I literally rubbed my palms in glee as I received an invitation to the Sheaffer Centennial celebrations in Singapore. Well actually, I saw the event being mentioned on the Singapore Fountain Pen Lovers Facebook group, so I quickly contact the organizer to send me an invitation to this event. How could I miss it!
And so, I happily went down after work on 22 May to attend the Centennial. Oh, and by the way, the event organizer also invited me to make a speech as a pen collector/blogger at the event as well. What an honour! It was my first public speech on fountain pens so naturally I was nervous. The palms I was rubbing in glee earlier were now clammy. Fortunately, it was a fine evening and the place I was going to is pretty (MICA building near the river).
After checking in and getting a “Media” tag for myself, I went eagerly around the exhibits to snap shots of them. You know, the only thing I regret from this event is that I don’t have a proper camera. I was only equipped with my smartphone, so the quality of the pictures taken is… hmm… not ideal.
The posters and tables were arranged on either side of the venue, so we had a number of posters and pens to look at. The red cordons elegantly emphasized, ‘Hey, we have precious pens right here, don’t come too close!’ I felt that they were redundant, but I am well aware that there are likely a bunch of people who are not as crazy about fountain pens as I am, who may step right up to the desks and touch everything there just for fun. So in the end, the reinforced visual message may be useful after all. Nevertheless, being a fountain pen enthusiast, I leant over the cordons as far as I could to take a closer look at the pens…
Expecting to be all alone (as all my FP buddies weren’t free on this evening), I was pleasantly surprised to be acquainted with the other speech-giver. The moment I heard his blog’s name, I recognized it. I had actually tried to contact him before to join our Singapore Fountain Pen Lovers Facebook group! He rejected it, but that’s alright, because I got to meet him in person. His website is at www.parkablogs.com and he goes by the nick of Parka. So Parka we shall refer to him as. He’s a really cool artist, using fountain pens to sketch his pieces! His work even got displayed at one of the desks at the exhibition.
Finally the celebrations started with a speech by the general manager of BIC Product (where Sheaffer is now a part of). He mentioned being proud of Sheaffer for successfully building its brand for a full 100 years. I have to agree that not all companies can last this long – but Sheaffer did! Even in an age where handwriting and fine writing instruments have been excessively replaced by electronic, button-punching, surface-tapping methods of recording information, pen brands like Sheaffer continue to thrive.
After Mr Alejandro’s speech, Parka presented his style of sketching (with a fountain pen) while I waited nervously off-stage. When my turn came, I went up to share about my “Sheaffer No Nonsense ivory fountain pen with a left foot oblique nib” (what a mouthful). I bet it’s famous now! Obviously I couldn’t take pictures of myself on stage, but Parka and I shared a pic later on while everyone else mingled. I shall not put up that photo here (I’m a shy person, heehee).
The grand moment finally came, when 3 glass cases near the stage were being unveiled. Each contains one pen that was made specially for the Centennial celebrations. One of them is a Sheaffer Legacy Heritage Limited Edition fountain pen. It is made of sterling silver on which the designs were engraved, and has palladium plate trims. There are only 1913 of these pens available around the world! And yes, 1913 was the year Sheaffer started, so that’s why this was the limit!
The next two pens are the Sheaffer Centennial, one in sterling silver and the other in 18K solid gold. What beauties! They are also limited edition pens (of course). The solid gold one has only 45 pieces in the world, while the sterling silver one has only 516. I really really wonder how they feel in the hand, and how the nibs write! Fat chance of trying one out, though! Notice that the Centennial LE caps are more squarish in shape, while the Legacy Heritage LE has a tapered cap. I still can’t decide which is my favourite.
After the event ended, we were all given a door gift each. I had an extra “special” gift as I was a speaker at the event, so I’m really happy about it!
The door gifts are pretty interesting: everywhere (even on the ribbon) it has the “1913 Sheaffer’s 2013″ logo. It’s really nice to have it even on the ribbon. This souvenir is a great keepsake!
The other part of the door gift consists of a notebook. I totally love well-textured notebooks, and this qualifies as having a great texture. Plus it’s brown so I don’t have to worry about horrible colours. The pages inside the notebook have different types of patterns on each page, especially showing advertisements of the old times.
Last but not least, I received a ball point and roller ball pen as the special gift! When I opened the box, I was pleasant greeted by the myriad of colours on each Sheaffer Agio Rainbow. I’ve never really thought of getting rainbow-coloured pens, but these ones are really beautiful! I just wished that I had the fountain pen version (after all, I am a fountain pen collector…) but well, this means I have a chance to make a trip down to a pen shop or counter to sniff one out!
The essential question now remains: to use or not to use (the gift pens)… hmm…
All-in-all, this was a nice event and I got some nice exposure to the pen community, and hopefully for people to get to know me as well.
Will you be getting the Sheaffer Centennial pens? Which one is your favourite?
I look forward to seeing other people blog about the Sheaffer Centennial celebrations in their own countries too!