2014 has seen the release of many new products which captured the imagination of fountain pen lovers across the globe. As the year finally draws to a close, it would be remiss not to revisit some of the exquisite masterpieces and admire the exceptional craftsmanship and artistry that made them a reality.
1 – Mont Blanc 90 Years Anniversary Skeleton 149
The 149 holds a special place in Mont Blanc history – so much so that its 90th Anniversary is celebrated by nothing less than one of the most exquisite products ever launched – a skeletonised 149. The Skeleton 149 is a reintroduction of the 75th Anniversary Skeleton 149, which was highly-sought-after by collectors. The pen has a skeletonised cap and barrel plated with ruthenium. The pen is adorned by a quartz Mont Blanc emblem and features an 18K rose gold nib with a delicately applied 90th Anniversary commemorative engraving.
2 – Namiki Hina Dolls
Maki-e is a traditional Japanese artform which appeals to the most discerning collectors – and the Namiki Hina Dolls is unquestionably one of the most significant releases in 2014 – issued in a matching pair of Yukari Royale fountain pens, the Hina Dolls are decorated with a prince and princess doll. The Hina Dolls collection is handcrafted painstakingly by maki-e artisan Mamoru Wakabayashi and available in a limited edition of 70 pairs.
3 – Caran d’Ache Lalique Crystal
The immense beauty of the Caran d’Ache Lalique captivates the imagination. The “Crystal and Diamonds” is an 18 piece Limited Edition which features a gold cap plated in ruthenium, a white gold body and 340 cascading diamonds of VS gem quality (almost 3 carats). The pen is completed with satin-brushed cabochons and rings. Also available are two 999 piece Limited Edition fountain pens in black and white ceramic, embellished with the Coutard motif and diamond solitaire clip.
4 – Pelikan M1000 Raden Sunlight
The M1000 is a fitting canvas for maki-e masterpieces with its large piston reservoir, 18K gold nib and superb construction. The earlier released Pelikan M1000 Raden Starlight sold out so rapidly that it never reached the American market and the Raden Sunlight Limited Edition released this last year is certain to follow suit. Abalone shells are painstakingly applied to lacquer to create a “Raden” effect that sparkles at every angle. The artwork is signed off by the artist and limited to a worldwide release of just 300 pieces.
5 – Omas St. George
This year, Omas has reintroduced its successful St. George Limited Edition from 2004 made entirely of sterling silver and topped of with a mother-of-pearl cabouchon. The 100 piece Limited Edition fountain pens are available in blue and white enamel with lapis lazuli, as well as white and red enamel with ruby. The large capacity, piston filled fountain pens feature a medieval cross and sword clip, and barrel icon featuring a 15th century depiction of St. George and a dragon. The nib is engraved with a traditional Russian floral pattern.
As with typewriters, film cameras and other vintage paraphernalia, the resurgence of fountain pens in recent years is due largely to their historical significance. Modern day fountain pens continue to push the envelope when it comes to innovation and design. They aren’t merely writing tools – they are an art-piece and manufacturing them, an act of technical mastery to be admired.
We can only look forward to what 2015 has in store for us…