If you are a pen enthusiast, you know what we mean when we say that there are pens and then there are PENS. If you cringe at the thought of using plastic, disposable rollerballs, feel less than thrilled with a steel nib cartridge pen and are searching for the ultimate in comfort and writing experience, you may be ready to venture into the realm of luxury fountain pens.
What constitutes luxury?
To the untrained eye, fountain pens may look a lot alike. Some inexpensive fountain pens are quite sleek and attractive. They come in a variety of styles and colors. However, to the experienced user, a luxury pen offers a significant difference in weight, comfort, and consistency in the writing experience. What makes a luxury pen a luxury extends beyond the price, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The significance of a luxury fountain pen begins in the factory where it is made and has many contributing factors.
- Materials – Luxury fountain pens are made from only top-of-the-line materials. Quality resins, celluloid, and Ebonite are commonly used. However, some pens feature shafts made from unique materials like alligator leather or granite that are challenging to source or difficult to work with. These materials are often trimmed with precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum.
- Craftsmanship – As one would expect with a luxury car or timepiece, luxury pens are often handcrafted. This superior workmanship ensures perfection in the appearance and function of the pen. Patterns adorning the exterior of the pen line up between the cap and shaft of the pen, giving it a seamless appearance and comfortable grip in the hand.
- Longevity - Luxury pens are often backed by a lifetime warranty and are designed to be maintained and repaired as needed. Pen stores certified to offer shop-in-shop services for major manufacturers can keep these pens working well for decades.
- Significance – Many pens pay homage to historical figures, events, or works of art. Others are produced in limited quantities in response to current world events, lending additional meaning to the pen's design. Furthermore, luxury pens are a great way to commemorate life's special events. You are not likely to forget the events of the day you received your first Montblanc Meisterstück pen. It serves as a reminder every time you pull it out to use it.
Luxury fountain pens are more than a writing implement. They are collectibles that become family heirlooms, commemorate special events, and help us celebrate the best of life.
Which luxury pens are worth collecting?
The options for luxury fountain pens can be daunting, especially if you are new to fountain pens or trying to purchase for a collector in your life. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
1. Montblanc – Most pen collectors would agree that Montblanc is one of the top names in luxury pens. They have been making fine pens for over 100 years. Their limited edition pens are especially collectible. The newly released Meisterstück Great Masters Pirelli Limited Edition 1872 pen could make a great gift this holiday season.
At first glance, the solid black shaft interrupted only by a single red line may look bland. However, on closer inspection, you will notice there is a pattern engraved into the barrel based on older versions of the Pirelli logo. The gold nib is also engraved with a 'P' and an image of a tire. The pen celebrates the accomplishments of Giovanni Battista Pirelli, who pioneered manufacturing with vulcanized rubber in the 1800s in Italy.
The pen is handcrafted in over 100 distinct steps, including sound testing to ensure it is formed perfectly to optimize the ink flow.
2. Montegrappa – Founded in 1912 as a maker of gold nibs and fountain pens, Montegrappa pens have a rich history of being used by soldiers to write home from war and by classic writers like Ernest Hemingway. Their collections include limited edition pens produced in small quantities worldwide, as well as pens that pay homage to popular culture, such as their Lord of the Rings – Eye of Sauron pen complete with an engraved ring around the top of the pen's cap.
The Montegrappa Fine Spirits Limited Editions Hors D'Age – Cognac pen is a perfect choice for the cognac lover in your life. The natural oak barrel of the pen mimics the construction of a fine wine barrel complete with scorched emblems in the barrel and cap of the pen. The 18k gold nib is sterling silver in color and comes in a wide array of sizes to fit your writing style. The pen comes in a wooden gift box perfect for giving away this holiday season.
3. Parker – For fans of Parker pens, this year commemorates 100 years since this leading manufacturer's launch of the Parker Duofold. To celebrate, they released special edition Duofold pens in three colors: Big Red, Lapis Lazuli, and Black.
Made of resin with gold trim, the pens boast an 18k gold nib and feature a 100th anniversary stamp on the cap. These Duofold pens will be on the market until the end of 2021.
The world of luxury pens features many incredible works of art and creations of magnificent craftsmanship. If you love the experience of writing with a fine fountain pen or know someone who does, you may want to consider exploring deeper to see what luxury pen manufacturers have to offer.