Like me, you most likely have seen Krone Pens profiled in the major pen magazines such as PenWorld and Stylus. Krone pens have always caught my attention and this year I have added two Krone pen to my collection. In using these pens I can speak to what it is like to have and write with a Krone.
Krone desires to have owners of a Krone make a statement with their pen.
Their goal is to create pens that are appreciated by the owner. This includes a broader range of owners than traditional pen users or collectors. Krone strives to create a special linkage between an event or person and the pen they create.
As Krone states: A Krone Pen is more than just a pen.
Robert Kronenberge is the company's President and owner. He and a staff of about 50 work from their headquarters located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Robert leads the development of the company's creative line of pens.
Kronenberge is a collector of vintage pens and historical manuscripts, his fascination with history comes across in the pens created.
The Krone headquarters is not a factory where machines and craftsmen work on the production of pens. The group is responsible for the design and then the coordination of the production of the pens that takes place at various locations around the world. This gives them the access to the best craftsmen and artists to produce their unique and high quality line of pens. In my discussions with Dana Piet at the Krone offices, I could hear the activity!
Much of the manufacturing of their pens is done in Italy for resin and celluloid pens, and in Germany for sterling silver and other metal pens. Depending on the work required, however, specific work will be done where the best skills are available. For example a number of the pens have painting work done by craftsmen in Russia.
Krone's design team is charged with the research and creativity in creating the concepts. Designs and specifications are completed at Krone'a USA headquarters before the production commences with an assigned manufacturer. It involves a considerable amount of coordination and some pens take up to two years to progress from concept to an actual product.
Krone is primarily a limited edition company. There are three tiers of pens: Tier 1 is the limited edition pens, Tier 2 are the precious metals, and Tier 3 are what could be categorized as a fashion grouping.
The historical pens give recognition to a wide range of significant people and events. The pens typically include something to link the pen to the event or person.
For example, Krone obtained authenticated strands of Abraham Lincoln's hair. Krone used those strands to produce the DNA of America's greatest President. This DNA, in crystallized form, is embedded in the amethyst stone of every Limited Edition Abraham Lincoln Pen.
The Shakespeare Pen includes a piece of the famous Mulberry tree which William had planted outside his dome at Stratford-upon-Avon.
Krone acquired some of the actual keys used by Harry Houdini. The keys were reduced to what Krone calls “magic powder” and incorporated into the sterling silver clip of the 606 limited edition pens released in his honour.
The Apollo 11 command module, Columbia, is raised in polished sterling silver on the matte finish overlay of the moon’s surface, simulating the moon’s dull "magnificent desolation." Embedded within the Command Module is the actual Kapton foil that survived re-entry and returned to Earth with Columbia on the Apollo 11 flight.
That is just an illustration of the linkage of the historical pens to people and events.
But I am not a collector. I use my pens everyday. To me, my pen is an expression of me. Krone creates good quality pens and I am pleased to have them in my collection.
At the first meeting in which I used my Krone Fiction the pen sparked a conversation. It was hard to get the meeting back on track!
I have the Fiction in the picante colour scheme -- bold burgundy and yellow stripes. The swirls of micro-striped resin truly create a very distinctive look. The pen also comes in the Truffle model with green and turquoise blue colours.
I found the pen to be of a good size. Sitting closed, the pen is 5 1/4" in length. Writing with the pen, with the cap posted, it is 6". When posted, the cap sits snugly on the pen.
The 18 karat two tone gold nib is very smooth and the pen nicely glides across the paper leaving a solid line of ink. I have a broad nib in the pen and it has character. An easy pen to write with. Some broads can be like a paint brush, just too much ink flowing, but this nib leaves a distinctive sharp stroke. Nibs for this pen are available in Fine, Medium and Broad.
The pen has a piston fill mechanism. The screw-type piston plunger is accessible when you remove a small cap at the end of the pen.
Turning the piston mechanism anti-clockwise expels ink, and turning clockwise draws ink into the pen. Return the screw cap to the pen and all the filling mechanism is out of sight.
I would rank the amount of ink the pen draws as medium and of a sufficient quantity for the size of nib. I have been using the pen at a number of meetings, with a fair amount of writing. I found the ink capacity of the pen is reasonable. Of course, fill up your pen in a meeting and a whole new conversation takes place! People really like to ask questions about this pen!
The clip of the pen has a snug feel, and there has been no problem clipping it into a dress shirt pocket. The size of the clip looks well proportioned for the pen itself - and that is important to the overall look of the pen. (Clip is 1 1/4" in length to a 2 1/8" cap.
From information Krone released on the pen, they had hoped it would be mesmerizing to the eye and smooth to the soul. At its first debut the first comments received were that the pen “had a lot to look at”. So I guess Krone was successful!
My other Krone pen is The Sterling. Described in the pen catalogues as “simplicity and elegance” I can only say the description is very apt.
I have quite a few pens, but using this classic looking sterling silver pen is consistently resulting in compliments. Made with solid .925 sterling silver the pen is sleek but is of substantial size. This pen has weight.
The etched design runs the length of the pen except for the nib section. This gives the pen a classic look and I find it helps with the feel and grip of the pen. The etched design also helps to ward off the “finger print” issue that silver pens can have when there is no pattern.
The pen is 5 3/4" in length with closed with the cap on. With the cap posted, the pen is 6 3/4" long. With this pen I have been using the pen without posting cap. When the cap is posted, it needs a slight twist to help sit firmly on the pen. You will probably find at 5 1/4" inches without the cap posted it has a good length to rest in your hand.
The pen clip, always an important consideration when I view a pen, is of a good size (1 3/4" to a 2 3/4" cap). There is enough spring to the clip to securely be clipped in a shirt pocket.
The pen uses a cartridge or convertor fill mechanism. Twisting off the nib section from the body is very smooth. A good metal to metal screwing mechanism. A regular size converter enables you to use any ink you wish.
Krone also owns another company called Think Pens (www.thinkpens.com).
These pens are bold with contemporary designs. Aimed at a different price point this line provides the option of owning a boldly styled pen and a reasonable price point.
The fountains pens come with a one style of nib, medium; and are steel.
I can't speak personally about the pens, however, given the quality of workmanship in the Krone lines it is unlikely the company would produce anything short of the best pen for its price point.
So for me, 2009 started off on the right foot. My two Krone pens are "regulars" as I make the selection of pens to accompany me for the day. Now, when I see the next profile of a Krone pen in one of the pen magazines, I will be looking at the ad from the eyes of an owner of a Krone pen. That feels good!
1275 Busch Parkway
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Web Site: www.kronepen.com