It's all about the written word...

Celebrating three years in publication. Thank you for visiting often!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is tobacco the new black?

Watch brand Cuervo y Sobrinos is introducing a new, lower-priced pen line call the Historiador. Produced by Italian pen maker Montegrappa, the pens are crafted from resin (available in "ivory" and "tobacco") with a choice of silver- or gold-tone trim. The clip is reminiscent of the lugs on the watches in the Historiador timepiece line. Available as a fountain pen with a 14-karat gold nib or a rollerball, each is priced at $1,395 or $995 respectively. Cuervo y Sobrinos first introduced pens to its line of luxury items a few years ago. This year, jewelry is making its debut. 

Though no photos of the pens are yet available, I did see prototypes at the recent BaselWorld trade show. They are well made: finely detailed trim, good balance (the cap is not designed to post), and all parts fit together well. My favorite is the tobacco color, which is a warm tone that is both unique in the world of pens and neutral in a more interesting way than black.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring in Basel

I am at the BaselWorld watch and jewelry show in Basel, Switzerland. What a wonderful few days it has been, seeing and touching some exquisite new timepieces slated for introduction later this year. To make matters even better, it is spring in Basel, and everything is in bloom along the Rhine. If only I could find a few pens around here, life would be perfect. But wait: Montegrappa is exhibiting, as is Caran d`ache, Edelberg and more. Stay tuned for interviews and pictures when I return to my office this weekend.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Magic Wishes from S. T. Dupont

S.T.Dupont introduces Magic Wishes, a limited edition set based upon the famous tales of One Thousand and One Nights: Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp. The collection includes three Olympio writing instruments and a Ligne 2 lighter. The design on each piece conjures plumes of smoke and a genie rendered in black lacquer with silver powder and enhanced by palladium.

Each set includes a lighter ($1,200), fountain pen ($1,200), ballpoint ($975) and rollerball ($900) presented in an oversized box in rich black adorned with a magic lamp in silver. The items in the set are also available separately. Just 888 pieces of each piece are available.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Going for the green-(striped) Pelikan Souveran

I've been keeping a journal for the past several weeks, recording an important and ongoing family event. My choice of journal is one from the Green Field Paper Company of San Diego. It is 100% organic cotton paper with a smooth finish that stands up well to fountain pen ink without feathering. My choice of pen is a Pelikan Souveran with an italic nib. The Souveran collection comes in a variety of colors, but I think the green and black striped is my favorite. I am also using the new Pelikan Edelstein ink (onyx). My experience of pen, paper and ink has been absolute perfection. The pen's nib is a dream, offering great line variation, and the ink is really special. It is a rich and lively black, and though I love black ink, it can at times be overwhelming and dull, or lean towards the gray. This one flows smoothly, looks great and really makes a statement. It also dries relatively quickly. I'm looking forward to trying the six remaining Edelstein colors.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The King's Pen

Honoring the incredible speaking accomplishments of King George VI, Krone presents 
its limited edition King George VI collection. 

King George VI ascended the throne of the United Kingdom as third monarch of the House of Windsor on December 11, 1936.  Less than a year after his coronation, King Edward, George’s older brother, had abdicated the throne in the furor that arose over his romance with American socialite Wallis Simpson. George, who is sometimes referred to as the Reluctant King, was fraught with anxiety about whether he would be accepted by the British people. He was a stutterer who worked tirelessly to overcome the impediment, ultimately delivering one of the most important speeches in British history. King George VI revived the public’s faith in the monarchy and led the empire to victory in World War II. This, together with his dedication to his family, is his legacy.

The cap and barrel of the Krone pen are made of royal purple Italian celluloid. The base of the cap is a decorated bronze band, etched with a crest, which in Latin means George Rey VI (King George VI). The top of the cap is adorned with a replica of a coin issued to celebrate the coronation of King George VI. Unique bronze banding at base of barrel is symbolic of the King’s Royal uniform.

There are just 388 fountain pens 
($2,750) and 38 rollerballs ($2,650) available. The fountain pen is piston filled; nib sizes are fine, medium and broad.   

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Palatial Pearl

California-based pen brand Taccia recently introduced the Palatial Pearl collection, priced at $299 for a fountain pen with a steel nib in fine, medium and broad sizes, and $279 for a rollerball. Each piece features multi-faceted pearl and/or abalone on the hand-polished barrel. The resin body of the pen is available in Amber Flame, Moonlit Fog and Sapphire Cove. Great look.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Pen to Remember

When his father’s Ulysse Nardin watch was ruined in a fire, Enrique Torres Trujillo sought the help of pen maker Barry Gross of B G Artforms to give it new life—not as a timepiece, but as a pen. Gross disassembled the damaged watch and used various parts to create the body of the pen. According to Gross, the watch parts were painstakingly arranged, much like a puzzle, then glued onto the pen tube, one piece at a time. Then, over a three-day period, the entire piece was coated with a non-yellowing acrylic, and hand polished to a high gloss. Finally, the appropriate pen hardware and mechanism were installed. The result is a pen that is much more than a writing instrument: it is a one-of-a-kind working memento to commemorate people, places and events that should never be forgotten.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Forever Icy

The new special edition Pelikan Eternal Ice is a tribute to the Arctic’s everlasting ice, with its cool color and palladium accents. The collection includes a piston-filled fountain pen with a rhodium-plated 18-karat gold nib, a rollerball and a ballpoint, ranging in price from $500 to $600. Eternal Ice is part of Pelikan's Beauties of Nature series.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

At Ink

Barry Rubin, art connoisseur and owner of the upscale Minneapolis pen gallery, Ink, has partnered with renowned California artist Miq Willmott to create the Ink Artist Series. The first in the collection is Pen Number One or "The creAtor"—a limited edition rollerball pen designed by Willmott. Each box is individually hand numbered and includes a signed and numbered lenticular 3D print of the pen. The creAtor is limited to an edition of 500 and is priced at $350. Call 612.455.2600 for more information, or email