Who needs pen gifts in this digital age? If you need a pen, why top luxury pen brands? You might as well ask why anyone needs a watch or a leather handbag. Pens are perfect; that says something about the recipient and the giver. Choosing the best pen brands to gift requires carefully matching style and values to delight both parties.
When to Gift a Branded Pen
Good fountain pen brands are ideal for any of the significant life events in the recipient’s life:
- Leaving Home
- New Job
- Wedding anniversary
- Setting up a business
- Buying a house
There are many more occasions, along with corporate marketing. It’s also a tradition for Jewish boys and girls to receive gift pens when they turn 13. Sadly, the gifting scene in a Beautiful Mind is fictional.
Heads of State, Royalty, and kids moving up to secondary schools all treasure the blessing of a pen. People treasure the gift of pens for lifetimes with affection for the giver.
How to Choose the Best Pen Brand to Gift?
The best pen gift set to give depend on you and your relationship with the recipient. You want to match the best pen designers with the way your friend, colleague or loved one sees the world. A pen implies that you see them as a creative individual who is out to make their mark.
Pens are for all, including leftist’s, people with dyslexia and those with arthritis. An ergonomic Yoropen implies you want to help them be comfortable in writing, and you treasure them as they are–it is a caring and enabling offering.
A handcrafted Whitlock pen suggests that you value craftsmanship above labelling. It also means you want to give them a unique pen with meaning–tied to their birth tree or another symbol of your relationship and interests.
Perhaps your recipient admires a past or present hero and would prefer a pen like theirs. Boris Johnson uses a replica Churchill pen because he admires Winston Churchill. The president’s office in the United States chooses a pen marque to promote, as do other heads of state.
Or, you may desire big label brands and a hefty price tag since this will be THE pen that everyone else will envy. Whatever the type and nature of your offering, you can find something to delight everyone.
Whitlock Wooden Design (UK) produces pen gift ideas for their selection. These are hand-crafted and created from a staggering pick of fine woods and resins. Rather than a mass-produced label, each barrel is hand finished to provide a lifetime of usage.
Price for modest ballpoint pens at £25 to a unique historic one at under £200. You may commission a craftsman to provide a custom product tailored for any occasion. See the customer reviews in-store to discover what others say.
In 1888, George Safford Parker founded an American pen firm focusing on fine point nibs. Bought and sold many times and diversified into other industries. Still, it now concentrates on luxuriousness and largely ignores the mass-produced.
Until 2011 it manufactured these in the UK (Newhaven, East Sussex). They hold two Royal Warrants, one from Queen Elizabeth II and the other from Prince Charles. In 2011 the production moved to Nantes, France, where it remains today.
Many inky-fingers remember writing with scratchy school pens with Quink–a quick-drying ink. The firm developed this ink along with ink cartridges for less messy refills.
Before moving from the United States, it was the favorite pen of John F Kennedy to Clinton. Cross is the presidential replacement.
Aimed at the luxury market, the Duofold Limited Edition–celebrated the 130th anniversary with 1,300 hand-built to order. Each pen contains 22 components, and you can expect to pay £2,690 for new.
Mass-produced plastic is available. However, the standard models cost upwards of £100 with optional engraving. The guarantee is two years instead of the forever warranty previously offered.
Founded in 1846 by Richard Cross (a jeweller) to produce cursive writing implements. An employee (Walter Boss) bought the family business in 1916, and his family remain on the board. Only the name and claim that high-quality pens are to jewellery standards remain.
Their claim to fame is that since 1970 they have been chosen by the US presidents (Ford, Reagan, both Bush presidents, and Obama) for official signings. The presidents give these to witnesses as souvenirs. President Trump began with a classic option but dismissed the iconic fountain pens as too expensive. He favours a customised Sharpie marker instead.
Production has since switched to China. But they still make some custom models for politicians and presidents in New England. One of the most costly is the Century Classic Solid 18 Carat Ballpoint selling at £1,890.
If your pockets are not that deep, they primarily sell to the middle markets. A bottom of the range ballpoint costs a modest £20-30 on amazon. These come with a perpetual warranty. Vintage fountain pens manufactured in the USA are collectable for consistent build quality.
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Lewis Edson Waterman created the organization in New York in 1884. The American business folded, but the French subsidiary in Paris is still in business. A three-year warranty is included with their superior pens costing from £20 to £200. Pens include Rollerball’s, ballpoints, and iconic fountain pens.
Einstein wrote his Theory of Relativity with a Taper-cap fountain pen–you can see it in the museum in Leiden. Using a Waterman pen to write ‘Dreamcatcher’ reintroduced Stephen King to the delight of engaging his mind with his hand. He was following in the footsteps of H. P. Lovecraft, who also favoured the branding. The Armistice was signed with a pen now on display in the Musée de l’Armée.
Unlike most, Waterman does not produce extravagant models that cost thousands of pounds. They are comfortable to handle and elegant, giving decades of joy in use.
Walter A. Sheaffer was the founder bearing his name in America in 1912. Like many other fine pen manufacturers, he was a jeweller by trade. The Cross corporation acquired Sheaffer in 2014 and now comes under their umbrella. China manufactures the product lines.
In 1924 a trademark white dot was applied to their clip, indicating a forever warranty. For a while, limited warranties of one to three years were standard. But from September 2019, they offered a lifelong warranty on their goods.
An Ohio printer acquired a USS Oklahoma pen salvaged from Pearl Harbor. This still-functioning pen created the lettering on promotional material for the war effort. The most famous user is Walt Disney, who drew with a Balance fountain pen. Spike Milligan probably used a PFM (Pen For Men) for his comedy scripts. They show him in photographs with a fountain pen, but it is hard to spot the exact model.
Vintage Sheaffers have a strong collector’s market; sought-after examples fetch hundreds of dollars. You can get excellent pens for between £20 and £400.
Josef Lamy was a German salesperson for Parker. He bought the Orthos pen producer and moved into the pen business in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1930. After WW2, they changed from Orthos and Artus to launch the first “Lamy” in 1952.
Producing in Germany with price ranging from a modest £30 budget to the extravagant priced up to £350. Offering a two-year warranty. Neil Gaiman (American Gods and Small Omens) is a collector and known to write with a 2000 model.
This Italian pen maker (and other lavish goods) was formed in 1912. A brief period under the Cartier trademark and is back in family (Aquila) ownership since 2009. Montegrappa produces collectables at eye-watering prices. They celebrate everything from famous people to technology to film.
The Lord of the Ring special has a removable golden ring as part of the design. Details and craftsmanship with all the elegance of a Fabergé egg and pricing to match.
These are well-liked by Russian politicians, racing drivers and European heads of state. Sylvester Stallone likes them so much that he is a board member and an ambassador.
The starting price for a Montegrappa pen is around £80 for those wanting a touch of Italian magic. You can pay over £100,000 for one of the limited editions. A rollerball celebrating ancient Mexican civilisations–only 20 made and 18K gold, perhaps?
Montblanc is a German deluxe goods creator who produces a variety of nice pens for gifts. All are classically styled, and the cheapest Montblanc starts at £180. The typical starting outlay is £500. They retain their value in the second-hand marketplace.
Popular with actors like Johnny Depp and appealing to fans of designer writing pens. The flower logo in the cap is the thing with these. Ernest Hemingway wrote with a Montblanc. Ian Fleming’s famous spy is also a fan.
Caran d’Ache pencils are familiar to artists, producing the best luxury pens. These were launched in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1915. They are the only producer of writing instruments in Switzerland. The range varies from £15 to £2,500.
The name comes from a Russian word–karandarsh or pencil. The trademark is well known for its luminescent artist pencils and other products. The Caran d’Ache ‘La Modernista Diamonds’ hit the Guinness World Record in 2001 as the most pricey pen. Studded with diamonds and rubies, it set someone back a cool £1.2 million.
Yoropen is a pen manufacturer with award-winning ergonomics. Their purpose is to simplify writing for those with dyslexia, arthritis and left-handed people. Yoropen sells pen sets for executives on Amazon for a reasonable £40. Ergonomic designs are perfect for anyone who struggles with a standard ballpoint.
Another pen maker better known for its artist materials than writing implements. One of the oldest pen companies in the world. Involved with writing tools since 1761 in Nuremberg, Germany and in family hands.
The fine writing line has expertly designed rollerballs that perform well. It may not be a celebrity pen, but the nib pen is reliable and lovely to grip. Their e-motion average cost varies from £40 to £80 and features wooden, resin or metal barrels.
The pen did not go the way of the Dodo because handwriting is still an essential part of daily life. A handwritten note says a lot, and your signature still identifies you on most legal papers.
When you have to make your mark on paper–do it with a beautiful pen. When you need a present, choose a pen and be remembered with affection and maybe thanked in writing.