30 May 2012


Blogs and fora and other Internet media are now re-broadcasting the news originally released by the BBC on the increasing popularity of fountain pens. Sure enough, we stylophiles should be happy about it: more sales would certainly turn into more attention on the side of the companies and more models in the market. All in all, more excitement for us.

Another of Yamada's creations.

However, what is the business model for most of those companies? BBC quoted the views of Gordon Scott, vice-president for office products at Parker pens in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He claims that buyers of new fountain pens, for whom they are more an accessory than a tool, look for a traditional element on them: "People want the memory of a fountain pen in a contemporary pen." This might explain, incidentally, why Parker launched the moral fraud of a felt-tip pen by the name of Ingenuity with all the fanfare.

But in this context of the pen as a retro-looking accessory –I spoke in terms of status symbol for the paradigmatic case of Montblanc— the nib is an even more secondary accessory. And few demands would be placed on them other than being made of gold, I am afraid.

Yamada and Nagahara, face to face.

So, innovations like those by the Nagahara family or nibmeister Yamada, give us some more solid hopes for an interesting future in the world of fountain pens. Otherwise, most of the well-established companies would engage in an endless and empty exercise of style, in a mannerist activity, in an inane recreation of archaic tools.

Charles R. Mackintosh said it with elegant words: “There is hope in honest error. None in the icy perfections of the mere stylist”.

Sailor black pocket pen with inlaid nib – Wagner red-black

Bruno Taut
May 29th, 2012
etiquetas: estética, mercado, soluciones técnicas, Yamada, Sailor

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