Pursuits

Why the Tradition of Owning a Great Pen Should Be Kept Alive

The beautiful writing tools are more than just writing instruments.
IMAGE COURTESY MONTBLANC/ INTERNET ARCHIVE BOOK IMAGES/ FLICKR
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The idea of owning a nice pen is a bewildering concept to many these days—especially when most writing is done digitally. Old fashioned as it may be, the tradition is even more important now than it was before.

A pen is an extension of one’s self. Keeping a proper pen connotes a sense of professionalism linked to the Old World, and is part of a tradition rooted in being a gentleman or lady. Aside from the sartorial elements, a high-quality pen is a pleasure to use, superior when it comes to smoothness and versatility.


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Back in the day, the fountain pen was the standard writing instrument. Though it’s a reminder of the long-gone era of elegance, the nib-style pen is a relatively recent invention. The fountain pen had its start in the 10th century but it only began to be mass produced in the 1880s. The pen style carried on to be popular through the 1940s and 1950s, and continued to do so up until ballpoint mechanisms were perfected.

Many denounce the use of fountain pens as a pretentious nostalgic gimmick but it’s a great link to our past and has its benefits. The nib pen is a great workhorse as it requires no pressure when used. It essentially glides along the paper with ink flowing freely.

A high-quality pen does cost a pretty penny, but it’s a true investment. It's built to last, completely refillable, and can be serviced, so a fountain pen is an environmental choice. And if you do decide to sell it in the future, there is a nice return for a fountain pen from an established brand.

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Pens, like watches and haute couture, display a certain level of craftsmanship. As such, there are several details to look out for such as weight, balance, grip, nib, and overall appearance which all depend on personal preference.

Here are some of our picks:


Montblanc M Ultra Black Fountain Pen

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The M Ultra Back is an evolved release of Montblanc's M series. The Marc Newson-designed writing instrument is upgraded with a distinct texture and an ingenious magnetic mechanism. The AU585 gold nib is plated in two tones: rhodium and ruthenium.


Montblanc Muses Marilyn Monroe™ Special Edition Fountain Pen

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Inspired by Marilyn Monroe, this fountain pen evokes iconic actress's signature style, from the shape that's borrowed from Monroe's four-inch heels to the pen's overall tone taken from the star's red lipstick. A pearl adorns the pen's clip as a reference to the screen icon's prized pearls from Joe DiMaggio.

Montblanc is exclusively available at Rustan's Makati, Rustan's Shangri-La, Rustan's Cebu, Greenbelt 5, City of Dreams Manila, and Resorts World Manila.

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Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
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