Onoto Heritage Overlay by Henry Simpole: artistry, at what cost?

TL;DR: check out the video review The full story This is an unusual, even special, pen. It features a skeletonised sterling silver overlay on both cap and barrel, created by the late Henry Simpole. Overlay pens are not common nowadays, and to me they are strongly associated with vintage pens: you find overlay pens on … Continue reading Onoto Heritage Overlay by Henry Simpole: artistry, at what cost?

Onoto leather pen roll: a matching case for your Magna

I call this product the “pen croissant”. I’m hoping the name sticks. I hope the product sticks too, because I really like it. What we have here is a simple, rustic-feeling case for a single pen, made from thick, soft leather with a single popper closure. It’s available in three colours. I picked the blue, … Continue reading Onoto leather pen roll: a matching case for your Magna

Onoto’s Mammoth Magna #8: masterpiece or mistake?

I’ve dragged my feet about writing this review for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve published quite a few Onoto reviews this year: the Pinstripes, British Museum, Sequoyah, Spitfire… with this, I’ll have covered Onoto more than any other brand. Second, this Blue Stripe Magna #8 is not a standard production pen. I bought it … Continue reading Onoto’s Mammoth Magna #8: masterpiece or mistake?

Flying high with the Onoto Spitfire

A ‘tribute’ pen is a dangerous thing. Look at something like Montegrappa’s Apollo 11 moon landing pens: I confess that I quite want one, but nevertheless they come across like cheap toys, even when the top-tier edition costs an eye-watering £6,000. It’s not just Montegrappa’s usual over-the-top style, either. Platinum and Cross have both done … Continue reading Flying high with the Onoto Spitfire

Another look at the Onoto Magna: Victory and Shakespeare pinstripes

A reader recently told me by email that, of all their pens, the Onoto Magna would be the one to accompany them to the proverbial desert island. I cannot possibly disagree with their choice. If you were to be stuck with just one pen to write page after page, day after day, year after year, … Continue reading Another look at the Onoto Magna: Victory and Shakespeare pinstripes

Art and alchemy: The Onoto Great Court Vitreous Enamel

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:   The sun-comprehending glass,And beyond it, the deep blue air, that showsNothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. Philip Larkin, High Windows Few pens make me want to quote poetry (especially by my favourite poet). The Onoto Great Court Vitreous Enamel Sterling Silver is one. But let’s get … Continue reading Art and alchemy: The Onoto Great Court Vitreous Enamel