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.
Articles about pens and other writing instruments
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.
Nancy Olson highlights two fountain pens celebrating the Chinese Year of the Ox in 2021: Caran d’Ache’s Year of the Ox shows off the brand’s technical expertise in engraving and use of Chinese lacquer, while Montblanc’s Legend of Zodiacs: Celebrating the Year of the Ox is hand-engraved with engaging representations of an ox with corncobs.
Breguet writing instruments round out the Swiss brand’s elegant offerings with a style and grace similar to its timepieces, with many of the pens unabashedly borrowing stylistic attributes from the watch iconography. These writing instruments nestle into three collections: Tradition, Classique, and Reine de Naples, all in parallel with the watch collections of the same names. And they are a win in Nancy Olson’s book!
The Montblanc 2020 High Artistry Heritage Egyptomania Limited Edition writing instruments use the treasures and traditions of Egypt as inspiration, and in a new twist each pen is encased in an octagonal “sarcophagus.” A special mechanism opens and closes the bejeweled receptacle, which is as functional as it is decorative and most unusual in the world of luxury pens.
David Oscarson’s use of guilloche and fired enamel to create the exquisite designs on his pens is his well-established hallmark, and over two decades he has brought compelling and often thought-provoking topics to pictorial life with clarity and artistic flair. His latest collection features sea turtles all the way down, providing us with just a whiff of the bygone summer.
Graf von Faber-Castell’s new Bentley Limited Edition Barnato, the most recent addition to its Bentley pen collection that debuted in 2018, is an homage to Woolf Barnato, who was one of the legendary “Bentley Boys.” Nancy Olson has the lowdown on this pen world high point.