It would be safe territory for the 114-year-old Montblanc to compete across its existing core product categories: leather accessories, writing instruments, travel goods and, of course, luxury watches.
But the Hamburg-headquartered brand isn’t content with sticking to safe ground. Last month, it extended its reach into an all-new product category: headphones.
The MB01 are its new wireless headphones with active noise-cancelling technology.
To enter the fiercely competitive audio market, it rightly teamed with one of the industry’s best audio engineers: Alex Rosson.
Rosson is the co-founder of headphone giant Audeze. Through another of his ventures, Rosson Audio Design, his team creates over-ear headphones custom-made entirely by hand. Needless to add, Rosson’s audio credentials are impeccable.
The MB01 is kitted with 40mm neodymium dynamic drivers and has an active noise cancelling function that allows users to choose between three settings: live mode, on and off. In live mode, outside sound can percolate inside – ideal when you don’t want to drown out the world altogether. The ‘on’ mode is what you need when you want to take the concept of social distancing to the maximum.
The device is Bluetooth 5.0 capable and features a 730mAh battery which should return around 20 hours of playback (we haven’t yet gone hands-on with the device).
Interestingly, it also features Google Assistant that allows for voice-activated controls and commands. The MB01 is compatible with both Android and iOS platforms. With proximity sensors, the sound playing through will automatically start when you put them on and stop the moment you take it off.
“When developing these travel essentials, our focus was not just on creating headphones that would deliver performance and reliability, but also a design that was very distinctive with larger headphones to comfortably cover the ear, as well as sleek metal and leather finishes that give it that unmistakable Montblanc flair. When they are on the road, whether business or leisure, intrepid travellers want stylish accessories that help them stand out wherever they go,” said Zaim Kamal, Montblanc creative director, in a press statement around the launch of the headphones.
Those stylish options come via three variants: black leather with chrome metal, grey leather with polished metal, and what is sure to be its most popular option – brown leather with a gold-coloured metal model.
With each of the three models, Montblanc is letting established headphone majors in the industry know in no uncertain terms that it’s in it for the long run.
Available in Montblanc boutiques in the UAE; Dhs2,405