Montegrappa has been manufacturing the world’s most magical pens in the same artisanal factory for more than a century. Combining luxurious materials, high craftsmanship and unrivaled writing pleasure, the independent maker’s quality, and individualist flair make it a favorite of dignitaries, creatives, and collectors worldwide. Montegrappa’s staff were among the first in Europe to confront the onset of Covid-19. As the region gradually recovers, it’s evident that the experience has already created a terrain for new ideas. Giuseppe Aquila appreciates more than ever the sheltered location of his family’s century-old company.
“We’ve always been steadfastly committed to artisanal, handmade production”, says Aquila, C.E.O./Creative Director of Montegrappa, this philosophy is more than a matter of preserving tradition: “It’s a way for Venetians to compete in the world: by continually evolving crafts perfected over centuries.”
Montegrappa’s latest release considers the lifecycle of raw materials beyond the product. The Elmo Ambiente has been carved from recycled resin; it represents the company’s first foray into artisanal plastics.
To create the Elmo Ambiente, Montegrappa has collaborated with Smile Plastics, a studio specializing in innovative architectural surfaces. “We were drawn by Smile’s resourcefulness and the raw honesty they bring to their products,” explains Aquila. An enterprise founded by artisans; the Welsh studio has the kind of profile that Montegrappa looks for throughout its supply chain. Most of its collaborations are conducted with local Venetian businesses and span industries ranging from jewelry, marquetry, gastronomy and art.
For the Elmo Ambiente, Montegrappa has also commissioned a suite of desk accessories from a local artisanal stationery supplier. Located only five miles from Bassano, Arbos helped create products from reconstituted leather, textiles and paper – items that expand Montegrappa’s exploration of more sustainable production methods.
“Notions of beauty and craftsmanship are constantly changing, and our role is to continually merge values of the present with those of the past,” Aquila explains. For many, fountain pens are little more than relics of a pre-digital era, but Aquila sees the growing popularity of his pens as part of a groundswell movement: “We are noticing a revival of intimacy, a need to slow things down and make every purchase count for something.”
The Elmo Ambiente Kaleido Edition is available as a fountain pen, rollerball and ballpoint pen. The fountain pen nib sizes are extra-fine, fine, medium and broad. The rollerball takes a common refill which is available in various widths and types like fiber tip. The ballpoint, a twist-to-deploy is a common Parker Style which is broadly available in widths from fine to broad and more than ten colors.