Pen Views

Pen Views

A Good Year for Expensive Pens


As I reflect back on the year, and scan through the various financial reports of the major pen companies it seems that 2006 was a good year for pens, at least for the expensive ones.

Omas Sheaffer Waterman

... to name only a few

Richemont, founded in 1988 by a South African billionaire, Anton Rupert is the swiss company that holds a number of companies involved in luxury products. Its most recent financial report reports that writing instrument sales were up by 24% and the reports note that the spectacular sales growth was due in part to the extra sales that came from the marketing of Montblanc's Annivesary. The Montegrappa line is going to focus on limited edition pens targeting collectors and elite consumers. They note that this strategy has been very successful.

LVMH did not report any specifics in terms of its writing instrument line, Omas, however, Omas continues to market writing instruments at both the high and medium price-range scale. Their new line in 2006, the Emotica, has a more modern look.

Newell Rubbermaid made no specific comments individual lines of their Office Products Division. The writing instrument lines represented a single digit increase in sales. Last year their marketing plans identified Waterman as an area of attention. The Waterman Exception Line has proven to be very successful and reports I receive from pen stores is that the line is selling very well. Comments on various pen boards indicate the line has been accepted as an extremely well made pen. There may be more in the way of advertising of key lines from Newell Rubbermaid as brand recognition is one of the strategies outlined in their annual report.

BIC mades references to strong sales in their writing instrument lines. In 2006 the new Sheaffer Valour continues along the lines of a good looking business-type pen. Designed in Germany and made in Italy this is a pen with a classic look. The Legacy Heritage Sterling Silver Collection continued along that theme.

Of course the production of limited editions is big money, and in 2006 there was quite an array to select from.

The Gotica pen from Caran d'Ache was one of the most over-the-top in terms of price. Issued in China the pen celebrates Gothic art and architecture. Made of rhodium-coated solid silver with six faces decorated with Gothic windows, fleurs-de-lis and rosettes. Set with 892 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 7.10 carats and the rosettes have 72 emeralds (3.96 carats) and 72 rubies (9.90 carats) while 210 yellow sapphires (28.35 carats) embellish the fleurs-de-lis. The pen is selling for 3.28 million yuan ($406,453) in China with reports there are interested purchasers.

»» Summary of Limited Edition Pens issued in 2006.

Oh well, maybe not that one this year.


November 2006

Your pen, an expression of you.