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Newsletter of The Onoto Pen Company

July 2008

Welcome to the latest issue of The Onotoist, the newsletter of The Onoto Pen Company, issued to keep you in touch with what’s happening in the world of Onoto.
 
There’s so much to tell you, it’s difficult to know where to start – but here goes! I hope you enjoy the information. If you would like to make a contribution to the next newsletter or have a story about a vintage or modern Onoto you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

David Cooper's signiature
  pen

Editor
Email: david@onoto.com

 

 New release

 

 The classic Magna – resurrected…

The 1937 Onoto Magna has long been considered one of the most iconic of English pens. For many connoisseurs it is the classic fountain pen. Since resuscitating Onoto in 2005, we have received many enquiries from collectors and pen aficionados around the world asking if we would be recreating the Magna.
 
We are delighted to reveal the results of our deliberations! Here is the ‘new’ Onoto version of the classic Magna. It retains the same style and shape as its 1937 forebear, but in keeping with our 21st century vision for Onoto, this time it’s manufactured in hallmarked sterling silver in small limited editions. There are 3 versions – in classic sterling silver, in rich silver gilt (vermeil) and in magnificent 18 carat gold.
 
www.onoto.com/magna.asp
 

Product 1

 New release

 

 …alongside the elegant Excel

Product 2

Many of our customers have expressed the need for a smaller and lighter Onoto, so we have created The Excel which weighs in at just 58 grams compared to 90 grams for the Magna.
 
Available in sterling silver, silver gilt and 18 ct gold, the Excel has the same classic shape as the Magna and is a beautifully balanced pen. 
 
www.onoto.com/excel.asp
 

 New release

 

 An acrylic adventure - the new Magna Writer

You can't say we don't listen to our customers! In the past 3 years, so many vintage Onoto owners have asked us to produce a new acrylic pen that we have decided to put it to the test.
 
The result is the stunning Magna Writer. Available in two colours (Midnight Black and Ultramarine Blue) with sterling silver fittings and 18 ct gold Onoto nib, this is every inch an Onoto in the traditional style. It even has "ONOTO THE PEN" engraved on the barrel! Competitively priced, The Magna Writer honours great British writers across the centuries who have provided a wealth of inspiration for us all.
Each pen comes with a range of blotters bearing famous British writers' quotations.
 
www.onoto.com/magnawriter.asp

product 3
 

 Maruzen - an old friend

 

When we relaunched Onoto in 2005, we were immediately struck by the amount of interest in our pens from Japan. A little research revealed that Onoto had been a popular brand in Japan almost since its launch in 1905. The reasons for its popularity were understandable, given the Japanese-sounding name – a stroke of marketing genius on the part of the De La Rue group – and its promotion by Maruzen, a large store group based in Tokyo.
 
The Japanese company had made its name by importing Burberry overcoats from England at the end of the 19th century. They also imported a large number of English language books and the store soon became the haunt of Japan’s academic elite. When Onoto came into being in 1905, Maruzen quickly took on the brand which probably found favour with the academics because of its English origins and Japanese-sounding name.
 

Product 4
Onoto soon became established as a favoured brand in Japan and by 1915 it was reported that thousands of Japanese writers gave up their brush pens and switched to fountain pens thanks largely to Onoto. 
 
Re-establishing contact with old friends is always a pleasant experience – and so it has proved with Maruzen! An exclusive distribution deal has been signed and the strong trading links between the two companies which existed at the beginning of the 20th Century, have been successfully re-established.
 

 Onoto in the heart of London

 

Visitors to London can now see our full range of pens at Penfriend, based in the Burlington Arcade, off Piccadilly, right in the heart of London. Tel: 0207 499 6337
 

 - in Canada

 

Phidon Pens in Cambridge, Ontario have recently started stocking Onoto pens. Indeed, Onoto has been one of the main features of their launch programme. Tel: 519 624 8787
 

 - in Singapore

 

Elephant & Coral is our exclusive stockist in Singapore. Call in to chat to Herman Chan about the Onoto range. Tel: 65 6736 1322
 

 - and soon, in the USA

 

We are currently in discussion with a distributor in the USA who will provide the essential link between our UK production and retailers across the USA. Watch this space for details!
 

 Passion and betrayal - the story of Lord Nelson and
 Emma Hamilton

Product 5

Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, England’s hero at Trafalgar, has been a lifelong source of inspiration and admiration for James Boddy, Chairman of Onoto. Indeed, they went to the same Norfolk school - but not at the same time!
 
In 2003, James was searching for a manufacturer for a Horatio Nelson fountain pen to celebrate the bicentenary of the famous British Admiral’s great battle against the French and Spanish at Trafalgar.
 
By a twist of fate, James was introduced to an American pen-collecting historian, Richard Leigh, (incidentally, Richard is co-author of ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail’) who told him the history of Onoto. A British company to produce a British pen?

James was hooked and shortly after, he bought the company and re-started manufacturing high quality Onoto fountain pens! The Horatio Nelson pen has been issued in a limited worldwide edition of 100 pieces. The pen is crafted from a special version of sterling silver which contains a percentage of historic copper from HMS Victory. This exclusive material, trademarked as ‘Victory Silver’, means that every pen contains a direct historic link to Nelson and Trafalgar.
 
The pen is richly decorated with gilded silver and cobalt blue vitreous enamel over a guilloché engraved cap and fluted silver barrel.
 
Alongside Horatio Nelson, is the Emma Hamilton pen, also produced in an edition of 100 pieces in Victory Silver decorated with powder blue enamel and silver gilt embellishments. As Nelson’s mistress, Emma, Lady Hamilton, was never accepted by the English establishment, despite Nelson’s death-bed request that his King and Country should look after her. Within months of Nelson’s death, Emma was on her way to debtor’s jail and she died penniless in France a few years later.
 
By producing pens which celebrate the lives of Nelson and Emma, side by side for the first time in 200 years, The Onoto Pen Company honours Nelson’s dying wish that Emma should be given the respect she deserved.
 
www.onoto.com/trafalgar.asp

 The perfect gift for dancers and ballet lovers

Commissioned by the Royal Ballet and using a number of their design icons to capture the essence of modern ballet, Onoto has crafted 6 exquisite pens (2 designs in 3 colours each) in hallmarked sterling silver which have found favour with dancers and ballet lovers alike. Each version is being issued in a limited edition of 75, and incorporates the design in vitreous enamel over guilloché engraved sterling silver.
 
The pens are also available to order in 18 carat gold.
 
www.onoto.com/ballet.asp

Product 6
 

 At last, the Onoto Ink range and pen cases


Another piece of the Onoto jigsaw fell into place last week with Onoto ink now on sale for the first time in more than 50 years. Not all stockists will have a full range at the moment, but you can order online from www.onoto.com/accessories.asp
 
There is a stunning range of 7 colours: Woodland Green, Sapphire Blue, Quartz Black, Mediterranean Blue, Passion Red, Deep Magenta and Golden Brown.
 
We also have available on the website two black leather pen cases, made exclusively for Onoto. These sturdy pen cases protect your precious pens from the bumps and scrapes you might otherwise expect in everyday usage.
 
Available in two sizes (Standard to fit Emma, Aspirations and Excel pens and Large to fit Centenary, Nelson, Contemporary and Magna pens), these pen cases are an inexpensive way to carry your pens and keep them in perfect condition.
 
www.onoto.com/accessories.asp

 

 Your FREE Onoto catalogue

 

I know many of you like to have printed material to read and review, so you'll be delighted with the brand new Onoto catalogue. If you would like to receive a copy, click here and let us have your postal address. We'll send a copy to you by return.

Yes, please send me a FREE Onoto catalogue

 

 Upcoming -

 

The first half of 2008 has been really exciting for Onoto and the second half of the year looks to be equally frantic with a number of new designs on the slates as well as showing our full range at some of the big US events. We hope to see you there!
More details in the next issue!
 

 P.S

 

David Cooper has recently written ‘A Brief History of Onoto’ which is available to view online at Hubpages:  http://www.hubpages.com/hub/A-Brief-History-of-Onoto-Pens
 


 

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© The Onoto Pen Company Registered address:
Colney Hall, Colney, Norwich NR4 7TY
United Kingdom www.onoto.com
Registered No. 3744683
+44 (0)1603 811165