The Hermès Arceau has been used as the canvas for many remarkable artistic dial techniques, including wood marquetry, glass art, leather, and miniature painting. The Arceau Toucan de Paradis Nancy Olson highlights here uses vibrant silk thread and enamel to tell its colorful and exotic story.
About Nancy Olson
I am the resident pen expert for Quill & Pad: I literally put the “quill” in the name. I began my path with a fascination of the lever filler and the nib of my father’s gold-nibbed Sheaffer fountain pen, and though I never dared put ink in it I knew the pen was something special and deeply connected to my family’s history.
From that day forward, my writing has focused on collectible vintage writing instruments, modern pens, visits of major and independent pen manufactories worldwide and a fascination with handmade and hand-finished products as well as the artisans who create them. And then I stumbled on to watches.
Entries by Nancy Olson
Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie, says of the new Streamliner Perpetual Calendar, “Looking at this piece one might think it is a three-hand watch with a date, yet it is the most practical perpetual calendar ever developed.” Nancy Olson explains why he is quite right.
The three-hand Tutima M2 Seven Seas was first introduced at Baselworld 2016, and the newest interpretation of this diver’s watch is brightened up by Signal Yellow and Signal Orange dials housed in 44 mm brushed titanium cases and bracelets. Nancy Olson takes a deep dive.
When Nancy Olson first saw the Breguet Reine de Naples at Baselworld many years ago, she remembers being taken by its absolute gorgeousness. It was so much more than a jewelry watch and it seemed to be made just for her wrist. Many years and many “try-ons” later, the Reine de Naples is Breguet’s flagship ladies collection, the most recent of which is the Reine de Naples 8938, which is available in two beautifully diamond-set versions.
In 2021, Patek Philippe is once again drawing attention to the decorative arts that help make its watches so exceptional, further staking claim in the preservation of many of the traditional skills and techniques that date to the manufacture’s roots. And now six new versions of familiar watch models have been presented to highlight Patek Philippe’s Rare Handcrafts.
I’m not sure it’s possible to experience a Spike Lee film without being changed in some profound way. Lee loves writing with a pen, and Montblanc’s new fountain pen in his honor is crafted in classic black resin with a sleek cap and decorated with Lee’s signature eyeglasses. Purple, the artist’s favorite color, also figures prominently.
Caran d’Ache’s acclaimed Fixpencil was conceived in 1929 by Swiss engineer Carl Schmid, who invented and patented a unique clutch-style lead holder that made it possible to accept leads of different diameters. Zurich-based designer Alfredo Häberli is a fan, which led to the creation of the colorful new limited edition Caran d’Ache + Alfredo Häberli Fixpencil.
Italian pen brand Montegrappa commemorates both ‘Blackstar’ and its creator, David Bowie, in a new limited-edition writing instrument collection within its Icons series. The David Bowie Blackstar includes a fountain pen and a rollerball whose essence, like Bowie’s music, is at once evident and implied – and might require some decoding.
As the world gradually reopens for travel, Montblanc’s newly introduced Around the World in 80 Days accessories collection seems that much more meaningful. Not only is it a notable assemblage of pens, leather, accessories, and a limited series Summit Lite smartwatch, it is also symbolic of a sense of adventure that has been acutely missing from our lives during the pandemic months.
Commemorative limited edition writing instruments can sometimes be overdone in Nancy Olson’s opinion, with well-meaning designers aiming to include just about every known detail referencing the person, place, or event celebrated. Montblanc’s Tribute to the Great Wall of China High Artistry pens are simply about the story: the ancient art of calligraphy, the Ming Dynasty, and the legendary Silk Road.