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This post is all about the best luxury pens to gift loved ones on special occasions.
Owning one of the best luxury pens available is more than just about possessing a functional writing instrument. These luxury items are as much about elevating one’s sense of style as they are about having a high-quality pen to write with.
When writing with a luxurious pen with an elegant design, a mundane writing experience is instantly infused with sophistication and professionalism.
Unlike the standard disposable pens, luxury writing instruments are refillable and harbor an appealing permanence, which allows for better quality products and a more stylish appearance.
With all of these perks, one can’t go wrong with gifting a fine writing instrument for any special occasion – luxury pens make the perfect gift for graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries, as well as to congratulate friends, family members or colleagues for starting a new job or landing a promotion!
After combing through our favorite luxury brands, we have narrowed down the list to the ten best luxury pens on the market, ranging from luxury ballpoint pens to classic fountain pens. Whichever is chosen, a luxury pen is a sustainable gift that can be treasured for years to come. Here are our top picks in the world of luxury pens!
- What is a Luxury Pen?
- How to Recognize Different Pens
- The 12 Best Luxury Pens
- 1. Writers Edition Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Limited Edition Fountain Pen by Montblanc
- 2. Sentryman Malachite Ballpoint Pen by Dunhill
- 3. Expert Fountain Pen in Black/Gold by Waterman
- 4. Liberté Rollerball Pen by S.T Dupont
- 5. Cross Century Classic Solid 18 Carat Gold Ballpoint Pen by A. T. Cross Company
- 6. Roadster Cartier Transatlantique Rivets Decor Ballpoint Pen by Cartier
- 7. Extra Otto Lapis Fountain Pen by Montegrappa
- 8. Classic Makassar Fountain Pen by Graf Von Faber-Castell
- 9. Meisterstück Solitaire Blue Hour LeGrand Rollerball by Montblanc
- 10. Grand Fountain Pen by Smythson
- 11. Cargo Exotic Leather Brown Luxury Fountain Pen by Louis Vuitton
- 12. Ecridor Avenue Fountain Pen by Caran d’Ache
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What is a Luxury Pen?
To many, owning a luxury pen is all about owning a writing tool that looks the part – stylish, ornate, and expensive – but pen collectors and pen enthusiasts will tell you that it’s so much more than that. A pen also does not need to be a fountain pen to be a premium luxury offering for the well-heeled – gel pens can be just as luxurious if chosen correctly.
There are five characteristics that really matter when it comes to choosing a luxury pen, and we’re breaking them down in this article.
What Makes a Pen Luxury?
Here are the main five factors to consider when shopping for an elegant luxury pen and what determines their level of luxury:
- The Materials: luxury pens are made of the finest materials, ensuring superior quality. Look out for fine materials such as resin, mother of pearl, ebonite, and ivory. Some of the finest pens include shafts made with even more exclusive materials. Take, for example, names like Mont Blanc and Grifos, which are known to use rare alligator leather – one of the most durable leathers around. When it comes to fountain pens, you might also come across pens with a nib made of precious metals such as 18K gold or solid silver.
- The Craftsmanship: as with any luxury item, there is always an element of excellent craftsmanship and a reputation that the brand strives to uphold. This skill, expertise, and years of know-how warrant a higher price point than an everyday gel ink pen.
- Durability: typically, a luxury pen is sold with a lifetime warranty. If investing a large amount in a luxury pen, you’ll want to ensure it can stand the test of time and remain in use for decades. This is guaranteed with regular maintenance and repairs as required.
- The Meaning: some of the finest writing instruments were inspired by novels, characters in history, world events, or great artists – many, in fact, are works of art themselves! These typically tend to be special editions and are produced in small quantities as limited edition pens, and so owning one makes it all the more special – and luxurious.
- The Sentimental Value: this one is more of a bonus factor – a pen that is gifted is made all the more luxurious for the occasion it is gifted for. Whether it’s a graduation, a gift for a well-earned achievement, or a memorable event such as a milestone birthday, these events can make a pen priceless to its owner, especially if it includes a sentimental engraving.
What is the Fanciest Type of Pen?
Many will argue that the fountain pen is the fanciest type of pen you can own, especially if it is ornately decorated. It might even be seen as more luxurious when it features an ink cartridge in a shade other than the standard black or blue, in true Mansfield Cummings style (the first head of MI6, who became renowned for signing documents with the letter “C,” always written in green ink.)
But the reality is there is no correct answer to this question. As we so very frequently write here at Dukes Avenue, the concept of luxury is very much personal, and it all boils down to the personal preferences of whoever the pen is intended for!
Whether that means preferring a Parker Jotter Gel Pen or a simple Uni-Jetstream Prime Twist 0.7 mm Ballpoint Pen over a Montblanc Fountain Pen, the choice is entirely yours to make!
How to Recognize Different Pens
While everyone can recognize a standard pen, most need to be better versed in the difference between pen types. Yet, when looking to buy a thoughtful gift for a writing specialist, it is best to familiarize oneself with the three main types of luxury pens to be found on the market.
What are the Three Types of Pens?
The three types of pens are:
- Ballpoint Pens. These are perhaps the most popular types of pens. The stainless steel or brass ball at the tip creates a gliding effect that ensures constant smooth writing and is perfect for quick note-taking or journaling.
- Rollerball Pens. These pens share striking similarities to the ballpoint pen and boast a smooth writing experience. The difference lies in the viscous water-based ink that rollerball pens use, yielding a more permanent writing experience that is less likely to smear across the page.
- Fountain Pens. These high-end pens are more than just writing instruments. A fountain pen looks sophisticated, helping the writer appear and feel more professional, while its quill-like quality shrouds it with a delicious feeling of nostalgia.
The 12 Best Luxury Pens
There is no shortage of collectible, high quality pens on the market, and with such a wide variety of choices, it can be challenging to choose the best luxury pen to gift or purchase as a personal treat! After combing the top brands for luxury pens, we’ve picked our 12 favorite pens to share in this article.
Montblanc is one of the most popular luxury brands specializing in high-end accessories or, as dubbed by the Montblanc brand, “lifestyle companions.”
Naturally, luxury pens feature quite prominently in their collection, offering a wide variety of pens made from different raw materials and boasting diverse designs. This limited-edition fountain pen was inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, one of the most famous crime-fiction novelists of all time.
This pen is crafted from exquisite blue-grey lacquer and a cap and cone made from unique blue-grey resin and instantly recalls the murky, dark, and mysterious ambiance of nineteenth-century London, the city which Conan Doyle’s fictional character, Sherlock Holmes, called home.
Yet, the references to the famous Holmes do not stop there. The cap and barrel are adorned with a plaid pattern in honor of Holmes’s coat, with the markings also making reference to part of a historic London city map. The clip even resembles Holmes’s trusty magnifying glass.
Finished off with a handcrafted Au 750 solid gold nib that is engraved with a portrait of the famous author and flying dinosaurs in reference to “The Lost World,” this unique, luxury pen would make the ideal gift for any Sherlock Holmes fan.
2. Sentryman Malachite Ballpoint Pen by Dunhill
The Dunhill brand has long been associated with British luxury and masculine sophistication. Dunhill pens are nothing short of perfection, producing high-quality luxury products all around – from bespoke tailoring to fine leather goods.
This luxe brass ballpoint pen from their ‘Sentryman Collection‘ is expertly assembled in Switzerland from malachite. It has a barrel and nib crafted out of brass and a malachite and aluminum cap.
This unique writing instrument features engraved logo detailing, a powerful silhouette, and a superior ballpoint for flawlessly smooth writing. This pen would be sure to delight any recipient who is fond of writing the traditional way.
3. Expert Fountain Pen in Black/Gold by Waterman
Waterman was first established by Lewis Waterman in 1884 and is one of the few remaining first-generation luxury pen brands still standing.
Based in Paris, France, Waterman is famous for its elegantly handcrafted pens made of the best raw materials and expertly tested to maintain the best quality possible.
This sleek fountain pen by Waterman forms part of the brand’s Expert collection. Symbolic of purpose and triumphant ambition, the ‘Expert line’ by Waterman features a range of luxurious pens with bold silhouettes that are sure to inspire its owner with confidence.
This fountain pen is beautifully rendered in shiny black lacquer and 22K gold trimmings, making for a timeless pen that oozes professionalism. To top it off, this decadent pen is elegantly finished with a gold-plated nib and sold in a Waterman luxury box for a stunning and well-presented gift for any occasion. It also allows for the use of bottled ink for the pen enthusiast.
4. Liberté Rollerball Pen by S.T Dupont
S.T. Dupont’s Liberté collection is a Dupont line dedicated entirely to women, designed to fit delicately framed, smaller hands to ensure better precision and a smoother writing experience.
Embellished with a quilted cap that recalls the shape of diamonds, this luxury pen features a black lacquer handle and a beautifully polished rose-gold tip.
Perfectly blending elegance with intricate decoration, this ballpoint pen makes for a gorgeous gift that any writer can cherish for decades.
5. Cross Century Classic Solid 18 Carat Gold Ballpoint Pen by A. T. Cross Company
This stunning Cross Century classic ballpoint pen is resplendently handcrafted in 18-carat gold and matching gold appointments.
The rich warmth of its golden frame is complemented by the specially formulated black ink that perfectly flows through its smooth tip. The seamless writing it produces is just as luxurious as its regal appearance.
Complete with a lifetime mechanical guarantee, this pen is truly the gift of a lifetime for any lover of fine writing instruments.
Cartier pens are the ultimate luxury gift for the stylish writer or lover of fine accessories.
This stunning ballpoint pen is perfectly proportioned for a well-balanced grip and is available in the finest mother-of-pearl, lacquer, solid gold, hardstone, and leather-encased versions. Aside from being stunningly designed, it is sold with its own classic Cartier red box for luxury storage.
7. Extra Otto Lapis Fountain Pen by Montegrappa
Montegrappa pens are easily distinguishable from their signature octagonal shape and pocket clip with a hidden roller.
First founded in 1912, Montegrappa was Italy’s first luxury brand to manufacture high-end, handcrafted pens. Since then, its reputation has merely grown, and Montegrappa is now firmly established as one of the world’s leading luxury pen brands.
This stunning fountain pen by Montegrappa forms part of their Extra Otto pen range, a range that celebrates the octagon. Complete with an 18-carat gold nib, fine metal detailing, and the unique blend of three distinctive colors typical of precious celluloid; the result is a luxurious pen that writes as smoothly as it feels when grasped between the fingers.
Its limited edition design also features a signature stainless steel clip, which easily fastens to the pocket of a stylishly cut blazer jacket, thanks to that cleverly placed roller.
Lovers of Montegrappa need to act relatively quickly to secure an Extra Otto pen as a gift for a loved one – only 888 fountain pens were made in each color!
8. Classic Makassar Fountain Pen by Graf Von Faber-Castell
Blending the earthy warmth of the dark wooden handle with the cool, sleek titanium, this stylish pen by Faber-Castell effectively brings the classic, traditional, yet luxurious fountain pen to the 21st century.
Graf Von Faber-Castell has a long history of designing superior writing instruments that are both functional and appealing to the eye, and this classic Makassar uses only the best of materials for ultimate luxury.
With a solid metal, spring-loaded clip, and a ruthenium-plated, 18-karat gold nib, this pen would make a superb addition to any pen collection.
9. Meisterstück Solitaire Blue Hour LeGrand Rollerball by Montblanc
German for ‘masterpiece,’ the ‘Meisterstück’ collection is possibly Montblanc’s most-loved collection.
With over 100 years of rich history behind them, Montblanc Meisterstück pens are more than high-end writing instruments, but a rich piece of history and, indeed, a work of art! Without a doubt, this Meisterstück rollerball is proof of this.
Inspired by ‘the blue hour’ of twilight – that almost mystical moment when the skylight hovers between day and night – this artisan pen is coated with precious blue lacquer to invoke that uniquely peaceful mood suitably.
To complete this image, the pen’s body is embellished with an engraved hexagon pattern that creatively resembles artificial light refracting upon the sky in twilight. Instead of what at first glance appears to be sterling silver, the clip is luxuriously finished with superior platinum coating – which boasts an individual serial number – and, of course, the eminent Montblanc emblem on the cap.
Overall, this pen is a luxurious writing instrument that any recipient will surely cherish – and proudly display – for many years to come.
10. Grand Fountain Pen by Smythson
Smythson is renowned as a quintessentially British luxury brand that has been around for over 130 years. Many may be familiar with the name due to its vast selection of luxurious leather bags, stylish accessories, notebooks, and luxury stationery. Still, their pens are definitely worthy of a spot on this list.
In particular, we are huge fans of Smythson’s selection of luxurious viceroy pens made in solid silver, with offerings in the form of ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pen styles.
This Smythson viceroy fountain pen is particularly exquisite. Handmade in England from polished sterling silver, this pen features ornate engravements along the shaft of the pen and on the nib and is presented in a beautiful velvet-lined wooden box that deserves a spot on any desk.
11. Cargo Exotic Leather Brown Luxury Fountain Pen by Louis Vuitton
The Louis Vuitton Cargo Exotic Leather Brown Luxury Fountain Pen is a rare collector’s item indeed! This is one of the few luxury pens on the list where shoppers will be more likely to find this exquisite piece at select auctions rather than in stores. But what makes it so unique?
In the traditional elegance that this French powerhouse is known for embodying, the Louis Vuitton Cargo Exotic Leather Brown Luxury Fountain Pen is crafted using a rich brown shade of alligator leather, and palladium details are intricately worked into the cap, body, and nib – the latter of which also happens to be monogrammed.
This pen is truly an exquisite writing instrument that is reserved for those who genuinely have a love of the finer things in life. Its simplicity, boldness, and excellent craftsmanship make this the perfect piece for both men and women alike.
This is also the perfect pen for travelers and frequent fliers, as it features a leak-proof patent that prevents the ink from being affected by any atmospheric or altitude changes.
Beautiful, bold, and a powerful piece for any owner to enjoy, the price for this luxury pen is only available upon request.
12. Ecridor Avenue Fountain Pen by Caran d’Ache
The Swiss brand Caran d’Ache has been a well-known producer of writing instruments and art materials since 1915 and is considered a go-to supplier for items like mechanical pencils, fountain pens, ballpoint paints, and ink cartridges.
Made of 100% Palladium-plated brass, the Ecridor Avenue fountain pen is truly a writing companion to behold and a fine example of the level of quality that Caran d’Ache has to offer.
As expected, the pen is made in Switzerland. The shaft is crafted with a style of engravement reminiscent of the cobblestone streets in the old part of Geneva. Yet, the palladium coating and matte finish bring a sense of modernity to the design, which is quite a feat in itself, considering that this style of Caran d’Ache pen was launched in 1953!
If you’re looking to buy the perfect gift for a loved one, be sure to check out our other gift guides such as:
- the Best Luxury Gifts for Beach Lovers
- the Best Gifts for Cocktail Lovers
- the Best Gifts for Champagne Lovers
- the Best Gifts for Bath Lovers
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Christine is a woman with an eclectic range of artistic tastes. As a professional soprano with a Bachelor's Degree in Music, she carries over 15 years of experience in the classical music scene, both locally and abroad. Her passion for music is equalled by her love for literature and, more recently, Christine graduated for a second time with a BA in English.