One of life’s great frustrations is a scratchy, blotchy, uncomfortable pen. In contrast, there’s something extremely satisfying about using a writing implement that has weight, balance and glides across the page giving a consistent, clear line.
You can point your stylus at us all you want, nothing beats a pen. So whether you’re looking to treat yourself or give the gift of luxurious writing to someone else, here’s our rundown of the greatest pen makers in the world right now.
Graf Von Faber-Castell
Ape’s Pick: Anello Ballpoint Pen
Established in Germany in 1761 by entrepreneur Kaspar Faber, Graf von Faber-Castell is one of the oldest and best-known companies in the field of writing instruments.
Renowned for their use of luxury materials including resin, ebony and ivory, the brand produce an array of ballpoint and fountain pens as well as mechanical pencils that are worth every penny.
Ape’s Pick: Meisterstück Ballpoint Pen
Crafters of some of the best pens money can buy, a MontBlanc is an item to treasure. Although the brand has since expanded production to a range of luxury goods associated with parent group Richemont, the company was built on the back of its writing implements.
MontBlanc’s iconic Meisterstück translates to ‘masterpiece’, and for good reason. With its trademark ribbed cap and smooth cylinder it is a timeless piece of art.
Ape’s Pick: Fortuna Fountain Pen
One of Europe’s oldest and most celebrated pen makers, Montegrappa was the first Italian company to specialise in gold-nibbed fountain pens. As a result they were a popular and reliable choice for soldiers writing home during the First World War and the brand’s most notable ambassadors included Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos.
The Fortuna fountain pen is a particular highlight with a nib that will gently mould to your writing style.
Ape’s Pick: D-initial Rollerball Pen
S.T. Dupont was originally founded as a carriage-making company in France, but after a destructive fire, founder Simon Tissot-Dupont turned his attentions to a workshop and began crafting briefcases. Since then the luxury goods company has become widely known for its exquisite range of writing implements.
The D-initial Rollerball is enjoyably chunky, with a wonderful black body accented by polished chrome. The perfect luxury jotter.
Ape’s Pick: Allegro Ballpoint Pen
Precision and unfaltering quality is the name of the game at Chopard, as is its penchant for slightly alternative design. While other brands stick to familiar silhouettes, Chopard pens are known for their curvature and shape, resulting in comfortable and eye-catching writing instruments.
Case in point: the Allegro Ballpoint. Its Curved edges, smooth resin and recognisably fluid writing combine for an extremely luxurious option.
Ape’s Pick: Century 11 Stirling Silver Ballpoint Pen
Founded in 1846, Cross is one of the oldest pen makers in the world. Originally producing silver and gold casings for pencils, the American brand soon moved into other writing implements and is now widely respected as a manufacturer of ballpoint, rollerball and fountain pens as well as mechanical pencils.
Its Stirling Silver Century 11 ballpoint is a fine example and a pen that should be treasured and used everyday.
Ape’s Pick: Prelude Fountain Pen
Another American legacy brand, Sheaffer follow in the footsteps of its compatriots with substantial, cigar-like designs that come in a range of luxury metal finishes.
Lacquer barrels and ornate metallic caps are a company hallmark and both are present in the Prelude fountain pen, which wouldn’t look out of place on Don Draper’s desk.