It is an expression of consciousness and style, and one that captures the personality of the scribe — even those with illegible script. I wish more people still used pen and paper. Maybe they’d think twice about what they send to our cluttered Inboxes. A note might be more meaningful and more considered rather than rattling something off at high speed.

Montblanc platinum Meisterstück LeGrand
Montblanc platinum Meisterstück LeGrand

I’m especially fond of my Montblanc platinum Meisterstück LeGrand (R9700.00) and the ever-so-light scratching sound it makes as it glides across the page, ink lubricating the path of its nib, leaving my orchestrated trail of thoughts.

Fortunately there is a growing desire for all things 'old-school' and pens have a very special place here. For the connoisseur, using the correct ink for your writing instrument is key. Japanese stationery store Kakimori have tapped into this growing market with their delightful bespoke Ink Stand space in the newly gentrified Kuramae neighborhood of Tokyo. Like visiting a tailor on Savile Row, this specialist shop allows you to create your very own colour.

The process is simple and pure joy, even if you have no idea of your initial direction. The combinations are infinite, however, so if you’re prone to indecision, this could be ink nightmare. Using the equipment in the mini lab at your disposal, you begin with a combination of two or three colours, each time using the beautiful hand-blown glass quill pens to test your one-of-a-kind blend.

I settled on a combination of Naples Blue and Gray Flannel for a more upbeat but ‘serious’ blue. Those less adventurous can choose from a number of premixed house colours.   

Final notes recorded, you’re directed next door to big sister Kakimori for a “half-hour” wait, while the assistant bottles and packages your signature ink. You are more likely to return a few hours later as Kakimori has the most incredible selection of writing instruments, beautiful stationary and customised notebook offerings.

Here are a few fine writing instruments I'm eyeing at the moment:

LAMY Lx in anodised rose gold
LAMY Lx in anodised rose gold

The LAMY Lx 'Luxe' is a stylish new edition from this iconic design brand updated in anodised aluminium. This one in trending rose gold, with refined metal clip and glossy black steel nib. R1000.00. 

Montegrappa Game of Thrones edition 'Targaryen'
Montegrappa Game of Thrones edition 'Targaryen'

Montegrappa Game of Thrones edition for fans of the popular series, representing the four main families, in this case the Targaryens, with details of their clan seals and emblems. R4199.00.

Montblanc Heritage Rouge et Noir FP
Montblanc Heritage Rouge et Noir FP

Montblanc Heritage Rouge et Noir, pays homage to the first Rouge et Noir developed in 1906, acknowledged for its technical achievements at the time — "the most perfectly secure fountain pen" eliminated messy dipping into ink pots. With actor Hugh Jackman as a fitting ambassador for this handsome Heritage segment, the latest incarnation features a longer, slimmer silhouette and modern piston filler. The snake clip has been finished to give it a vintage look. R10100.00,  

Details:

  • Montegrappa and Lamy enquiries in South Africa, visit luksgroup.co.za
  • Montblanc enquires tel: +27 (0)11 317 2600 
  • Ink Stand by Kakimori, open noon to 7pm daily except Sunday and Monday. 4-20-12 Kuramae, Taito-ku, Tokyo. Getting there: Kuramae Station is a short walk away (Asakusa, Oedo lines)
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