In this case, quite literally. I know Lars since a couple of years and the passion he puts in almost everything he does, professionally and privately is very remarkable. In the case of writing instruments however, this goes far beyond the usual enthusiasm of a collector, as you can notice from the tattoo on his right arm. A passion for writing instruments that has deep roots and has been transmitted by his father, a great Montblanc collector but not only. Join me in on a journey made of Urushi, Maki-e and large nibs.
On this evening, everything turns around lovely writing instruments, nice writing habits and other beautiful things in life. Lars and I are in a deep discussion on the fact that we should take the time to enjoy the nice things we have received during our life. And had a good teacher on this. Lars has been introduced into the world of fine writing instruments by his father with a Montblanc Meisterstück 149 “75 years of passion and soul”. A celebrative version of the first 75 years of Montblanc that features an additional gold ring on the cap of the pen as well as a tiny diamond on the within this additional golden ring. Lars says: “This gift of my father was different than any other gift I got from him. It had something eternal, that was inspiring me to the point that I took the decision to get a tattoo on my right arm with exactly this pen.” Lars explains, that somehow, a fountain pen was for him almost like the symbolic handover of a task to perpetrate in the future for the coming generations. He keeps the piece jealously in his magnificent Naldi-Italy wooden case almost like a relic.
The Japanese Section
But the heavy focus of Lars’ collection, as you have surely noticed from the pictures are not the Montblanc cigar size pens, even though he has bought himself also a marvelously heavy “Great Characters James Dean Limited Edition 1931” that was his first premium pen that was his first “own” acquisition. “I love big pens. I am a tall guy with big hands and therefore I prefer big pens.” Lars says. There is also another characteristic of Lars that dictates his choice of pens. Lars is left-handed and therefore, writing with a fountain pen becomes much more difficult. “The Montblanc nibs would need to be tuned for me and therefore, at some point, I got the the Japanese manufacturer like Namiki, Nakaya and Sailor. These nibs work perfectly for me.” In fact, the collection of Japanese fountain pens of Lars is very impressive. Nakaya Dorsal Fin 2, Nakaya Piccolo in black and green Urushi, a Sailor Midoridame with 21ct gold nib and then… at a certain point, his eyes start to shine. As soon as we start speaking of the Namiki Emperor Vermilion fountain pen. This oversize fountain pen hand-finished in natural urushi lacquer over an ebonite hard rubber body is definitely one of his favorite pieces. “I use this pen every day since it has one big advantage compared to all the other. A huge ink tank of about 6 ml. This means that you practically never run out of ink. Very handy.” For comparison, a normal ink converter contains 0.9 ml ink, so more than 6 times less. Look at the difference between the Emperor Vermilion and the Namiki Yukari Royal, that has the same shape and is already considered an cigar size pen, so quite big. Looks almost like a 1:2 scale model.
And when you think that you have seen the absolute most sophisticated over-size fountain pen, Lars gets even more excited. “Now, my friend, you have to see the absolute apotheosis of my collection!” A Namiki Emperor Chinkin Dragon Fountain pen. A minute of silence and meditation to observe this piece of art. These legendary creature pens are created by famous Master chiefs of the Kokkokai group of artisans. The technique used in this pen is chinkin (gold-inlay carving). Signed by Yasuji Sumi. If you haven’t seen one yet, try to get your hands on one of them. You won’t regret it if you like over-size writing instruments. There is absolutely nothing comparable.
Lars has a very interesting take on writing instruments. “Compared to a watch, that you buy for yourself and yourself only, writing instruments are altruistic objects. With a pen, you can bring joy and happiness to other people. I have consciously started writing birthday cards, thank you notes and letters in general by hand. I have even started to write, on a regular basis letters to express gratitude, appreciation and love to my loved ones and friends.” And here we get into another level of style as you can see from the pictures of the wax seal and the refined paper used by Lars. Very coherent and in today’s hectic world a real “oasis” of calm and tranquility that invites to reflection and meditation. We could go on forever talking about Lars’ other incredible pieces like the Pelikan Raden Green Ray or the fine Hermes Notebook that he uses every day as a faithful companion or his incredible watch collection. But this is a story for another day. In the meantime, take your time to observe the incredible pieces of Lars and stay tuned for an article about one of his most appreciated pieces.