Books & Art

We Used to Write with Pen and Paper. And It Was Fun

The Montblanc StarWalker collection invites you to slow down and dream with vividly blue writing instruments. 
IMAGE Montblanc
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Back in that beautiful time when prestigious titles such as this one were not post-physical (they were magazines), we had a formidable editor whose morning routine involved sending a series of fax messages, Vreeland-style, from his home to our office.  

We used to write with pen and paper, and it was more interesting.

Whenever the ancient communication device sputtered to life, our hearts stopped because we didn’t know what was coming. The reams of waxy paper pooled on the floor and we gathered around them to decipher the missives written in scratchy penmanship. Most admonished us for this and that (we probably deserved it), others inspired us to do better, and all sent us into a tizzy. Notes from your boss were better than coffee.

Photo by Montblanc.

And then, there was his editor and mentor, the editor of editors, who, one day, appeared unannounced in our hidden office found on the second-and-a-half floor of a haunted ex-convent (it was a Harry Potter situation). She was there to leave instructions about her column and so asked for a pen and a piece of paper. As we dug around our drawers (nervously!), not finding what the dragon editor wanted (panic!), she joked how we were living in a paperless world. In the end, we handed her a Post-it.

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And then, there was another editor (we had many amazing editors), who remarked about our substantial coverage of luxury watches. He confessed to not understanding the allure of collecting timepieces, but beautiful pens? Well, he was on board with that. 

We are still writing on paper because it is thoughtful.

In a world suffocated by the ephemera of emojis, memes, quick clips, and shorthand communication, the allure of pen and paper is this: It’s slower and therefore requires you to be more thoughtful and more careful about what you put down. 

Montblanc StarWalker Blue Planet Doué edition fountain pen

Photo by Montblanc.

Pen and paper are more personal, too, whether the practice results in a love letter or a scolding, and so the receiver who is reading the note feels more keenly the affection, fear, or whatever emotion the writer wants to evoke. As well, they encourage a bit of imagining, especially when the instruments are precious and finely made. 

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Montblanc believes in this. The German luxury goods company has been innovating the exercise of writing since 1906 and continues to create beautiful instruments for the endeavor. One of its latest set, not just encourages the act of gliding pen on smooth paper, but also reminds us to dream. 

Montblanc StarWalker Blue Planet Metal edition ballpoint

Photo by Montblanc.

We’re writing with pen and paper to think and dream. 

The Montblanc StarWalker collection is a love letter to the Earth—the azures, the ceruleans, the sapphires, and all the other in-between colors that make the planet so vividly blue. 

The way the company designed its new blue pens makes clear its inspiration—more specifically, its point of view. Observe: The pens’ blue resin recalls the Earth’s surface, the translucent dome mimics the planet “rising above the lunar horizon as seen from space,” and the platinum-coated cap is an astronaut who is admiring this magnificent view. 

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Montblanc StarWalker Blue Planet Resin edition ballpoint

Photo by Montblanc.

Further details reinforce the space view, with the cap appearing as a space rocket (see it from the side) and the cap screw mechanism functioning “similar to an astronaut securing his or her helmet to a spacesuit before setting off into space,” according to Montblanc. 

Three editions, with varying finishes and preciousness, are available: the Resin, the Doué, and the Metal, and each style offers a fountain pen, a fineliner pen, or a ballpoint pen.

Apart from the pens, the collection has more things to help you rediscover or restart your love affair with writing: a notebook featuring a view of the Earth digitally printed on Italian calfskin, blue ink inspired by the ocean, a pair of cufflinks, a thin bangle, a money clip, and a tie bar.

Montblanc StarWalker Blue Planet cuffinks and bangle

Photo by Montblanc.
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We can write on pen and paper and transfer it to the digital world.

One more thing: Proving that Montblanc keeps in step with the times, it has also launched the Montblanc Augmented Paper, a genius creation that allows you to write on paper and then transfer your thoughts—a poem? a doodle? a grocery list?—to the digital world with a press of a button.

Montblanc StarWalker Blue Planet Augmented Paper

Photo by Montblanc.

This integration of traditional writing into the digital workflow would come in handy for marching orders for your staff or quiet imaginings about the big, blue planet. Whatever it is you are dreaming of, use a pen (maybe this one?) and put it on paper. 

rustans.com

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Clifford Olanday
Editor in Chief, Esquire Philippines
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