Luxury pen maker prints warning over ‘blancs’

Rabia Ashfaque April 16, 2010

KARACHI: The problem with fakes has become so bad that the Montblanc dealer in Karachi was recently forced to run a warning in newspapers, informing people about the authorised dealers in the city.

“Montblanc copies are shipped in from Thailand and China. It is a real problem,” said Montblanc brand coordinator for Karachi Shariq Ahmad while talking to The Express Tribune. “A first-time user of these fake products can never tell the difference.”

While a real Montblanc product - either a watch or a pen - costs between Rs35,775 to Rs23 million, you can find a replica at Boulton Market for as little as Rs300. “With the pens, the real test lies in the writing,” said Ahmad. “You can tell the difference instantly when you write with one of our writing instruments and then with a fake Montblanc.”

There is also a difference between the genuine Montblanc logo’s finish and that of a copy. Similarly, the clip of a Montblanc writing instrument has a serial number embedded in its finish, which can only be seen with a magnifying glass.

This number is the identity of the handmade pen. Serial numbers are stamped into each and every genuine Montblanc product. This is how an official retailer can tell the difference between a Montblanc original and a copy.

The serial number is also printed on the warranty card given to each customer upon the purchase of a Montblanc product. “The card is made out to the person who purchases the product so that one can tell whether a product is real, stolen or fake,” Ahmad said. And for those people who perhaps cannot afford or do not want to spend that much money on a pen, they can just hop over to Boulton Market and get one that looks just like the real deal