Ingrid Bergman, one of Hollywood’s finest, with three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, is being honored by Montblanc with three exquisite pens.
The Montblanc Ingrid Bergman La Donna Special Edition Fountain, Rollerball and Ballpoint Pens are made with the finest materials and the uncompromising craftsmanship that is Montblanc. Inspired by Ingrid Bergman’s era, the 1940’s, the pen has exquisite details and will wow even the most discerning pen lover. The mother of pearl styled lacquered caps, the 18K gold nibs, the teardrop amethysts, the rose gold accents and Ingrid Bergman’s signature is but a few of the refined details that make these pens so luxurious.
Alongside Ingrid Bergman, Montblanc’s Women’s Collection also honors another wonderful artist who made great contributions to her field, literature, Virginia Woolf, with the Montblanc Virginia Woolf Special Edition Pen. Montblanc not only makes some of the finest pens in the world, it also chooses some of the finest women to model their pens after. Here’s looking at you Montblanc!
John Lennon was born October 9th, 1940 (John would be 70 years old this year) in Liverpool, England where he started his first band the Quarrymen, that later evolved into the Beatles. John Lennon sold over 14 million albums and produced twenty-seven number one singles in the US alone and became a Member of the Order for the British Empire and after his death was inducted into both the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
John Lennon, who had a difficult childhood with the early separation of his parents and the death of his mother at 17, went on to become one of the biggest icons of the 20thCentury music world and was shot dead at 40, imagine……..
On this date in 1963, ‘Please Please Me’, the debut album by legendary rock band The Beatles, had already enjoyed 24 weeks at number 1 on the UK Record Retailer Charts. Its number one spot would go on to last 8 more weeks and mark the beginnings of a band that would change the way the world thought about music, musicians and Rock and Roll. At the center of it all was John Lennon.
John Winston Lennon grew up for most of his life in Liverpool, England. By all accounts his life was that of a typical kid of the time. It wasn’t until his teenage years that he became enthralled with music and performance by starting his first musical experiments in the style known as skiffle, which had its roots in jazz, blues, and country. With his fascination of skiffle growing he decided to start a band called the Quarrymen, which became quite popular at the time in his hometown. He was 16. This was the same time he met Paul McCartney, who joined the Quarrymen and continued to play with Lennon until they finally decided to start The Beatles.
Lennon and the rest of The Beatles would go on to change the way the world thought about and listened to music. But, Lennon’s influence wouldn’t stop in 1970, even when The Beatles broke up. Instead, he continued his musical pursuits and continued to create ground breaking songs in his solo albums, Imagine and Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The singles that came out of his solo career mirrored his peaceful approach and philosophy and include, “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine”. At the end of his life in 1980 he had written 25 songs that reached number one on the US Hot 100 chart. He’s won numerous posthumously and is generally considered one of the greatest musicians to ever live.
Because of the influence that The Beatles and John Lennon have had on music, society, and culture, many companies and organizations have come up with ways to commemorate them and their work. In the world of pens, the premier writing instrument that pays tribute to The Beatles and their legacy is the Montblanc John Lennon Limited Edition 1940 Fountain Pen. Only 1,940 of these stunning fountain pens were brought into existence by Montblanc to commemorate the year that Lennon was born.
The Montblanc 1940 Pen has peace symbol engraved on the 18 karat nib – a nod to Lennon’s constant efforts to help others imagine a world where peace had a chance. The body of the pen is sterling with a pattern that mimics the the famous Strawberry Fields Memorial where people from around the world come to pay their respects. On the base of the pen barrel, by the nib, a small engraving of Lennon’s signature is proudly displayed. The cap of this pen, also in sterling, displays a clip that is the neck and headstock of a guitar. The headstock holds a blue tanzanite stone reminiscent of Lennon’s blue glasses. In all the pen is a masterful work of art that is truly a commemorative piece of a great musician.
Besides the 1940 Lennon Fountain Pen, Montblanc has created other pens in honor of The Beatles and Lennon in particular. Take a look at other Montblanc John Lennon Pens in the Executive Essentials catalog. And stay tuned as we continue to look at Beatles pens and other commemorative items by other companies in the not too distant future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 shouldremain 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.
In memory of the late opera star, Montblanc has unveiled a Limited Edition Fountain Pen in his honor. Every detail on this magnificent writing instrument reminds us of Pavarotti’s legacy and talent. As per opera tradition, before each show Pavarotti would search for a bent nail to keep in his pocket as a good luck charm. This is externalized on the 750 solid gold nib in a delicate engraving. The black and white lacquer of the pen is a nod to his distinctive black tuxedo and white bow-tie. The cone is lacquered in red with intricate turquoise cabochon flowers reminding us of the Hawaiian floral shirts the iconic singer loved wearing off stage. As the last tribute to Pavarotti’s signature ensemble, the gold-plated clip wraps effortlessly around the cap just like how he draped his trademark scarf.
Why did Montblanc find Pavarotti worthy of a commemorative fine writing instrument? In 1935, in a small farming village in Northern Italy, a son named Luciano was born to a baker and a cigar factory worker. Like most other boys at the time, he fell in love with what we call soccer, known worldwide as football. Little Luciano saw a promising future ahead of himself as a goalkeeper and was ready to pursue that dream. Upon graduation, his mother convinced him to leave behind his foolish wishes to become a goalkeeper in pursuit of a career in teaching. For two years, Luciano taught school lessons but lacked passion and interest in the field. In 1954, at the young age of 19, Luciano began his formal studies in music. Little did he know he would grow up to become the most commercially successful tenor of all time.
Pavarotti enjoyed a long, prosperous and satisfying career. Like Pavarotti’s style, his career and ability were unparalleled. The five gold-plated rings on the cap symbolize the five operas which propelled Pavarotti into international stardom: “Turandot,” “La Bohème,” “Rigoletto,” “Un ballo in maschera,” and “L ʾelisir dʾamore.” The fine engravings on the cap’s ring transport us back to Italy’s “Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti.” Similar to Pavarotti’s unique and incredible sound and lifestyle, this pen is a remarkable achievement from a standout brand.