Top 10 Graduation Gifts

When I was in college, my roommates & I loved to end our long day of studies by watching Late Night with David Letterman, and our favorite part of the show……Dave’s Top Ten List.

With Graduation fast approaching, now is the perfect time to make Executive Essentials very own Top Ten List to help our many customers find the perfect graduation gift for their sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

Executive Essentials Top 10 Best Selling Graduation Gifts:

10. Business Card Holder: Jac Zagoory Atlas Business Card HolderLarge Buckle- Flap Backpack;

9. Leather Backpack: Piel Leather Large Buckle- Flap Backpack

8. Leather Duffel:

For WomenClava Leather Nantucket Duffel

For MenDavid King Leather Two Pocket Duffel Bag

7. Monogrammed Leather Padfolio: Bosca Nappa Leather Letter Pad Black

6.   Monogrammed Leather Wallet:Letter Pad Black Nappa Leather;

For WomenBosca Nappa Leather Slim Credit Card Case

For Men:  Johnston & Murphy Leather Slimfold Wallet

5. Leather Handbag:

For WomenLodis Women’s Business & Casual Totes
For MenScully Leather Man Bag BlackCross ATX Ballpoint Pen Medalist;

4. Leather Messenger Bag: Kenneth Cole Leather Messenger Bag

3. Laptop Briefcase:

For WomenJack Georges Milano Collection Madison Avenue Tote
For Men: Sante Fe Vaquetta Leather TSA Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag

2. Engraved Pen: Cross ATX Ballpoint Pen Medalist

And the #1 Top Selling Graduation Gift……….(drum roll please)

1. Engraved Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique Ballpoint Pen

Executive Essentials is the ideal place to shop for today’s finest graduation gifts, check them out today!

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Image result for Grand Band money clipStill stuck on what to get dad for Father’s Day? I’ve got an idea for you.

Try a Grand Band money clip. They come in your choice of stainless steel or sterling silver, and there are eight different designs to choose from. Most plates can be engraved so you can make sure that your gift is personal, original and meaningful.

31dlkcziwpljpg204ec19a-4634-457f-8d93-6d9ad6ad4af9-e1501703715904.jpgWhether Dad is a golfer, banker, teacher, doctor or anything else, he still needs something to hold his cash, credit or business cards together. The Grand Band is the perfect accessory to hold everything. Wallets can sometimes be bulky to carry around in your pocket all day long, so the Grand Band is a sleek new alternative to the wallet.

 

Visconti Celebrates the Declaration of Independence

Turmoil, turmoil and more turmoil; the world is a very volatile place right now.  When you turn on the news or the radio and hear about all the difficulties going on in Libya, Egypt, etc; you have to feel more grateful than ever to be living in a country that strives to protect the rights and freedoms of all its individual citizens.  While we are far from being a perfect society, you have to appreciate the foundation on which our great country was built. Set up many years ago by some very wise men in the most sacred of documents, the Declaration of Independence. To help celebrate this all important collaboration of our forefathers, Visconti has created the limited edition Declaration of Independence 1776 fountain and rollerball pens.

The Visconti Declaration of Independence 1776 Pens are incredible. The barrels, through Visconti’s unique scrimshaw technique,are a replication of the full text of the Declaration of Independence and includes the many important signatures of the remarkable men responsible for drafting this priceless document. With aged sterling silver trim, a cap engraved with the American eagle (the symbol of our coveted freedom) and one of the coolest features, the mechanism of the plunger, operated by the Liberty Bell (an iconic symbol of American Independence); these pens are a great tribute to the cornerstone of our great nation, the Declaration of Independence.

Beautifully packaged, these pens would make an extraordinary gift for a public servant who has the privilege of protecting and interpreting the ideology behind this important historic document; or for that matter, all American citizens who can appreciate how critically important the Declaration of Independence was in the forming and sustaining of the United States of America today.

The Visconti Declaration of Independence fountain pen and rollerball pen, check them out today and start honoring and appreciating the many great freedoms we are afforded, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, in this precarious world we live in! Now available at Executive Essentials!

Graduation Gifts 2011: A Pen Guide

Don’t look now, but graduation is coming and mid-may will be here soon. The hats will fly and so will the scholar in your life, off to a fresh start, in a big world filled with possibilities. Here at Executive Essentials we know that a graduation gift is more than just a memento of a job well done. It’s an opportunity to commemorate an important moment in a graduate’s life and giving the gift of a fine writing instrument is a hugely popular choice. We also know that there are literally thousands of pens from a multitude of manufacturers to choose from and picking the right pen, with the right personality to fit your graduate can be difficult.

guide to graduation giftsThat is why over the next few weeks building up to graduation we are going to do a series on the types and styles of pens that exist to help you get a better idea of what pen is the right gift to give. We will talk a little about fountain pens, rollerball pens, ballpoint pens, pencils and multi-function pens. We’ll also talk about the brands that exist and let you in on a bit of the history to help you better understand the quality and versatility each has to offer. And, of course, we will talk about price, offering up examples that are exquisite pieces of art (with prices to match) as well as offerings from the mid-to-lower end of the spectrum that are as beautiful as they are durable and fun. All of this, plus a healthy dose of staff favorites that can’t be beat.

The key to choosing the right pen for your graduation gift is to find one that has the right personality to fit your graduate. It may sound a bit dramatic to talk about pen personalities, but I think that once you begin to look around at the various styles and learn the history of the pens, you’ll begin to understand why we talk about them this way. You’ll find that some pens are royalty, a bit stuffy, but majestic. Others are carefree and embody a youthful spirit. Some look to the future, while others turn to the past. Some are scientific, without being nerdy, while others are nerdy without being geeky. Sleek and smooth or fat and bumpy, all kinds exist.

So take a look around, but come back soon and we’ll guide you through the world of pens that is Executive Essentials. And as always, don’t be afraid to leave a comment with a question.  We love to help.

Graduation Gifts 2011: Types of Pens

Graduation is coming soon and that means finding the perfect gift for that scholar in our lives. Because fine writing instruments are a perennial favorite among graduation gift ideas we decided to write a short blog series outlining the types and styles of pens available. There are hundreds of pens to choose from with a wide range of price. We hope that this short series gives you a better understanding of the offerings that exist. Today we are going to talk a little bit about qualities and attributes of the ball point, rollerball and fountain pen.

Ball Point Pen

Point of fact: According to the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, most ball point pens have the ability to draw a line 4,000 to 7,500 feet in length. Whether or not the line is straight is, of course, up to you. The earliest this little-known fact could have been tested was in 1888 when the first known patent for a ball point pen was issued to John Loud. Mr. Loud devised the pen as a means to write on the leather goods that he created as a tanner. Although the use would eventually spread from tanned leather to paper-like products, the original pens were much too rough for use on materials less durable than cured hide.

 

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Lamy Studio Ballpoint Pen Stainless Steel

 

Today disposable ball point pens are found in every nook and cranny of our world. They are so cheap to produce that many organizations give them away free as advertising—with logos emblazoned on the side. It’s easy to consider the ball point as only a disposable item, but this is far from the truth. Many people prefer a quality ball point pen over any other type of pen because of their ease of use and design.

Ballpoint pens use an oil-based ink and a tight ballpoint that requires more pressure than other pen types. The oil-based ink lays down a nice tight line the size of the pen tip and resists bleeding.  The tight ballpoint at the tip prevents the pen from leaking, making it a perfect candidate for the purse or pocket. Unfortunately, the oil-based ink in conjunction with the pen tip makes the pen unsuitable for all surfaces.

Rollerball Pen

The ball point pen dominated the writing instrument market with little variation until 89 years after John Loud received his patent. It was 1977 that saw the invention of the rollerball pen. The concept behind the rollerball was to create a hybrid of the ball point and the fountain pen by introducing a water-based or gel-based ink. This gave the pen an ease of use associated with ball point pens as well as a nice wet, penetrating stroke like a fountain pen.

 

Image result for Aurora Ipsilon Rollerball Pen Satin Blue
Aurora Ipsilon Rollerball Pen Satin Blue

 

Rollerball pens have a number of unique characteristics that make them popular among pen enthusiasts. Because rollerball pens use a thicker ink the ball at the tip of the pen does not need to be sealed as tightly. This allows the user to exert less pressure when writing. The thickness and ‘wetness’ of the ink produces a more consistent stroke with less dry skips that sometimes appear with a ball point pen. Gel based inks also come in a wide variety of color, in contrast to their oil-based counterparts.

Fountain Pen

The actual origin of the fountain pen on the world stage is a little hazy. This is because a pen designed with an ink reservoir has been documented as early as the 10th century.  It is because fountain pens have such a long, rich history in nearly every nation of the world that so many people are drawn to them, but at the same time shy away from using one themselves. Many people feel that a fountain pen requires a great deal of effort to learn to use, that they are hard to take care of and that they are fragile. The fact is that modern fountain pens are extremely user-friendly, easy to take care of and more durable than earlier iterations.

 

Image result for Faber Castell Porsche Steel And Gold Fountain Pen
Faber Castell Porsche Steel And Gold Fountain Pen

 

Modern fountain pens are the product of science and art. The old problem of spilled ink and leaking pens has been solved with pre-filled cartridges, although it is still possible to purchase fountain pens you fill manually. The design of the nibs – the tip of the pen that transfers the ink to the paper —  now come in a variety and quality that accommodate all writing styles. Advances made in the construction of modern fountain pens have made them as durable as they are beautiful. The greatest advancement in the fountain pen, however, is the price. No longer is the fountain pen a writing instrument for the wealthy and royal. Affordable fountain pens exist erasing the only real reason not to try one out –or to give one as a gift.

What’s Next?

That is our quick trip through the types of pens you can expect to see at Executive Essentials. All three have their own unique style and history and all three have their own character. Take the time to browse through our online catalog to get a sense of what is available. Next post we will talk a little about a few of the companies out there that are producing high-quality pens that are fun, inventive and unique. Until then, feel free to leave a comment and ask a question. We’d love to hear from you.

Graduation Gifts 2011: Science Pens

Science is everywhere and yet a vast majority of folks tend to shy away from spending a great deal of time learning much about the laws of physics, the theory of relativity or the Copenhagen Interpretation. Not that I can blame them. The most science-y activity I’ve researched in the last few years was how to brew beer and really most of that came down to taste-testing. With that in mind though, we should really take the time to thank a graduate of a science program this year for taking on the task of learning all the minutia of how our universe works in order to make our world a more efficient effective and better place. And, a nice pen that speaks to their better qualities is a good start.

There are some really great pens on the Executive Essentials site that represent science in either name, look, feel or all of the above. Take a look at these five that I’ve selected for starters.

Image result for Acme Science RollerballAcme Science Rollerball

The writing tools of Acme Studios are created to commemorate the artistic achievements of the 20th century’s greatest contemporary artists, architects, and designers. This Acme Science Rollerball is made up of a high gloss peach colored resin decorated with Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Not only was Da Vinci a great artist, but he was a great scientist-observer who created ideas for musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, reversible crank mechanisms, finned mortar shells, and even a steam cannon. This pen is great for that experimenter scientist.

Montblanc Starwalker

Space, they say, is the final frontier. With the shuttering of manned space flights into the foreseeable future, it’s important that we encourage the youth of today to keep looking up to the stars so that we can continue to learn more about the universe we live in. What’s more, many inventions that we use today stemmed from research coming from NASA scientists. I know that the Starwalker has nothing to do with space itself, but the name invokes the image of a person who’s an inquisitive, dreamer with a yearning to break boundaries.

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Think Alla Moda Argyle Pen

To me, argyle most succinctly defines the history of the scientific profession in terms of fashion even more than a white lab coat. The sweet natured, sweater-vested scientist, festooned in argyle with unkempt hair is the go to the stereotype of cinema and TV. But, perhaps that’s just because I grew up in the 80’s? Regardless, this Think Alla Moda rollerball pen has a unique style with flamboyant color combinations which really make this pen the perfect writing tool for those that have a scientist’s eye for fashion.

119597583_amazoncom-krone-resonance-rollerball-pen-sorrento-office.jpgKrone Resonance Rollerball Pen

You know that when you are forced to hit up Wikipedia for the meaning behind a pens name that you’ve probably stumbled across some science. That was the case with the Krone Resonance. Krone is the name of the pen company that started in 1997 when it issued the unique and controversial Abraham Lincoln Limited Edition pen. What made this pen so unique was that it was embedded with the Civil War President’s DNA.  Yes, his DNA.  In addition, the term resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate with larger amplitude at some frequencies than at others. A great looking pen just waiting to help a young scientist release some of their potential energy.

Fjader

Image result for FjaderI’ll be honest with you, I just happen to stumble across this pen and immediately loved it. It really has nothing to do with science at all. I mean, sure, I could talk about the shape of the feather and how it’s been used to help humankind create a myriad of inventions that have made life easier since we began to understand how they worked. But I’m not going to do that. Because what really struck me as science about it, was its futuristic appeal. Which of course brings to mind my favorite kind of science – science fiction.  Science fiction represents the best part of science. The dreamy part of science that makes our minds wander into thoughts of teleportation, faster than light travel, jet packs and healthy fast food. This pen is perfect for that visionary scientist in your life.

These are just a few of the many pens that Executive Essentials has in their store. There are much more for you to view. So take a look around and please, if you have any questions or need some information about a pen, just ask. We are happy to help.

Graduation Gifts 2011: History Pens

The graduation countdown continues at a fast pace as students work hard to finish their last papers and tests, all-the-while navigating the finalizing paperwork that comes with commencement. If you’ve been following us over the last few weeks you know that we have been slowly working our way through a fun and informational 2011 graduation gift guide. We know from years past that pens are a popular graduation gift. The problem that we’ve noticed is that people become overwhelmed with the quantity of pen styles that are available.

We’ve already talked about the three basic pen types: the rollerball, the ballpoint and the fountain pen and we’ve already touched on what types of pens we think would be great for that science major in your life. So today, we are going to talk a little bit about history. Specifically, what types of pens a history graduate would appreciate.

Visconti Declaration Of Independence Fountain Pen Silver

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To scholars with an emphasis in American history, there is no greater historic moment than the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Here, Visconti uses their sophisticated scrimshaw technique to replicate the full text of the Declaration of Independence into the barrel of the pen. The writing is small, just large enough to be legible to the naked eye but still small enough to leave room to inscribe the Founding Fathers who drafted the act. A specially engraved magnifying glass is included with each pen to pay closer attention to the intricate details.

Delta Israel 60 Year Limited Edition Rollerball Pen

Image result for Delta Israel 60 Year Limited Edition Rollerball Pen

The Middle East’s constant struggle to resolve its myriad number of conflicts often overshadows the rich history of this diverse region. Many contemporary history students have turned their eyes to the Middle East, working hard to peel back the layers of complex systems and structures to understand the lessons that lay underneath. One piece of that Middle East history is embodied in the “Israel 60 Year Limited Edition Rollerball Pen” from Delta Pens which commemorates 60 years of Israel’s independence. The marbled blue body of this pen also contains a clip made of solid sterling silver reproducing the Yad. A Yad, literally “hand”, is a Jewish ritual pointer, used to point to the text during the Torah reading. It is intended to prevent anyone from touching the parchment, which is considered sacred.

Conway Stewart Wellington Rollerball Black Whirl

Many historians will comment that one of the values of studying history is so that we do not repeat history – at least the portions of history not worth repeating. This couldn’t be truer than in the category of politics and war. Although a pessimistic view might call-out that politics and war are merely two sides of the same coin, a true historian will ferret out the functions of both and realize the advantages as they’ve been revealed over the ages. For those graduates of history, the Conway Stewart Wellington Rollerball is a perfect gift.

Image result for Conway Stewart Wellington Rollerball Black Whirl

This classic, substantial pen is a tribute to the Duke of Wellington who is widely considered one of the leading military and political figures of the first half of the 19th century and an all around prominent figure in the history of England. He achieved many heights throughout his political career: an Anglo-Irish general and statesman, chief secretary for Ireland, ambassador to France, commander in chief of the British army, victor at the Battle of Waterloo, twice British prime minister and were one of the leading figures in the House of Lords.

The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Color Magic Rollerball Pen

bc10fe45bedc74757d4e064125331201-met-store-rollerball-pen.jpgSometimes we need to be reminded that history isn’t all about conflict, strife, and change. It’s not all about oversized textbooks filled with dusty facts and studied speculation. If you need convincing, just ask an art historian or the soon to be art history graduate.  They will tell you that history is about observation and reflection, specifically on the works of man from the beginning of time, in all forms. A great, inexpensive pen that captures the essence of the art history graduate is The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Color Magic Rollerball Pen. This inventive pen reminds us that in the hands of an artist, it takes only a few colors to mix almost every conceivable shade. This pen has a translucent outer lens that spins around the cap like a carousel. Like magic, the colors of the lens mix and transform the colors underneath, creating the hues of the rainbow in the palm of your hand.

George Washington Fountain Pen by Krone

I understand that by placing double emphasis on American history I run the risk of alienating those who chose to study some other historical topic, like women’s history, labor history, music history or any of the other various history topics. But, since this is a list of my 5 favorite pens for graduating history majors – I’m doing it.

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On April 30, 1789, George Washington stood on the balcony of the Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York and took the oath of office as the first President of the United States. President Washington set the standards for all who followed by his wise and honorable leadership and unwavering devotion to the American people and the principles of the Constitution. Krone Pens honor George Washington, the father of our country, with an elegantly handcrafted writing instrument. Hand painted in rich presidential navy, the cap is adorned with ornate gold detailing featuring the Washington family coat of arms. The matte silver clip’s raised nail heads are reminiscent of the colonial era. Fine barley etching details both ends of the cap and barrel, as well as the nib casing. George Washington’s signature is engraved at the base of the cap. Hand painted to capture the victorious winter’s day, the barrel depicts General Washington gallantly leading the Americans at the Battle of Princeton. A coin atop the pen encapsulates fibers taken from Washington’s uniform decorated with ‘The Society of the Cincinnati’ emblem. ‘The Society of the Cincinnati’ originally a brotherhood of war veterans continues today as an organization dedicated to public interest in the American Revolution.

That ends this installment of pens for the History Graduate. For more ideas please check out the Executive Essentials online pen catalog. And as always, please feel free to comment or leave a question for us. We would be happy to help.