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Montegrappa was founded under the slogan “Manifattura pennini d’oro e penne stilografiche” (“Maker of gold nibs and fountain pens”) in 1912. Its products are still manufactured in the original factory on the river Brenta, in Bassano del Grappa—near Vicenza, in the North-East of Italy. During the First World War Bassano was a centre of military operations. Among the many soldiers who used the company’s pens (Elmo at that time) for their correspondence were two celebrated 20th-century writers, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos, who had both volunteered for service as ambulance drivers.
The company was at its high point in the 1930s. It was a period when the fountain pen became widespread and the products of the House of Bassano met the taste of the public with their sober design, the variety of their colours and materials (among the first to use celluloid and galalith), the operation of their technical solutions, and the originality and precision of their manufacturing techniques.
Other Montegrappa products are watches, cufflinks, pockets of leather, fragrances and accessories. The Montegrappa company is owned by Aquila’s family: Sylvester Stallone and the ex-F1 Ferrari driver Jean Alesi are also partners and members of the board for P.R. and communication.
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“For more than a century, a family company nested in the Italian Dolomites has remained relentlessly curious about perfecting the deeply personal – often magical – relationship between paper and the human mind.
Since beginning our quest for perfection in 1912, we have watched words – and the countless hours devoted to them – become devalued by abundance. ‘Progress’ has often come at the price of values, meaning and truth. Far from representing a suspension of progress, Montegrappa pens exist so that connoisseurs of thought and devotees of words may savour the luxury of slowing time down.
Many of our friends and rivals delight in celebrating pens as relics of days gone by. With the greatest of respect, we beg to differ. Whereas others portray themselves as keepers of tradition, Montegrappa remains steadfastly committed to the tradition of innovation.”