It’s not quite over yet, but as far as I’m concerned 2012 has been an extremely eventful year. On the positive, the Queen had her Diamond Jubilee, China launched its first female astronaut into space, the 2012 Summer Olympics were held in London, Curiosity landed on Mars, and chances are good no kind of apocalyptic event will happen on the 21st of December. In addition to this notable, one-of-a-kind achievements, I believe it should also be noted that 2012 has been a particularly good years for the world of stationery and its subsequent accessories. The pens, pencils, inks and writing instruments released this year have been some of the absolute best I’ve ever seen. Whether they have heart, style, confidence, subtle beauty or a simply magnetic appeal, this year has seen the emergence of some truly remarkable pieces.
Therefore, the staff at Pen Boutique has decided to compile a list of what are arguably the best writing instruments this year has to offer. Whether you get them for yourself or decide to give them away as a beautiful and thoughtful gift this holiday season, the choice is yours! All I can guarantee is that each and every one of these instruments are sure to please.
10. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts Russian Imperial Rollerball Pen. Possessing a much nicer history than Russia’s actual imperial family, the Russian Imperial is based upon the works of Peter Carl Fabergé. A jeweler in late 19th century Petersburg, Russia, Fabergé managed to become the world’s greatest master of guilloche enameling. This type of coating is a time-intensive technique in which polychrome enamel is layered over circular, straight or wavy patterns that are engraved on metal. The Imperial Russian’s engraved opal pattern, available in either red or blue lacquer, is coated in translucent enamel. The pen’s 24k gold trims combined with a beautiful gold overlay cap top provides a regal, finished look to this luxurious design.
9. The Stipula Gladiator Steel Nib Fountain Pen. Talking about this pen makes me sorely want to re-watch the movie for the fourth time, but I suppose that will have to wait. Stipula has chosen to pay tribute to the memory of the Roman Gladiator; fearless warriors who are just as legendary and universally renowned as Roma itself. The Gladiator is available in three colors: deep sea blue, jet black and crimson. Each is a fitting reminiscence of the noble legacy of the Gladiator, and is only accented by its shined golden accents. The pen features the Roman Colosseum as a matte gold band around the resin barrel’s center while the nib is composed of antique gold-finished steel. The gold-colored clip is styled to resemble a gladius, a short sword used by Ancient Roman foot soldiers. The top of the pen’s cap features a Gladiator’s shield along with a trident, net and helmet, a fanciful repertoire of all of a gladiator’s traditional weaponry.
8. The Fisher Space Infinium Titanium Nitride Ballpoint Pen. This Fisher Executive Pen offers the heft, feel, style and boldness that today's office warrior simply can’t live without. The body of this piece possesses a reflective, black titanium nitride finish. The word “Infinium” is written across the length of the pen, and provides an exquisitely futuristic look to the pen’s monochrome theme. The permanently attached clip and slide-on cap embodies this pen’s excellent convenience and portability. As with all Fisher Space Pens, it offers extreme quality and durability on which you can always rely. So, whether you’re working inside or outside the office, the Infinium provides style and comfort in both writing and presentation.
7. The Delta Indigenous People Kanaka Maoli Hawaii SPEC Limited Edition Fountain Pen. In a collection that is limited to 100 pieces worldwide, the Delta Indigenous People Series has created an utter tour de force in honor of the Kanaka Maoli. Descendants of warriors and fisherman, these peoples are aborigines of an ancient island where the soul of the earth, sea and sky is in perfect harmony with the body and mind. They lived on an island that, not too long along, was its own kingdom; an island called Hawaii. The body of this tributary piece is hand-turned from solid bars of a new type of resin that has a natural, blue-green, sea-like coloring. The solid, sterling silver ring around the middle, possesses a flower-based pattern that features a natural aquamarine stone while the sterling silver clip is crafted in the form of an ancient Kanaka warrior mask. Both of these features are plated with 24K gold and enriched with a layer of pink gold to emphasize their intricate details. The fountain pen version contains a specially designed solid gold 18K nib decorated with a rendition of a Leiomano, a Hawaiian shark tooth weapon.
6. The Cross Tech3+ Stylus Accessory. I highly doubt there is a pen out there that could get any more convenient than the Tech3+. This pen is a brilliant combination of three totally different but equally important elements in the brave new world of writing: ballpoint pen, pencil and stylus. The ballpoint pen writes in black or red ink while the pencil uses 0.5mm lead. The stylus accessory, in my opinion, is the most ingenious aspect of the entire piece. At the opposite end of the pen is a conductive, soft, silicone rubber that conveys electrical signals to touch screen devices. The Tech3+ glides smoothly across any screen or sheet of paper. Available in a brilliant selection of five different colors (chrome, satin blue, satin black, satin chrome and frosty pink), the Tech3+ is fun, quirky, and extremely easy to use.
5. The Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2012 Fountain Pen. The masterful collaboration of dozens of gold leaf sheets and ancient German wetland oak makes the 2012 Pen of the Year an extraordinary masterpiece. The wood’s deep, gnarled texture is beautifully exemplified by masterfully-applied coatings of 24K gold leaves and a final, strong resin coat. The application method dates back to an ancient Egyptian technique practiced 4,000 years ago. The 18K bicolor gold nib is available in widths of fine, medium and broad, with each one being ‘run in’ by hand. All metal fittings are 24K gold-plated. The end cap protects the twist knob filling mechanism and the crown is topped by a chessboard faceted citrine gemstone set into the cap. With its classical mystique and privileged air, this pen manages to capture the eye and heart in a dazzling display of light and beauty.
4. The Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point 2012 Charcoal Limited Edition Fountain Pen. Namiki’s newest Limited Edition Vanishing Point combines the cool allure of charcoal-colored marble with the irresistible appeal of rhodium trims to create a pen that is essential for your Vanishing Point collection. It has all the convenient attributes that makes a vanishing point a bestseller: a retractable point, a clip that keeps ink out of your pocket, and an effortless push-top mechanism. The nib is made of beautiful 18k White Gold that effortlessly compliments the pen’s silver-colored trimmings and dark, smoky body. (Unfortunately, it’s limited to only 850 pieces in the U.S., so make sure you get it before it’s too late!
3. The Lamy 2000 Brushed Stainless Steel Rollerball Pen. The LAMY 2000 series is a classic among designer writing instruments. Incredible manufacturing skills and a maximum level of precision were required in order to produce this absolutely timeless design. The seamless, partially hand finished body has a velvety, matt brushed stainless steel surface. The barrel’s platinum coating is further complimented by the pen’s polished, spring-mounted clip. The final product is a harmonic combination of high-end craftsmanship and complex technical processes.
2. The Parker Ingenuity Large GT Limited Edition Year of the Dragon Pen. This beautiful limited edition piece pays tribute to one of the most sacred mythical creatures in Chinese history. 2012 is the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese calendar, and Parker has created a piece that is just as breathtaking as it is culturally inspiring. Its sturdy body is coated with vibrant, maroon-colored Chinese lacquer. A striking, gold-plated acid-etched dragon wraps around the barrel in a pleasantly exotic design. The gilded creature is beautifully complimented by the 1.2mm gold plated barrel, cap and gold PVD trims. Completely an already enticing offer is the Ingenuity’s legendary flexible tip. Famed for its intuitive adjustment to the user’s writing style, it provides an exceptionally smooth and fluid writing experience. This one, also unfortunately, is limited to just 8,000 pieces. (I would think they would only make 1,202 – just to be clever, you know?)
1. Montblanc Jonathan Swift Black Broad Limited Edition Fountain Pen – Writer Series. Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal was a literary powerhouse with who now has a work of art to match. Montblanc’s Writers Edition has chosen 2012 to honor the forefather and trailblazer of what we now know to be satire. The Jonathan Swift Montblanc Pen’s black lacquer barrel is decorated with multilayered inlays designed to represent the ropes that were used to bind Gulliver when he visited Lilliput, the land of the tiny people, in his first adventure. The precious black resin cap is shaped like Gulliver’s tricorne and bears Jonathan Swift’s signature. A platinum-plated clip depicts the tall, beautiful staircase of the mayor of Lilliput while the delicately designed rhodium-plated 18K gold nib boasts an elaborate engraving of the Lilliput Imperial Army. The Jonathan Swift is a limited edition piece with restricted worldwide access. It is a gem of its generation. This series is an impeccable, stylish dedication to a man who managed to carve out his own place in the massive history of the English language.
So there you have it! 2012 saw the release of some truly remarkable pieces. Whether it’s the exotic styling of the Delta Maoli Hawaii, the cultural significance of the Year of the Dragon, the practicality of the Tech3+ or the sleek, silvery style of the Lamy 2000, each of these instruments has its own unique spark of individuality and beauty. Each and every one manages to be perfect for just about any situation: something for the office, a Christmas gift or for your own personal enjoyment! The holiday season is starting heat up, and it would be the shame of the year for you to miss all these fantastic deals. Good luck, and happy shopping!