Montegrappa is a name that stands apart in the world of writing. Best known for creating complex, fanciful designs plucked from luxury’s outer limits, the Italian company’s reputation owes just as much to its restless curiosity for writing – a trait that has been simmering for well over a century.
Founded in 1912, Montegrappa’s family-owned pen manufacture is Italy’s oldest – and its most advanced. In the artisanal heartlands surrounding Venice, proximity to many of the world’s most creative and accomplished makers feeds an ethos of continual evolution. In Bassano del Grappa, consummate craftspeople work in tandem with advanced technology – each of them fuelled by pride and a fierce desire to create improbable, unprecedented objects.
It is this passion for progress that has seen Montegrappa instigate many of its industry’s most notable milestones. In the early 1990s, an initiative to embrace precious metals helped reignite luxury market interest in specialist penmakers. With 1995’s fabled Dragon, the company went further – kickstarting a modern collector movement with its revival of celluloid and expressive goldsmith artistry.
Ever since, Montegrappa’s mastery of lost wax casting has shaped much of its ensuing success. The ancient jeweller’s art makes possible elaborate sculpted forms that excite the senses. Low-relief engraving is another house specialty that demonstrates the value of detail, applying the ornamental traditions of art nouveau and art deco to contemporary themes. Flourishes such as these heighten writing moments, offering writers a sense of indulgence far removed from today’s digital existence.
Recent years have seen Montegrappa expand its repertoire to embrace new possibilities offered by advanced materials and sophisticated, precision tooling. Since winning accolades at the 2015 Baselworld convention with its pioneering Q1, influences from watchmaking have increasingly set the pace of progress. Today, many of Montegrappa’s most remarkable silhouettes break new ground with their emphasis on modern metal finishes and ingenious mechanical complications.
Historically, many of Montegrappa’s triumphs have centred on pens as instruments of power. Designs commissioned by leaders of politics, industry and sport fill the walls of the company’s private museum. But by exploring new frontiers, Montegrappa has cultivated a new breed of afficionados. Today’s modern Montegrappisti set includes creatives, intellectuals and celebrities – individuals who regard pens as instruments of expression.
Notable users of Montegrappa pens include the designer, Sir Jonathan Ive, author Paulo Coelho, and superstar Sylvester Stallone. In 2010, the actor/filmmaker provided creative direction for Chaos, a landmark writing silhouette that divided opinion, but unquestionably left its mark. Since then, a procession of design and artistic collaborators has helped Montegrappa become bolder and forge new ground.
Montegrappa pens are symbolic, aspirational and rich in narrative: designed to give a head start to hungry minds. Their storytelling power shines in products that celebrate leading lights of culture, entertainment and sport. Meanwhile, editions made to benefit solidarity partners use stories to draw attention to vital environmental and humanitarian causes.
Often eclectic but never mundane, Montegrappa makes writing instruments that honour individuality and inspire clarity of thought. It firmly believes that hands are more capable of performing extraordinary work when holding an extraordinary pen. Theirs is an alternate world-view that defies convention and refuses to revel in the past. On the contrary, Montegrappa knows pens are a timeless technology, fuelled by a tradition of invention.