21 Ultimate Gifts: Italian Ice

  • Erika Heet

THE GIFT

Custom 33-carat diamond Tibaldi pen with Baccarat case.

First-class travel to, and five-star accommodations in, Italy;
helicopter transport between Florence, Bologna, and Naples—
three cities important to the history of Tibaldi.

Private dinner with Tibaldi board members.

$1 million

In 1916, amid the chaos of World War I, entrepreneur and pen aficionado Giuseppe Tibaldi established a fountain-pen manufactory in Florence, Italy, based on his professional tenets of trust, quality, and reliability. Known for its colorful celluloid models, the Tibaldi brand flourished from the 1920s to the 1950s, changing hands and headquarters several times before suddenly ceasing operations in 1965 following the untimely death of its then-proprietor, Nicolangelo Pagliuca. For decades, all that remained of the brand was a cache of Tibaldi history—documentation, files, and pens—locked in the Pagliuca family attic. This treasure, however, would provide the basis for Tibaldi’s rebirth when the Aquila family, respected luxury pen makers of Lalex and Montegrappa fame, purchased the company in 2004.

"We create products that arouse the emotions," says Giuseppe Aquila, who, with his father, Gianfranco, runs Aquila Brands. Under their ownership, Tibaldi has forged partnerships with Bentley and Sony Pictures (for a model based on the movie The Da Vinci Code) and worked with soccer legend Pelé and other private clients. For one customer, Giuseppe created the Fulgor Nocturnus (Night Glow)—a bespoke instrument embedded with 2,058 black diamonds and 139 rubies that was named best diamond pen at the 2006 Middle East Watch, Jewelry, and Pens awards in Bahrain.

Aquila’s complement to the Fulgor Nocturnus is the Fulgor Diurnus, or Day Glow, a pen he will create especially for a Robb Report reader. (A mock-up is shown above.) Artisans will encrust the writing instrument’s solid 18-karat-white-gold frame with 3,290 pavé and baguette diamonds, and crown its cap with a 1.8-carat solitaire diamond. The solid 18-karat, two-tone gold nib will be engraved with the Tibaldi logo and signature eagle design, a motif that also will appear on the clip and the end of the barrel. A diamond-shaped crystal case manufactured by Baccarat and designed by glass engraver David Maude-Roxby Montalto di Fragnito, whose work is in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, will accompany the pen. The Fulgor Diurnus will come with a lifetime guarantee. "Should it, at any time, require service or maintenance," says Aquila, "it will be hand-collected by a member of our staff in any location worldwide and returned at our expense."

The buyer will receive a trip to the three cities key to the history of Tibaldi: Florence, Bologna, and Naples, with first-class travel to Italy, five-star accommodations, and private helicopter transport between the cities. Aquila and the Tibaldi board members will present the pen to the buyer at a private dinner during the excursion.

The Fulgor Diurnus will be "the most exquisite writing instrument ever produced," says Aquila. "It will be crafted from the highest-quality materials and combine the latest technology with unparalleled old-world craftsmanship."

Tibaldi, through U.S. distributor Kenro Industries, 516.741.0011

The Fulgor Diurnus will be available exclusively to a Robb Report reader through March 2009 • The pen will take four months to complete.

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