You know, I just can't walk past a mirror without taking a self portrait.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fountain Pens, Cuervo and Mille Miglia

My first fountain pen was a Pelikan, emerald shaft with a black cap. I was in third grade then, but I was hooked for life. I purchased my first Montblanc along with several of those ever clogging Rapidographs when I was in college, and have had numerous pens - Waterman, Lamy etc, since then. My favorites however have always been Montblanc, and was very happy when I finally owned a Diplomat.

The big drawback however with fountain pens is/was they used to leak. Numerous stained shirts, or drenched sport coat pockets when inadvertently putting the pen in the side pocket. My worst experience however was with a Montblanc. I was traveling from NYC to Bermuda on a scout for a film shoot. After arriving in Bermuda and scouting for several hours we stopped for a bite. It is then when I noticed it. There was this huge stain on my brand new Hunting World canvas shoulder bag. I searched the side pocket of the bag thinking that they pen was there, but it wasn’t. The pen was where I usually kept pens while wearing a sport coat , yes the inside breast pocket. Now you can guess what that meant. Not only did I have a ruined shoulder bag, a ruined dress shirt, but also a ruined linen sport coat. You can see why this was memorable.

After that I still used fountain pens , but travelled with ballpoints, and felt tipped versions of my favorite brands.

So you may ask, where is this all going?

Cuervo Y Sobrinos

When you see Cuervo in a name you usually associate it with only one thing. Tequila. However, Cuervos Y Sobrinos is a watch company. Originally founded in Havana 1892, and had the distinction of being called the ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’. The watches are now made in Switzerland . Cuervo y Sobrinos has announced it’s Mille Miglia pen and fountain pen collection. A limited edition of 1609 pieces each.

Chopard has long had a watch collection named after this famous race, now there is a pen collection also.

The exquisitely hand-finished metalwork encloses the beautiful “Mille Miglia” red coloured resin barrel. The design of the metal filigree is inspired by the hinges of the old vaults in the Cuervo y Sobrinos original boutique in La Habana. At the same time the inside decoration of the metal plate (with an engraved Mille Miglia logo) recalls the typical grille of the Formula 1 cars of the pre War era. The pens created by Cuervo y Sobrinos for this prestigious partnership are produced by the well-known manufacturer Montegrappa in Bassano del Grappa (Italy).

The two Mille Miglia pens are meticulously turned by hand, with three layers of resin to eliminate the typical transparency that this material presents, and to make them more resilient. The emblem of Cuervo y Sobrinos is engraved on the cap; the clip is a work of art in itself, and is a further demonstration of the brand’s attention to design details. In a typical “Art Deco” shape, the clip recalls the silhouette of the 'Espléndidos' case-an important icon of the Cuervo y Sobrinos collection.”

And for those not quite familiar with the race, here is the Wiki.

The Mille Miglia (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmille ˈmiʎʎa], Thousand Miles) was an open-road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957 (thirteen before the war, eleven from 1947).

The race was banned after the fatal crash of a 4.2-litre Ferrari in 1957 that took the lives of the Spanish driver Alfonso de Portago, his co-driver/navigator Edmund Nelson, and nine spectators, at the village of Guidizzolo[1]. Five of the spectators killed were children. The crash was probably caused by a blown tire. The manufacturer was blamed and sued for this, as was the Ferrari team, which, in order to save time, had not changed tyres.

From 1958 to 1961, the event resumed as a Rallying-like round trip at legal speeds with a few special stages driven at full speed, but this was discontinued also.

Since 1977, the name was revived as the Mille Miglia Storica, a parade for pre-1957 cars that takes several days, which also spawned the 2007 documentary film Mille Miglia - The Spirit of a Legend"
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