Montegrappa was founded as a “Manifattura pennini d’oro e penne stilografiche” or the “Manufacturer of gold nibs and fountain pens” in Bassano del Grappa, Italy. Originally known as ELMO, it benefitted from a pool of local talents, a workforce able to produce finely crafted objects, with style, with panache and with a drive to achieve excellence.
Montegrappa has produced the pen of choice for authors including John Dos Passos, Paulo Coelho and Ernest Hemingway. Its pens are used by popes, presidents and royalty. Among these notables are His Holiness John Paul II, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand, His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and others.
The year 1981 proved to be a turning point for the company, when ownership and management of the company passed into the hands of the Aquila family. Their advent marks a radical change in the strategic positioning of the company, transforming the latter since 1995 into a corporation.
The fusion of Montegrappa with the Aquila sees a break in early 2000, when the family hands over the control of the company to Richemont – a Swiss group presiding over a series of luxury brands such as Cartier and Montblanc.
In 2009, Montegrappa, however, returns to the fold where it belongs – the Aquila. Since then the company continues to be driven exclusively by the vision, experience and the infallible taste of the family. Their distinguishing values and coherence define the Montegrappa today as a brand of no comparison.
France’s President, Nicolas Sarkozy, joins the gathering of incredible personalities who have been proud owners of Montegrappa pens. To name a few, Montegrappa users include Vladimir Putin, Silvio Berlusconi, His Holiness John Paul II, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand, His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Silvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Jean Alesi, Michael Schumacher, Jean Todt, Stirling Moss, Zinedine Zidane, Edgar Davids, Naomi Campbell, Paulo Coelho and countless others.
By opening its first flagship store in Bassano del Grappa, the company has emphasised its commitment to the town that has been its home for over 100 years – since its very inception. The creation of multi-level landmark retail premises also signals a new stage in Montegrappa’s development as an all-encompassing luxury brand. Following an intensive period when it has expanded its catalogue beyond the core writing instruments for which it is world-renowned, Montegrappa is now positioned to welcome its clientele to a central showplace.
After a century of history and genuine passion for the value of crafts, Montegrappa is pleased to announce the opening of its first flagship store in the Italian capital of fashion: 85 square meters of whispered luxury. In a typical Milanese backdrop. Subtle exhibition of outstanding collections of writing instruments, accessories and timewear, gracing the impeccable interior. All of this curated with best of dedication by Diana Aquila, niece of Gianfranco and daughter of Giuseppe’s, respectively the company’s chairman and the CEO.
“In the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of my grandfather Leopoldo Tullio Aquila, I am touched and humbled – sono commosso! – to be able continue the family traditions, while emulating his determination to ensure the best possible future for Montegrappa. We thank you for participating in an endeavour that means so much to the Aquila family.”
Speedometer Official hails from Turin, Italy and earned worldwide recognition for its instantly recognizable bangle adorned with the design of a watch bezel. Italian entrepreneur Marco Gatti was inspired with the idea after inheriting a business founded by his father in 1923 that distributed fine Swiss watch movements. Involved deeply with the luxury market his entire life and traveling abroad to develop a global business, Marco developed a sense for worldly tastes and launched a product that now adorns the wrists of many celebrities, politicians, and other public figures.
The Speedometer Official bangle is a high precision accessory. Despite its minimalist look, the bangle is produced by hand with advanced technology to retain shape and integrity over time. Because the construction fuses a hardened metal band with a variety of luxurious metals design plates, a unique and precise process needed to be developed. Inferior products split into parts easily, but the Speedometer bangle lasts as long as it has been in style. Marco Gatti perfected this process and continues to improve his original design with increasingly elaborate details and original materials.
As the popularity of Speedometer Official bangles grew, Marco appealed to demand for the recognizable bezel icon to be incorporated into other accessories. Fans welcomed the new range of Speedometer accessories that now tied into full outfits and more and more bangles began to appear in the world. The last addition to Speedometer is a line of incredibly sleek fountain pens that feature interchangeable bezel rings. Watch here for what is coming next.
The brand Ballast celebrates the remarkable revolution that took place when man and machine plunged into the oceans in mechanized vessels. History was forever changed as the most menacing warships instantly became completely vulnerable and a new type of aquatic warfare was born. And, beneath the surface and inside the belly of each colossal beast, a new breed of man was borne; the submariner.
Sir Winston Churchill was quoted as saying, “Of all the branches of men in the forces there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariners.” These Naval officers were each explorers utilizing a combination of the latest technology, novel underwater survival skills, and pioneering navigating blindly through an undocumented, seemingly infinite ocean.
Drawing inspiration from these incredible men and women, Ballast created a line of watches that pays homage to their hardy lives at sea. Each watch is designed with precision and high quality materials sourced from top manufacturers from around the world. The style is reminiscent of exposed mechanics inside a submarine with a recognizably unique operating mechanism. The watch date and time are changed by unlocking the right hand crown and turning the bezel of the watch.
The Ballast line of watches is recognizable, stylish, and inspires the story of the submariners to be retold time and time again.
Born in 1897, the fine accessory company Dalvey was founded as Duncan MacRae, that specialized in the production of Highland bagpipes. These instruments held more than artistic significance in the country because of the roaring sounds they made as military forces marched into battle. In fact, until 1996 the bagpipe was outlawed in the United Kingdom as a weapon of war. Due to this cultural significance, the production of bagpipes was held to the highest standards and Duncan MacRae proved to be one of the top producers.
The brand rose to popularity with its quality products and attracted the highest degree of talent into its factory. This combination of talent, celebration of quality, and innovation through the Industrial Revolution opened up fantastic new opportunities. The first milestone was the production of the iconic Dalvey flask that rapidly became a top seller across the land. Discovering a foothold in fine men’s accessories, Dalvey quickly followed up with a full line of products that are manufactured using many of the same techniques even today.
With over 100 years of heritage, the Dalvey brand continues to espouse the wondrous and inspiring landscapes of Scotland. Tradition can be felt in the warmth of a hard people in a hard land who value quality manufacturing that withstands the test of time. Each Dalvey product carries with it this philosophy in a timeless and classic style.