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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Day 40

Chatting with a friend yesterday who appreciates and collects pens, I found myself reminiscing about my own pen journey. Back in college I started using disposable fountain pens - always a blue and red - and didn’t own a real fountain pen until I was gifted one for my 21st birthday: a Monteverde Invincia Deluxe, medium nib. Monteverde USA is an American fountain pen company that according to its website stated in 1999, though Australian marketing material dates its journey further back, borne from YAFA pens. While I still have the Monteverde, it was replaced by my first purchase a few years later: a Sailor 1911 21kt Classic, fine nib. Sailor pens are Japanese made and the company started in 1911 when an engineer, Mr. Kyugoro Sakata, working in the naval ports of Hiroshima was introduced to a Fountain Pen from England, by a sailor friend, and he was determined thereafter to produce finely crafted writing instruments. Like my favourite pair of glasses, many sunnies and a money clip, the Sailor sadly vanished one morning while running errands. For a while, I resorted to ball-point. Somewhere along the line I happened to find a white ‘Lamy Safari’, which unfortunately is a fine-point, but it has served me well over the years - it is currently filled with green ink - and I have often considered purchasing another. First launched in 1966, Lamy is a German company that is all about good design centered around function over form. My latest fountain, another birthday gift, is the JFK Special Edition Mont Blanc, medium nip. Mont Blanc, a German company, now specialises in luxury goods, but it started as a simple pen business in 1906 between a Hamburg banker and a Berlin engineer. Soon after the business was overtaken by three entrepreneurs who produced the ‘Montblanc’ pen in 1910, where the company derives its name. The last addition to my small collection is a Fisher Space Pen, another gift and a ball-point that has proved extremely useful in a hospitality setting. I started to ponder: is there a name for people who adore pens? The best I could find from many online forums asking the same question is ‘styleophile’, which translates to a “lover of pointy sticks”.