Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Montblanc and…Montblanc

For the next several days a few hours can happily be devoted to reading the latest issue of my favorite magazine, Stationery Hobby Box, or Shumi no bungu bako. Volume 22 arrived on Monday, thanks to my ever faithful friend Kumiko and now a smorgasbord of new and upcoming stationery treasures are mine to dream about. It continues to be one of my regrets that life outside of Tokyo has made the riches of this magazine a painful tease, reminding me that what was once available a mile or two from my front door is now mostly out of reach. But in their way, stationery dreams are good too.

Surprisingly, on first look this issue does not have a whole lot that excites me. There have been times when my desire for a new release of ink, pen, or notebook has been hard to bear, knowing that none of it will ever reach me in this Florida beachtown un-attuned to the ways of pen and ink. So far, little in the sumptuous pages of Volume 22 has set my head spinning, but the satisfaction of just looking at pictures and reading the stories brings an agreeable buzz.

The cover this time shows a picture of the new Aurora Mar Tirreno fountain pen, a limited edition of only 480 in a green that is said to reflect the Tyrrhenian Sea and the forests that grow along Italy’s western coast from the island of Elba to Sicily. Most interesting so far is the article on pen cases and those chosen by a handful of prominent Japanese writers and illustrators. It sent me searching online for Japanese stores offering a particular pen case, the oddly named Delphonics Carrying model. More often than not the articles list a store or website that offer the item on display, but not this time. I managed to find the pen case on one site, but then found it excluded from the store’s online inventory. Good side is, that exclusion will save me $68.00.

The picture above gives a partial view of the Delphonics pen case, one that is quite a bit larger than the average pen case. The large Japanese characters at the bottom of the picture mean pretty much what the small English and red arrow to the left say: Check out [this] pen case!

Listed at $4,000, the newest addition to Montblanc’s series of famous name fountain pens is the Alfred Hitchcock, shown in the picture below. The pen also comes in a rollerball version for a little bit less than the fountain pen. These photos strike me as not quite up to par, since they offer no view of Mr Hitchcock’s signature, a feature standard on all of the famous name pens from Montblanc. Not a very inventive photo layout, very surprising in a magazine renown for its high quality and artful photographs.

The third thing that caught my interest is also from Montblanc, and is another of their new ink releases. This too is called Alfred Hitchcock, and is a bottle in the smaller size of 30 milliliters, but at the usual price of $25.00. This small size is not anything new with Montblanc ink, and usually indicates a limited edition. Experience tells me that in three months or so this ink will be sold out and hard to come by. Maybe a trip to the Montblanc store a couple of hours away should be added to the calendar. The color is exceptional, even for one already swimming in red ink.


  1. That $4,000 pen looks to be just what you need! But, the ink you should get even though you are swimming in red ink because when it is unavailable you'll regret it.

  2. The colors are to die for. Well, almost. At least they are enough to make me want to return to work just to have the wherewithal . . .especially that green.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America