Watchmaking and brand-building are both about continuity, which is what makes partnerships such as the Montblanc-UNICEF initiative so special. Over the last 13 years, the Montblanc for UNICEF collection has helped raise more than US$10 million to benefit education programmes around the world. Montblanc, a brand built on the idea that writing — and consequently reading — is a “precious gift”, is the perfect partner for UNICEF in its mission to help children in need everywhere. Obviously, UNICEF’s mission is a tough one, given that some 59 million school-age children are not in school. Even where children receive some form of schooling, some 130 million will not achieve a basic standard of literacy and numeracy. Montblanc’s journey with UNICEF began in 2004 with the Sign Up for the Right to Write initiative, a campaign that used the exactly the right words — if you are lucky enough to read those words the reason should be clear.
In 2017, Montblanc has set the bar high for its Montblanc for UNICEF campaign, aiming to raise more than US$1 million. In service of this goal is the aforementioned Montblanc for UNICEF collection, consisting of limited edition writing instruments, timepieces, accessories and leather goods. Each item from the Writing Is a Gift Collection sold between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, raises the amounts Montblanc will be contributing to towards helping more children gain access to improved standards of primary education.
“There is still much to be done to ensure that every child around the world has proper access to an education, a cause Montblanc has been proud to champion for the past 13 years,” explains Nicolas Baretzki, Montblanc CEO. “This new initiative gives individuals who are as passionate as we are about the written word the ability to own a Montblanc piece that carries true purpose, and by doing so, making a valuable contribution to the work of UNICEF in communities around the world where children are not always given the opportunity to learn to read and write. Writing is indeed a special gift that every child should enjoy.”
More than pretty words, Montblanc has released some specifics of how it intends to use the money it raises. In China, for example, it will be supporting child-friendly schools and the rights equal education. In Brazil, Montblanc’s contributions will help UNICEF achieve its goal of getting children aged four to 17 access to basic education; UNICEF is also helping teachers and school managers here to stymie the dropout rates of the most disadvantaged boys and girls. The mission continues in other places, of course.