Design & Lifestyle Blog

6 Sep ’10

The 10 Best of … Pens

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

Joan Didion  (American Journalist and Novelist, b.1934)

No Matter how much we rely on our computers, IPads, mobiles etc.. there is a certain charm for handwritten notes and articles. Among my favorite accessories are pens. I can never write with an ugly pen or use one that deforms my handwriting, this is a sensitive subject to me. And as a designer, I use my pens to sketch and communicate my ideas and designs. This is why it is important to me.

I have compiled a series of photos for some of the best designed pens that are also from well known companies. The first brand, which happens to be my favorite as well, is MontBlanc.

Montblanc is well known for its limited editions. Pen collectors and admirers look forward to their upcoming tribute whether for a writer, a patron of art, or a theme, and Montblanc have truly mastered it. In 2010, according to Pen World, the readers’ choice award for “best tribute” was for Mont Blanc’s “tribute to Thomas Jefferson” pen.

Among their vast collection lies the   limited edition  Mahatma Gandhi  pen launched specifically for the 140th anniversary of his birth. This has to be my favorite. The details and design are just amazing.

Montblanc- Tribute to Gandhi 140yrs

The latest addition to the Patron of Art tribute, Montblanc launched recently The Elizabeth I Limited edition.

The Elizabeth I Limited Edition 888 is a 750 solid gold fountain pen featuring a barrel and cap in precious lacquer.

Hand engraved on its 18 K gold nib is a bejeweled gold crown in which Elizabeth I ascended the throne in 1559.

Topping the cap is the Montblanc emblem rendered in shimmering mother-of-pearl.

The clip descends from a solid gold Tudor Rose while its embellishment, a princess cut green garnet reflects the bejeweled crown.

Montblanc- Tribute to Elizabeth I

Other amazing designs are the Mark Twain pen, The Lorenzo De Medici, and The Louis XIV shown below.

Mont Blanc- Tribute to Mark Twain, Lorenzo De Medici, Louis XIV

Other than the special tributes for memorable people in history, Mont Blanc created alongside Airbus a special limited edition pen.

Celebrating the world’s biggest airliner – the Airbus 380, Montblanc has developed a Limited Edition – Skeleton A380 . Inspired by the imposing aircraft, its extraordinary design features the distinctive two rows of windows and the A380’s typical shape.

Limited to only 380 pieces, the Montblanc Limited Edition – Skeleton A380 is crafted of 750 solid white gold with platinum-plated fittings.

The instrument is enhanced with 15 diamonds on the cap ring and a further 12 diamonds on the cone and cap top.

The Montblanc emblem in 750 solid white gold at the top of the cap, reflects the nose of the A380

Mont Blanc: Personal code ink set, Skeleton A380

Moreover, Montblanc launched in Dubai a personal code ink that features a botanical ingredient which prevents falsification of signatures.

The authenticity of Personal Code Ink will be verified by Montblanc, upon the presentation of a document, letter or memento bearing the owner’s handwriting. A forensic test will then reliably prove if Personal Code Ink has, indeed, been utilized.

The 10 best pens according to experts are as follows :

  1. Aurora is an Italian manufacturer of fine writing instruments, fountain pens, paper and leather goods, founded in 1919. Their products represent the first true Italian fountain pens and are still manufactured in their original factory in Turin, northern Italy.

    They have the world’s most expensive pen on sale for: $1,470,000.

    The Aurora Diamante contains over 30 carats of De Beers diamonds on a solid platinum barrel.

Aurora: Diamente, Leonardo

2- Dunhill

In addition to being well known for cigarettes and  lighters, Dunhill are known for high quality pens.

Dunhill: SentryMan, Limited edition SentryMan

3- Cross

I was shocked at their web site to be honest ,especially for a manufacturer who has been in the pen business for almost 150 years.  Their pens are considered lower budget pens but known for their durability.

4- Mont Blanc

5- Waterman

Still considered an industry leader.

6- Cartier

More known as one of the world’s finest jewelers, Cartier make beautiful and stylish high quality pens.

Cartier:Lines&Logo, Pasha, Louis

7- S.T Dupont

This is a French brand associated with luxury goods known for their high quality. They are mostly known for the Chinese Laquer made from Rhus Vernicifera tree which adorns the top of their pens allowing each pen to be unique. S.T Dupont launched a line for architectural monuments tribute as shown in photo below.

S.T. Dupont: Architectural series, MOP, Pesident Neo-classique

8- Parker is one of the brands we know from childhood, the first serious looking pen most of us had or were familiar with. Their flagship line is the beautifully designed Duofold. George Parker was behind the innovation of making a fountain pen that didn’t leak.

9- Faber-Castell

Faber Castell is a German brand which specializes in pencils and drafting pens which I love. They are among the best for sketching, and are well known for precision and performance.

Parker Duofold lucky8,Waterman Edson 125yrs, Cross Sauvage

10- Namiki is a brand I only discovered while working on this post and was amazed. It’s a Japanese brand with unique designs and performance. They have many limited edition series with pens reaching $15000.

In addition to the above brands, many car brands are releasing pens with stylish designs such as Bugatti, Maserati, and Porsche.

Bugatti, Maserati

Than concludes my Pen post, hope you liked it. What was your favorite?  Would love your feedback!


  1. Nothing beats the good old BIC ballpoint pen 🙂

    Comment by Bilal — 6 Sep ’10 @ 8:33 pm

  2. seriously? LOL, would never be caught dead with one 😀

    Comment by Sous — 6 Sep ’10 @ 8:35 pm

  3. hmm i think I liked the Bugatti best very classy….

    Comment by Miss Farah — 7 Sep ’10 @ 10:29 pm

  4. Yep that's one of the latest hits:) Sticking to Gandhi:)

    Comment by Sahar — 8 Sep ’10 @ 12:56 am

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