Quest for a Grail Pen at Pen Boutique
After getting your first pen you will likely be looking for whats next and you are likely to stumble across something that catches your eye but is unattainable at that point in time for some reason or another. The qualifiers for what makes a pen a grail are different for everybody and usually are determined by a couple factors being price, availability, materials, etc. but everyones idea of a grail pen will be a bit different so I guess what I'm trying to say is that this list will be focusing on pens from our store that we either have to special order or are on the high end of what we carry, just thought this may be a fun read and its always fun looking at pictures of some of our more out of the box pens. Lets take a look at our first pen on this list from Montegrappa!
Montegrappa Mr. Monopoly Gold-
With only 8 being made this celebration of the 85th anniversary of everyone's favorite property owning board game is one of the most limited pens we've ever carried at Pen Boutique. With the nature of it being a 1/8 pen this has to be special ordered through us and we can't keep stock of it but this pen is truly something to behold and stays true to the spirit of the game. The pen in this form is made from resin and solid 18k gold with a few diamonds in the clip which gives the pen quite a substantial weight coming in at nearly 100 grams!
The other really cool thing about this pen doesn't really have to do with the pen at all but the box and how it is presented to the buyer when they first open the box to their new pen and that's because the box is actually a version of the board game Monopoly. Montegrappa is always really good at going above and beyond for a pen with a specific theme and this is obviously no exception, being able to include a copy of the game that they are paying homage to in the pen is really incredible and shows that packaging is also a very important part of getting a new pen. This spectacle of a pen can be special ordered from us if there are any left at Montegrappa for the commanding price of $40,500, no properties included.
Montblanc Patron of Art Moctezuma 888-
Every year Montblanc comes out with a pen that is dedicated to someone that they believe has advanced the field of the arts during the time period that they were alive and for the year of 2020 they chose Moctezuma 1. While he was alive he was the ruler of the Aztec Empire and during his reign he shaped the image of the Aztec's into the one we know today that is rich in not only art but also culture and mythology. The actual pen shape is rather unique and is supposed to evoke the image of an "Atlatl" which is an Aztec throwing spear which is the reason for the hammered metal end and overall shape.
Aside from the shape this edition which is the more limited 888 version sports some fantastic enamel work not only on the cap but also on the barrel of the pen which is a more subtle design pattern.
The finial features a compass design with the middle being the classic MB star cap logo in an elegant mother of pearl inlay. This wonderful example of enamel work and out of the box design can be purchased from us for the price of $9,100 and only one is available and currently in stock so act fast or see it up close in our store before its gone!
Namiki Emperor Maki-e Chinkin Dragon-
The emperor is one of Namiki's most well known models because of its massive stature and having not only the largest nib made by Namiki but also one of the largest nibs being produced on any pen now. The obviously special thing about this version of the emperor is that it has a maki-e dragon design that is using the chinking technique which is one of the most labor intensive and unforgiving ways to apply a maki-e design. Basically, the artisan carves out little dots and lines by hand in the ebonite body of the pen which is already very hard to keep track of because of the pen being all black during this stage. After the carving has been done it is then filled in with a gold powder which allows to see every stroke and indent made by the artist and after that it is wiped away and sealed with a clear urushi lacquer to insure that the design doesn't somehow fade or get damaged when being used.
The pens filling system is a Japanese eyedropper which means that you have a massive ink capacity and the back knob, which is basically invisible, unscrews to let ink flow through the nib but when its closed all ink capacity is shut off to prevent leaks of the massive ink capacity held in the body. This beautiful piece of art can be purchased from our website or directly from our store for the price of $6,800 which is the price of not only a pen but a piece of art that was hand made over the course of a few months!
David Oscarson Lord Ganesha-
Originally a jeweler, David Oscarson began producing luxury fountain pens in the year 2000 and has been keeping up a steady production ever since with his pens becoming almost legendary in the fountain pen world. He has a keen eye for detail and his jewelers background means he knows how to add that extra bit of beauty through the use of guilloche and hot enamel work which really adds depth to the surfaces of the writing instrument. This particular model is dedicated to Lord Ganesha who is a key figure in Hindu mythology and this pen is adorned with some very cool details like the engravings on the section or the cast Ganesha head clip.
Much like the previously mentioned Maki-e Namiki pen, when you purchase this or any other David Oscarson pen you are buying something that was hand made and can be considered as not only a luxury writing instrument but also a work of art and in this case, jewelry. This and all other David Oscarson pens on our website can be special ordered and then made by Mr. Oscarson himself so keep in mind there will be some wait time, the price for this model is $5,900 and is a limited edition of 108 pieces worldwide.
Montblanc Writer's Edition Victor Hugo 1831-
The Writer's edition for 2020 was dedicated to the famous French poet Victor Hugo and this particular model is the more limited 1831 edition. The reason for the 1831 number of this le is that he was actually born in that year and this is the step up from the 4810 version which means the design is slightly different. The materials used on this version are much heavier making the whole pen weigh in at about 83g and there is contrasting red detail as opposed to the all black look of the 4810 version. The main focal point of this design is the detailing around the clip which is meant to look like the famous stained glass from Notre Dame cathedral because one of the books he is most known for is The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Just like with all WE pens from Montblanc the authors signature is somewhere on the pen and for this particular edition it is on the section of the pen. Overall this is one of the most interesting looking limiteds from Montblanc in recent years so be sure to stop by the store to take a look at the one we have in stock or order it from our online store for the price of $4,500 but these are mostly gone with even Montblanc being out of stock online so act fast!
Sailor 1911 King of Pen Wabi Sabi-
Part of Sailor's Bespoke collection, this king of pen sized model is made using one of the most well known principles of Japanese art, Wabi Sabi. The basic idea is that beauty can be found in imperfection which is why this pen is a stark contrast to what urushi lacquered pens usually look like. This pen has an ebonite body and the urushi work is done on top which causes mountains and craters on the pen body which gives a very interesting tactile feel when writing. Due to this unpredictable nature of the finish, this pen is clip-less which is pretty rare for the KOP which usually has at least a clip if not cap bands to adorn the cap.
This model of pen will be produced in the dark green color pictured here but will also be available in a red, two of the most popular colors for urushi pens. Each color of this pen is an edition of only 88 pens and we've been allotted an extremely small amount, once they are gone that's it and I believe we are expecting them sometime this month. The Wabi Sabi can be pre ordered from our website for the price of $2,500 which is not bad considering that this is again, a hand made pen and only an edition of 88.
Taccia Miyabi Winter's Breath Maki-e-
One of the most stunning examples of raden inlay in a modern pen is the Winter's Breath which sees large stripes of raden and reassembled quail egg shells to evoke a wintery scene. The quail egg shell is one of the hardest techniques in Maki-e because it requires the shells to be treated, then broken very carefully, and finally reassembled on the pen before being sealed underneath layers of clear urushi but the end result is one of the most beautiful finishes that exists in fountain pens altogether.
The Winter's breath, like many other pens on this list is a piece of handmade art that transcends the label of luxury writing instrument, it becomes a piece of art and this model is another particularly limited model at only 88 pieces worldwide and seeing as how its been out for a while already, you should act fast if you want one.
This pen can be special ordered from our website for the price of $1996 which is a great offer seeing as how this pen was painstakingly decorated!
Pilot Custom Urushi- The biggest pen that Pilot makes is called the Custom Urushi which is an ebonite pen finished in either black or vermillion urushi lacquer. Much like the Emperor from Namiki, this pen is huge and will tower over most other pens in any collection. The nib is Pilot's #50 which is slightly smaller than the Namiki version but is still a monster of a nib that is sure to give an unparalleled writing experience.
Unlike the emperor, this pen is a cartridge converter filling mechanism that still holds a sizable amount of ink but not nearly as much as the eye dropper filling emperor. The Custom Urushi is one of the best introductory urushi pens that is available from a big brand, I do say introductory but it is still quite expensive at $1,400 but once you pick up the pen and write with it you will immediately understand the draw this pen possess.
I just love reading about the beautiful pens you describe. I have found that since acquiring a few fountain pens, I look for reasons to handwrite more notes. Then, I take a snapshot on my phone to send them. My transition is a process. LOL