Breguet: The Pen Whisperer
by Nancy Olson
When it comes to a brand like Breguet, one expects nothing but the very best in every aspect of its representation. Its current watches are among the finest around, and Breguet’s long and impactful history is much more than a marketing confection, thanks to its visionary founder Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823).
So I figured its pens, like its recent jewelry collections, would be solid and elegant expressions of the company’s overriding sense of quality and innovation.
I was right.
I first saw a Breguet pen at one of the mono-brand boutiques in California, and I was immediately impressed by the subtlety of its homage. I have a pet peeve about pens that scream at me with kitschy details that are supposed to conjure a brand, an event or a person (as in the case of limited-edition, commemorative pens), preferring the subtle whisper of understatement. Breguet fit my bill.
The beautiful guilloche on the sterling silver cap, barrel and piston cap is authentically engine-turned – a technique used on Breguet watch dials – and the spring-loaded silver clip recalls a classic Breguet watch hand.
The resin accents on the body of the pen are a perfect cornflower “Breguet blue,” as is the small cabochon on the clip. The coin-edge accent on both the cap and barrel offers another refined nod to watchmaking.
In my opinion, each detail adds to the viewpoint of the pen without hijacking its reason for being, which, after all, is to be a fine writing instrument.
While the pen is available as a fountain pen, roller ball pen and a ballpoint that converts to a mechanical pencil, I was particularly taken by the fountain pen. It is a classic piston-filled pen, unlike many modern pens that use the ubiquitous cartridge or converter for ink management.
Its medium nib (with an ebonite feed, no less!) is 18-karat rhodium-plated gold with Breguet’s classic “B” monogram as its centerpiece. Though heavier than average, each of the pens is perfectly weighted and balanced for comfortable writing.
Breguet says the pens, first introduced over ten years ago, were created in tribute to the many great writers – like Honoré de Balzac, Stendhal, Alexander Pushkin and Alexandre Dumas – who mentioned Breguet in their works.
And I guess they’ve been a hit among watch and pen lovers, since the company introduced a three-pen limited edition set embellished with diamonds late last year. Even here subtlety rules, as the diamonds offer some well-placed sparkle without being intrusive.
For more information, please visit www.breguet.com/en/writing-instruments.
Pen body and cap: sterling silver with blue resin accents
Clip: homage to Breguet watch hand
Nib: rhodium-plated 18-karat gold
Filling system: piston
Price: $2,100 (fountain pen); $1,900 (roller ball); $1,700 (convertible ballpoint); $122,900 (three-piece set of diamond-set pens)