A Class Apart: Montegrappa Pens
Montegrappa Alchemist Gold Limited Edition fountain pen
There are fine writing instruments and then there is Montegrappa. The Italian makers of fine writing instruments are deeply rooted in tradition and uphold every value of craftsmanship that Italy is known for. Formerly known as Elmo - Manifattura Pennini D'oro e Penne Stilografiche (the manufacturers of gold nibs and fountain pens), the company places no limit on the quality of the materials used to craft, not just the nibs and the technically vital parts of a pen, but also the bodies that reflect artistic excellence and finesse in details. From the simple, classic and understated, to the grand, opulent and dramatic, the pens manufactured by Montegrappa are seemingly perfect, down to every minor detail. Given its regard for heritage, the company proudly manufactures its products in the same building where they were manufactured 100 years ago. Since 1912, the building on the banks of the river Brenta, in the historic town of Bassano Del Grappa, in north-eastern Italy, has been the source of the Italian magnificence that is today seen worldwide. As the first pen manufacturers in Italy, the company proudly speaks of its 'Italian-ness' through all its products.
In The Warzone
Located in the town of Bassano, the company saw its early expansion in one of the most turbulent times in Italy's history. Not long after its inception, the World War I started and the factory happened to be in one of the key areas. The town was home to several battles during the war, especially towards the end. And in the midst of all of this, Elmo's pens played an important role in the letters that soldiers wrote to their families. But it wasn't just the Italians who used these pens. Among others, were noteworthy names like Ernest Hemmingway and John Dos Passos, who were serving as war correspondents.
Skilled craftsmen and sophisticated machineries ensure that Montegrappa pens are developed in-house
In the 1930s, the company blossomed. It had developed a reputation for quality products and was appreciated by connoisseurs. The brand was becoming known to an increasing number of people. The fountain pens, which had almost completely replaced dipping pens, catered to the growing demand for graceful writing instruments. The colours used were varied and vibrant, while the materials became a key selling factor, and a source of innovation for the company.
(Read more in the September-October 2012 issue of Time 'n Style. On Stands Soon!)
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