The most striking thing about the Mont Blanc leather factory, which we visited last month, was the pairing of modern computer technology and traditional leather craftsmanship.

Few leather factories have good quality control machinery, and none have some of the machines Mont Blanc have installed – because they designed them themselves. (There is a great one for testing belt buckles I’ll write about later.)

In this video, a mechanical arm taken from the automotive industry is being used to test the strength of a bag handle. Various lifts and spins are performed hundreds of times to make sure the handle – and its hardware – are sufficiently strong robust.

How accurate the testing is, of course, depends on the programming of the machine. And in the opinion of the Mont Blanc engineers, the biggest points of weakness are when a handle is twisted, or when it is lifted to head height (to put it into an overhead locker, for example). Hence the actions on display here.

I’m not always a fan of the Mont Blanc aesthetic – which has a tendency towards the clean and clinical – but the quality control side was fascinating.

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Hi Simon,
This process aimed at testing the strength of bag handles is fascinating indeed!
Incidentally, they produce tote bags too! But I must confess that I’ve never seen a single guy carrying these kinds of bags for business. Strange!


Is this done on each bag?

I can see the purpose of a robotic arm in the design phase, using it to strength test mounts / straps, but once that’s done I’d think you just replicate and mass produce?


Jody H.

Mont Blanc always over performs. I’m a huge fan of the brand, and own several of their products. They put a lot of attention in the small things which makes there brand great! One of these days my wife will let me get a pen from there.


Hi Simon, I absolutely love your blog. My husband has followed you quite some time now, and I was wondering if you could recommend an equivalent for women´s fashion. There are a lot of female fashion bloggers out there but nothing is really consistent on on personal style, quality or how to wear it. Mostly it just seems to be short posts and lots of pictures on sponsored garments.

I would really appreciate any blog recommendations.

Best Regards -and congrats on the book.

David Craggs

Dunhill could do with paying this sort of attention to their testing and QC.
I bought a beautiful and expensive briefcase from their NYC store some years ago but the lock comes unscrewed with monotonous regularity and they’ve even had the chutzpah to try and charge me for the constant repair (try being the operative word).
But at these prices, they all need to get it right first time!