Style: Pens

  • John Lyon

S.T. Dupont Orient-Express Limited Edition Diamond Collection.

Linking a legendary train to its literary legacy.

The 1883 debut of the Orient-Express rail line, which linked Paris to Istanbul for nearly a century, gave western Europeans unprecedented access to then-mysterious locales. This connection with the exotic inspired writers from Bram Stoker to Ian Fleming to set their works aboard the tony train, forever enshrining it as a backdrop for romance and intrigue. Last year, the Parisian luxury-goods manufacturer S.T. Dupont honored the train’s link to the written word with the debut of the Orient-Express Limited Edition Diamond Collection fountain pen, a visually stunning writing instrument modeled after the legendary rail line.

Limited to 28 pieces and priced at $36,500, the Diamond Collection pen is the highlight of S.T. Dupont’s Orient-Express line, which also includes lighters, cuff links, and silver and yellow-gold versions of the pen. The Diamond Collection’s barrel is crafted from blue and white lacquer with white-gold accents. Eight mother-of-pearl inlays running along the side of the barrel recall the train’s windows, while the pen’s clip—affixed with 71 diamonds—resembles the train’s chimney. A band of white gold located where the cap meets the barrel is engraved with rivets and the words Orient-Express, rendered in the same typeface as the exterior lettering on the original train.

The Diamond Collection pen’s stand, which is modeled after the undercarriage of the train, features white-gold wheels and rods. When displayed on the stand, the pen encapsulates the Orient-Express’s elegance and promise of adventure—inspirations for any writer.  

S.T. Dupont, www.st-dupont.com

The Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2014 Special Edition (+49.911.9965.0, www​.graf-von-faber-castell​.com) is the 11th entry in the German pen maker’s annual collection of writing instruments, each of which is distinguished by a unique material incorporated into its barrel. Inspired by the ornate Agate Rooms of the 18th-century Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia, the 2014 edition, which is priced at $9,500, features a barrel inlaid with six slats of red-and-brown Russian jasper—known as agate when the rooms were constructed during the 1780s. The jasper slats are framed by black-resin panels adorned with gold rosettes. Available in a limited edition of 150 rollerballs and 30 fountain pens, the Special Edition pen is handcrafted by the artisans of the Catherine Palace’s own Amber Workshop. 

Last year, Montegrappa celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi with a writing instrument that pays tribute to one of his most celebrated operas, Rigoletto. The Montegrappa Rigoletto (+39.0424.522232, www.montegrappa.com) is the latest release in the brand’s opera-inspired Emozioni in Musica series. The version of the pen trimmed in 18-karat gold is priced at $24,575 and limited to just 30 fountain and 21 rollerball examples. Each features a barrel in red, white, and black resin that recalls the diamond-checked clothing of the opera’s eponymous court jester, as well as a red bulb crowning its cap that evokes the character’s puffy sleeves and pantaloons.

Founded in Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1913, the writing-instruments manufacturer Sheaffer rapidly became one of the world’s largest pen producers thanks to the popularity of its fountain pens’ proprietary lever refilling system. The brand celebrated its 100th anniversary last year with the release of the Sheaffer Centennial Limited Edition (319.372.8588, www.sheaffer.com). The pen’s 18-karat-gold cap and barrel are engraved with images of the company’s founder, Walter Sheaffer; his son and successor, Craig Sheaffer; and the company’s original factory in Fort Madison. The hallmark Sheaffer white dot, which appears as a mark of quality on the clips of all of the brand’s pens, is replaced by a diamond on the $28,500 gold version of the Centennial Limited Edition.