Most luxury brands are, to an extent, heritage brands. They have spent years honing craftsmanship in an attempt to remain at the top of their industry. As such, even the regular Joe knows who Montblanc, Cartier, and Montegrappa are. They’re at the top of the food chain because they have decades – centuries! – of expertise to maintain that status. And it shows.
But what about the next generation of pens? What will they look like? Will Chinese and Japanese pens continue to infiltrate the general marketplace? Will consolidations happen in an LVMH-like coup under some of the larger headers? Will smaller brands pop up in the artisanal field? Or, most likely the case, a pen will go viral online through crowdfunding sources like Kickstarter.
Crowdfunding is an interesting concept and by and large one of the most democratic processes for enriching a capital market. It’s nearly like voting for your candidate to win (and, if they do, you get a prize!). Having researched the 110 fountain pen projects on Kickstarter, there seems to be an ignited interest in perfecting the classic writing instrument. From getting back to basics, to updating design with added features for the modern writer, here are three of the top Kickstarter pens out there right now.
Stilform INK in DLC Black Titanium
Boasting as one of the most successful pen campaigns on Kickstarter, Stilform is back. This time, the crowdfunding is for the DLC Black Titanium. This pen has a lot of design features which upgrade the writing experience. These include a self-aligning magnetic cap and a roll prevention design. A lightweight metal body also adds a touch of modernism to the otherwise contemporary design. With 3,716 backers pleading €420,136, many people see the appeal of this suave pen at a reasonable price point.
Dream Pen 夢万年筆: True Ebonite Fountain Pens with Japanese Art
A simple cigar-shaped fountain pen, the Dream Pen has some impressive reviews already on their kickstarter, including The Well-Appointed Desk and The Pen Addict. Marrying contemporary appeal for the modern user and classic Japanese refinement, the Dream Pen is nearly the opposite of the above Stilform. It’s quiet and subtle with a self-assuredness about it. Coming in three forms: Ebonite, Maki-e, and Urushi, this pen has a lot to offer at a reasonable price (around €250).
Sleek and simple is the PIUMA design. Almost reminiscent of a Fisher Space Pen, it has a futuristic appeal with what appears to be an exceptional balance in the hand. Made from your choice of solid titanium, brass, and black aluminum, the cigar-shaped pen is meant to be used daily and given to generations to enjoy. When one looks at the blueprints of the pen, you can see how little space is spared in creating this daily use. It’s engineering but not overly designed. A perfect EDC accessory to slip in your bag, I’d say.