BEST OF BOTH WORLDS – SAILOR FOR MONTEGRAPPA
East-West fusion takes on a new form as two titans of writing unite in a rare collaboration. Italian passion unites with Japanese precision for the limited edition Ammiraglio 1939.
Like any true aficionado, writing enthusiasts are seldom likely to characterise their preferences in simplistic, binary terms. Whereas casual fans will freely opine about their favourite product/maker/provenance, depth of appreciation makes connoisseurs more sensitive to subtlety and diversity. Defining perfection depends entirely on context. Different situations require different solutions: one may be better for everyday use, another for special occasions.
It is precisely this polemic that has allowed both Montegrappa and Sailor to build legions of passionate followers without any notion of contradiction or rivalry. Now, a historic new collaboration between two fabled makers promises writing insiders a new kind of nirvana by combining Japan’s most desirable nibs with Italy’s most exhilarating pens. The Ammiraglio 1939 fuses 215 years of combined experience into a pen that truly captures the best of both worlds.
Throughout more than a century of mechanical fountain pen production, few national industries have obtained a more enviable status than those of Italy and Japan. Within this schema, Montegrappa and Sailor are widely acknowledged as leaders. Each was the first to commercialise fountain pens in their respective countries – Sailor Pen in 1911, Montegrappa in 1912. And while both are known as staunch defenders of traditional craftsmanship, each has been instrumental in setting standards for reference-level quality and performance within the world of fine writing.
Montegrappa C.E.O. and Creative Director, Giuseppe Aquila, initiated the project on a visit to Japan in 2017. “We feel honoured that Sailor Pen consented to share the very best of their craft with us,” he explains. “Both of us realise the value connoisseurs place on rarity and nuance, and the potential of this project to bring intrigue and delight to the equation.”
Referencing the Italian for ‘Admiral’, the Ammiraglio 1939 pairs an extremely limited consignment of ultra-precision, 18k gold Sailor nibs with Montegrappa’s patented piston-fill system. To accommodate their unconventional six-millimetre width, technicians in Bassano del Grappa reengineered a 1939 design from the company’s private museum – its selection a tribute to an era many regard as the golden age of personal correspondence.
To realise the exterior of the Ammiraglio 1939, no detail has been overlooked. Richly ornamented 0.925 sterling silver trims decorate a luxurious body hand-carved from premium Mazzucchelli celluloid and emblazoned with the period-correct Monte Grappa insignia. Weight, balance and finishing have been optimised to Montegrappa’s exacting standards.
Those accustomed to Montegrappa’s unique handle will be delighted to find a range of six nib grades on offer, including Sailor’s idiosyncratic Medium-Fine and Zoom sizes: a delightful deviation from European norms.
As is to be expected from a pen more than a century in the making, availability is extremely limited. Referencing eighty years since the model’s introduction, the Ammiraglio 1939 fountain pen is available as a limited edition of only 80 units in each of the following celluloid colors: Butterfly, Glittering Blue, Charcoal, Malachite and Turtle Brown.