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

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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.

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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.

Graduation Gift Ideas: Literature and Creative Writing

Not to state the obvious, but today is the last day of April. That means that tomorrow is the 1st day of May. And May is graduation month all around the country. This is an exciting time for those who are graduating from college and equally as exciting for those of us who know someone graduating. It means that when we call and ask that person to go with us to $1 Sushi night downtown, they can finally say ‘yes’, instead of, ‘I have to write a 10 page paper on the global, socioeconomic effects of the song Friday, by Rebecca Black, on the Eastern European import of lamb’s wool to the United States.’ If you know someone that is graduating then you of this paper that I speak.

Regardless, this year don’t just get a good graduation gift, get a great graduation gift. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing the types and styles of pens that would go well with certain personalities and college majors. So far we’ve tackled Science, History, and Business. Today, I wanted to pick out my top 5 graduation pen gifts for Literature and Creative Writing Majors.  So without further adieu…

Montblanc Mark Twain Fountain Pen

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There are many great American writers, but few enjoy such a large audience as Samual Langhorne Clemens or as he was better known—Mark Twain.  Twain was a man of wit and satire, an author and a humorist that wove plain characters into intricate stories with expert precision and intent that revolved around his birthplace of the deep south. The Montblanc Mark Twain Fountain Pen is a writing instrument inspired by the river that had a lasting influence on Twain and his work: The sinuous curving lines on cap and barrel, made of deep-blue precious resin, reflect the shallow waves of the river. The top of the cap is shaped to resemble the Mississippi steamboat chimneys, whose steam is illustrated by ivory-coloured precious resin.  This pen is a perfect gift for that creative writer that can use humor to illustrate the foibles and triumphs of mankind.

mv_wd82805-monteverde-walt-disney-signature-fantasia-blue-agate-rb-01Monteverde Walt Disney Fantasia Collection Rollerball Pen

Walt Disney, the man, not the monolithic entertainment organization, had an absolute firm grasp on the story and character development. He understood the power and thrill of fantasy and dreams and how to reach into ours to make them come true. It’s been 70 years since Fantasia received two honorary Academy Awards for outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures and unique achievement in the creation of a new form of visualized music. But what’s more, it’s been 70 years of wonderful stories and dreams come true. Like the film, the Monteverde Walt Disney Fantasia Rollerball pen’s design is meant to inspire the untapped creativity within us all and is the perfect pen for those writers inspired to capture their dreams.

Tarzan Limited Edition Rollerball Pen;Krone Tarzan Limited Edition Rollerball Pen

The Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan pen from Krone Pens honors one of the greatest fiction writers of all time with this outstanding, handcrafted writing instrument. The cap is meticulously hand-painted with a leopard design while jungle vines are three-dimensionally sculpted around the bronze clip. There are two bands at the base of the cap; one in African Wenge wood and the other in bronze engraved with Edgar Rice Burrough’s signature. Hand painted in rich vintage color, the barrel depicts the infamous scene of Tarzan swinging through the jungle carrying Jane under one arm. This pen captures the essence of adventure writing and speaks to those that would dare set us on great adventures with their mind.

Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava Fountain Pen

Image result for Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava Fountain PenAll writing draws from the emotions, knowledge, and condition of one species: Home Sapiens. Writing is a way for the human race to express desires and confusions, to chase dreams, confront demons and make sense of this wild ride we call life. The Homo Sapiens Lava Fountain Pen by Visconti is made of a material nearly as unique as the human condition; lava from the Etna volcano. Made of this rare material, the pen has characteristics that render it unbreakable, flameproof and slightly hygroscopic (the ability to extract moisture from the air).

Don Quijote Fountain Pen;Delta Don Quijote Fountain Pen

The year 2005 celebrated the 400th anniversary of the publication of “Don Quijote de la Mancha”, a novel that is by far the most well known Spanish literary piece ever written. Delta Pens celebrates this influential piece of literature with the Don Quijote limited edition. The pens are made from a special red hand turned resin and the barrel features an expertly crafted etching of Don Quijote’s memorable adventures. A sterling silver trim and lance shaped clip add the final touches. The fountain pens are an 18 karat gold nib with a depiction of a characteristic element of the Don Quijote story. What makes these pens even rarer is that there are only 1605 Fountain Pens in this edition.

And that is the run-down of my top five picks for literature and creative writing majors. There are much more to choose from in the Executive Essentials catalog. Take some time to browse the site and see if you can find a pen that fits the graduate in your life.

Buying a Limited Edition Pen

This year has seen some gorgeous limited edition pens in release. Not only did Montblanc release a new Writers Edition pen, the Jonathan Swift, Delta has continued its Indigenous People collection with the Hawaii Limited Edition. Created from a resin that reflects the beautiful colors of the islands, the Hawaii is covered in an alloyed bronze and capped with tribal detailing. Aside from its beauty, the Hawaii presents us with an interesting case. Delta released the pen as two separate editions: the regular Limited Edition Hawaii is Rhodium-trimmed with a run of 1898 fountain pens and 1898 ballpoint pens; and a Special Limited Edition that is gold trimmed and limited to 898 fountain pens only.

Hawaii Limited Edition Fountain Pen
Delta Hawaii Limited Edition Fountain Pen

To a new pen collector, these terms seem highly specialized. What’s the difference between a limited edition and a special limited edition? What’s the attraction of buying a pen that’s priced in the thousand dollar range and above?

 

Types of Limited Run Pens

Before we dig into the “whys” of limited editions, first I’d like to address the specialized terms of limited edition pens. There are four kinds of pens made in limited quantities. They are Limited Edition pens, Special Edition pens, Special Occasion pens, and artisan pens.

A limited edition pen is a pen that is produced in a limited number.  Limited editions may be as low as 25 pens, or as high as 17,000. The pen’s number is often engraved on the pen. The higher the number of the edition, the lower the initial price of the pen will be. For example, The Montblanc Writers Edition series has had production runs of 14,000 to 17,000. Limited editions that have very low run numbers, in the hundreds or below, usually have high initial prices and sell out quickly.

 

Black Water Dragon Fountain Pen Onyx Black;
David Oscarson Water Dragon Limited Edition Fountain Pen

A special edition pen is a pen that is only manufactured for a short period of time. Special edition pens are not announced with a specific numbered run; instead, they are manufactured while there is demand, and after a short while the pen is discontinued. Depending on the length of time a special edition pen is manufactured, they can be more or less rare than limited edition pens. A rule of thumb is that a special edition pen is usually less rare than a numbered limited edition pen, and a special edition takes longer to become valuable to the collectors’ market. An example of a special edition pen is the Lamy Safari Lime Green collection.

 

A special occasion pen is a pen that is created for an anniversary or another significant event. Some pens are made in very limited quantities for occasions like treaty-signing, where only a handful of pens might exist.  An example of a special occasion pen is the Joint Understanding—a pair of pens made by Parker for President Bush and President Yeltsin the signing of an arms reduction treaty in 1992. Another type of special occasion pen is those that commemorate the year. The David Oscarson Water Dragon, with a run of 88 pens per color, is a special occasion pen that was produced to commemorate the year 2012.

Artisan pens may be the rarest of the limited quantity pens. Artisinal pens are handcrafted by the artist, making each pen completely unique. Michel Audiard hand-crafts each pen sculpture—his carved creations are more art than writing instrument.  Artisanal pens are often hard to buy, and it may be necessary to get in touch with the art themselves or a dealer that specializes in artisanal pens.

 

Why Buy a Limited Edition Pen

Limited Edition pens boast some of the most stunning designs in the pen world. Because Limited editions are short-run pens, pen makers go all-out for a single design, using rare materials, intricate production methods, and breathtaking complexity to craft a single edition. It’s no wonder that pen collectors around the globe usually buy limited editions for their style, their concept, and their price-worthiness.

For most pen collectors (even if they’ve never bought one), they can remember seeing a particular limited edition pen for the first time, and having its distinctive style pull them from across the room. For me it was the Krone K-Class in Flambe—its resin sparkled under the lights and looked like a piece of jewelry for writers. The K-Class was limited to 888 pieces per finish color. The pen was not cheap, and as a barely-scrapping buy college student, I couldn’t afford to buy one at the time.  Thankfully, Krone is one of the lesser-known fountain pen brands. Six years later, despite its low production run, the K-class is still for sale and still as magnificent as ever.

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MacKinnon Limited Edition Honeycomb Fountain Pen

Most limited edition pens have a story attached to them—a concept behind their creation. The MacKinnon Honeycomb is a testament to the power of organic and technological design. The gold lattice pattern over a yellow resin barrel is a recreation of the translucent effect of natural honeycomb. The pen’s concept is a celebration of nature and the pen artisan. The Montblanc Great Characters Alfred Hitchcock is a black-and-white hatched pen that is an homage to his black and white filmmaking. Part of the attraction that a good design has is that it is more than just a beautiful piece—it also has specialized, and personal meaning to the pen owner.

 

And this is the trickiest category: if the limited edition is actually worth the price. What makes a pen “worth the price” to varies by the collector’s intent. Is the pen going to sit on a desk in a stand to look like an objet d’art? Is it going to be used to sign documents? Is the collector planning to resell the pen to make a profit, like many art collectors do? Only the collector can answer what makes a thousand-plus dollar pen worth the money to them. I can offer some helpful tips in the next section that may clarify your opinions if you are preparing to buy a limited edition pen.

Advice on Buying A Limited Edition Pen

 

When paying limited edition prices for a pen, makes sure that the pen is in fact a limited edition (and not just a special edition). A limited edition pen will clearly state its numbered run, and will come with paperwork from the manufacturer that verifies that it is genuine.

 

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Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock Limited Edition Fountain Pen

 

If you want to use the pen for writing, be sure that the pen will be comfortable in your hand. Many limited edition pens are designed like sculpture, and won’t actually be comfortable to write with.

If you plan to display the pen, go the distance and buy a pen stand that will complement its form.

If you have plans to purchase a limited edition pen to auction it later, be very sure of the market that you are buying into. Purchase a fountain pen (ballpoint pens do not resell as well) that is manufactured in a sufficiently small number that the pen will sell out and become more valuable in five to ten years. My example of the K-Class shows that even excellent-reputation brands like Krone can have limited edition pens that are still on the retail market in six years. Above all, make sure the pen is well-protected. The limited edition should remain in mint condition and with its paperwork, or it will depreciate in value.

Most importantly, make sure the pen speaks to you in some way. Limited Edition pens are all-out style. Like any style that’s never tested the waters before, you can never be certain if a pen will catch fire or not. But at least you can be sure of a pen that catches hold of your imagination. A pen with the power to drag your nose to the glass, and make you think about it for days afterward, is a pen that’s certainly worth having.

Fountain Pen Basics: Barrel Materials

Fountain Pen Basics are posts for new fountain pen users who are learning the ropes. The series will introduce you to fountain pen terminology by looking at solutions to common fountain pen problems. In this week’s entry, we will be investigating pen materials. Previous entries in this series have covered new pen clogs, feathering and skipping.

 

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Aurora Optima Fountain Pen Blue With Silver

 

I often talk to new pen owners, and people who are thinking about buying luxury pens. One of the recurring questions is: “what are expensive pens actually made from?” The common misconception is that expensive pens are made from expensive materials, like precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) or hard-to-work metals (titanium). In fact, most luxury pens are made from what seems like fairly common materials, like plastics and resins. The reason why these pens are expensive is that these materials are machined to make a well-balanced and beautiful writing instrument.

For this week’s installation of Fountain Pen Basics, I will explain the different types of barrel materials that can be found on modern pens.

The Pen Barrel
The barrel is the main body of the pen. In ballpoints and rollerballs, it is part of the pen that holds the pen refill. In eco-rollers and fountain pens, the barrel holds the ink reservoir, filling mechanism, and writing assembly. When looking at a pen, the barrel is usually the first thing that strikes your eye. The color, the texture, the way the light strikes the material. The barrel sets the tone for the entire aesthetic experience of the pen.

But the barrel is important for more than just how pleasing a pen looks; the barrel’s material also determines how light or heavy a pen will be, and what it feels like in your hand. Behind the scenes–before you ever buy the pen–the material of the barrel determines how elaborately the pen can be shaped, and how it will perform under long-term ownership.

There is a wide range of materials used in modern pens. The majority of these materials fall into three categories: non-precious metals, precious metals, and resins. Some other less-seen materials, like ebonite and titanium, are still seen occasionally from pen makers like Delta and Visconti and are most often found in limited edition pens.

Non-precious Metals
The most common non-precious metals used in luxury pen are chrome and brass. In many modern pens, chrome appears most prominently as trim or appointments. On ballpoints, the screw-on cap near the pen tip is a small chrome section. However, chrome is sometimes used as a barrel material. The use of chrome is limited by the fact that not much can be done with it color-wise. Cross has used chrome in the past for its “chrome” or “silver” colored pens.

Brass is a much more common barrel material because of its heft. There are multiple ways in which brass can be incorporated into pens, but the two most common are: a brass base is directly lacquered or painted, or a brass core is tightly glued to a thin layer of something else. In each case, the brass lends a barrel a “weightier” feel. Waterman uses a lacquered brass base for the Carene.

Precious Metals

It is very uncommon to find solid barrels made from precious metals. Gold and sterling silver in modern terms don’t make for good barrels. The metals are highly slippery, and to modern aesthetics, not as deeply colored as resins or lacquers. 22k and 18k gold are both fairly malleable, and not well-suited to the barrel that must stand up to wear & tear. Though precious metals have long been used in the appointments on high-end pens, over the years, other metals like steel, chrome (or even metal-colored plastics) have replaced precious metals on many “entry-level” models. However, gold and silver still can be found on filigree-style pens, usually over a base of other metals or resin. These pens are often limited editions, like the Stipula Galileo Skeleton (Limited Edition).

What should be watched out for when purchasing a pen with gold or sterling silver in the barrel is a check on what kind of metal the pen uses. (And whether the purity matches your expectations). Gold plating, gold vermeil and gold-rolled are the three most common types of “impure” gold found on pens. Gold plating is often very thin and can wear off. Gold vermeil and gold-rolled items have a thicker coating of gold and are often worth more in purely practical terms.

Resins / Acrylics
The most complicated category for pen materials is resins. The term resin is widely misunderstood.

Resins are liquids that are insoluble in water. Natural resins derived from tree or plant sources. Synthetic resins are long-chain polymers derived from petroleum and are often called plastics because of their malleability during the manufacturing process. There is a middle class of polymers that have plant derivatives (cellulose) that have been treated with acids and mixed with camphor. One such patented resin is known as celluloid.

When resin became a selling term for high-end pens, the term picked up a host of position connotations and became distanced from its actual definition. On pen pages, you will often see a luxury pen touted as having a barrel made of a “high-end Italian resin” or simply “resin”. Cheaper pens are described as having barrels made of “plastics”. Both of these pens use a synthetic resin. So what sets them apart? Is there a difference between them? There is in fact quite a big difference between them. In this next section, I will use the word “acrylic”. “Acrylics” is another term for a synthetic resin. I will use “acrylics” in this section to talk about the different types and qualities of pen-grade “resins” and “plastics” to avoid confusion between the chemical terms and the publicity terms.

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Injection-molded acrylics
 (e.g. “plastic”) are molded and shaped. These are more commonly known as plastics. Chemical names are Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and polyethylene–rarely noted by a pen seller. The main thing to know about these materials is that they are hard, and can be molded into complicated, modern shapes. Pens like the Pelikano and the Lamy Safari are plastics that have been molded into fairly unique barrel shapes that have pen grips.When resin became a selling term for high-end pens, the term picked up a host of position connotations and became distanced from its actual definition. On pen pages, you will often see a luxury pen touted as having a barrel made of a “high-end Italian resin” or simply “resin”. Cheaper pens are described as having barrels made of “plastics”. Both of these pens use a synthetic resin. So what sets them apart? Is there a difference between them? There is in fact quite a big difference between them. In this next section, I will use the word “acrylic”. “Acrylics” is another term for a synthetic resin. I will use “acrylics” in this section to talk about the different types and qualities of pen-grade “resins” and “plastics” to avoid confusion between the chemical terms and the publicity terms.

Machined acrylics (e.g. “resins”) are acrylics that have been either custom-made or purchased in stock sheets or rolls that are then worked on a machine. On a machine, acrylics can be smoothed, polished, layered–anything that a natural material like wood or stone could be worked. Because these acrylics are shaped by hand, they must be shaped into fairly standard barrel staples. However, they are often gorgeous and deeply colored. Though “Italian resins” is often used as a selling point, it has a lot of truth behind it. Italian pen companies like Delta, Stipula, and Visconti have created beautiful pens with deeply colored resins. Visconti’s Impressionist collection recreates the color of Van Gogh’s paintings. Delta’s entry-level Markiaro Posillipo has rich, shifting layers of color.

Compression molding acrylics are acrylics that look like there are shimmering chips or stone pieces inside of the resin. Of all of the types of acrylics, this type is under a lot of internal pressure. Due to this internal pressure, compression molded acrylics are known to crack. Though beautiful, due to their shimmering and varied colors, pens with these kinds of acrylics in their barrel should be handled carefully. The Conklin Endura is an example of compression-molding.

Lithographed acrylics is sheets or rolls of solid color that are lithographed with a pattern. Although “plastics” generally get a bad rap, lithographed acrylic are generally the cheapest-looking acrylics. The reason is that while they attempt to look marbled or multi-colored, all pens in a particular lithographic printing have the same pattern–and this pattern often attempts to look like machined acrylics (resins). It’s a fairly cheap-looking effect and has declined in popularity in recent years.

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Pens For Dog Lovers

The Westminster Dog Show was earlier this month and as with most years, it was quite the show. Hundreds of different dogs all came together to compete for group title and best of the show. It’s a pretty spectacular event, but one that is hard to translate to outsiders. Unlike a sporting event that has set rules and fairly straightforward gameplay (except perhaps curling – I still don’t know what those folks are up to), not everyone understands what is going on at Westminster. To most, each dog looks like the other dogs of their breed. So what’s the fuss?

Jwriting instrumentsudges of the Westminster Dog Show look for standards that are determined by each parent club for each breed. These standards are the basis for all judging and sum up the features that make a certain breed ‘the best’. Standards include the form and shape of a dog like height, weight, coat, colors, eye color and shape, ear shape and placement, feet, tail as well as others. These standards are sometimes specific and other times are general, but they are always the guide that determines what the breed should look like and act like.

There are seven breed categories that all dogs fall into; sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, and hunting. Each of these categories has their own standards and their own fans that love the look and demeanor of their breed. As a tribute to the Westminster Dog Show, we are matching up seven pens to the seven breeds, picking those pens that most represent the breed in question.  The judging, although not as official as that at Westminster, is based on the qualities and traits of the pen in relation to the breed in question. Enjoy.

Sporting Breed: Waterford Pens

Sporting dogs were bred to hunt birds and small game. This breed includes pointers, retrievers, setters, and spaniels. These dogs are endowed with a lot of energy and require lots of exercise and outside time. The Waterford brand of pens fits this high-energy, dedicated format perfectly. Of their many styles, Waterford pens exhibit sleek barrels and a workman-like attitude to get down to business.  The Claria line, in particular, is a shoe-in for sporting dog lovers.

Claria Fountain Pen Chrome
Waterford Claria Fountain Pen Chrome

Hounds Breed:  Cross Pens

From the Whippet to the Afghan, hounds are the trackers of the dog world, with many possessing the innate ability to track faint scents long distances. Regardless of the prey, the hound breed is eager to chase and corner wild game –and sometimes people – regardless of where they roam. This breed exhibits a stoic, yet playful personality and a zeal for getting the job done.  Cross has a variety of pens that sum up this breed nicely. For the low to the ground, yet determined Basset Hound, Cross has the C-Series, with its odd, yet honest shape. For the quick to run of the breed, Cross makes the Tech 3, with a streamlined barrel that makes it fast, true and on course. Check out all the Cross Pens to find more hound-ish pens.

Bailey Selectip Rollerball Pen Blue Lacquer
Cross Bailey Selectip Rollerball Pen Blue Lacquer

Working Breed: Delta Pens

Dogs in the Working Group are bred to perform jobs like guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues.  These are the dogs that truly are man’s best friend – helping out with the daily chores and being an asset to the job at hand. These dogs include the Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky, and the Great Dane, to name a few. These dogs are extremely intelligent and come in a lot of different shapes and styles. Delta pens do a good job of meeting this high standard. Smart, easy to work with and available in an array of shapes and sizes.  Delta pens have a long standing tradition of being able to write until the ink runs dry – making them the workhorse of the writing instrument arena.

Dolcevita Mini Rollerball Pen
Delta Dolcevita Mini Rollerball Pen

Terrier Breed: Faber-Castell Pens

In the terrier breed, it’s all about personality. Terriers are feisty and full of energy. Regardless of their size, they demand attention, while at the same time bringing a joyful energy to any room. This breed includes the Airedale, the West Highland White Terrier, and Bull Terrier as part of this large breeds catalog. To sum up this serious, devoted yet playful attitude you need to look to Faber Castell pens. Faber-Castell has been creating serious and fun pens for ages. Each line and style of this brand is a pen that means business, but each with its own flair and personality. If you find that you are a terrier kind of person – make sure you check out Faber Castell and their large line of pens.

Tamitio Fountain Pen Rose Medium
Faber-Castell Tamitio Fountain Pen Rose Medium

Toy Breed: Acme Pens

The toy breed includes the Affenpinscher and the Maltese as well as all the breeds that have a toy in their name. These devoted dogs are about being companions. Much more than lap dogs, these fury miniatures bring the fun pound for pound. Much more playful and energetic than their larger cousins, the toy breed is all about fun and games. With that in mind, Acme takes the prize for being most like the toy breed. Acme makes pens that are made for fun. Every pen in their line has a style that was made for lighthearted commemoration and good times. Take a look and see for yourself.

Non-Sporting:  Caran d’Ache Pens

The non-sporting breeds are a very diverse group – much more so than any of the other breeds. This breed group includes the Chow Chow, the Dalmatian, and the French Bulldog. They all have different kinds of coats, personalities and each comes in a different size. This group is comprised of all the breeds that don’t fit into the other categories. Caran dAche is the perfect line of pens that best represents this diverse group. Caran dAche has been making non-standard pens for years, with exotically shaped barrels that stand out in a crowd. With its own unique take on what a pen should be, Caran dAche fits perfectly into the non-sporting breed.

Herding: Montblanc

The herding breed is considered to be a breed that contains some of the most intelligent animals. These dogs are able to move animals in great numbers the direction that they choose. Small dogs like the low-set Corgi are able to move large herds of cows by jumping and nipping at their heels. These dogs are devoted and driven to perform a task, yet have a regal stature that sets them apart from other dogs. Mont Blanc pens best embody this breed. With years of patience and dedication, Mont Blanc has created a line of pens that distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack, while never losing focus on what is important; creating pens that feel great in the hand and put ink on paper with ease. With so many wonderful pens to choose from in Mont Blanc’s line, you can’t go wrong.

 

Meisterstuck LeGrand Ballpoint Pen Black & Platinum
Montblanc Meisterstuck LeGrand Ballpoint Pen Black & Platinum

Take some time to look around at all these great pens in the Executive Essentials catalog and see which ‘breed’ you like best.

Red Pens

Red is the color of rubies, strawberries, and blood. It is a color that is at times associated with anger and other times associated with love. It conjures up images of passion, danger seduction, while at the same time being the chosen color of communism and socialism. It’s one of the prime colors in Christmas and a big part of Imperial China. Red is everywhere. Red means many things.

In the ancient world, you can find evidence of past cultures written on the walls of caves on the coast of South Africa. These markings and drawings are formed with ink derived from red clay, colored so by the presence of iron oxide. But, red didn’t only come from the minerals of the earth. Other early peoples crushed native berries to create a reddish colored ink to sketch the history of their existence. A practice that repeated throughout the ages.

Red was the third color to ever have a name – after white and black. It is one of the three primary colors along with blue and yellow. When mixed with yellow you get orange and when mixed with blue, red becomes violet. When white sunlight is scattered by air molecules and the shorter beams are left out, it produces a red sunrise or sunset, a reminder that light is a culmination of all colors and darkness the absence of all.

Red means many things to many people and in the world of pens, there are many opportunities to own a pen with this vibrant, lively color. Any pen, given this distinctive, attractive color instantly takes on a characteristic of its own. It inherits a dangerous property or becomes a token of love and affection. Red is clearly a color of importance and these are just a few of the important pens that bear its hue.

Red Lamy Pico Ballpoint Pen

Small and handy, the Lamy Pico Pocket Pen is a writing instrument for all occasions. Encased in metal from head to toe, this roundish device attracts attention in any color but deserves a special mention in red. The perfect travel pen for those on the go that want to make a statement.

Red Delta Fusion One Fountain Pen

Italian craftsmanship is known around the world for many products from fast cars to reliable kitchen appliances. In the world of pens there are many manufacturers, but none so surprising as Delta and their Fusion One series. The well built, handsome fountain pen has simple lines that call out a modern exterior. The modest silver bands are polished to a bright sheen and of course, the whole pen is swelling in a cherry red hue. The body of this pen is hand turned from solid bars of Italian resin and polished to a sheen. A handful of refined pleasure, waiting for your words.

Red Visconti Rembrandt Ballpoint Pen

Inspired by one of the world’s greatest painters, Rembrandt Van Rijn, Visconti created this elegant writing instrument, meant to invoke the nature of Van Rijn’s work. Just as Van Rijn used multiple layers of different hues of the same color to give his subjects depth, so did Visconti use multiple layers of red resin to give this magnificent pen a depth and character that beams in red. The smooth nature of this barrel in contrast with the wide arching clip give the pen a modern, yet classic look. A perfect pen to make a statement with at any event or occasion.

These are just three of the great red pens available at Executive Essentials. To learn more about these and other colorful pens, visit and browse our online catalog.