Edelberg: A New Take On Pens
by Nancy Olson
I really can’t talk about Edelberg products without talking about the people behind them. I’ve known father-and-son-team Carlo and Samuel Naldi for years, and it appears neither has ever met a stranger. They make everyone in their path feel like family or friend, and their enthusiasm for their business is as apparent as the bold designs of their collection of Swiss-born writing instruments and accessories.
Edelberg writing instruments – fountain pens, rollerball pens, and ballpoints – are anything but staid, wielding an ergonomic, high-style character that is somehow both trendy and classic and cutting-edge yet familiar. And these seemingly disparate characteristics are the very precepts upon which the company was founded by now-president of the board, Carlo Naldi, in 2009.
“The intention was without a doubt to introduce the writing instrument market to a pen that was out of the ordinary,” says Samuel Naldi, who was recently named Edelberg CEO. “That is why we invested a lot in the research of the designs and materials. And this has been our big success.”
Products are mostly designed by Carlo, whose forte is the use of avant-garde materials and different methods of production.
As an example, Edelberg was the first pen brand to incorporate Super-LumiNova in its designs either on the clip or, ingeniously, in one dramatic sweep along the body of the pen. The company also created models in matte carbon fiber, as in its Sloop collection, which is also quite unusual.
“Our idea was to bring some fresh air into the world of pens and even incorporate some ideas from the worlds of watchmaking, fashion, and tailoring,” says Samuel.
The primary pen collections are Sloop and Tachys, both produced at the firm’s 104-year-old factory in Geneva. The former, with its functionally magnificent retractable clip, is “inspired by the shape of a sailboat,” says Carlo, while the Tachys collection takes its name from the Greek word for speed. It features a resin body, and its clip – reminiscent of the needle of a speedometer – has an engraved line down its center that is filled with either lacquer or Super-LumiNova.
As shown here, Edelberg also shines in its Exceptional collection of limited editions, some of which are individually airbrushed pens created in very small quantities and signed by the artist. Others incorporate sartorial details like pinstripes, houndstooth, or “stitching,” and still others are exquisite and exclusive pieces produced in collaboration with other artists.
Edelberg is distributed in most major cities worldwide, and its pens appeal to a wide range of men and women who like pens or who’ve decided they like pens once they pick up an Edelberg.
“Our products attract a lot of the younger generation in search of beauty and stylish items,” explains Samuel. “We’re very successful with architects, designers, and businessmen who want to own and carry an important pen with them. But we also see that we appeal to the classic pen collectors.” A full 30 percent of its audience comprises women, which means that more traditionally feminine pieces are in the offing.
Neither Carlos nor Samuel are spoiling any Baselworld-time surprises at this point, but I’m looking forward to our visit in that familiar city once again this year, sharing a glass of wine and catching up with friends.
Prices range from about $500 to $1,800; cartridge- or converter-filled fountain pen nibs are titanium.
For more information, please visit www.edelberg.ch.