Montegrappa Arrives in the UK

Sam Kessler (Online Editor)
The world-renowned Italian pen maker makes a splash with their first British boutique

Montegrappa know how to make an impact. Their array of exquisitely-crafted pens are nothing if not impressive, both in size and sheer artisanry. Every nuance of their limited editions seems to have some deeper meaning, each of their beautiful finishes a lesson in craftsmanship. So when opening their first foothold in the UK, you’d expect the Italian brand to make some noise.

To us it feels surprising that this is indeed Montegrappa’s first foray on our fair isle. Their presence in high-end boutiques, not to mention their international reputation, make it seem like they’ve been around for a lot longer than a handful of days.

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The new flagship store in Westfield London is situated in the Village, right next to old rival Montblanc. Considering there are few people that will be able to walk by without gaping at Montegrappa – it’s hard to miss things like the Guardian Angel or Stallone’s Chaos – the brand is in very good company.

Last night the boutique was launched proper and, along with CEO Giuseppe Aquila, friends of Montegrappa indulged in cocktails and conversation in the new boutique. However, while we like to think that we were the guests of honour, the privilege actually went to Mr. Carlo Ancelotti. A figure known even by those that don’t follow football obsessively, the ex-Real Madrid manager was there to celebrate the pen maker’s collaboration with UEFA.

The partnership will see Montegrappa create a range of cufflinks, small leather goods and luggage with the UEFA Champions League logo, with the first pens shown at last night’s launch. Ancelotti will of course be the ambassador, though the pens really do speak for themselves, very eloquently indeed.

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Any launch needs a celebratory tipple, and many a toast was made with that most Italian of spirits, grappa both in cocktails and by itself. That said, there’s more than the Italian connection and a perk of the name to associate Montegrappa with the spirit; one of their latest limited editions incorporates the same brass used in grappa stills in a hammered, steampunk montage to the spirit.

The space is dominated by a picturesque scene of Elmo, the home of Montegrappa, which itself has a quaint history with grappa. The little town is dominated by an ancient, somewhat rickety wooden bridge which just so happens to have a grappa bar at either end, one apparently good, one not so much. There’s a tradition on first dates for the woman to visit the former, the man the latter, then meet at the clearly marked mid-point of the bridge. It’s an adorable tradition and oh so Italian.

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While you might only associate Montegrappa with pens – for very good reason, of course – their new space illustrates just how broad their spectrum of Italian luxury stretches. Their watches are getting more and more momentum, even if they do keep to quartz, and Montegrappa leather is as sumptuous as you’d expect from Italian artisans.

Even so, the pens do still maintain their status as the star around which Montegrappa revolves. This is the first time the brand has been able to showcase their full range in all its glory; the huge number of unique limited editions is an eclectic bunch. Alongside the aforementioned grappa-inspired pen, pieces pay tribute to Elvis, Quincy Jones, Salvador Dali and DC heroes and villains amongst plenty of others.

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Between surreal elephants and clips in the image of The Joker, Montegrappa’s complete collection is one full of surprises, whether you’re channelling your inner ten year old or prefer something more serious. We say serious, but no matter which pen you look at, there’s something innately playful about Montegrappa, a certain aspect that revels in the impish little touches their limited editions are known for. Trust us, when you look around the store you can’t help but grin.

It may have taken Montegrappa a while to expand beyond the walls of a few exclusive boutiques and department stores, but it was well worth the wait. There is no better way to immerse yourself in the eclectic world of Montegrappa than a visit to Westfield. Though we’d perhaps suggest avoiding the grappa. 

Explore Montegrappa's stunning pens online HERE.

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