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  • Lamy Safari - Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

    The popularity of the Lamy Safari in China has spawned a raft of similar models.

    These have developed from sophisticated counterfeits, replicating as much as possible, to models inspired by the Safari, to models inspired by the imitations.

    There is clearly some merit to the design which was launched in 1980 in colourful, but sturdy, ABS plastic, designed to appeal to 10-15 year olds. It even won an iF design award 14 years later, in 1994, and remains a bestseller today. Limited edition colours are produced every year and Lamy have produced a clear ink barrelled Al-Star, which still has the bright coloured body and a fully clear bodied variation, the Lamy Vista, but the core design remains untouched.

    All Lamy pens are tested at the factory in Germany - you might notice a small amount of blue ink in the feed on your new Safari. 5 or 6 nibs at a time are tested on a revolving drum with paper by sound, as you can see in the video below. Those that fail the test parameters are removed, further tested and adjusted.

    So when you can buy a pen which is a design icon, made in a modern European factory where it has undergone individual testing and is available in a huge array of colours, all for less than £15, why go to the trouble of making a clone?

    This has not stopped Chinese pen brands attempting to create a cheaper imitation model of the Lamy Safari. Chinese factories are well known for creating imitation products, fountain pens included - if you are wondering why can China create such cheap fountain pens, Pen Economics has an excellent breakdown of the reasons why - a main point being that some production firms and factories are state owned, which means that these factories are running to provide work for the population. As employees are paid by the state, labour costs are essentially zero, plus factories like this will not have any pressure on them from shareholders to make a profit either, which allows for cheaper production costs.

    There are a slew of Lamy Safari copycat pens available so we’ve put together a round-up of the more notable copies around;

    Hero 359

    Hero, formed in 1931, are a large established pen brand in China and have a history almost as a long as Lamy. They really surprised the fountain pen community when they launched the Hero 359 Summer Colour pen range, which was an almost identical design copy of the Lamy Safari, even down to the branding, lid clip and grip. Hero stated that they were able to use this design as the exterior design patent right of Lamy's Safari series had expired.

    It is only a slightly cheaper than an official Lamy Safari and is not worth the small saving according to Jono at Pentorium’s review of the Hero 359, noting that the plastic body felt thinner and flimsier in comparison.

    hero summer safari fountain pens

    Yiren 566

    The Nanchang Yiren Pen Company was established in 2005 and their Lamy-eqsue offering is the

    Yiren 566 pen which, like the Hero, is an almost identical copy. This one, however, is much cheaper - but is it any better? Pens, Ink & Paper thought that the nib had surface level scratches, screwing out the head section felt friction-y and rough, and again the plastic felt cheap and flimsy. Plus, you have to wait for the parcel to arrive through ultra slow international mail, which can take 4-8 weeks.

    Yiren 566 Fountain Pen

    Jinhao 599

    There are a few differences between the Jinhao 599 and the Lamy Safari, making it more of a design homage rather than a straight copy. The main differences with the 599 is that it has a flat metal clip instead of Lamy’s iconic wire clip, the barrel itself does not have the clear cut out to see ink levels inside the pen and the Jinhao is slightly smaller in size too. The three sided grip is the same as the Lamy along with the brightly coloured plastic body, but there are enough details to easily tell the differences between the two pen designs. Again, these are only sold by international sellers so expect a long delay in receiving your pen.

    Lanbitou 757

    An old Chinese Proverb states “A good memory is no match for a worn pen nib.” In Chinese, “worn pen nib” is translated to lan bi tou, which is how the brand name Lanbitou came to be. The Lanbitou 757 version uses the transparent design of the Lamy Vista, and is almost identical, with exception of the ink feed - in the 757 there is only one ink channel, unlike the feed in Lamy Safari which has two channels ensuring that the pen never dries out, even if left unused for months.

    Lanbitou 757 Clear

    Wing Sung 6359

    Wing Sung was Shanghai's 2nd-largest pen manufacturer, which has been around for decades. The WIng Sung 6359 only started being produced in 2017, which copies the Lamy Al Star design, with it’s transparent grip, along with the classic wire shaped pen clip and the ink window. This pen is so similar to the Lamy pen even the nibs are interchangeable.

    Wing Sung 6359 Pink

    Pen, Inks and Paper put together an excellent comparison of the pros and cons between the Lamy Safari vs it’s design copies, the Jinhao 599 and Yiren 566.

    As we know cheaper does not always mean better. Whilst there are a few other copies, nothing really beats the real thing. The original Lamy Safari fountain pen has a superior build, which goes through plenty of quality control tests to ensure you get the same standard from every pen in the Safari range, and still offers great value at just £14.95 here at Executive Pens Direct.

     

    Counterfeit Lamy Pens

    Unlike some Chinese brands simply making their own copies, there are also unscrupulous dealers selling counterfeit Lamy pens. You wouldn’t think that someone would make a counterfeit version of a £15 fountain pen, however the reputation of Lamy Safari pens and their limited edition colour range has opened an opportunity for the counterfeit market.

    You can even find counterfeit pens through reputable sites such as eBay and Amazon, due to the fact there are multiple third party sellers of the same item and you are never quite sure where that specific sellers stock has been sourced from.

    Desk of Lori wrote about her experience of a fake Lamy Safari pen which was purchased as a gift from Amazon, at a normal price that you would expect for a Lamy.

    There are ways to spot these unscrupulous sellers - if you find a Lamy Safari Fountain pen for under £10, approach with caution because as the saying goes “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” and always check feedback for any specific seller online, but don’t forget that it’s possible to pass as the real thing to an untrained eye.

    Goldspot have put together a great video comparison between a real and a fake Lamy Safari pen:

    Benefits of Buying From an Official Dealer

    We source our Lamy pens direct from the manufacturer at Executive Pens Direct. You can expect fast postage, with orders placed before 12pm usually dispatched the very same day in the UK.

    You can be sure to get a quick response if you have any questions or issues plus all of our branded pens are covered by the manufacturer's warranty, so if anything did go wrong we’ve got you covered.

    Plus, by purchasing from an official dealer like ourselves, you can be sure you are getting the real deal and not a poorly built fake.

    We love the Lamy Safari Fountain Pen in Yellow - even better, it's on sale right now at £14.95!

    or view our full Lamy Safari range:Lamy Safari Banner

  • New To The Site | Make Your Mark With Manuscript Calligraphy

    A family-owned company established in 1989 in England, Manuscript Pen Company Ltd are one of the few remaining companies worldwide that specialise in all things calligraphy.

    Manuscript CalligraphyThey offer an extensive range of all things related to writing such as: dip pens, wax & seal sets, Chinese calligraphy sets, fountain pens and even calligraphy marker pens. Whether you are 9 or 99 there is something for people of all ages and abilites who want to improve their calligraphy skills or are just getting started in the world of writing.

    We are thrilled to introduce them to our ever-expanding collection of calligraphy items and have highlighted some of our favourite products from their expansive range.

    This Callicreations set is a great way to get started as it comes with various different tools you can use to create an assortment of products such as personalised letters and cards.

    In this set you will find a handy storage tin filled with:

    • One stylus fountain pen with two nib sections: iridium nib and 2B with protection
    • A leaflet with easy to follow instructions and creative ideas
    • Six coloured ink cartridges - Black, Blue, Purple, Turquoise, Pink & Orange
    • Five Callicreative italic markers - Black, Purple, Green, Pink & Turquoise
    • Flower seal with Purple wax
    • Practice pad and guidelines

    Manuscript Calli Creations

    You can also get this set in a Christmas edition! Perfect for creating unique Christmas cards and thank you letters this festive season.

    The Christmas set has all of the same products just in more festive colours, so in this tin you will find:

    • Stylus fountain pen with two nib sections: iridium nib and 2B with protection
    • A leaflet with easy to follow instructions and creative ideas
    • Six coloured ink cartridges - Black, Blue, Green, Turquoise, Pink & Red
    • Five Callicreative italic markers - Silver, Gold, Pink, Black and Turquoise
    • Christmas tree seal with Gold wax
    • Practice pad and guidelines

    Manuscript Christmas Creations

    For something a little different we love this Chinese calligraphy set that includes two traditional chinese brushes, a bottle of ink and a mini gold wax & seal set. Using brushes isn't the only difference between modern calligraphy and Chinese calligraphy, you also have to hold your writing tool differently to form the aesthetically perfect letters and characters.

    To find out more about Chinese calligraphy you can take a look at Manuscript's series of tutorials on using the brush, creating characters and forming Chinese letters.

    Manuscript Chinese Calligraphy Set

     

    For tips, tricks and some inspiration you can check out the Manuscript website where they have a whole section dedicated to you and your Manuscript products, and you can learn more about the products and how to use them over on their Youtube Channel.

    Manuscript products will be available to purchase shortly over on our site. Keep an eye out for updates!

  • A Guide To Monteverde Pens

    What Are Monteverde Pens?

    A division of the YAFA pen company, Monteverde pens were established 36 years ago in America, where they quickly became an established name due to their high quality and elegance.

    YAFA logo

    An industry leader in creative and innovative writing implements, YAFA is well known for being one of the world’s leading sources for fine writing instruments and launched Monteverde as a platform for innovative new ways of getting peoples’ ideas from pen to paper.

    Monteverde USA Logo

    They offer a wide range of colours, and target their price points to embrace a broad spectrum of consumers, as well as more selective aficionados of fine writing implements.

    Where Are Monteverde Pens Made?

    Materials that go into the creation of the pens come from suppliers located throughout Europe to ensure that the finest resins, celluloids and carbon fibres are sourced, before the construction takes place. The pens are hand crafted, meaning that individuality is ensured, and their instantly recognisable barrel designs have achieved worldwide recognition.

    What Types Of Pen Do Monteverde Make?

    Ballpoint, fountain, rollerball and pencil types are all covered within the Monteverde brand, with various shapes and styles across all versions. Different materials are also used, which include wood, carbon fibre and shell.

    Monteverde Pen Refills

    Refills are available for ballpoint and rollerball variations of the pen, as well as an array of ink and cartridges to cover fountain pens. Monteverde utilize ITF Ink Treatment, a European formula which improves ink flow quality while lubricating and protecting ink feeding systems.

    This results in the pen being less susceptible to corrosion and clogging, as well as improving ink drying time on paper, and maximising cap-off time. Inks are available in a vast array of colours, spread across the spectrum.

    Converters are also available, which allow use of bottled ink in pens designed to take cartridges, offering more choice to the consumer.

    Why Choose Monteverde?

    As hand written communication increasingly becomes a rarity, use of a luxury pen can help to cultivate and enhance a love of the written world. Monteverde pens offer this, providing their users with true comfort and style, alongside a smooth writing experience. Their range is diverse and varied, and offers styles, colours and patterns to suit all tastes.

  • How Does A Fountain Pen Work?

    When writing with a fountain pen, ink is pulled down the nib’s centre, which is split in two, by what is known as capillary action. Natural gravity also plays a part, as does air entering the pen via the slit in the nib, which fills the ink storage as it empties. Alongside the technical aspects of course, there are many other things worth knowing before purchasing a fountain pen.

    How do you hold a fountain pen?

    Taking the upper end of the pen between the thumb and index finger, then moving it down towards the end of the finger to where it feels comfortable may require a small amount of trial and error, but it should be obvious when it feels satisfactory. When this has been done, the hand should be used to lightly press against the paper, to a level and pressure that again feels natural. The barrel of the pen should rest somewhere on the middle finger, to give a solid base. Whereabouts on the finger varies from person to person, but it is important to remember that the thumb and index finger should be the guide, with the middle finger simply a base support. Keeping the pen at an angle of somewhere between 40 and 55 degrees should provide the best results and help ink flow.

    How do you put ink in a fountain pen?

    There are various methods of filling a fountain pen, with the simplest being cartridge insertion, which involves little more than pushing the suitable refill into place firmly. Inserting a converter works in a similar manner, but then requires the user to place the nib into the ink bottle. Twisting the converter counter-clockwise removes the air, while clockwise should suck the ink in.

    For pens not using a converter the process is the same, but with a metal bar or crescent on the main shaft pressed and released to draw the ink from the bottle. It is always useful to keep a cloth or piece of blotting paper to hand during the process to remove any excess ink that may be generated.

    How do you get the ink to flow in a fountain pen?

    Depending on the pen being used, issues around ink flow can vary. Most pens will experience little problem in bringing the ink straight to the nib, however struggles can sometimes arise in new equipment.

    Things to check for include making sure the cartridge is fully and correctly inserted, and that there are no faults with the nib itself. Keeping the pen vertical while tapping it can often help the ink flow, as will pushing the nib down firmly onto paper a number of times or running it under gently running warm water.

    Fountain pen vs. ballpoint pen​

    There is much debate over whether a fountain or ballpoint pen is superior, with a large amount of personal opinion forming the basis of many arguments on both sides. Ballpoints are often praised for their convenience and ease of use, as well as their reliability. Fountain pens offer the writer a higher level of penmanship, and are viewed highly for the style and classicism in which they present the users handwriting.

    Criticism is sometimes levelled at them however for what is deemed as ‘high maintenance’ levels of cleaning and refilling. The propensity for them to leak is also larger than their ballpoint counterparts. Ballpoint pens are usually heavier, so are more suited to writing brief notes and small amounts, with fountain pens praised for their light and comfortable nature. As both pens can be said to perform their own functions, and come into their own in different areas of use, to many people they complement each other perfectly rather than being rivals.

  • Win A Letter Writing & Calligraphy Bundle | National Stationery Week

    THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW ENDED, THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENTRIES.

    National Stationery Week is almost over and we've had a great time this year organising competitions and giveaways to celebrate our love of stationery. This weekend is your last chance to try and win and we think we have saved the best for last.

    As it is Signature Saturday today and Write A Letter Day tomorrow, we are giving away a bundle that is perfect for practicing your calligraphy and writing some beautiful letters.

    You could win the following:

    1x Sheaffer Maxi Calligraphy Set which includes 3 pens with varying nib widths, 20 assorted inks and a book to learn different styles of calligraphy.
    1x Crown Mill Writing Set - Silver Line Cream Laid A5
    1x Silver Feather Quill and Nib Set

    nswweekendbundle

    sheaffers

    Overall this bundle is worth almost £60!

    For a chance to win all we need you to do is answer us this; If you could write a letter to anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you choose?

    You've got until midnight Sunday to leave your reply and the winner will be announced on Monday 1st May.

  • Win With Get Crafty Tuesday | National Stationery Week

    Day 2 of our NSW celebrations and we have a super bundle ready to be won, chock full of goodies to help you get crafty.

    In this bundle you will find:

    1x 5.6mm Mechanical Clutch Pencil in Navy
    1x Set of 6 Mechanical Diamond Drawing Pencils with Coloured Leads
    1x Soft Eraser
    1x Pack of Gioconda 5.6mm leads in 4B
    1x Pack of 13 Magic Pencils

    All of these products are from Koh-I-Noor and to win them all you have to do is answer a very simple question!

    kohinoorbundlekohinoorbundle2

    All we want to know is, Where is Koh-I-Noor based?

    Leave your answers below for a chance to win!

    Competition ends Midnight 25/04/2017

  • The NSW 7 Days of Stationery! | National Stationery Week

    It is that time of year again, a whole week where we declare our love for stationery in the name of NSW or National Stationery Week. We are super excited to announce a whole week of competitions and discounts that everyone can get involved in.

    A perfect way to celebrate and join in the fun, the 7 days of stationery also give us plenty of opportunities to give away some great stationery bundles and discount codes. 7 Days of StationeryOn Monday we'll be giving away a pen and pencil to one lucky person who places their order anytime on Monday 24th April.

    Tuesday is get crafty day and we've got a bundle of goodies from a certain brand to give away. All you have to do is answer the question that pops up on our blog and Facebook, but be quick as the competition ends at midnight on Tuesday!

    Wednesday is World Stationery Day where we will just be taking a day to appreciate all of the countries that produce amazing stationery for us to enjoy.

    On Thank You Thursday all customers can enjoy a 10% discount as a thank you for shopping with us. Just keep an eye on the website homepage banner, suscribe to our newsletter or follow our facebook to find out the code.

    Fountain pen lovers can rejoice on Fountain Pen Friday where we'll be having a 10% discount on all fountain pens. The code will be announced in the same way as the Thank You Thursday code. We'll also be sending out a selection pack of inks with any fountain pens purchased on this day.

    For Signature Saturday and Write A Letter Day on Sunday we have a stunning calligraphy/letter writing bundle that even we would like to win! You have from Saturday morning 9am until Midnight Sunday to enter and you can enter on the blog or on our Facebook.

    You can join in the fun of the 7 Days of Stationery by using the hashtags below:

    #PenAndPencilDay
    #GetCrafty
    #WorldStationeryDay
    #ThankYouThursday
    #FountainPenFriday
    #SignatureSaturday
    #WriteALetterDay

    If you have any questions about our NSW competitions don't hesitate to leave a comment below or have a chat with us over on Facebook.

  • How To Clean And Care For Your Fountain Pen

    When purchasing and using a fountain pen it is important to consider the time and care that need to be put into your pen so it maintains its condition and writing ability.

    As standard a fountain pen used regularly should be thoroughly cleaned or "flushed" at least 4 times a year and more frequently than this if used less often to prevent the ink drying and clogging up the pens inner-mechanisms.

    In this blog we will outline how to do a basic clean and how to fully flush your fountain pen. A basic clean is ideal for those who are planning on using the same ink in their fountain pen and find that their pen is writing well with no skipping or clogging.

    The Basic Clean

    1. Disassemble your pen by removing the cap and screwing apart the nib or grip section from the pen body.

    penassembly

    If using an ink cartridge or converter, remove this also. A piece of tape can be used to cover the opening to either if you want to save the remaining ink.

    2. Turn your tap on to run cold or cool water and hold the nib section under the flowing water to remove any excess ink.

    Make sure not to use hot or warm water as the heat could warp or damage parts of the pen.

    3. Fill a glass with some cool water and place the nib section in to soak; the water should be replaced every time it becomes saturated with ink. Keep repeating this step until the water remains clear for an hour.

    Fountain pens that haven't been cleaned for a prolonged period of time or have been filled with stubborn ink may take longer to become clean during this step.

    4. Remove the water and place some kitchen roll or soft cloth at the bottom of the glass before placing the bottom part of the pen into the cup with the nib pointing downwards. The tissue will draw out any remaining ink or moisture.

    Ideally the pen should be left to dry overnight or for 24 hours.

    5. Once dry simply reassemble your pen and replace your ink cartridge or converter and you are ready to write again!

    Full Fountain Pen Flush

    We recommend flushing your fountain pen for a more thorough clean and when changing inks or having any issues when writing with your pen e.g. skipping or clogging.

    The steps below are for flushing a fountain pen that has a built-in filling system or is using converter.

    1.  Disassemble the pen and follow steps 1 and 2 of the basic clean method.

    2. Fill a glass with water and submerge the open end of the barrel or converter, then fill and empty the ink chamber until clean replacing the water when it becomes saturated with ink.

    3. Reattach the converter or barrel section to the nib and place in a glass of clean water.

    4. Use the filling system to draw and flush water in and out of your pen, repeating until the water coming out is clean. Change the water in the glass when it becomes saturated.

    5. Leave the pen to soak in clean water for a few hours in order to remove any stubborn ink stains.

    6. Follow steps 4 and 5 of the basic cleaning method and your pen is then fully cleaned and ready to go until next time.

    Tips & Tricks

    • When first receiving your fountain pen if it seems to skip or jump then a quick flush through with some water should resolve the issue. It is often the case that manufacturers will factory test a pen and some ink residue may have been left behind. Lamy is a common example but it is often more expensive, luxury brands that may do this.
    • For stubborn ink stains and residue that won't budge you could invest in some fountain pen flush to help shift them. We stock Monteverde's 8 oz. bottle of flush.

    Monteverde Fountain Pen Flush

    Useful links:

    Advice from Parker on cleaning, care and other fountain pen FAQ'S

    This JetPen post explores advanced cleaning techniques for those wanting to find out how to completely disassemble their pen.

  • Monteverde Ink Eradicator for Blue Fountain Pen Ink | Product Reviews

    Brand new for 2017, the news of Monteverde's ink eradicator reminded us of those ink-erasing pens we always wanted at school. They were a stationery must-have for young kids but often left you dissapointed when they erased a hole in your page as well as the ink.

    We hoped that this wouldn't be the case when testing Monteverde's version!

    inkeradicatorThe Ink Eradicator comes with an erasing tip on one end and a fineliner for rewriting over your mistake on the other end. It is longer than we had expected at 17cm but still small enough to fit into pencil cases and pockets.

    The ink eradicator only works on the Monteverde blue inks listed below and the inks we used were the G306BU International Standard Size cartridges. The pen used was a Monteverde Invincia Deluxe Carbon Fibre Chrome Trim Fountain pen with medium nib.

     

    Bottled Ink Ink Cartridges
    G308BU G302BU
    G309MU G303BU
    G300MU G376BU
    G306BU
    G304BU
    G372BU

     

    inkeradicatortest

    The images below show the before and after of using the ink eradicator and the third image shows the text rewritten with the fineliner end of the tool.

    The erasing tip is very effective at removing any traces of fountain pen ink and although the stain is visible in the images, after a short amount of time the trace becomes very faint and almost unnoticable. It would probably be less noticeable if you were writing on white or plain coloured paper.

    monteverdetest

    The fineliner does seem to write much darker than the colour of the fountain pen ink, but once again after a short period it does seem to dry and fade to a lighter blue colour.

    We did test whether you could rewrite over the erased section of the paper with the fountain pen but it simply absorbs the ink and so the fineliner must be used to make a mark.

    Overall we were quite impressed with this new tool from Monteverde and would recommend it for those who use Monteverde's blue inks as its affordable price is definitely worth it if it prevents you having any obvious mistakes in your writing.

  • The Game of Thrones Collection by Montegrappa

    The collaboration all pen lovers and Game of Thrones fans have been waiting for is finally here! Montegrappa definitely haven't dissapointed with their latest collection, think extravagant, intricate patterns and bold animalistic pen clips.

    Montegrappa Game of ThronesThe collection acknowledges four houses at the forefront of the epic series: Baratheon, Lannister, Stark and Targaryen. Each pen within these houses is brought to life using the house mottos, colours, sigils and the animal that represents that family name.

    Take a look at the features and styles of all of the pens below.

    Baratheon Montegrappa Lannister Montegrappa Stark Montegrappa Targaryen MontegrappaGoT

  • An Introduction to Cross - Making Their Mark Since 1846

    Known as America's oldest manufacturer of fine writing instruments, Cross was established in 1846 and it still remains headquartered at its place of origin, Rhode Island.

    crossbannerWith many pen lines in their collection there is a writing instrument for every occasion and to suit every person. Many of the lines have been around since the very beginning of Cross, such as the Peerless and Townsend ranges. Both of these are in Cross' luxury collection which is famed for its designs in precious metals like silver, gold, and platinum as well as stunning details like inset precious stones.

    The Peerless was Cross' first fountain pen, created in 1889, and it was named so because there was no competition or 'no peers' to match its exquisite design meaning it quickly became an American favourite.

    crosspeerless

    The Townsend line came into fruition in 1991 and had a design inspired by the stylish 1930's Art Deco period, they were recognisable by their distinctive finishes, precious metals and the signature double band. The Townsend may be familiar to you as it is has been the pen of choice for many American presidents including Barack Obama.

    These three Townsend writing instruments with Black Lacquer and Rhodium plate showcase that classic design but with bright, bolder finishes. These stylish Townsend's can also be engraved making them a stunning personal gift whether you are treating yourself or someone special to you. To shop simply click the image below.

    townsendBesides producing classy, traditionally-styled writing instruments, Cross also offer many interesting designs and themes that appeal to a younger audience.

    Most recently they have taken some of their most well known pens such as the Cross Century II and Click and combined them with elements from popular culture and film. The result was three Cross Century II pens inspired by Marvel and three Click pens influenced by the epic franchise that is Star Wars.

    crossmarvelThese Special Edition Superhero pens are the perfect writing instrument for anyone who loves the Marvel Universe. Designed with the classic Cross Century II profile, the pens have been given a dramatic makeover to showcase each iconic character by using their signature colours and emblems. They also come in a Marvel themed luxury presentation box making them a truly special gift.

    If the Dark Side and Star Wars is more your scene then Cross will certainly not disappoint you with this collection. They have redesigned their Click pens and Jotzone Journals to display three of the epic series most recognisable characters.

    Choose from three designs to find the perfect product for you, C-3PO Darth Vader or a Stormtrooper. We also offer a set of the Click pen and Jotzone journal so you can let everyone know how much you love Star Wars. You can browse the whole collection simply by clicking the image below.

    crossstarwarsIf you are looking for an affordable writing instrument, whether for yourself or for a friend, the Cross range is so expansive you are to find the perfect product.

    Below we have listed some of our favourite Cross picks which would make truly lovely gifts, they are all engravable meaning they can be personalised for a bespoke writing instrument.

    Cross Edge Formula Red Capless Rollerball Pen1 Cross Click Lustrous Chrome Ballpoint Pen1 Cross Beverly Purple Lacquer Ballpoint Pen1 Cross Bailey Blue Lacquer Fountain Pen1

    To shop Cross refills simply click here to browse the whole range.

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  • Mad for Metallics - Our Favourite Gold and Silver Stationery

    Just because it is metallic doesn't mean it has to be expensive, right? We have rounded up a whole host of luxury and affordable products that appeal to those with an eye for all things that glisten and shine.

    Here at Executive Pens Direct we have huge range of pens with gold and silver trims and finishes as well as pens that are pure gold or silver in colour. We have chosen just a few of our favourites that we think will satisfy anyone with a love for all things metallic.

    This lustrous offering from Fisher Space Pens is a compact pen, perfect for slipping into a pocket or bag and as shown in the image, when the cap is popped onto the end it creates a full length pen that is perfectly balanced for writing with. This pen also hides a little secret, like all Fisher Space pens it will write over greasy or wet paper, underwater, upside down, in high and low temperatures and of course in zero gravity space conditions.

    An ideal pen for the astronauts among us.

    F400GFrom Parker we have two pens at either end of the price scale but both are equally attractive and a pleasure to write with.

    The first is a pen that has only joined us in 2016, part of Parker's Jotter Premiumisation project. A Premium pen of the collection, this West End Gold Parker Jotter with contrasting gold body and cap writes smoothly and comes in an attractive, new-look gift box. A perfect treat for a gold-lover on a budget.

    19532031858535

    Our second pen is a Parker Ingenuity in Pearl and Gold Metal. The glossy lacquer barrel is completed perfectly by the gold ring design and this pen uses Parker's innovative 5th generation technology for unmatched writing satisfaction. The nib of this pen adjusts and chisels itself when you first write with it, meaning it adapts perfectly to your writing style.

    If silver is more to your taste then look no further than this Laban Slim Line Ballpoint, complete with crystal clip. Made from 925 Sterling Silver and adorned with Swarovski crystals, this pen makes a wonderfully generous gift whether you have someone in mind or simply want to spoil yourself.

    SSLB_1_Zoom_1We can also engrave this pen making it truly unique and bespoke to the recipient.

    Now for something a little different!

    This Gold Feather Quill Calligraphy set makes a wonderful gift for someone or treat for yourself and gives you a taste of traditional writing tools and techniques, it even includes a scroll that tells you the Story of Calligraphy. The only problem you'll have is not wanting to take it out of the box.

    Gold Feather Quill & 5 Nib SetGAM03-CH-2

    We also have this quirky Troika Helicopter Desk Tidy that has a magnetic front to keep your paperclips handy and four removable 'blades' which are actually pens. You'll find three ballpoints pens and one highlighter in this helicopter and they all have a shiny chrome finish to match the rest of the tidy.

    Finally, we love a Sharpie as much as the next person but these Metallic Sharpies are a must in our stationery collection. Ideal for all kinds of activities whether it be poster making, scrap-booking or writing cards, these pens are designed for writing on dull and dark surfaces and their ink is fade and water resistant, making them permanent on almost all surfaces.

    metallicTIP: These Sharpie pens are perfect for adding a shiny, metallic touch to Christmas cards and gift tags.

    Got a favourite piece of Gold or Silver stationery? Let us know what we are missing out on in the comments below.

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  • Results of Our Father's Day Competition - My Dad is Great Because...

    Thanks to everyone for getting involved in our Father's Day competition, we had some great entries from humerous ones to heart felt ones. We were definitely feeling the love for our Dads here in the Executive Pens Direct office.

    Since we had so many worthy winners to choose from we have added our top ten to a hat and  we have decided to pick one runner-up as well as an overall winner. Here are the entries of our runner-up and our final winner.

    Our runner-up is Deborah Swain with her entry below

    Dad's a natural 'ruler', strong, reliable, certainly 'measures' up for the best dad in the world!..A 'write' character too! Always in high 'spirits', 'levels' us all, keeping all our feet on the ground! Sometimes 'pen'sive, always 'constructing' positivity wherever he goes!!.. Love you Dad!! xxxxx

    The Winner of the Troika Yellow Construction Pen...

    Lydia Frew with her entry below

    He makes me laugh
    When I want to cry
    He explains the world
    When I don’t know why
    Always there with sage advice
    Patient when I need telling twice
    He’s a football crazy, golfing Dad
    But the best one I could ever have.

     

    Troika construction pen Thanks again for all our your entries, we loved reading them and we hope you enjoy the finalists entries as much as we did. Keep your eyes on our Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know about our offers and competitions.

     

  • Father's Day Competition - My Dad Is Great Because...

    With the success of our last competition we just had to give you all another chance to win, but this time we are focusing on all things Dad. Father's Day is almost here (June 19th), and to celebrate our Dad's we have a wonderful competition to treat one special father out there.

    Entering is easy all we want you to do is tell us, either in the blog comments or on our Facebook, why you think your dad is the greatest. Is he always giving you great advice or there for you when times are tough?

    Let us know for a chance to win this Yellow Troika Construction Ballpoint pen to give as a gift to your dad this Father's Day.

    construction-penThis functional pen takes multi-tasking to a whole new level and sports four different metric cm ratios for scale conversions 1:20, 1:25, 1:50 and 1:100. Also hidden in the pen you'll find a Philips and slotted head screwdriver, a spirit level and a ballpoint pen and stylus all housed in an attractive, brightly-coloured yellow casing.

    A perfect practical gift for both men and women, we're sure any hands on dad would love to open this quirky gift on Father's day.

    So tell us, why is your Dad great?

    Terms and Conditions:

    One entry per person - either on the blog OR Facebook
    Competition ends June 12th
    Winner to be announced the following week
    Prize will be sent out on Tuesday 14th June so it arrives in time for Father's Day

  • Papermate Pens – Revolutionary and Professional

    Over the years, Papermate has become known as one of the most recognisable brands in the stationary industry. Their inventive designs and often revolutionary developments have made them a true industry leader. Given their latest range of Papermate pens, it seems likely that they will continue to lead the way and grow from strength to strength over the coming years.

    Papermate Pens At Executive Pens Direct

    Papermate Pens

    Papermate has been revolutionising the pen industry on a regular basis for nearly 70 years. It all started in 1949 when Papermate introduced instant-drying ink to the world. Considering that this was a completely new invention, it inevitably took the world by storm. While many companies would have settled for this single piece innovation, Papermate did not give up. They continue to experiment with designs and push boundaries to try and make writing a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. That’s why every new release from Papermate feels fresh and original.

    What makes Papermate such a successful brand is their ability to design pens for anyone. For every range of pens designed for use in schools, they have a selection for crafters, designers, and professionals. Regardless of what kind of pens you are looking for, Papermate leads the way in almost every aspect of the pen industry.

    Continued Innovation

    Papermate has continued to release an impressive range of pens, all of which have provided some level of innovation for the industry. Even the Papermate Inkjoy, which is their most recent release, has an innovative design based around the use of low viscosity ink. This means that you are able to remain comfortable for longer while completing smooth and neat writing.

    Want to see what else Papermate have on offer? We are proud to stock some of the most impressive models Papermate have ever produced. So take a look at the Papermate pens selection we have on offer to find the perfect pen for you!

  • Koh I Noor Pencils - Over 200 Years of Innovation

    Koh I Noor has been one of the leaders of stationary production and innovation for over two centuries. During that time, they have kept up with industry changes and even brought about a few themselves with their incredible designs.

    Koh I Noor Pencils at Executive Pens Direct

    A History of Innovation

    Koh I Noor was founded in Vienna in 1790 by Josef Hardtmuth. Almost from the start, Koh I Noor pencils were a success in the stationary world. When they were taken to a range of exhibitions around the world, they were frequently given prestigious awards. London in 1862, Milan in 1905, and Paris in 1925 were just a few of the exhibitions where Koh I Noor stole the show.

    Growth and Expansion

    As their range of pencils became more and more popular, Koh I Noor decided it was time to expand the business. As part of the expansion, the company decided that they would focus on making stationary for specific purposes – artistry, office work, school work, and hobby crafting. This allowed them to experiment with design elements so they could craft the perfect product for each intended use. This expansion proved to be a great success, with the company going from strength to strength producing other forms of stationary, including chalk, crayons, and watercolours.

    Koh I Noor Pencils

    While they have had a lot of success in many areas, Koh I Noor pencils have remained where their strength truly lies. Now they have started producing a range of mechanical pencils, which are ideal for office and study use. They also have a range of colour pencils which are popular among artists and hobby crafters alike.

    Want to find out more about what Koh I Noor have to offer? Simply click on the link above to have a browse through our range of Koh I Noor pencils.

  • Choosing the right fountain pen, pointers to help you make the right choice

    Making the choice, in this electronic computer-keyboard-driven world, to adopt a time-honoured method of writing with a fountain pen is rather bold. Which pen will most suit your style and personality? The following considerations may make choosing a pen somewhat easier.

    The nib:

    Considered to be most important factor as this is the part of the pen that transfers thoughts, ideas, drawings and plans to paper. The size of the nib has the greatest influence on the look and style of the writing that you produce.

    For practical purposes, nib sizes range from XF (extra fine), F (fine), M (medium), B (broad), S (stubby) and OB (oblique). There are, of course, additional sizes and the fine produced by one brand may equate to medium in another.

    Nib

    Ultimately, it comes down to trying a few different brands out for yourself and finding the one that is the most comfortable and produces a line thickness that appeals to you. If you are the type of writer who likes to tilt the pen when writing, then consider an oblique cut nib, in either left or right, to ensure smooth and skip-free writing.

    Nib Material:

    Nibs are usually made from a variety of materials and alloys and are often the point (no pun intended) of robust debate amongst aficionados. Traditionally iridium has been the tip material of choice, expertly welded to the nib. Nib alloys can include osmium, silver, copper, rhodium, tungsten and platinum.

    Pen Size:

    The general rule of thumb governing pen size is directly proportional to the users hand size, the larger or smaller the hand, the larger or smaller the pen size. Pen thickness also comes into play as some writers find a pen that is too thick to be unwieldy. Similarly, a pen that is too thin can cause a fair amount of hand fatigue. It should also be noted that pen size does not necessarily refer to the capacity of the pen to store ink as this is governed by reservoir type, for example, plunger fillers hold more volume than cartridge or converter pens.

    Personal Aesthetics:

    Finally personal aesthetics play a major part in the decision making process. This refers to the type of material that the pen body is made from as well as the overall visual appeal. While some may say that this is the least relevant consideration, others will argue to the contrary. A beguiling pen can inspire the imagination and get the creative juices flowing in the right direction.

    Ranging from very affordable to exclusively luxurious and expensive, there is a wide choice. Today, the use of ABS plastics create a cheaper range of pens. However, a high class fountain pen can be found in finer, more exotic materials such as gold, sterling silver, platinum, rare woods, animal bone, brass and more.

    Fountain pen and ink

    Unique designs and theme-related pens make a great personal statement. Pens engraved with initials, monograms and special messages also set them apart from the rest.

    With all of these considerations at your disposal, making a decision should be more manageable. With careful thought and some serious deliberation, you should end up with a choice that suits both your needs and personality perfectly!

    To help you along, take a look at our selection of fountain pens here.

  • The Great National Stationery Week Giveaway!

    THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW ENDED.

    It is now less than two weeks to go until National Stationery Week and and as a participating retailer we have a special competition to celebrate.

    National Stationery Week

    It's pen related (of course) and everyone can get involved, all you have to do is tell us how many pens are in our enormous pen jar. Easy peasy right?

    You can enter here in the blog comments or over on our Facebook page. Entries must be in by the last day of National Stationery Week, May 1st and our winner will be announced the following week! It's one entry per person and you can check out the rest of the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of this page.

    NSW_competition

    As for the prize we suspect the fountain pen lovers out there will be very happy with what is on offer.

    This Diplomat Carisma Fountain Pen has a smooth, matte finish and is a stylish, modern product. It has a Medium-sized nib and is worth £59.99 (RRP), but it could be yours for free if you correctly guess the amount of pens in our jar.

    diplomatcarismaNow all that's left to do is get guessing! Simply leave your guess in the comment section below or over on our Facebook page.

    Terms and Conditions:
    One guess per person
    Competition ends May 1st
    Winner to be announced the following week
    If multiple people guess the correct answer, all of their names will put in to a hat and the winner will be drawn from there

  • The Lamy Safari Dark Lilac Collection is finally here!

    The rumours have been flying round since late last year and the long-awaited Lamy Safari Dark Lilac collection has finally arrived here at Executive Pens Direct!

    Lamy Dark LilacIn this Lamy Safari collection we have a Fountain Pen, Rollerball, Ballpoint and a matching Dark Lilac ink cartridge so your writing can be perfectly paired with the colour of your fountain pen. The pens are a beautiful deep purple shade with a matte finish and they have a black clip giving them a very different look from the traditional Safari.

    The fountain comes with a with a black nib that is available in four sizes: Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and Broad and you can buy additional nibs here if you like to chop and change between sizes.

    These Special Edition Lamy Safari's will be going live today so make sure you keep on checking back. We hope you love them as much as we do!

    lamylamyall lamyclip

    fountainlamyink

  • New Brands and Products Added to the Shop

    Readers of the blog will know we recently added Parker's new range of Premiumised Jotters to the site, as well as this we have a new brand to introduce and some other exciting products added to our previous collections.

    Firstly, we now have Faber-Castell Design all set up and ready to buy in the shop. Faber-Castell has a very long and interesting history which can be fully explored here, but in short the company was founded in 1761 in Nuremburg, Germany and is renowned for being the World’s largest pencil manufacturer.

    Faber-Castell Design

    The Faber-Castell business has been in the Faber family for eight generations and produces everything from markers and pencils for professional artists to luxury pens for the demanding consumer.

    The Design collection from Faber-Castell is aimed at satisfying the needs of Faber-Castell's customers and also providing elegant looking writing instruments that are perfect for giving as gifts. The range contains everything you could possibly need in a stationery collection; Fountain Pens, Rollerballs, Ballpoints, Mechanical and Standard Pencils and even Organisers.

    A common theme running through the collection is the use of wood, symbolising Faber-Castell's world-wide core competence. The use of wood is complemented beautifully by lustruous chrome trims and finishes, and it ensures each product is unique because of the natural variation of the wood used.

    Our next new additions are some offerings from Lamy to add to our Safari, Logo and AL-Star ranges. We have this lovely, tidy Lamy Logo Multipen and Notebook set which is perfect for journaling and jotting on the go. The versatile Multipen also gives you the option to use a ballpoint or pencil, whichever suits your needs best.

    Lamy Logo Gift Set

    These are just a few of our favourite new editions and you can get a proper look at them by simply clicking the image. The Al-Star Bluegreen Rollerball, also available as a Fountain Pen, may look familiar to some as it was a Special Edition colour in 2014 but now it is back and here to stay as a regular edition.

    Lamy Al-Star Bluegreen Rollerball Lamy Safari Green Fountain PenLamy Al-Star Black Purple Fountain Pen Lamy Safari Neon Pink Fountain Pen

    To be in the know about all of our new additions make sure you follow the blog, add us on Facebook or join us on Twitter.

     

  • The Low Down on National Stationery Week

    In a world where many of us now rely on our computer and typing skills more than our handwriting, National Stationery Week is here to remind us all about the importance of handwriting and keeping it alive for ourselves and for our younger generations.

    National Stationery Week

    A study commissioned by National Stationery Week and carried out by YouGov revealed 92% of adults think that writing by hand is important and 97% think it is important to teach our children to write.

    That's why in this special week dedicated to stationery we celebrate the pens, pencils, notebooks and other tools that allow us to write, draw and create in our professions and hobbies. We agree with the NSW team that you can never have too much stationery!

    This is our first year as a participating retailer for the campaign and we have a very exciting competition planned for all of our stationery loving readers.

    More news about that to come in the next few weeks so keep an eye on our Facebook and blog.

    With a whole week to celebrate National Stationery Week there are plenty of ways that you can get involved at home.

    Join in online by using these hashtags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and embrace the 7 Days of Stationery by writing thank you notes on Thursday 28th, and telling us all about your favourite items of stationery on World Stationery Day in the blog comment section or over on our Facebook page.

    The Seven Days of Stationery

    Whatever you do this National Stationery Week make sure to spread the word to everyone you know, that Writing Matters!

     

  • The Executive Pens Direct Easter Egg Hunt

    We are getting ready for Easter here at Executive Pens Direct HQ and to treat all of our lovely customers we are running an Easter competition full of great discounts!

    easter_banner

    Every order placed from today until the 28th March will receive an Easter egg with their parcel which entitles them to either 5%, 10% or 15% off. As well as this, three lucky folk will receive a GOLDEN egg that gives them 25% on the site!

    As they say you've go to be in it to win it.

    If you need a little Easter Gift-spiration why not check out the categories below.

    engravedcatbannersilver_pens_cat_bannerkoh_i_noor_banner

    Terms and Conditions:
    One use per customer
    No minimum order
    Up to a max of £1000
    Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers
    Discount code must be used before May 21st 2016
    For more info see our full terms and conditions

  • Brand New Parkers for 2016 - The Premiumisation of the Jotter

    We have BIG news for all of you Parker lovers out there, the Jotter has been redesigned and given a luxurious, premium look for 2016.

    parker_jotter_bannerAfter having undergone what Parker is referring to as a Premiumisation, the new Parker Jotter is made completely from metal unlike the previous part-plastic counterparts and it has coloured barrels in a range of to-die-for colours. We have two new Jotter collections, the Core and the Premium with a total of 10 new Jotters to tempt and tease you.

    In the Premium collection we have West End Gold, Bond Street Black and Diagonal Stainless Steel. The main design features for this range were taken from the history of the Jotter and previous crafted cap and barrel patterns that have been used on the Jotters since they first arrived on the scene in 1954.

    The Core collection we have chosen to showcase comprises seven Jotters, all inspired by London and its many Tube stations. In the image you can see (left to right): Kensington Red, Chelsea Orange, Portobello Purple, Waterloo Blue, Royal Blue, Bond Street Black and Victoria Violet.

    jotters

    These new for 2016 collections have given a new life to the Jotter, reinventing it as a more luxurious looking pen that is still perfect for everyday writing as well as for giving as a gift on those special occasions.

    Despite these exciting changes the Jotter's signature click that we hear when extending the nib is still embedded in the design and Parker's Quickflow® technology is still present ensuring we can still enjoy that smooth, consistent writing performance that we are accustomed to with Parker products.

    A perfect blend of an iconic style and a contemporary design, the new Parker Jotters are up to date and would fit perfectly in the palm of the young professionals and fashion-conscious writers who seek a classy looking pen that is reliable and ideal for on the go, day-to-day writing.

    With the collection set to drop in April, we are fortunate to already have a few in stock: the Premium Bond Street Black and the Core Chelsea Orange, Kensington Red and Bond Street Black.

    1953202_11953189_1  1953187_11953184

    Simply follow the links above or check out our New Parker Jotter category, to shop these products and keep your eyes peeled for more announcements regarding the other new colours.

  • Platinum Modern Maki-e Collection

    We have some new, beautifully crafted additions to the site in the form of Platinum's Modern Maki-e fountain and rollerball pens. All decorated with intricate details by using a traditional Japanese technique called Maki-e, these pens are truly unique creations.

    To celebrate their arrival we decided to find out a little bit more about Maki-e and what the designs on the pens mean and symbolize in Japanese culture.

    Maki-e Bowl

    The literal translation of Maki-e is 'sprinkled picture' as the process involves Japanese lacquer being sprinkled with gold or silver powder to create the decorative design. With Platinum's Modern Maki-e range, the intricate art is created by combining screen printing and the use of real gold powder by the Maki-e craftsmen.

    To find out more and see the process and secrets of Maki-e check out this video.

    In the Platinum Modern Maki-e Collection there are six pens available, three fountain pens and three rollerballs with three different designs available for the pens.

    Modern Maki-eThe designs showcase two Cranes with Mt. Fuji, a Phoenix and a Bush Warbler in a plum tree, three very traditional and symbolic images in Japanese culture. The Crane or 'bird of happiness' is said to represent longevity, good fortune and the wings of the crane were said to carry souls up to paradise.

    The phoenix is seen as a messenger of good will and is a very positive symbol of high virtue and grace, it is also said to represent the unity of yin and yang and is a symbol of the imperial house.

    A favourite motif in Japanese poetry, the bush warbler is often associated with ume or 'plum' blossom. It is also a symbol of spring and in Japanese tradition the ume is often seen as a protective charm against evil.

    The dedication that goes in to the Maki-e art form is simply amazing and it shows that this traditional, historic craft still has a place in creating awe in the modern world. To shop the Modern Maki-e collection just click here.

  • The Art of Colouring In: A review of Berol pens

    A household name in the stationary world, Berol pens are the ones we remember using at school and wishing we had at home, but when tested against each other which of the Berol colouring pens comes up trumps?

    We got together four different types of Berol pens and did a little colouring in to find out.

    The competitors were Berol Colourbrush, Colourfine, Hand Huggers and Colourbroad and first up to the test were the Colourbrush pens.

    These pens are designed with a brush style fibre tip, similar to that of an artists' paint brush so that fine lines can be achieved when using the tip but when used at an acute angle a much broader line is produced. The line width on the Colourbrush pens is 1.5mm making it bigger than the Colourfine pens but smaller than the Hand Huggers and Colourbroads.

    Berol ColourbrushWhen using these pens we found you have to be gentle when wanting detailed lines and slightly firmer for a thicker block of colour where more colouring in is required. This makes the Colourbrush quite versatile and economic as you can achieve both detail and general colouring with just one pen.

    Berol ColourfineFor more detailed colouring and writing the Berol weapon of choice would often be the Colourfine pens. These were great for controlled colouring such as trying to stay within the lines but also effective for larger areas of colouring despite some initial doubts. Colouring more substantial areas does take longer with the Colourfine pens but it does generally look very neat and there aren't many white gaps showing through the ink.

    Next up in our test were the Hand Huggers which are designed with young children learning to colour and write in mind. These are also available as pencils and have an ergonomic shape to encourage the correct grip when writing and drawing as well as reducing any hand strain. The Hand Huggers have a line width of 1.7mm just like the Colourbroad pens so the colouring experience with both was quite similar, the only difference being less hand strain when using the Hand Huggers.

    Berol Hand HuggersMoving on to the Colourbroads, these quickly coloured in larger areas on the page but it was quite difficult trying to fill in smaller, more detailed parts of the picture and trying not to go out of the lines often resulted in white gaps on the page. One thing we did find interesting about the Colourbroads was that the ink can be worked with a wet brush in order to create a subtle wash of colour.

    Berol ColourbroadOverall, the Berol pens we found best value for money and easiest to use are the Colourbrush and Colourfine pens. The Colourbrushes as they allow variety in creating thin and thick lines and the Colourfines as they allow for detailed colouring and provide a more opaque ink coverage on the page. Next would be the Hand Huggers which only exceed the Colourbroads because of how comfortable they are to hold, making them ideal for longer colouring sessions. Finally are the Colourbroads which are great for colouring, but we would recommend them for large colouring tasks or poster making as their thick line width is great for making words stand out. A larger colouring area would also allow you to fully embrace the technique of using them with a wet brush to create more subtle areas of colour.

    Berol pen comparison

    All of these Berol pens contain washable ink which will wash out of most fabrics and the Colourbroads, Colourfines and Colourbrushes can all be left uncapped for up to 14 days without drying out, making them perfect for at school and at home.

  • Perfect Mother's Day Pens

    When your mother has all the stunning accessories for her designer outfits, she needs only one more item. A fabulous designer pen this Mother's Day!

    Tapping away on your mobile or laptop is fine, but nothing beats a real classic writing instrument. Serious business reports, your personal journal, doodling around on a cold day in front of the fire, a special invitation, all get taken to the next level with a high-class designer pen.

    Forget those images of school days with grubby and leaky ink pens staining your fingers and clothes. Our exclusive range of pens offers writing instruments of exceptional quality with precision engineering, fabulous designs and eye-catching colours.

     Choose your style of writing tip, we offer rollerball, fountain pen or ballpoint. Do you enjoy the feeling of a click on a ballpoint before you sign that huge deal? Perhaps a vintage ink pot and fountain nib is your unique characteristic. The luxurious smooth flow of a rollerball may enthral! Mix and match to suit your mood.

     Our range includes a selection of beautiful ladies pens, crafted slimmer for a smaller hand and perfect for slipping into a gorgeous handbag or purse.

     Be bright and fun during the day with an iconic Parker Jotter Pen. Offering a combination of hot pink and stainless steel, it is sure to uplift your mood. We can engrave this pen with your personal initials, name or nickname in a stylish font of your choice.Parker Pink JotterFor a night on the town, nothing less than Swarovski Crystals will do. Our Laban Swarovski Slim Line Crystal Ballpoint is elegant and exquisitely designed. Crafted from 925 sterling silver, it features a clip smothered with inlaid crystals. It is thoughtfully designed too, for beautifully balanced handwriting.

    Laban Swarovski For something to go with your little black number, take a peek at our ultra slim and ultra attractive, Ohto Ceramic Fine Slim Black Rollerball Pen. Ohto is a world renowned brand name, exuding class and charisma due to the Japanese culture of perfection and attention to the smallest detail. This model features fabulous sleek cap/barrel joints and offers a ceramic ball for impossibly smooth writing. Take it out of your purse during dinner to note down a scrumptious dessert recipe, you are sure to raise a few eyebrows.

     If gold mesmerises you, consider another option in our Ohto collection. The Ohto Slimline Gold Ballpoint Pen is resplendent in old gold, lightweight at only 8.8g and easy to use with an extra fine tip.

    Ohto Ceramic Black Ohto Slimline Gold

     If you are looking for a gift for a special lady, most of our classy pens come packaged in equally classy gift boxes. They can also be engraved adding that extra special touch!

     Browse through our selection of pens and you are certain to find that special one waiting for you.

  • Troika Pens – Innovative, Functional Design for the Digital Age

    Troika pens are taking the world by storm through a dedicated desire to create writing implements that embody equal measures of functionality and streamlined elegance. Troika pens appeal to a broad spectrum of users including everyone from artisans and tradesmen to executives and everyday people needing a reliable, well-constructed pen that still reflects their individual sense of style, personality and purpose.

    Troika

    Great ideas and humble beginnings

    Troika GmbH, like so many innovative companies, began life in 1992 in a residential house in Hattert, Germany with just five employees. Liudger Bӧll, the founder of Troika, had a vision to create a line of high-quality executive gifts and accessories for professional clientèle and corporate identities, with an additional focus on functional gifts such as pens and desk accessories.

    A focus on exclusive writing instruments

    Troika extended their design philosophy to a product that had already existed for hundreds of years and challenged themselves to come up with new and innovative writing instruments that would re-ignite the imagination of the user. True to their name, Troika pens are available in three variants: traditional and elegant fountain pens, utilitarian ballpoint pens and the modern compromise of the rollerball pen.

    A few of our favourite pens

    Unlike other pen brands where the pen is, well, just a pen, Troika have incorporated multiple-functionality into a single design, making their brand of pens the envy of other, simpler designs.

    Consider, for instance, the clever functionality of Troika’s “Construction” ball point pen, designed expressly for men who need to measure or fix things at a moment’s notice. The clever design features a ruler etched along the pen barrel, not just for decorative purposes mind you, the ruler is accurate and can be used in a pinch when nothing else is at hand. The pen is constructed from brass and steel and has the weight of a tool. The pen also features a spirit level and a built-in screwdriver, cleverly hidden beneath a capacitive stylus that can be used with tablets and other touchscreen devices. The hexagonal barrel is also available in a range of colour options.

    Troika Construction PenThe “Hanging Pen” is a great example of Troika’s ability to move with the times with a combination ballpoint and stylus in one. The perfect solution for executives who need to be able to utilise digital media just as quickly as signing a contract in real ink, this model is available in elegant carbon and steel complete with a silver chain. Of course, it’s not always about functionality and design economy, sometimes it really is all about looks. Troika understands the importance of individual style and have created a range of pens that epitomise this ethos.

    Troika customers enjoy a choice of finishes, timeless colours and clever art-pop designs such as the “Cassette Tape” pen or “Goethes Signature”. Other trendy and whimsical designs, guaranteed to capture the heart of anyone looking for a pen that resonates with their personality, are also available here.

    Troika Music Tapes Troika Goethes Signatur

  • Gift Ideas for the Frequent Traveller

    Know someone who is always on an adventure or jetting off to somewhere exotic? We have picked our favourite travel related products that we think would make the best gifts for the person in your life with a strong sense of wanderlust.

    For The Writer

    If they love to travel and write then this collection of gifts are sure to make them smile and keep them writing throughout their travels.

    Everyone needs somewhere to write and this Large World Map Journal combines the love of travel and journalling making it the perfect travelling companion. Made from stunning soft Italian leather, this quality piece is made for holding all of the stories of your adventures and travelling tales. Available with lined or unlined paper it is a wonderful gift for writers and even those who love to draw and doodle.wmlppWhy not pair the journal with one of these practical and attractive pens?

    Firstly we have the classic Fisher Space Bullet pen which has been modified to be attached to a lanyard. Matte black in colour and small in size, this petite pen is an excellent travelling pen as it can write over greasy or wet paper, underwater, upside down, in high and low temperatures and of course in zero gravity space conditions.

    The Fisher Lanyard also means you'll always have this pen handy, ready to jot down your diary entries or important travel details. This pen is engravable so why not get the recipients name engraved for something truly bespoke and personal.

    PEN10-SI F400B-JRLBK_1

    If you're looking for something a little bigger then this Troika World in Your Hand Rollerball with world map motif could be the one for you. This pen features a robust brushed metal barrel and the contour of the pen with it's handy metal pocket clip ensures it will lie perfectly balanced in the writers hand. With this pen you really can take the world into your own hands.

    For The Jet-Setting Business Buff

    If your friend or loved one is always on the go making business deals and trying to make the best impression, why not help them along the way with a personalised engraved business card holder. This Giorgio card holder is sleek and simple yet looks more than professional when engraved with a name or business logo. With this product they will always have business cards at hand for important meetings or events and everyone is bound to be impressed by their classy, personalised card holder.

    giorgioTo match their business card holder why not treat them to a high-class pen to match. Renown for their stunning Sterling Silver writing instruments, Waldmann pens are easy to carry around in a jacket pocket or bag and are the height of class.cosmorbWe think this Cosmo Rollerball collection matches the Giorgio card case perfectly and can also be engraved to create a chic and smart matching set.

    Travel gifts for all

    If you know someone whose organisation skills when travelling leave you worried, then why not make sure they have everything where they need it with this Leather Travel Wallet.

    With handy slots for their passport, money and any tickets they need, they'll always know where to find their holiday essentials without rummaging through their pockets and bag.

    travelwallettag

    We would also suggest this Metro Luggage Tag, simplistic but essential in the airport when trying to find your suitcase on the conveyor belt. It only shows your name but when the strap is removed all of your details will be revealed should your suitcase ever become lost on your travels. The tag is also engravable and could be personalised with a message from a loved one back at home.

    This last gift is an excellent choice for those who spend a lot of time away from home or simply want to keep their loved ones close wherever they are. The Medallion Photo Keyring is perfect for keeping photos of your family and friends with you wherever you go but in a subtle and clever way.

    photokeyTwo photographs can be inserted into the case and the high shine polished finished means this keyring is also perfect for engraving to add your own unique touch to a special gift.

  • Get ready to draw and donate this National Doodle Day

    Something we do while on the phone or in a meeting, doodling is often overlooked as a childish action rather than something productive that can harness our creativity and focus.

    pencil-690050_640

    The truth according to Sunni Brown however is that doodling "opens us up to greater insights, better information retention and higher levels of concentration, getting us closer to those coveted “a-ha” moments". Doodling helps us unclutter our minds leaving plenty of room for all of the important information we need to take in at that particular moment.

    As well as all of these benefits, we can doodle to raise awareness and help people suffering from epilepsy with National Doodle Day on Friday 5th February.doodle-day_logoOrganised by Epilepsy Action, the aim of National Doodle Day is to get everyone doodling and donating to help the people and families who are affected. The Doodle Day website says that by doing so, your support will ensure that the 600,000 people living with epilepsy have access to specialist advice, quality healthcare and can live free of stigma, prejudice and discrimination.

    To help you get doodling we've put together some of our doodle essentials, simply click the image the see the products in full.

    Paper Mate Inkjoy 100 Berol Colourbrush Felt Tips Koh-I-Noor Jumbo Magic Pencils Sharpie Metallic Markers Paper Mate Replay Gel Pens Koh-I-Noor Versatil 5353

    Plenty of celebrities also get involved with the event and there is even an auction between 5-7th February to buy your favourite celebrities doodle. You can check out all of the celebrity doodles here.

    To find out and more about National Doodle Day and to to donate check out this page.

     

     

  • Calligraphy Sets for Wedding Invitations

    Planning a wedding is notoriously hectic, with a million and one things to think about it can be a nightmare to keep track of everything.

    Making personalised wedding invitations yourself is a great way to avoid one of the stresses of planning weddings: worrying about whether the invites will be delivered in time and if they will be as you wanted.

    With our range of calligraphy sets and fine stationary you can stay in complete control and create a beautiful wedding invite that is designed exactly how you want with a unique personal touch.

    wood pen ink well

    We also have a stunning range of wax seals that could be used to seal the invitation by using a wax that matches your wedding colours for an even more personal approach, this works especially well if you are hand delivering your invites.

    By hand making your wedding invitations you can also personalise them further than you could if you bought them in bulk. You could add a personal message to your close family and friends, letting each of them know in your own way how much you want them to be at your big day.

    Our Original Crown Mill Paper is the ideal tool for writing on and there are plenty of haberdasheries around to buy ribbons, flowers and other accessories that you might need to achieve your desired design of wedding invitation.

    crown mill paper

    Not only is this a great way to relieve stress, it is also a nice way for you and your partner to spend some time together and will give you time to discuss other important details that can so easily get overlooked.

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