Cricketing maestro AB de Villiers extends his support to Montblanc's #PassItOn campaign to highlight the precious gift of writing, and the Maison's 13 year old partnership with UNICEF to improve child literacy and access to education across the globe.
By: Niyoshi Shah
Posted on: June 12, 2017
“I truly believe that writing has the power to change the world,” says cricketer AB de Villiers. “I recently slipped a letter in my wife’s passport when she was leaving for South Africa… and she responded with a text message later, saying how much that meant to her.” The ace cricketer charmed spectators with anecdotes of his writing escapades at a press conference in Mumbai where he was formally introduced as Montblanc's new ambassador for India and Southern Africa. AB de Villiers will be the face of Montblanc across all categories including watches, writing instruments, men’s accessories and leather goods, each with a hint of blue sapphire and an alphabet-inspired design, celebrating the gift of writing as a force for good.
For people and timepieces, making it past a century deserves some serious recognition. Montblanc is already over a decade past that milestone this year. The Maison has managed to stay in business by constantly striving for excellence, no matter what they’re producing.
The same passion for writing that gave birth to Montblanc has shaped their belief that writing is a precious gift that has the power to change the world, and through their on-going collaboration with UNICEF they have transcended boundaries of philanthropy. UNICEF and Montblanc have been partners since 2004, united with a common passion of altruïsm. Nicolas Baretzki, CEO of Montblanc International, puts the partnership's success down to synergy. The collaboration aims to improve learning conditions for over 5 million children around the world by providing quality learning materials and better teaching.
Commemorating the special occasion, Nicolas Baretzki said, “We are delighted to welcome AB de Villiers to the Montblanc family as our new ambassador. He is one of the most exciting athletes competing in the world today, with a disruptive and instinctively innovative approach to his sport, AB de Villiers embodies the same pioneering spirit that drives Montblanc to keep pushing boundaries, and we look forward to collaborating on many initiatives that will reflect that.”
Each of the two timepieces in the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum UNICEF Editions is limited to 500 pieces and adorned with UNICEF’s logo on the caseback. The “Writing is a Gift”collection takes the Meisterstück, the most iconic of writing instruments and gives it a new design inspired by the Rosetta Stone, one of the most significant objects in the history of the written word. The cap top is engraved with the first letter of the six most used alphabets in the world, a symbolic reference to the early stages of education when children learn to write their first ever character.
The funds raised by the initiative will help UNICEF to support national education quality standards that cover pedagogy, reading and writing, the learning environment, community involvement, infrastructure and measuring of learning outcomes. It will contribute to the international campaign launched by brand ambassador Hugh Jackman in print, online and social media, using hashtags #PassItOn, #Montblanc, #UNICEF, and #foreverychild. On the campaign site www.montblanc.com/unicef, the memories of participants are being collected and transformed into virtual journeys transcending boundaries.
Each item sold between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018 contributes to the minimum of $1.5 million Montblanc has committed to donating to UNICEF to provide more children access to education.