seen during the Perseid shower above the Los Padres National Forest in Frazier Park, California, August 12, 2009. FRAZIER PARK/Reuters

A Perseid meteor (top) and the trail of an jet airplane converge over the cliff walls of Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas, Nevada August 11, 2009. The annual show of Perseid meteor shower is caused from bits of debris from Comet Swift Tuttle. David Becker/REUTERS

Photo 3 of 11

Meteors from the Perseid shower streak past stars above the Los Padres National Forest in Frazier Park, California August 12, 2009. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift Tuttle. Perseid meteors are bright, and often leave luminous trails of gas. Mario Anzuoni/REUTERS

Photo 4 of 11

A meteor from the Perseid shower (L) streaks past stars in the Los Padres National Forest in Frazier Park, California August 12, 2009. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift Tuttle. Perseid meteors are bright, and often leave luminous trails of gas. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Photo 5 of 11

A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky at the Mont Tendre near Montricher in the Jura, north of Geneva, late August 12, 2009. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift Tuttle. This picture was taken using a long exposure and a fisheye lens. Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Photo 6 of 11

A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky over Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain, southern England August 12, 2010. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by comet Swift Tuttle. Picture taken using a long exposure. Kieran Doherty/REUTERS

Photo 7 of 11

A meteor (top, R) streaks past stars in the night sky above Lake Geneva and the Mont Blancl, at the Mont Tendre near Montricher in the Jura, north of Geneva, early August 11, 2012. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift Tuttle. Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Photo 8 of 11

A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky at the Mont Tendre near Montricher in the Jura, north of Geneva, early August 11, 2012. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift Tuttle. Denis Balibouse/REUTERS

Photo 9 of 11

A meteor (top) streaks past stars in the night sky above Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc, at the Mont Tendre near Montricher in the Jura, north of Geneva, late August 10, 2012. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift Tuttle. The three lines on the bottom of the sky are aircrafts. Picture taken with a long exposure. Denis Balibouse/REUTERS

Photo 10 of 11

A meteor (top, L) streaks past stars in the night sky above Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc, at the Mont Tendre near Montricher in the Jura, north of Geneva, late August 10, 2012. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift Tuttle. Picture taken with a long exposure. Denis Balibouse /REUTERS

Photo 11 of 11

A meteor (top) streaks past stars in the night sky above Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc, at the Mont Tendre near Montricher in the Jura, north of Geneva, late August 10, 2012. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift Tuttle. The three lines on the bottom of the sky are aircrafts. Picture taken with a long exposure. Denis Balibouse /REUTERS

One of the best annual meteor showers is set to perform this weekend under optimal viewing conditions. The Perseid meteor showerpeaks on the morning of August 12th, although it will be worth starting to watch for meteors a few days prior. The Perseids are so named because they seem to radiate from the constellation Perseus, which is high to the northeast on August mornings for middle latitude observers in the northern hemisphere.

You can start watching for meteors at dusk, but you are much more likely to see them in the pre dawn hours. The reason for this is simple; an observer is facing forward into the Earth’s orbit past local midnight, as it scoops out a “13,000 kilometre hole” in its orbit moving at 29.8 kilometres a second. This effect is the same as a car moving down a highway in a snowstorm; the snowflakes seem to come from one vantage point (known as the meteor showers’ radiant) straight ahead.

64 annual meteor showers are currently recognized by the International Astronomical Union, but most are so week that you’d barely notice them. The Perseids are a dependable performer, generating 90 100 meteors per hour at their peak. This year that peak is set to occur a bit early due to 2012 being a leap year, arriving on August 12th at 13:19 Universal Time or 11:19 Eastern Daylight Savings Time. This would favor Hawaii and the western Pacific, but of course the peak of the shower could arrive early or late. For example, enhanced rates of 200 per hour were seen in the 1990’s, and the shower can display multiple peaks. This year, the Moon is also at a 23% illuminated crescent phase rising around 2AM local, and thus should only hamper seeing the faintest of meteors.

Composite of the 2011 Perseids taken with an All Sky Camera based at Huntsville, Alabama. (Credit: NASA/Marshall Spaceflight Center)

What are the Perseids? They are tiny dust grains dispersed by comet 109/P Swift Tuttle along its orbit. Meteor shower streams evolve over time, and the Perseids are one of the consistently richest showers of the current epoch. Some showers, such as the November Leonids, generate a paltry 10 per hour but are prone to great +1,000 per hour outbursts every 33 years, as happened in 1998 99 and may occur again in 2032 33. What you are actually seeing when you see a Perseid meteor is not the particle itself, but a glowing trail of incandescent gas left in its wake. “Pings” for meteors can even be heard along the FM dial, and it’s a matter of debate as to whether observers can actually “hear” meteors via a phenomenon known as electrophonic sound.

The great thing is, you don’t need any specialized equipment to watch a meteor shower; just a lawn chair and patience. Keep in mind, the “90 100” per hour number is a theoretical optimal rate, known in astronomy as the shower’s “zenithal hourly rate”. You can optimize your chances of seeing the Perseids by watching in the AM hours getting away from city lights to a location with a clear horizon. Perseids can occur anywhere in the sky, and if you have multiple observers, it’s fun to face in opposite directions and count how many you see.

Photographing the Perseids can also be a pretty straight forward affair with a modern DSLR camera; just set the camera on a tripod and take several time exposures at the widest field of view setting. With digital photography, it’s simple to take a series of test shots to get the focus, f/ratio, shutter speed, and ISO just right for your local sky conditions. Just remember to have an extra set of fresh charged batteries on hand! Also, be sure to carefully review the images on a large screen afterward; Perseids may show up photographically that weren’t apparent visually.
mont blanc range Missed the Perseids Meteor Shower

the mont blanc On the quiet side of Mont Blanc

mt blanc climb On the quiet side of Mont Blanc

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Head to the Italian resort of Courmayeur to enjoy the Valle Blanche without the crowds of Chamonix.

Descending close behind my guide, Beppe Villa, my head rises when I hear shouts coming from a few hundreds metres to the right. A second guide is traversing fast towards us, his skis rattling on the glass like snow. I stop as the men talk and reach for their mobile phones. I learn only later that they are calling Alberto, their friend and another guide, who, while leading his group, has fallen down a crevasse.

I’m high on one of the world’s most famous descents, the Valle Blanche. A continuous off piste run of nearly 20km, it offers even intermediate skiers with reasonable fitness and a sense of adventure the chance to marvel at one of the Alps’ most stunning regions in the shadow of Mont Blanc. Of course there are risks, posed chiefly by shifting cracks in the glacier, but they remain happily slim and the valley has become a must do for any skier who itches to leave the piste far behind.

Typically, valley baggers arrive from Chamonix, rising to almost 3850m at the top of the cable car at Aiguille du Midi, surely the world’s most dramatic lift station. A hairy walk follows before the descent starts. It can be the most dangerous part of the day if it’s icy or busy, which it invariably is. I’ve chosen instead to join the descent from Italy and Courmayeur. The lesser known resort lies just through the Mont Blanc tunnel from Chamonix but offers a quieter and, well, more Italian way to explore the mountains for which its cross border neighbour is so celebrated.

I’ve come with friends. It takes us more than half an hour to drink in our surroundings from the top of the vast terrace at Punta Helbronner. We’d started early, ascending via a series of cable cars of increasing ricketiness to almost 3,500m. Mont Blanc dominates 360 degrees of crisp, jagged skyline, appearing so close you might consider a quick descent after lunch. Beppe, a taciturn former shopkeeper from Milan, lifts a worn finger like a sausage to point out Divine Providence, an apparently vertical triangular rock face that forms one of the toughest ascents. Until then, the steps down to the start of the descent are less alarming than those from the Midi, but they’re to be taken carefully. So too are the first turns, which can be hard and icy. Mine are rink like after weeks of dry, warm conditions. Beppe is leading us rightwards in search of less tracked snow when the call comes about Alberto. We later learn he has recovered after being winched out by helicopter, and after a few minutes of waiting, we head left to join the main drag through the centre of the valley.

On days like this, you come here not for the quality of the skiing but to feel like an ant in awe of its surroundings. High up, we pick our way through house sized blocks of brilliant blue ice. Later, as the valley flattens, we peel away from the throng to find a secluded rock for the sort of lunch only high mountains can deliver. Jackets off, good bread, hands slightly chilled, total silence but for the occasional rockfall, the trickle of meltwater and the squawking of crows echoing for miles off the valley walls.

Eventually, after some sweaty hiking (the ease of your exit depends on snow conditions ask your guide first), we ski into Chamonix and a beer at sunset before a 30 minute bus ride back to Italy through the tunnel.

Courmayeur is one of the bigger destinations in Italy’s Aosta Valley, which also includes Champoluc, Cervinia and Gressoney, but retains its Alpine charm with cobbles and heavy slate roofs. I am staying at the Villa Novecento, a comfortable four star affair about five minutes walk from the centre of town. There, the charming main pedestrianised street has shops, bars and bakeries and, near the guides bureau, a quaint Alpine museum that preserves the town’s heritage.
the mont blanc On the quiet side of Mont Blanc

montblanc pen case Mont Blanc’s depiction of Bapu wrong

mont blanc meisterstuck ballpoint Mont Blanc’s depiction of Bapu wrong

The government on Tuesday said the depiction of Mahatma Gandhi on nibs of luxury pens from Mont Blanc violates Indian law.

A day after Supreme Court sought the response of Mont Blanc and the government over the pens priced at around Rs 12 lakh, Minister of State for Consumer Affair K V Thomas informed the Lok Sabha that it violates the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.

“Yes,” he said replying to a question by Congress MPs B B Patil, Eknath M Gaekwad and Madhu Yaskhi whether the luxury pen, watch and fragrance maker violated Indian laws by using the name of Mahatma Gandhi for sale of their pen.

Thomas informed that the Department of Consumer Affairs had received a notice from Kerala High Court on October 29 with a copy of writ petition filed by Dijo Kappen of Kottayam based Centre for Consumer Education.

“The Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat has been requested to investigate the matter and to take appropriate steps” under the Act, he said.

The Gujarat government has been told to investigate the case because one of the respondents in the petition Entrack International Trading, a sole distributor of Mont Blanc’s pens in the country, is located in Rajkot, he noted.

The Supreme Court had yesterday sought response from the Centre and the global pen company hearing a PIL that seeks to restrain the “misuse” of the picture and name of Mahatma Gandhi for commercial purposes.
montblanc pen case Mont Blanc's depiction of Bapu wrong

montblanc classic fountain pen Patrick Schmitz opens new Vancouver flagship

mont blanc pens buy Patrick Schmitz opens new Vancouver flagship

Montblanc pens, watches and jewelry have been carried in Vancouver jewelry stores for years, why did Montblanc open a stand alone boutique now?

It’s always been our strategy to create the home of Montblanc. The place where you can experience the brand. The place where we can provide the best in class service. A place where you can see all these (Montblanc) products.

We opened our first store in Canada on Bloor Street (in Toronto) probably 15 years ago. Vancouver is unusual in the world where, particularly for the higher end, there was no clear destination of where you would build a store. It was not defined. Now it is clearer. I looked at Vancouver for the longest time. When the opportunity came along, we grabbed it.

The pen is the iconic Montblanc product, how does it fit into a tech dominated world?

The Black Meisterstck pen was designed in 1924 (in Hamburg, Germany) and we haven’t changed it since then, and today it’s (still) the most successful pen in the world. How many things do you own or do you aspire to have that you can say ‘this is 80 years old and still hot’? This is something that is very unique to Montblanc Montblanc never goes out of style.

And every product that has a white star, we will service, no matter how old. The longevity translates to many areas. In the world of high tech we’re high touch. Because of this fast changing world where nothing is permanent, people long for things that slow you down, that have longevity, that can be handed down. As much as you communicate with a digital gadget, it will never replace that personal letter that you write to someone who is important to you.

Is there a new ‘classic’ item for Montblanc?

In 1997, we made the big step with watches. Watches are very similar to writing implements in that they’re manual, they’re mechanic.

Watches are the fastest growing product line. We develop, design and manufacture the watches. Pens are our roots; this is who we are and what’s important to us, so we’ve never stopped bringing new writing instruments. But if you look to the future,
montblanc classic fountain pen Patrick Schmitz opens new Vancouver flagship
where we have a lot of potential is with watches.

What distinguishes Montblanc from other luxury brands?

The true definition of luxury today is bespoke. It’s not what is the most expensive one, it’s the most unique one.

With that came the capability of the manufacture of one. We do watches of one, pens of one, where we sit down with the customer. In case of a writing instrument, this is a year and a half process; you look at the designs, you discuss materials, you work with their life stories. And the same is true for watches. It can be between $300,000 $500,000 or as much as a million for a pen.

It’s like building a house. You’re working with the client to create something very unique and personal.

What is the Mont Blanc esthetic?

The branding is a white star on the top of every pen. The view of the top of the Mont Blanc mountain has six glaciers and that is the star.

Mont Blanc is less flashy and more sophistication. It’s stylish, but elegant and has a timelessness without being boring.

Montblanc, 717 Burrard St.

Interview conducted and condensed by Michele Marko.

The NRC re imagines itself, with the help of a bigger budgetThe no longer new president of the National Research Council has just been told by the federal budget to his agency, but it turns out he been doing this for a year and a half. Prosecutors had 30 days following the Feb. 9 verdict to file an appeal in the case. government shatters Ottawa woman’s professional life, then quietly recants allegationsMarie Boivin was sitting at a Starbucks a year and a half ago when she got a call from her accountant. said to me, have to turn on CNN,’ she recalled. bad. Building Trades they will be guaranteed a .

Douglas Todd: Why Sikhs are so powerful in Canadian politicsThe Sikh connection had been working well for Justin Trudeau, as it did for Jean Chretien. Punjabi Canadians.

Daphne Bramham: Convicted polygamist Winston Blackmore unrepentant even as he faces possible jail timeCRANBROOK Expect to hear more, not less, from Winston Blackmore now that his conviction for polygamy.

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montblanc classic fountain pen Patrick Schmitz opens new Vancouver flagship

monblanc nel del Mont Blanc

mont blanc pens retailers nel del Mont Blanc

La idea de construir un tnel para acortar el tiempo que tomaba circunnavegar el Mont Blanc, la montaa que se alza entre Francia e Italia, se remonta al siglo XIX, cuando muchos tenan que hacer ese camino a pie y les tomaba tres das.

Las relaciones polticas entre las dos naciones y la dificultad para conseguir fondos hicieron que pasaran aos antes de que se convirtiera en un proyecto viable.

“Cuando vi el primer vehculo pasar me sent feliz porque era un maravilloso final para una historia larga; una historia de casi un siglo de esperanzas, de expectativas. y tambin de desilusiones”, le cuenta a la BBC Franco Cuaz, uno de los ingenieros que ayud a realizar el proyecto.

“Y, por supuesto, tambin pens en todos esos pobres jvenes que perdieron la vida tratando de que todo eso fuera posible”.

A la sombra del Mont BlancCientos de hombres haban trabajado durante aos, aguantando un calor intenso mientras excavaban en lo profundo de la tierra. Haban muerto 12, decenas haban resultado heridos por los deslaves, avalanchas e inundaciones.

“Nunca se haba construido un tnel tan largo. Y bajo los Alpes! No sabamos si la construccin resistira pero al final todo sali bien. Se me cumpli un sueo, no slo mi sueo sino el de muchas personas. Y fue un xito!”, exclama el italiano Cuaz.

Haba crecido en el valle a la sombra de Mont Blanc. Hoy en da tiene 91 aos y disfruta la oportunidad de rememorar.

Durante los aos 60 fue consultor de la construccin del tnel y luego se convirti en su primer jefe de operaciones.

“Desde que era un nio oa a todos hablando del tnel. Era una construccin importante para nuestra regin pues le dio al Valle d’Aosta la oportunidad de comunicarse con Francia durante los 12 meses del ao y no slo los cuatro de antes”.

La idea de excavar la montaa, subraya, precedi a la existencia de los autos.

No slo para los locales Antes y despus del advenimiento del automvil, los empinados pasos de la montaa permanecan cerrados gran parte del ao debido a la nieve y el hielo. Y cuando estaban abiertos, el viaje en esa parte oriental de Francia y noroccidental de Italia era extremadamente peligroso.

Con 1.200 kilmetros de la frontera de Italia infranqueables durante tantos meses, la nica opcin era rodear la montaa. Y a menudo, ni siquiera eso.

Haba que encontrar una solucin.

En 1946, cuando la paz regres a Europa, los primeros equipos de construccin italianos empezaron a perforar su lado de los Alpes.

En 1947, acordaron con Francia construir el tnel juntos, pero no fue sino hasta 1959 que empez el trabajo en los dos lados en serio.

Un enorme huecoUn periodista de la BBC que fue a reportar sobre la obra dos aos ms tarde, en 1961, al ver el hueco explic que aunque se vea enorme, era “como tratar de atravesar con una aguja los cimientos de granito del castillo de Edimburgo”.

“Y al Mont Blanc no le est gustando nada lo que le estn haciendo”, continu. “Est defendindose con todo lo que tiene”.

Fue en ese tiempo que Franco Cuaz fue por primera vez a verlo.

“Lo que ms recuerdo del tnel era humo, agua y ruido”, dice el ingeniero italiano.

“Agua porque el 60% de Mont Blanc pasa bajo glaciares, as que torrentes de agua caan en el tnel. Estamos hablando de 1.000 litros por segundo!”.

“Humo por los explosivos y los motores de los camiones, as como el polvo de las perforadoras”.

“El ruido de los martillos, las explosiones y los camiones de diesel era ensordecedor”, agrega.

“Adems, tambin haba algo que no me haba esperado: cuando uno est perforando rocas, sobre todo granito, altera un equilibrio que ha existido durante miles de aos. Al mover los bloques, suena un fuerte ruido, como una explosin”.

Accidente inusual y trgicoCon la ayuda de maquinaria perforadora y explosivos, los obreros franceses e italianos se fueron acercando lentamente, volando en pedazos el interior de la montaa y luego limpiando el camino e instalando puntales y soportes.

El progreso era dolorosamente lento y a menudo era interrumpido.

Cuaz seala que en el lado italiano, la tierra era menos estable y ms propensa a los deslaves.

En un punto, tuvieron que suspender el trabajo por 5 meses pues la maquinaria qued completamente enterrada bajo una roca que cay.
monblanc nel del Mont Blanc

mont blanc official website Missing climber Patrice Hyvert found on Nant Blanc near Chamonix after 32 years

montblacn Missing climber Patrice Hyvert found on Nant Blanc near Chamonix after 32 years

Patrice Hyvert disappeared whileascending a glacier in 1982 (Picture: AFP/Getty)

The body of a young French climber who went missing on Mont Blanc has been found after 32 years.

Police in the alpine town of Chamonix in the Haute Savoie province of France identified a corpse found by a group of climbers as Patrice Hyvert, who went missing in 1982 aged 23.

Hyvert, an aspiring mountain guide, left his home on March 1st to attempt a solo climb of the notoriously challenging Nant Blanc glacier on the French side of Mont Blanc, but never returned after the weather suddenly turned bad and he was stranded.

Chamonix Mont Blanc is a popular skiing and mountaineering spotbut has seena number of deaths(Picture: AFP/Getty)

Rescue helicopters were delayed by two days because of the weather,
mont blanc official website Missing climber Patrice Hyvert found on Nant Blanc near Chamonix after 32 years
and were unable to find him.

Hyverts father, 82 year old Gerard, was shocked when he heard his sons body had been found.

Im a mountain man, and I would have preferred him to stay up there, he told RTL radio.

He was better on a mountain than in a coffin. He was in his element.

The group ofclimbers who found Hyvert were ascending the Talefre glacier on Europes highest mountain when they came upon the body,
mont blanc official website Missing climber Patrice Hyvert found on Nant Blanc near Chamonix after 32 years
which had thawed during the ice melt last week.

montblanc products Online shopping portals account for 25

monte blanc watch Online shopping portals account for 25

Love shopping online given the irresistible deals on offer on premium brands? Beware, you may be spending your hard earned money on fake products. With online shopping portals accounting for more than 25 per cent of the fake luxury goods market in India, premium brands are warning customers about the surge of counterfeit products being sold at throwaway prices on the Internet.

Lacoste, for instance, says it does not sell any of its products online. But its polo T shirts costing more than Rs3,000 are being sold for as less as Rs1,000 on some e commerce websites. “Potential customers looking for genuine products need to be vary of such online offers,” said Rajesh Jain, director and CEO, Lacoste India. The French bridge to luxury brand says a host of other Lacoste branded fake products are also available online at a fraction of the original cost. “Except for our perfumes and sunglasses, every other product branded as Lacoste and sold on any third party website is a fake,” Jain told dna.

Apart from Lacoste, a host of other premium and luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton and Mont Blanc, are also fighting the menace of counterfeit products being sold online in their name in India. Mont Blanc pens being sold for Rs1,000 and Gucci perfumes for Rs1,200 are a steal for shopaholics. Little do they know that some are fake.

Most fake products are being sold on low rated online websites that are based abroad. Leading online retailers in India such as Flipkart and Jabong, however, deny that counterfeit products are sold on their sites. Selling authentic products is the key for our business and we pursue it very seriously,” said Mohan.

According to a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the online luxury market for counterfeiters is worth Rs17,000 crore, growing at more than 20 per cent (compound annual growth rate). “Many aspiring consumers who cannot afford originals deliberately purchase counterfeits as global websites selling fake products ship them once the transaction is complete,” said DS Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

Amit Bagaria, founder chairman,
montblanc products Online shopping portals account for 25
Asipac Group (Bangalore based shopping centre planning, development, leasing consultant and mall manager), says certain retail chains in Bangalore are doing brisk business by selling fakes. “Online shopping is helping the sales of fake products though it is largely done through e retailers operating from international locations. You will rarely see an established Indian e commerce platform selling a fake,” he told dna.

Dinesh Anand, leader forensic services, PwC, feels there are multiple reasons for people buying fakes of branded luxury goods such as handbags, watches, writing instruments, shoes, clothes, hats, sunglasses, perfumes and jewellery. “There are people who purchase counterfeit luxury products as a status symbol. For them it is an opportunity to improve their social status,” he said. Also, manufacturers have become experts in producing near identical fakes. “It is very difficult to differentiate between originals and fakes. For example, very few people would be able to differentiate a counterfeit single malt whiskey from the original,” Anand said.

Brands are now initiating measures with e commerce portals, customs and vigilance departments to curtail the flow of fakes in the market. Last year, Lacoste India unit initiated a raid on manufacturing units one each in Chandigarh and Gujarat that were producing fakes and various other international brands. “The Gujarat factory was much bigger in size compared to our manufacturing unit in Noida,” said Jain. “It indicates the magnitude of fakes being circulated in the market.”

A study by ASSOCHAM Yes Bank conducted last year estimated the size of the counterfeit luxury industry in India at 5 per cent of the over $8 billion market size of India luxury industry. In a recent analysis of the trade in counterfeit luxury goods, ASSOCHAM pegged the industry to be around Rs2,500 crore. Growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 40 45%, it is set to more than double to Rs 5,600 crore in the next 3 years.
montblanc products Online shopping portals account for 25

greta garbo mont blanc pen Montblanc boss says it’s time to scale even higher peaks

mont blanc region Montblanc boss says it’s time to scale even higher peaks

As Lutz Bethge presides over a meeting at Montblanc’s atelier in Hamburg, Germany, last week, he is in fact 724 miles away from where the luxury goods group took its name, the highest peak in Europe: Mont Blanc in the Alps.

The brand was created in 1907 by a Hamburg banker and two engineers who, after seeing the latest technology for fountain pens in Britain and France, decided to create their own version in Hamburg. The Montblanc name was chosen because the founders thought their pens were the “pinnacle” of pen design and craftsmanship and the “most majestic peak” would be a fitting name. The name and the white star logo to represent the snowy peak of the mountain were adopted by 1910. The company, now part of luxury goods conglomerate Richemont Group, has grown into a global empire selling its expensive fountain pens in 70 countries.

Mr Bethge is proud of his company’s heritage and its headquarters contains a museum showing the rich history and how it has been loved by the rich and famous for decades. But what future is there for a business selling pens in a world of computers and mobile phone technology? Children at school today are learning to write on computer screens on their desks, not with ink wells. How can a 104 year old pen maker, which still makes its pens by hand in a Hamburg factory, survive?

Mr Bethge says: “Computers rule our lives but letters written by hand show the recipient how important they are. They are personal and show you have given one of the most important things of today time.”

Hamburg born Mr Bethge, who has been with the company since 1990, is so passionate about his products that he knows every detail of the process of creating them. “Our brand stands for power, for success, but also for education and culture. The person with a Montblanc writing instrument has a successful and cultural lifestyle.” And at a 500 entry point rising to close to 20,000, these fountains and roller balls are more than just pens. They are indeed, as Mr Bethge says, “writing instruments”.

At the atelier in Hamburg a tour around the network of rooms reveals that more than 600 people make its products. Painstakingly engraving, welding, shaving and bending the delicate gold and precious metals in a total of 35 different steps to create the fine nibs for each fountain pen sold across the world.

But Mr Bethge’s plan for the business goes well beyond his beloved “writing instruments”. Since 1995 it has diversified into leather goods, jewellery and, most importantly,
greta garbo mont blanc pen Montblanc boss says it's time to scale even higher peaks
watches, which could easily overtake its sales of pens.

Erwan Rambourg, luxury goods analyst at HSBC, said: “Montblanc product diversification has been quite successful. The name is still probably associated with pens. However, as Cartier started off as a jeweller and is now well known for watches, I would not rule out that at some stage that the first point of reference for Montblanc will be watches.”

The business is rapidly growing in China, India and Brazil. It has established a network of 360 shops with a total of 9,000 sales outlets worldwide and plans for further growth. In China it has 100 shops in 48 cities and will by the end of the year open its biggest store yet a concept store that will host events and exhibitions in a four storey building in Beijing. Mr Bethge says: “China is our biggest market but Europe is still important. A business needs a balance of all markets. We are evenly spread. This is a benefit.”

But in the current economic recession how can a company that still manufacturers products by hand compete? The company made a crucial decision for its future success in the 1970s when it stopped mass production of cheaper pens to concentrate on the high end. This decision made Montblanc what it is today.

Mr Bethge explains: “We are selling luxury goods, but we are artisans and an atelier not a mere luxury brand. When we launch new categories people know they will also be of the highest quality.”

When it entered the watch market it opened two locations: Le Locle for 6,000 plus watches, and Villeret where everything is handmade and where it creates only 300 to 400 pieces a year. Only eight Villeret Tourbillon Bi Cylindrique have been made which sell at 230,000 (197,000).

Like its home city’s forefathers, Montblanc has a long list of art and cultural events that it has created. It uses its celebrity clients to raise money for charities and support the arts. Montblanc runs competitions for young and established artists as well as an award for a patron of the arts. This year Prince Charles will be awarded the Montblanc de la Culture award in the UK with a prize of a limited edition fountain pen and 15,000 to donate to one of his charities.

Parent company Richemont, the second largest luxury goods conglomerate in the world after LVMH, updated the market last month with a 23 per cent increase in global sales for the last quarter. The group, which owns brands such as Cartier, had a net cash position of 2.2bn as at the end of December. But its generous nature and good trading figures mask other issues. The rising price of gold and precious metals as well as currency fluctuations mean its prices will be forced up in April.

Mr Bethge plays down the cost hikes. He says: “This is not the first time gold prices have risen and currency always fluctuates. This is something we have to live with. We have to adjust our prices of course, but we will not over do it for our customers.”

Analysts agree. Luca Solca, senior research analyst in luxury goods at Sanford C Bernstein, says: “All hard luxury players are affected Montblanc maybe less than others given its lower use of precious metals. It is a very solid and profitable brand.”

The international nature of Montblanc was part of its plan from the beginning. When the founders opted for the Montblanc name they chose the highest European mountain. “Our founders chose the highest European peak and not the highest German peak. They had an international vision. If they had not had a European outlook we would have been called Zugspitze. This would have been difficult for international success.” Mr Bethge says with a wry smile.

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greta garbo mont blanc pen Montblanc boss says it's time to scale even higher peaks

top of mont blanc New paper and pen collections to help you write with style

mont blanc kalem New paper and pen collections to help you write with style

Talmadge Collection pen from Sue Wong. (Sue Wong, Sue Wong )

If you can stop texting, tweeting and typing long enough, you may notice that some stylish people are taking communication into their own hands.

Whether it’s a $3.50 ballpoint disguised as a tube of lipstick at Bookmarc, Marc Jacobs’ (relatively) new Melrose store, or a $275 platinum plated pencil sharpener from Graf von Faber Castell, writing instruments, journals and stationery have emerged as an essential accessory for artistic self expression. And the timing couldn’t be better, since many of us must now face our list of holiday thank you notes.

The well funded are ordering customized stationery with a personal font and graphic. Others are embracing the do it yourself ethic to send letters that are equal parts artwork and information.

“Most people are so design savvy these days that when it comes to personal expression, an off the shelf, store bought card doesn’t always do the best job of capturing a person’s essence or sensibility,” said Marc Friedland, founder of the upscale stationer Creative Intelligence, which he calls a “social expression company.”

For some, the choice of writing utensils is just as important as the paper, which has bolstered interest in heirloom quality pens, says David H. Baker, executive vice president of the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Assn. chief executive of Faber Castell. Case in point: his company’s Perfect Pencil, a high quality pencil capped with a pen like barrel that conceals a sharpener.

Mont Blanc created a series of limited edition pens inspired by John Lennon. The Special Edition pen features a platinum plated clip shaped like a guitar’s neck and is also engraved with his self portrait. Some versions cost $690 to $920.

Los Angeles evening wear designer Sue Wong recently launched the Talmadge collection of Art Deco inspired desk accessories, which includes a $68 rollerball pen and matching cases for eyeglasses and business cards.

At Silver Lake’s Reform School boutique, shoppers can buy $4 oversized pencils carved from twigs, or a $10 set of six pencils embossed with facts about California. Tellingly, the shop has had some success with its Pen Pal Club, which has signed up 400 people as pen pals in less than a year. At the store’s monthly do it yourself meetings, club members make mailable crafts and read from letters.

“There is just a huge arena for people who want to have pen pals,” says co owner Billie Lopez.

Though the trend for handwritten correspondence may have begun as a backlash to e mail overload, it has been helped along by the growing availability of letterpress printing. The almost embossed texture of the type has made the technique popular among the stylish and high powered, according to its leading purveyors.

Cary Ocon, co owner of Aardvark Letterpress, has had to sign confidentiality agreements that govern some of his clients’ custom orders.

Newly popular are suites of stationery that create a visual identity, whether through a font choice or a rendering of a family estate. The company recently created calling cards for Hedi Slimane, the former designer of Dior Homme.

It’s probably too soon to declare 2011 the year of the calligrapher. But as Friedland sees it: “The pen is mightier than the pixel.”.
top of mont blanc New paper and pen collections to help you write with style