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The Digital Revolution Does Not Affect The Spirit Of The Writing Instrument

Even with the Digital Revolution, the appeal of a luxury pen plays a vital role in improving its demand in the market.

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We are in the age of digital transformation, where products can be rendered obsolete... or where consumer preferences change, but the same calls for some new features, design or technology to bring about changes in the product, styling and attributes. One hears some talk that the writing instruments industry would be put on the back foot. This is the talk which had plagued the watch industry a couple of decades ago, but we witnessed that the digitalization in terms of mobile phones, digital watches and the like did not do away with the analog watches or for that matter put the watch industry in a tail-spin. To meet the challenge we saw the development of affordable watches with different styles, designs, colors using different materials and finishes and the replacement of the concept of “a lifetime watch” with plethora of fashion watches and the emergence of large number of consumers, having not one watch, but number of watches and yet the exclusive high cost watches remained very much in demand. 

A similar trend is rising in the writing instrument market where the digitalization was thought of as a threat and industry sources feared this would negatively impact writing instrument volumes and endanger the existence of pens. However, similar to what took place in the watch industry, despite the digitalization impacting writing instruments, both demand and volumes are on the rise, more so in India, and writing instruments have seen a great transformation. We have today not only an unlimited price range in pens, but a plethora of colors, designs and not to forget the technology innovations. To illustrate this, are the pens being brought into the market by Monteverde and Conklin of USA, where Monteverde has introduced selfie pens which connect the pen with the mobile via bluetooth to click your photo. In the Invincia Collection, is a pendrive for storing and transfer of data. And we have the pens with calligraphic advancements and innovation of the Omniflex nib which allows for line variations, sweeping strokes and tapers, to give intricate cuts to your writing. Conklin’s Duraflex and Monteverde’s Monza collections come with the Omniflex nibs.

Also, there is a yearning for quality and the emergence of different types, particularly “fashion pens”. These in the higher price range become status symbols and Waldmann and Stipula meet such needs. Whilst, the overwhelming brands are made mostly in China and this includes several top of the line brands. However, there are some brands which are particular to retain their quality and legacy of workmanship, which is particularly true more so for handcrafted pens. In this direction we have Waldmann, the all sterling silver pen made of 100% at Pforzheim the jewellery metropolis in the Black Forest region of Germany. The handcrafted silver pens made in Germany have made a dent in the Indian market, when silver writing instruments thought to be meant only for weddings, engagements and birthdays can be used for routine usage. The Waldmann Tango, Concorde, Chess, Eco and Brio collections, along with pocket tailored for ladies offer a range of sterling silver pens for regular use of business executives and professionals alike. Then are the Stipula writing instruments, made in Florence in Italy by craftsman, using ancient techniques with modern technology—The Da Vinci made from  teak wood or ebonite come with a titanium nib and have a capless mechanism. The Stipula collections derive their names from vintage cars or sculptures and monuments around Rome. Examples are the Model-T collection, as an inspiration from the T-Model car introduced by Henry Ford in 1908. The clip of the Gladiator collection of Stipula depicts the armed combatants “Gladiators”, while its cap band depicts the high sculpture artwork of the Colosseum in Italy.

Also, the modern era has seen the introduction of multi-purpose and multi-utility pens and herein are the Waldmann sterling silver Two-in-One pens. Combining both fountain and ball pen and the Epoque which has two colour refills. In the lady specific range Stipula offers the Passaporte and feminine colors of yellow, orange, red and the mixed dual colour combinations of cap and barrel: black-silver, red-black and yellow-blue pens. There has also been an explosion of colors in writing inks and refills, where Monteverde, Conklin and Stipula excel in giving a wide variety. Inks and refills of these brands span over 50 color-shades-hues and include midnight black, malibu blue, passion burgundy, brown sugar, love red, joy sepia, valentine red, california teal, capri blue, mandarin orange, amongst a host of others.

A recent study proves that the millennial or social group aged between 18 to 38 years mentioned that they still enjoy the traditional writing instruments as it assists them to think creatively about their tasks. We believe, with further digital enhancement; a writing instrument will also make a drastic difference. It is not just a useful accessory as there are various methods of expressing your creative thoughts but still, executive - staff at all levels prefer this because it’s handy and easy to carry. 

Due to rising brand awareness and high disposable income, the luxury writing instrument has seen immense growth and more user friendly writing instruments were on the increase and pen manufacturers are using latest designs and craftsmanship to position their brand and to garner market share. One of the important trends in the market is that the manufacturers are systematically investing in product development by enhancing the luxury pen nib with high-end metals such as gold, titanium, platinum to make writability more pleasurable and at ease. Despite uncertain market trends and discretionary spending, the luxury pen market is rising at a decent rate. Hence, the international luxury pen market has immense potential and major players are investing in the Indian market, due to the huge demand for luxury writing instruments. The global luxury pen market is estimated to observe a good growth in the coming years.

The rise in the use of pen as a positive product by corporates is predictable to be one of the main drivers for its growth in the market. The luxury writing instrument market is a niche market and major players are using digital platforms to showcase their wide range of products. A growing number of consumers with a changing lifestyle pattern in the developed countries are expected to drive the demand for a worldwide luxury writing instrument market. Additionally, owning a luxury pen has developed as a status symbol these days and hence, elite class individuals are picking luxury pens. Likewise, the appeal of a luxury pen plays a vital role in improving its demand in the market.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Livtek India Luxury Writing

Vinod Krishna

Mr Vinod Krishna is the Chairman of LivTek India, Mr Krishna as its entrepreneur Chairman is a connoisseur for luxury products.  He is an IIT, Kharagpur graduate and has post graduation of USA.  He has widely travelled in Europe and the USA, and been associated in top positions with multinational companies, in India.

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