FrontRunners: Writing with a Twist

Watchmaker François-Paul Journe concluded that pen caps, though necessary for protecting fountain pens’ nibs from damage and writers’ clothing from ink stains, are impractical because they are easily misplaced. Thus, for his first collection of F.P. Journe Writing Instruments (www.fpjourne.com), which he released late last year, Journe invented a complicated system in which one end of the barrel opens, like the petals of a flower, when you twist the opposite end of the barrel. As the petals part, the nib—bearing the F.P. Journe logo—emerges from inside the barrel. The pens are made from the same precious metals as the brand’s timepieces, and a guilloche pattern is engraved across each barrel. A coat of blue lacquer covers the platinum-and-titanium pens ($15,400), and natural-colored lacquer coats those made of 18-karat rose gold and titanium ($11,000). F.P. Journe plans to make only 500 of the fountain pens in each color.

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