Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us, check out the great deals and unbelievable pricing at Executive Essentials this holiday season: sales, sales and more sales; coupons; clearance items; free monogramming; and many free gifts with purchase!!
Fine Pens! Laptop Totes and Briefcases! Leather Duffels! Agendas, Writing Pads, Wallets, Desk Accessories and more…..all on sale at Executive Essentials! Executive Essentialsthe holiday giftcenter for all your favorite professionals.
The ovens are far from heating up for this 2011 Thanksgiving dinner, but that doesn’t mean that Christmas is content to wait on the sidelines until we are all done digesting. In fact, ho-ho-ho tinged commercials have already infiltrated the airwaves and local shops are already trimming their newly frosted windows in red and green. It is clearly time to start thinking about the gifts we choose to say ‘thank you’ to those around us in our daily lives. And there is no better way for a business to say thank you to its employees and customers than with a high-quality pen that is stylish and affordable.
Executive Essentials makes gift giving easy by offering a wide selection of personalized pens from top name brand companies like Cross, Waterman, Waterford, Parker, and Dunhill. The pens in the EE catalog come in a wide variety of styles and prices to fit the needs of just about any company’s budget. At Executive Essentials, we have the ability to offer substantial discounts for high volume orders and with a little extra time, we can let you see a finished sample of your logo pen prior to your order. We know that you want the very best when you give gifts and we have the pens you need and the service to make it come true. And, unlike cheap custom pens, our pens come from name brand, well-respected companies that offer quality, style and satisfaction guaranteed.
Take a look at a few of the amazing pens in the Executive Essentials catalog that come with the option of being engraved.
This streamlined pen from Parker has a stainless steel body that is brushed to give it a textured effect before it is buffed to smooth gloss finish. Although the shape is simple, the pen itself is designed for a comfort and feel that is appreciated by both men and women. The gold accents give it a flair that is striking without being gaudy or garish. Listed at $65 with another $14 for engraving, the Parker Sonnet is a gift worth giving and worth receiving.
One look at the elliptical shape of the Waterman Carene Ballpoint brings to mind an object of speed and grace. The almost bullet like design has a simplicity that is understated and mired in a long standing tradition of craftsmanship. It all makes sense though when you find out that the Carene is modeled after the world’s finest Yachts. The barrel is a high-gloss lacquer and is trimmed in gold for a dynamic look with a weight that feels good in all hands. This executive pen carries a $150 price tag and costs $16 to personalize, but it’s not a gift soon forgotten.
At the lower end of the price spectrum is the Claria in chrome from Waterford Pens. But, don’t be fooled by the $31.99 price tag. This inexpensive pen is far from cheap. The chrome barrel of the pen gives it a substantial feel and the shape lend it a fit for any hand. The rhodium plated finish give it a look that shines bright with sophistication and prestige. This is a great pen for everyday use. One that can be put to work and offer style all at the same time. Engraving this pen costs $14, with two choices of font and 22 characters of engraving text. The right price. The right pen. The right gift.
Thanksgiving is over ladies and gentlemen. And as the last leftover turkey sandwich settles in for digestion we must all turn our heads towards the oncoming holiday season and the joy and warmth it brings. As the climax of the holiday season draws near and the last weeks of the year come into play, the world slows down just long enough to give us all time to enjoy the good company of friends and family. Familiar songs ring from the radio, the smell of familiar foods waft through the house and familiar relatives drop by—usually unannounced. But, the end of the year isn’t here yet and before you can slow down and lift a glass of cheer you have some shopping to do. And here at Executive Essentials, we have two words for you: gift pens.
What? You thought we were going to say trousers?
In particular, we’d like to talk a little about personalized ink pens and custom imprinted pens. At Executive Essentials, we have a wide variety of classic and modern pens that will strike the fancy of any friend or relative you need to shop for. In fact, we carry engravable pens from top name brands such as Montblanc, Cross, Waterman, Parker and more. And, if you’re worried about price, don’t be. Even though many of those name brands have pen lines that come with a high price, Executive Essentials carries a slew of pens at prices that are more in the range of a gift, rather than an inheritance. Have look at some of these great customized ink pens.
Let’s start with some more affordable pens and work our way up to those that are – well – less affordable. Now, it’s important to remember that affordable does not mean cheap, especially in the world of pens. And that is exactly the case with the Cross Century Sport. This is Cross’s newest slim swivel-action ballpoint. It features an inventive flat-to-flare twisted clip. The sport is a combination of engineering and agile styling with a translucent satin finish and topped off with brushed chrome-plated appointments. This is a pen that takes engraving well. Burnish the name of a friend or relative on the side of this sleek writing instrument and present it with joy in the premium gift box it comes in. Yours for under $34 plus shipping with engraving!
This Metro from Waterford has a unique 1950’s style with a touch of modern flair. It has a streamlined barrel that lends it to a wide variety of hands with a weight that is balanced well for those who don’t like to brute force their way through each word. With its tailored and elegant shape, the Metro Collection is easy to handle in-between the lines and eye catching all at once. Through it all, it delivers a smooth and comfortable writing experience. Appointed with a solid brass cap and accented with gold trim this pen is ready made for engraving and sure to please. At Executive Essentials right now you can have this pen engraved and under the tree for under $54 plus shipping.
A personalized pen is a gift that will continue to have value throughout the life of the recipient.
With luck, the joy of that pen will be passed down generation after generation. Although, don’t expect the ink to last that long. The fact is, a good pen will outlast its owner, and if that pen is personalized, that owner will live on in that pen. These are the way memories are made and how new generations are reminded of the one that came before. There is no better pen to carry that message than a Parker Sonnet Rollerball. This rollerball has a stainless steel body brushed with a texture effect and then polished for a smooth touch. The pen is outfitted with 23 karat gold accents. Its modest and streamlined shape makes it comfortable for both men and women. With its arrow clip adorning the pen cap this pen is all Parker. Make this pen a gift for under $90 plus shipping. Someone will thank you for it.
Meisterstuck is German for “masterpiece” and this pen lives up to its name. One of the most highly sought after pens from one of the most respected pen companies ever, Montblanc Pens create writing instruments for people of all ages and all walks of life. And they have been doing so since 1924. This Classique Ballpoint is hand-crafted with pride and care to craft a precision instrument capable of writing plays or jotting down grocery lists. It has a rich, luscious ebony-black resin barrel and cap that contrasts magnificently with the three gold-plated rings banding its circumference. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to tell you just how much this pen costs, since Executive Essentials is proud to be an Authorized Montblanc Dealer, and therefore we do not post prices on our website as per their rules. However, I do suggest you take the time to request a price. You’ll be happy you did.
In a world where technology is quickly taking over every aspect of our lives, it’s too easy to get wrapped up in iPads, Nooks and 3D TVs. It’s too easy to plug in and drop out. So, this year, give your friends and family a tool that will allow them to plug into themselves. Give them a reason to reflect and a way to capture those reflections. After all, getting the economy back on track isn’t the only reason you’re buying gifts this year.
Here’s the story. You want to find the best holiday gift you can for those special someones in your life, so the first place you head is the internet to take advantage of comparison shopping, great deals and the collective wisdom of billions of people. But, what you find instead is a bunch of top ten lists rattling off the latest electronic gizmos that came from the ‘things you plug in’ section of Santa’s workshop. A Nook, a Kindle, an Ipad, an Android phone or even Mp3 sunglasses (because now the future is bright and soundtracked?) all find their way to the top of the must have list. And that’s fine. These are great gifts, but…
The problem with electronic gifts nowadays is that instead of us consuming them, they consume us. And they do it everywhere. In the old days when we left our homes, we left our electronics behind. But now, our electronic devices come mobile and pre-packed with a constant stream of distraction. When it empties, we fill it again. This form of entertainment isn’t necessarily bad, but it doesn’t demand anything from us. It doesn’t challenge us or ask us to think – critically or otherwise. It just gives and gives until we either decide to turn it off or it runs out of batteries.
To be absolutely, 100 percent clear. We at Executive Essentials do not hate mobile electronic devices. On the contrary, we love all they have to offer. We just think that gift giving should be an opportunity, not an excuse. It’s a moment you can take to offer a friend or a relative something more than a distraction. Something that has value beyond this year and well past the next. A gift that compels creativity, demands interaction and opens up our abilities to share, produce and imagine.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we are going to share our thoughts on some of the best gift pens from a wide variety of brands with an even wider variety of prices. We’ll talk about fountain pens, mechanical pencils, rollerballs and ballpoints. We’ll roll out some staff favorites, talk about utility, fashion, design and of course style. So come back often this month to see what we’re talking about. But, if you just can’t wait, you can check out this catalog of wonderful holiday gifts.
Quick gift ideas. That’s what this month is all about at Executive Essentials. And, just like Santa himself, we are going to sneak into your house (you’re going to come to our site), drop off some gifts (ideas really, just gift ideas) and eat all your cookies (actually we give you cookies – it’s complicated). Ok, so maybe we aren’t exactly like Santa, but we do have a slew of great gift ideas to inspire you this season. This idea is about ornaments, red and green.
You can pick any of the wonderful red or green pens from the Executive Essentials catalog to pull off this simple Christmas gift idea. Simply shop around for the pens you like and then hang them from your tree. Symbolizing the colors of the season in an almost icicle like form, these decorative pieces will probably go unnoticed until you point them out to that special someone. If you think you might have trouble keeping it a secret, you can always hang them up after the rest of the house heads off to count sugar plums.
You’d be surprised at the affordable ‘ornaments’ you can find in the range of red and green, like the Waterford Claria for under $35 and the striking Caran d’Ache Metal X Ballpoint for under $20. Both perfect gift pens for Christmas or any holiday. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to trim the tree.
For the next several posts we will be featuring guest blogger Tracy McCusker.Tracy is an avid pen buff & unrepentant word-slinger. Fascinated with pens from a young age, she converted to fountain pens in 2000 after being introduced to the Parker Frontier and Parker Vector. Today her pen collection numbers in the hundreds. Tracy is a staunch advocate of “going analog” for writing & creative brainstorming. When she’s not hanging out at her local fountain pen shop, her digital presence can be found guest posting at the Surly Muse.
The Penaholic’s Gift Guide Picks
While pens are seemingly becoming obsolete by touch-screen technology and ever-smaller keyboards on everything, time spent away from all of the screens that clutter our lives can be invaluable…and a pen can always be an invaluable part of that time. Writing longhand has its own pleasures, which for brevity’s sake, I won’t try to sell you on here.
If you are thinking of giving a luxury gift this holiday season, a pen can be a splashy, yet thoughtful, gift for a loved one or friend. A pen need not cost an outrageous amount. While there are some expensive pens (and some very much worth their sticker price), buying a pen doesn’t mean busting the bank.
A pen is a very individual tool. What works for one person may not be optimal for another. A buyer should ask themselves some questions to find the pen that fits their recipient best. If you’re familiar with basics of pen-buying (how thin/thick, how heavy, what type of pen, for what type of writer etc), skip on down this introduction for the Penaholic Gift Guide Picks. If you are daunted by the thought of selecting a good pen as a gift, read on.
Locate your favorite pen. You know the one I’m talking about. The pen that you reach when you need to write a check, sign a document, or jot down a sticky note.
If you are planning to give the pen as a gift, try to scope out your recipient’s usual writing instrument.
Take a moment to examine this pen. If the recipient likes thin to medium pens (e.g. a standard office-supply store Bic), you may want to stick to thin or medium pens. If the recipient uses a thick pen, a pen with a cushioned grip, or complains about uncomfortable thin pens–you should avoid buying a thin pen at all costs. Images may provide a clue to the thinness or thickness of a particular pen, but pictures don’t tell the whole story when comparing two pens against each other. You may want to hold one of these pens for yourself at a local pen shop. A good online pen shop will provide a description of how thin/thick a pen is to help you decide which pen is right for you.
The second factor to consider is the weight of a pen (whether light or heavy). How heavy a pen is may not matter to someone who uses a pen to sign checks; in fact, the heavier a pen feels in the hand, the more important it feels. If you are buying a pen for an avid journaler, a student, or an office worker who prefers to work non-digitally, lighter pens are preferable because they can be held longer without hand fatigue. Sometimes it takes a bit of research to find out how heavy a pen is. A good pen store may provide a description of the pen’s weight or of the material the pen is made from. Resin and plastic barrels tend to be on the lightest pens. Pens with chrome or brass barrels that are lacquered are usually on the heavy end. Depending on how heavy the pen is, you may prefer to write with the pen cap posted (on the end of the pen) or unposted (off). If losing track of small objects is a concern, it may be prudent to look for pens that are balanced (and feel comfortable) with the cap posted securely on its end.
The third factor is the type of pen you are looking for (ballpoint, rollerball, fountain pen, pencil). Does your recipient prefer a type of pen—the smooth ink-to-paper feel of rollerballs over ballpoints, for example? Is your recipient interested in trying a fountain pen for the first time, or maybe they are a fountain pen only collector? Ballpoints are the most-used and most-gifted types of pens. Most people are intimately familiar with ballpoints: they write uniformly; they don’t dry out; their refills are easily available at most office-supply stores. Fountain pens are nibbed pens that are used mostly by enthusiasts who like the richness of their ink and the feel of the nib against the paper. Rollerballs are somewhere in the middle; smoother than ballpoints, they lay down a thick, wet line. Rollerballs do this without the hassles and joys that come with a nib.
Once you have settled on the type of pen to buy, then the color, brand, and “look” of a pen be the final set of decisions. The Penaholic’s Gift Guide will help you narrow in on the right pen.
Traditionally, a gift guide is broken up by budget range. I have selected pens for every kind of budget. A good gift pen generally is a pen that writes reliably, has a solid reputation, and/or is stylish or colorful enough to be a pen worthy of gifting. At the same time, a good gift pen will likely please any and all recipients. If you know that your recipient has certain tastes (dislikes the color blue, enjoys colorful pen barrels, wants something high-tech), be sure to check out the entire line of a pen that strikes your eye.
Pen recommendations also can differ based on the type of person who is receiving the pen, so this guide provides further recommendations depending on what kind of recipient you are buying for.
For a fountain pen under 50 dollars, it is impossible to beat the Lamy Safari. With a distinctive large metal clip on its cap, the Safari has a modern, functional aesthetic. Its thick plastic barrel is light, yet resistant to denting/scratching. The Safari has one of the smoothest steel nibs on any fountain pen; the nib has a generous give (more than the gold-plated steel nibs on Parker Sonnets), rendering a line with subtle variations. The biggest draw is that the Safari has one of the least-scratchy extra-fine (EF) nibs for those of us searching for the holy grail of both a thin line and smooth pen-to-paper experience. Unlike some other pens of its size, The Safari is actually balanced to write with the cap posted or unposted. Its faceted grip provides a comfortable grip that is larger than a standard ballpoint/gel pen, but still comfortable for note-taking or journaling. Though the Safari range comes in multiple colors (including the Al-Star which is a very attractive purple), the clear Safari Vista demonstrator is the pen of note in the line. Not only is the feed system to the nib visible, you can also see how much ink is left in your cartridge/converter through the clear pen body. Demonstrator fountain pens are themselves a collector’s item; for the money, the Vista is the cheapest demonstrator that a budding pen aficionado can get on the market. This pen would be perfect for prolific writers, or recipients that enjoy functional German design.
The Safari is made in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, and Bold. Different nib sizes will have different availabilities. It takes Lamy T-10 cartridges or the Z24 Converter
Rollerball: Tombow Object ($20.99) or the Parker Urban ($36.80 – $48.00)
It is hard to find a good rollerball below 50 dollars, as my previous favorite rollerball on the market was bumped up to the next price bracket thanks to the upward creep of prices. I was, therefore, more than surprised to find two selections for under 50 to replace it. The Tombow Object has a brushed aluminum body that resists smudges and other minor blemishes. It’s tapered grip with rings make holding the Object easier than smooth, but the rings may begin to bite if you grasp your pens too tightly (I cling to mind like I’m drowning). The bright color of the Object makes it a cheerful companion for long study sessions, and the two-tone black Object looks just slick enough to be a fashion statement, just formal enough to use in the office.
If you have a few more dollars to burn, Parker offers a slightly more upscale rollerball in the Parker Urban. The curving line of the pen body, coupled with its signature arrow clip, is the kind of touch that I have come to associate with Parker. Parkers tend to be on the heavier side, and while I have never held an Urban in my hand, I would bet that the Urban (with its chrome appointments) would feel more solid in the hand than the aluminum Towbow. The Urban looks awkward with its posted cap; it is probably meant to be used with the cap unposted. The Parker also gets a thumbs up for its refill track record. Parker rollerball refills are usually superb; they aren’t finicky, or spotty like Waterman rollerball refills traditionally are.
Overall, I would recommend the Tombow for fans of brightly-colored pens or technical pens. The Urban is recommended for recipients looking for a more executive touch to their pen (and who aren’t likely to lose pen caps).
Ballpoint: Taccia Aviator ($36.00)
This is the pen that I would ask for from my loved ones. The Aviator is a lovely twist-action ballpoint that clocks in on the smaller side (around 5 inches), with a substantially thicker body than most ballpoints of similar size (the Aviator is thicker than the Cross Century or the Waterman Hemisphere). The thickness is slightly less than the Lamy Safari. The body is made of resin, making it lighter than the metal/chrome pens at the same price point. The Aviator has no dedicated pen grip, so maintaining a comfortable grip over long writing intervals may be tricky. The Red, White, and Blue Tie are, to me, the signature colors in the line. The tuxedo look of the single band of color below the clip is appealing—and quite unlike any other pen luxury/executive pen that I have bought. It looks elegant (reportedly even lovelier in person) and would not be out-of-place in a shirt pocket or a leatherette pen case. Like many international pens, the Taccia uses Parker refills, making it easy to find a refill that will match your writing style (Monteverde and Visconti ballpoint refills will fit this pen). Parker also offers gel refills that can make your ballpoint into a rollerball, making the Aviator one versatile pen.
I recommend the Taccia Aviator for someone looking for a classy ballpoint to replace their cheap pens at work or to find a pen that looks equally good signing a contract as writing in a personal notebook.
This is part two in our three part series by Tracy McCusker.Tracy is an avid pen buff & unrepentant word-slinger. Fascinated with pens from a young age, she converted to fountain pens in 2000 after being introduced to the Parker Frontier and Parker Vector. Today her pen collection numbers in the hundreds. Tracy is a staunch advocate of “going analog” for writing & creative brainstorming. When she’s not hanging out at her local fountain pen shop, her digital presence can be found guest posting at the Surly Muse.
In an effort to help our loyal fans and customers find the perfect pen gift this season, Tracy has put together an in-depth guide culled from the experiences of her own pen obsessions. Last week she talked about buying pens in the up to $50 price range. This week she tackles luxury pens in the $50 – $100 price range. Take a look at her suggestions.
For the 50 to 100 dollar range, most fountain pens start to have steel nibs that are worth writing with. The Lamy Studio and the Libelle Nature Mosaic are both pens that come from well-respected pen companies. The pens mostly differ in their outward aesthetic. The Lamy Studio is a reserved German modernist design that prioritizes smooth lines over outward flashiness. The Libelle Nature Mosaic, on the other hand, has a glorious retro flourish from its chrome Grecian-inspired trim and its inlaid pearlescent resins. The Nature Mosaic from Libelle Pens is most likely similar to the Regatta or Paloma from Monteverde Pens which also use inlaid resins—a heavier pen, more likely to be used for shorter tasks… or to sit on a desk as a piece of functional art rather than to be used as a heavy workhorse.
The Lamy Studio would fit comfortably into an artist, designer, or writer’s hand. The Libelle Nature Mosaic would be a great gift for someone who liked a retro touch of elegance on their home office desk, or in front of their yellow legal pad.
The Cross ATX Rollerball (and its smaller cousin the ATX Ballpoint) are the number one gift pen that I give out to friends and loved ones. I have given these mostly on the occasion of graduations—their serious exterior brings to mind the idea of future success—but they work as holiday gifts too. The ATX gently tapers at the ends to create a subtle and beautiful profile that is reminiscent of the Cross Verve (a discontinued pen; it would have otherwise earned its own spot on this gift guide). The ATX’s chrome appointments don’t overwhelm the pen’s final weight; it feels very comfortable in the hand. I have heard a few complaints about the chrome grip being slightly too slick for some folks with damper palms, but I have personally never had a problem with the pen being slippery or hard to hold, even after marathons of frantic note-taking. Cross pens are quality instruments. My oldest ATX has taken 10 years of beatings from being shoved into bags, jammed between desks, and run over by my office chair with little wear or chipping. Still, the ATX should warrant gentle treatment; with good care, this pen could easily last me another ten years. Cross rollerball refills are some of my favorite; they are dark, quick drying, and provide a reliable line.
The ATX is an all-purpose pen to give to anyone who enjoys writing. I’ve given mine to grads; the pen will look equally classy writing out notes to the latest novel as it is for doodling proofs to Fermat’s Last Theorem during lunch break.
Ballpoint: Cross Spire ($75.00 – $95.00)
It should come as no surprise that this guide is biased towards thicker pens; however, for the lover of thin pens, there is the Cross Spire. Cross’ classic style thin pen is a staple amongst luxury gifts. If you’re familiar with a thin, silver or gold pen, adorning pockets of office workers around the world, you know what the standard Cross has to offer. However, Cross has recently revamped its classic look in the Cross Spire; even I am tempted to return to trying thin pens (even though the fat ones are much better for my carpel-tunnel addled wrists). The Gold, Black, and Silver cross-hatched Spires are like dressed-up Cross Century pens; hardly any weight, and a bit tricky to hold for long periods of time. The Black & Red Spires are the ones that really catch my eye. They’re like the classier big brothers to the Cross Sport, with an eye-catching triple ring around the twist-action mid-section and the glossy lacquer that makes me such a big fan of the Cross ATX.
The Cross Spire is useful with calendars, planners, journals, or any other leather accessory that might have a pen loop. The Spire, as a thin pen, fits well into compact spaces. If your giftee is a fan of thin pens, the Cross Spire is a must-buy.
So take the time to browse the Executive Essentials catalog to see these great gift pens. Also, remember to come back and hear Tracy’s suggestions on pens over $100. Not to be missed!