While we thought things would settle down in 2021, the effects of the pandemic were still felt this year, even in the writing instrument industry. But while it was a tough year, we’re happy to say that despite the difficulties the pen industry faced, 2021 was a year of some of the most exciting pen launches. We take this opportunity to thank the brands for the creativity they always show. Today, we want to give you an overview of the 10 best pen launches of 2021.
Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2021
If we were to briefly describe this edition we would say that it is an invitation to a journey into the world of medieval knights. Mainly inspired by the Age of Chivalry, the pen is decorated with a lot of elements reminiscent of that era. In addition to its imposing appearance, one of the details that impressed us and which we also found functional is the pen’s grip that recreates the leather strap on the sword’s grip and prevents the pen from slipping while writing.
Montblanc Around the World in 80 Days
Phileas Fogg’s extraordinary journey around the world, described by Jules Verne in one of his most famous novels, has been beautifully captured by Montblanc in a fascinating edition. We like that each edition had its own peculiarities and we identified design differences between the Solitaire LeGrand, and Doué Classique and LeGrand editions. An important detail is the main key element of the novel, the steamboat, which is laser engraved on the cap of each edition. We also loved the shades of blue and the wave pattern reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea.
Otto Hutt design08
Leonardo Da Vinci’s quote “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication” is apparently still valid if we look at design08. One thing’s for sure, 2021 has brought minimalism enthusiasts one of the cleanest pen designs. Otto Hutt chose to focus as much as possible on functionality, and left the design in the hands of Star Designer Mark Braun, and the result is very impressive. The pen has a unique look, comes equipped with an 18k gold nib, has comfortable grip and features Otto Hutt’s specially patented filling system “Pull+Twist”. All in all, we’re pretty sure this pen is about to become very iconic.
Works of art are not only exhibited in museums. And Montegrappa launched a collection this year to prove it. The Kitcho collection was created in collaboration with Zohiko, a lacquerware manufacturer renowned for its fascinating Maki-e illustrations, which are also found on the pens below. Of all the illustrations, the most impressive are those that capture the Peacock, the Tiger and the Phoenix. Limited to just 8 numbered copies of each edition, you must have been very lucky to get your hands on one.
Montblanc Great Characters Enzo Ferrari
You cannot describe passion, you can only live it. An edition mainly inspired by the iconic Ferrari color “Rosso 70 Anni” and dedicated to a legend. Each edition has its own charm, but out of the whole collection, the one that is the most fascinating with an unexpected detail is the Great Character Enzo Ferrari Limited Edition 98 and that is because it features a special mechanism on it which offers a glimpse inside the barrel, where the Prancing Horse is revealed when turning the cone to fill up the fountain pen with ink recreating the same scenario when gas is being poured into the tank to bring a powerful engine to life. Also, on each side of the cap there are four air vents that draw inspiration from those on the bodywork of the 1952 Ferrari 500 F2, the winner car of the first F1 Championship for the Scuderia. A truly impressive collection!
Pelikan Souveran M1000 Raden White Ray Limited Edition
Perhaps one of Pelikan’s most coveted pens was released in 2021 and we have to admit it’s a rare beauty. Unlike the previous green edition, this one features different shades of white, turquoise, green and subtle hues of purple beautifully reflected along the barrel and cap. A peculiarity of this pen would be the traditional stripes made with components of white mother-of-pearl that instantly embellish the whole appearance of the pen. These mother-of-pearl strips are fixed to the surface with an additional layer of lacquer which is applied by skilled craftsmen. With only 400 pieces released worldwide, we imagine there are already very few pens available on the market.
Montblanc Muses Elizabeth Taylor Special Edition
As purple as Elizabeth Taylor’s lovely eyes. This Special Edition is mainly inspired by the aesthetics of the 1950s and 1960s, the period in which Elizabeth achieved stardom in Hollywood. The colour of the pen is Montblanc’s homage to the actress’s ravishing eyes. The detail that instantly drew our attention was the ring-shaped clip, also inspired by Elizabeth’s passion for jewellery, but by far the most unique detail is the engraving on the 14k gold nib “Long Live Love”, taken from the end of the moving speech given by the actress at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2000. We think the ladies were very happy at the launch of this refined edition.
Sailor 110th Anniversary Edition
A collection that presents Sailor’s new design approach. As Sailor’s focus has always been on writing performance rather than appearance, we find the same clean design language in this collection. Moving on to pens, we were most impressed by the Premium model which uses a 21-karat gold for its barrel – linked to the image of Sailor’s original 21-karat gold nib. The matte finish of the gold barrel seems like the perfect choice – subtle, with a relaxed look and revealing the genuine beauty of gold – it feels very comfortable in the hand and, thanks to the well-balanced design of the pen, the user is able to enjoy a more natural writing flow. The Premium model was limited to only 110 pieces worldwide and we think you should definitely add one to your collection if you don’t already have one.
Montegrappa Dante Alighieri: Purgatorio
We were already used to Montegrappa’s incredibly creative spirit, but they seem to have outdone themselves with Purgatorio. The story of Dante could only be told with extravagance, that’s why we believe there is no better narrator than Montegrappa to capture all the details very well. The pen illustrates in detail the journey of the poets Dante Alighieri and Virgil through Purgatory, but in contrast with Inferno L.E., the Purgatory edition recreates the journey in reverse – ascending to earthly Paradise through the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory. If you look at all the miniature sculpted details you can tell it’s a masterpiece, rather than a pen. We have to admit that this edition impressed us more than the first and we still wonder how far Montegrappa can go when it comes to their madness for detail.
Montblanc Writers Edition Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Writers Edition of 2021 was dedicated to the legendary writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle whose novels, stories and poems have captivated us all. In addition to the special edition, we fell in love with the Limited Edition 97 because Montblanc took it to a whole new level for the fountain pen displays a beautifully crafted solid white gold skeleton overlay and features a magnifying glass-shaped clip that reveals the author’s initials. Also, on the cap top there is finely engraved one of Doyle’s articles written on spiritualism entitled “A new step into the unknown”. We all know that Montblanc is a maniac for detail, which is why the ruthenium-coated solid white gold nib is not missing Doyle’s finely engraved portrait.
As you’ve noticed, we’ve had some impressive pen launches this year, don’t you think?
Now, what do you think brands will surprise us with in 2022?