very latest issue from Onoto is the Magna Classic range. It's based
on the original 1937 Magna shape and style and is available in 3
colours initially (with more to come!):
Black and Sterling
Silver - a truly classical look
Blue and Gold - a vintage colour
Sterling Silver and Gold - the epitome of good taste
We have recreated one of the most famous features of the
original 1937 classical styling by featuring 3 cap bands (all
sterling silver, two thinner bands separated by a broader band). On
the Black/Silver and Blue/Gold versions, the middle thicker cap band
is hallmarked with the Onoto Pen Company maker's mark, and the
Birmingham Assay Office Mark of the Anchor, and "925" Sterling
Silver standard, and the year letter.
All Magna Classic pens
have the famous "Onto The Pen, Made in England" engraved on the
barrel as a link to our heritage and the tens of thousands of Onoto
pens made in the last century.
Images of the Blue/Gold,
Black/Silver and Silver/Gold Magna Classics are shown below.
You may also be interested to read what
world-renowned nib "guru" Richard Binder had to say about his Magna
Classic on Fountain
Pen Network (The Old, The New, The "Done Right")
pen shops in India and Australia - countries which have long
histories of selling Onoto - have recently joined the swell of
stockists asking for our pens.
In India, the impressive
Editions group are now promoting Onoto in their
Delhi and Chennai stores, while in Australia, the equally impressive
Pen-Ultimate chain with several stores in Sydney
and in Brisbane have also taken delivery of their first stocks of
In Japan, stationery group Maruzen,
which has been selling Onoto pens in its 20+ stores since 1909, is
not only selling the Magna 261, but has ordered its own special
version of the Magna Classic in a limited edition of just 50 pens.
A surprise visitor to the London Pen Show at the beginning
of October was Herman Chan, owner of Singapore
retailer Elephant & Coral who has been stocking
Onoto since 2006. It was good to see you Herman!
Birthday, Mr President!"
part of the celebrations to commemorate the 30th 'birthday' of the
UK's prestigious Writing Equipment Society, Onoto has been
commissioned to create an exclusive limited edition pen. The
President's Pen not only celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the
Society, but also the retirement of its president, Dr Geoff Roe, in
Geoff has been a stalwart of the Society since its
inauguration in 1980 and having an exclusive Onoto issued in his
honour is no more than he deserves. Anyone who has been involved in
the pen/writing industry in the UK over the past 30 years could not
fail to be impressed by Geoff's wholehearted dedication to WES and
For full details of the WES
President's pen, go to www.londonshownews.cathedralpens.co.uk/page7.html
not join WES?
If anyone on the Onoto list would like to
join the Writing Equipment Society (and we think you should: It's a
marvellous organisation with a hugely popular and worthwhile
magazine published 4 times a year) - go to http://www.wesonline.org.uk/
Rue for the first Onoto pen, here's another wheel-related article.
This time it's a little less "off the wall" - much more "on the
the early days of Onoto (1905 onwards) the principal method of
distributing pens to retailers, particularly those in and around
London, was by van. This extraordinary vehicle, from around 1909,
was decorated to make it look like a giant mobile red pillar box
following the highly successful advertising campaign featuring Peter
Pen and the pillar box! Look carefully and you'll see the line of
painted rivets around the top to make it look like the top of a
pillar box, plus decorated panels showing the collection times and
there are even some holes at the top so you could post your letters!
I'm sure Health & Safety rules would have it banned today.
For motoring buffs, it's a Crossley chassis and the 'pillar
box' was assembled and decorated by J C Clark.
second photo comes from a later era, around 1940, and was taken at
Strathendry in Fife, Scotland where Onoto production was undertaken
between 1927 and 1958. This van was used for much longer distance
deliveries - as far as Newcastle and even London. It's decorated
with 'De La Rue Stationers Ltd - Onoto the Pen'.
says 'Iron-bound and padlocked strong boxes leaving the despatch
department at Strathendry .' We are informed that inside the
iron-bound and padlocked strong boxes may have been newly printed
bank notes - this refers to the printing of bank notes at the Onoto
factory during the second World War War after the Blitz of London
when the De La Rue printing works was bombed.
If anyone can
let us know the type of van, we would be very grateful!
| It's a
Keep this one under your hat! We are working on a new sterling
silver Art Nouveau overlay design for a brand new Onoto pen due for
release in December. Celebrated silversmith Henry Simpole has come
up with a stunning design with an intriguing hidden message.
As you are probably aware, there is a fine tradition of
Onoto silver overlays dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, so this is
a very significant part of the 'new' Onoto tradition - linking the
heritage and history of Onoto past and present. Here is a sneak
preview of the first pierced overlay prototype, sitting alongside
one of Henry's previous masterworks.
Look very closely and you'll see the secret message entwined in
We showed the design to a small number of
interested collectors at the London Pen Show - and immediately took
The overlay is likely to be produced in
a relatively small limited edition - after all, each one is
hand-made by Henry so if you would like to make a no-obligation
reservation at this stage, we will make sure you are the first to
receive details of the completed work.
please, put my name on the reservation list!
finally...finally, in the USA
taken a while, but at long last we have appointed a distributor in
the USA! Steve Braun is based in Butler, Maryland and can be
contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or cell:
001 312 282 1170. Steve is an experienced 'pen man'
so if you have any questions about Onoto availability in the US,
give him a call. He'll be happy to talk!
He has a full range
of Onoto pens which are available to US buyers and collectors for
sale direct - and we are currently working on a US dollar website
which will make ordering much easier.