I’m not sure if somehow this Collection changed something in the Writing Instrument Industry. One thing i’m sure about is that it was one of the first time seeing a huge personality such as Sylvester Stallone with that kind of commitment towards our beloved world of Fine Writing Instruments. Surely was an incredible disruptive Design Montegrappa had launched. In this article, we’d like to retrace the Montegrappa Chaos Limited Edition.
We should first start by pointing out how the relationship between Montegrappa and Sylvester Stallone was born. In one of my Instagram Streamings i had the chance to ask Giuseppe Aquila, CEO of Montegrappa, how did they get to know and collaborate with Sly.
It happened that back in 1995 Sylvester Stallone acquired a Montegrappa Dragon in 18kt Solid Gold two sign two important contracts, but a few weeks before getting the signatures done, the Pen was lost or stolen. At that point a close common friend of Sylvester Stallone and Giuseppe Aquila, contacted Giuseppe to ask him if there was any chance to get another Montegrappa Dragon in Solid Gold to sign that very important Movie Contract. Unfortunately, the Montegrappa Dragons were completely Sold Out within four weeks. But the friend insisted, that Stallone is very superstitious and they had to do their best to find a Dragon in Solid Gold.
So Giuseppe saw as an only opportunity to offer one of the PDA (Prova d’Autore) which means “The Artists Proof”, which is a kind of Prototype / Pre-Series they produce in a Series of nine pieces. So Montegrappa managed to get to Sylvester Stallone one of the PDA pieces.
A few weeks later, an envelope arrived with actual printed photographies of Sly holding the Dragon in his Private Jet with Sylvester writing in it “use these images for as you like”.
The friendship between Montegrappa and Sylvester Stallone started from there and grew bigger over the years. Stallone became a collector and after the Aquila Family purchased Montegrappa back from Richemont in 2009 they wanted Sly to be part of the project and one of the investors.
But the Moment that marked the birth of the Montegrappa Chaos was during the Venice Film Festival, when they were together at a Dinner and Sly took a fabric napkin and started sketching his ideas with a Fountain Pen on the napkin. As a side note, Stallone is also a painter and has a very distinctive brush as you can see from the image below.
Back at the time, Stallone had just finished to film the first of “The Expendables” Series therefore he was in a total Skull and Snakes Mood. So Stallone said that he could see the skull be the main feature of the Pen and then have snakes and lizards all around it.
After the main idea and concept delivered from Sly, the Designers at Montegrappa had to design it in a way that an Industrial Process could make the production actually happen.
So, for anyone who thought that this was just a Marketing kind of action, well, no… there was an idea drawn by Stallone himself that then became the Montegrappa Chaos.
Stallone was also very inspired by the works of 16th century artists including Battista Franco, Albrecht Dürer, Hans Sebald Beham, and Antonio Pollaiolo to create Mr. Stallone’s idea of Chaos; “a sense of the Renaissance, when things were difficult, more simplified and perhaps more noble, placed against our current technological society.”
The Montegrappa Chaos was then launched in 2013 as a 925 Sterling Silver Fountain Pen and Rollerball Limited respectively to 1000 and 912 pieces in the World, 100 Fountain Pens and 100 Rollerballs in 18kt Solid Gold and 10 Fountain Pens and 10 Rollerballs in Solid Gold and Precious Stone. Despite being a controversial and very loud Writing Instrument this release had an incredible success and is very difficult to be found nowadays.
Even if i sold it extremely well at my store, Style of Zug, it took me a while to understand how influential and iconic the “Chaos” has been for the Industry. It’s one of those pieces you look at and it simply hits you like punch in the face. I mean, you can’t deny that it is extremely powerful.
By the way, that exact Pen can be seen during “The Expendables 2” being handed over from Sly to Dolph Lundgren. I mean… it can only be iconic.
I guess at this point, we’re all looking forward on seeing what Montegrappa has ready for us in this 2021.