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Newsletter of The Onoto Pen Company

September 2013


Welcome to the latest issue of The Onotoist. I apologise for the delay since the last issue - we've been so busy... You'll see why later in this issue. 

I must say a very big 'Thank You' to all our new and old customers for continuing to support us as vigorously as you have done. It's very rewarding to receive your letters and emails confirming that we are producing pens which appeal and - more importantly - which provide you with the right level of sophistication and quality for your needs. 

In this issue you'll find details of our new releases, of the shows we have attended and will attend, and of upcoming new pen editions.  In addition there's a feature on the Tokyo Pen Show at which special edition Onoto pens were on offer, plus some great comments from a BBC celebrity!

I hope you enjoy reading this issue and, as ever, if you'd like to make a contribution about anything Onoto-related, please contact me. And remember to forward this issue to all your pen-loving friends and contacts – so they can enjoy it too!

Best regards

 the world's best pen New Zealand 

An interesting Onoto advertisement from New Zealand. Dated 1932, it features two plunger-filler pens and 'The new Swift Pen' which appears to have been created specially for children and students.

It says "The best materials only are used for ONOTO The Pen and highly skilled craftsmen are employed in its production. It is the finest pen the world has ever seen and will, under normal conditions, last a lifetime." 

We couldn't possibly disagree!

David Cooper's signiature
Getting around

In the past few months we have attended The South West Pen Show in Bristol, The Eastern Pen Show in Cambridge, The Northern Pen Show in Lytham St Annes, The Midlands Pen Show in Lichfield and the University of Cambridge General Admissions - always hectic but very enjoyable!

And now, it's full steam ahead for LWES - The London Pen Show, - on Sunday 6th October. 
New Releases

Onoto Magna Plunger-fillerAs many of you already know, we released the long-awaited Magna Plunger-filler range in January. It consisted of a clear acrylic 'Demonstrator' model in an edition of 25, which sold out almost immediately, and a black acrylic version in an edition of 75 of which only a small number remain.  You'll find details of these superb pens here. 

Henry Simpole Silver Overlay version
In April we also added a Henry Simpole silver overlay version to the range in an edition of 100. As with all our pens bearing Henry's superb craftmanship, interest - and demand - has been very strong. If you'd like to reserve one of this very exclusive edition, you'll need to hurryor risk disappointment! More details.

Onoto Magna Plunger-filler with Henry Simpole Silver overlay

One of the highlights of 2013 has been the issue of a new Magna Classic edition - this time the Royal Ruby issued in a limited edition of only 50 pieces. It was launched at the Eastern Pen Show in Cambridge and sold out within a matter of weeks - leaving a number of disappointed collectors. It's already an Onoto rarety!

Onoto Magna Classic Royal Ruby

It's a stunning pen in mottled ruby acrylic with sterling silver fittings.
From one War Correspondent to another

The BBC's World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, was presented with one of our Sir Winston Churchill Pinstripe pens as guest speaker at the Churchillian Awards Ceremony held in London at the end of last year. 

Churchill Onoto penA lifelong Churchill supporter, we thought he would appreciate the historic connection between Onoto and Churchill, and of course the connection between him and Churchill as war correspondents. What we didn't realise at the time was John's passion for fountain pens!

Here, with his permission, is what he wrote to us. “It is absolutely magnificent, and I have done little this morning except doodle and write with it.  As a long-term user of fountain-pens I feel there are two essential keys to real quality: one is the balance in the hand, and the other is the smoothness of the ink-flow.  It's surprising to me to find how many expensive pens hang awkwardly when you hold them, and how hard it is sometimes to get them to write at all.  On both these counts, as well as on the question of sheer aesthetics, your pen is the best I have so far used.  It is, quite simply, beautiful, and there is of course a powerful extra pleasure in knowing that Onoto is a famous old British brand which is now on the market once again - and the link with Churchill is naturally a particular delight.”

Sharp-eyed Onotoists may have spotted John using his new Churchill Onoto in his recent TV programme on China.
Vintage Corner 1

I'm sure many of the avid Onoto collectors among our readers will have been as astonished as I have at the prices being paid for vintage Onoto Magnas on eBay and other auction sites recently. It seems that GBP1000 or more is becoming the norm for a good condition  1937 Magna Plunger-filler. I've just spotted one at a 'Buy It Now' price of USD3000. Wow!

That's much more than you need to pay for one of our brand new, out-of-the-box Magna Plunger-fillers!

Churchill on display

The popularity of our Churchill range of pens has lead to two additional outlets in London recently. Firstly the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel in Portman Square, just off Oxford Street, asked if they could display our entire Churchill range. Naturally, we said yes and, as you'll see from the image below, I had to go and have a word with the Great Man to check it out and ask him to keep an eye on 'his' pens. He agreed! 

DC with WSC2 

You can also find our Churchill Pinstripe pens on sale at the Churchill War Rooms just off Whitehall in Central London. It's a fascinating place with lots of interactive and audio/visual displays about Sir Winston's life. If you haven't been there already, it's well worth a visit. 
Vintage corner 2

Jacky FisherI thought you would be interested in this story about Admiral of The Fleet, Lord Jacky Fisher, who is considered by many to be, after Lord Nelson, the second most important figure in British naval history. Amongst other things, he was responsible for the construction of HMS Dreadnought, the ship that gave her name to the class of big gun battleships that saw action during World War 1. 

The following conversation with Lord Fisher took place at De La Rue's Bunhill Row offices in December 1919. 
“Are you the Manager?”
“Yes, Sir, at your service.”
“I’m Fisher. At present a fish out of water. I have had an accident with my Onoto pen and broken it.”
“No doubt we can soon put that right, my lord.”
“Here it is – the nib is broken. I want a new nib fitted while I wait.”
“I’m afraid I shall have to disappoint you, my lord. The nib is a specially broad one and was no doubt made to your requirements. Just one moment, and I will see whether we have one near enough to it in stock.”
“But I must have my pen. I have dozens of pens on my writing table like a row of corks, but the only pen I can use is my Onoto. It’s worth a thousand pounds to me.”
Needless to say, Lord Fisher was fitted up with a replacement pen, equal to his splendid old Onoto. As a memento of his visit, Fisher provided a signed photo in appreciation of the Onoto pen and the service rendered by De La Rue. 

This article was taken from an Onoto Newsletter issued in the 1950s and will feature in Steve Hull's 'History of De La Rue/Onoto' due for publication in 2014.
Tokyo Pen Fair 2013

Tokyo Pen Fair 2013
Two of the star attractions at the Tokyo Pen Show in February were the special editions created by Onoto for Maruzen, the famous Japanese store group.

The Maruzen Nihombashi Red Stripe, issued in an edition of 50, and the Maruzen Burlington in an edition of 30, both sold out within 2 days!  
The Onoto Magna Classic Marine Blue

London-based Onoto retailer Inkwell Pens recently commissioned an exclusive edition of 20 pens in a beautifully rich blue marbled acrylic material with sterling silver fittings. Entitled the Magna Classic Marine Blue, it is not available from our website, only direct from Inkwell ( or call +44 (0)20 7586 1944. 

Onoto Magna Classic Marine Blue

What's new?
The Autumn/Fall season is almost upon us - and with it comes an exciting schedule of new Onoto pen releases. 

First up is another addition to the Magna Classic range. This time it's a Tortoiseshell-like acrylic with gold-plated fittings. I'm sure you'll love the honey-caramel hints through the material - it's sumptuous! It's being issued in a limited edition of 100. Photos will be available on our Facebook page shortly and we'll have it available on display at the London Pen Show. If you'd like to pre-order the Magna Classic Tortoiseshell without obligation, just drop me an email and I'll happily pencil in your name to avoid future disappointment and you'll receive priority notice of release. 

Next is The Doctor's Pen. Scheduled for October release, this classically styled Onoto in striped acrylic features the Rod of Asclepius, the ancient symbol of healing and medecine, as its silver-plated clip. Again, if you'd like to pre-order the Doctor's Pen without obligation, just send me an email.

We have also just completed work on two very special pens for Asprey of New Bond Street, London which will be available in store from October. The two pens - one in sterling silver, the other in acrylic - both feature Asprey's house colour, purple. 

The final new release for 2013 is quite a departure for Onoto and has already caused quite a stir in the office as the prototype has been shown around. As yet unnamed, its code name for the moment is CF13. Expect to see more details of this extraordinary pen before the end of the year!  

And finally... Roll up, Roll up!
I'm sure you are aware that we like to provide useful accessories to complement the ranges of Onoto pens - and here's another new idea. We have just introduced some pen storage rolls which provide a simple yet safe way to carry your pens. 

12-pen Storage Roll
Onoto 12 Pen Storage Roll
Made exclusively for Onoto from finest Lancashire cotton, these beautifully crafted pen storage rolls will protect your pens in transit to shows or exhibitions. 

What's more, as they are impregnated with anti-tarnish solution, your pens will always be in sparkling condition and will never tarnish. The storage rolls are available in 2 sizes - the single pen roll or, for serious pen collectors, a 12-pen roll. They both come with Onoto branding in gold lettering and have silk tie-strings. 

Single pen Storage Roll
Onoto Single Storage Roll
Special Offer! Buy any pen from the Onoto range online before 30 September 2013 and we'll give you one of our single pen storage rolls free of charge. 

P.S. Copperfield video review
I have just spotted this great review on YouTube and thought you might like to check it out for yourself. If you've ever thought about owning one of the Onoto Charles Dickens range, but never got around to it, please take a few moments now to review this video.

If you have enjoyed reading this issue, could I ask a favour? Please click on the Facebook logo:

f_logo 2
 It will take you to our Facebook page where you'll find lots more photos of the Onoto ranges. If you could click on the 'Like' button, it will help to spread the word about Onoto!

Thank you.

In This Issue

Getting around

New Releases

From one War Correspondent to another

Vintage Corner 1

Churchill on display

Vintage Corner 2

Tokyo Pen Fair 2013

The Onoto Magna Classic Blue Marine

What's New?

And Finally...
 Roll up, Roll up

P.S. Copperfield video review

We're on
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Onoto stockists
in the UK
Asprey London Limited
167 New Bond Street
Tel: 0207 493 6767

Penfriend (London) Limited
Burlington Arcade Piccadilly
Tel: 020 7499 6337

Howards Jewellers
Stratford upon Avon
CV37 6JG
Tel : 01789 205404

Andy's Pens
Tel: 01732 361381

Vintage and Classic Pens

3 Utopia Village
7 Chalcot Road
London NW1 8LH
Tel: 020 7586 1944

F. G. Thomas
25 Surrey Street
S1 2LG
Tel: 0114 275 7147

North Lincolnshire
Tel: 01427 874433

Write Here
Tel: 01743 245950

Webster Pen Shop
U001 Upper
Rose Gallery
Tel: 07900218943

Websters Pen Shop
10 The Square
The Lanes
Tel: 01273 773350
Onoto stockists
La Couronne du Comte

Nieuwlandstraat 59
5038 SM

Phidon Pens Limited

63 Dickson Street Cambridge, Ontario
N1R 7A5
Tel : 519 624 8787
Fax : 519 624 2044

Elephant & Coral Pen
Co Pte Ltd

501 Orchard Road,
Wheelock Place
Tel: 65 6736 1322

Maruzen Co Ltd

Stationery Kikakubu
Store Division, 4th Floor Nihombashi 3-9-2
Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Tel : 81-03-3273-1215

Penz Solutions

Greater Kailash-2
New Delhi
110 048

Editions (Pens of the World)
S016 Ground Floor
Express Avenue
Whites Road
Chennai – 14

Pen-Ultimate QVB

Level 2, 15-17 455
George Street
NSW 2000