The very first flagship model was known as the Rouge Et Noir in 1909. The very next year they would create the very first Mont Blanc pen. The company soon trademarked the name "Montblanc" and thereafter all pens created by the company were released under this name.
In 1913 one of the most famous pens was released, what collectors refer to as the "snowflake". The Montblanc star become a brand hero, and was one of the pens to launch the company into infamy.
Unfortunately, problems arose quickly for the company. One of its founders, August Eberstein fled to the USA to dodge authorities for stealing from the companies coffers. But this didn't stop the success of the company.
The little company originally started in Hamburg, Germany soon expanded. In 1934, following the wild success of their Mont Blanc pen, they changed their name to Montblanc-Simplo. In 1977 Dunhill bought out Montblanc. They made a bold moved and stopped offering lower priced pens while simultaneously using the brand on a wider range of luxury products instead.
Right now, Montblanc is a part of the Richemont group. Fellow companies you've probably heard of: Van Cleef, Cartier, and other luxury brands. Montblanc is the primary manufacturer behind all Cartier pens as well.
Montblanc is well known for its celebrity endorsements, which includes the likes of Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage, and Julianne Moore.
With this big focus on marketing from Montblanc, there has been some backlash among collectors, however. Recent polls show that many collectors feel Montblanc has become too marketing oriented, and the overall quality of the brand has diminished. Only 5% of collectors felt that the brand actually improved quality, while a mere 19% felt that they had maintained it.
The coming years I expect Montblanc will have a challenge on their hands of pleasing their collector base while still appealing to the overall profitability of the company.
Over the years Montblanc has released limited edition masterpieces which have made pen collectors worldwide go crazy. A few of the most notable editions you can find include the 100 Year Anniversary Boheme Collection, Greta Garbo Special Edition, and Virginia Woolf Limited Edition.