Pineider: WOULD A PEN BY ANY OTHER NAME SMELL AS SWEET? (IT SEEMS UNLIKELY)
Pineider, the luxury leather-goods maker and purveyor of exquisite writing instruments, brings their distinctly Florentine artistry to the New World.
By Daniele Delerme Flores
On a recent visit to Pineider’s new atelier at Rockefeller Center in the heart of Manhattan – new, of course, being a relative term as the location has been open for more than a year but, then again, the company does trace its history all the way back to 1744 – the interesting juxtaposition of Old World Italian taste, refinement, and sensibility meeting American brashness becomes readily apparent from the moment one enters the charming and rather intimate space. At first glance, the dark mahogany paneling and warm, ambient lighting are nothing if not soothing – a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Sixth Avenue just a stone’s throw from the front door and the wall-sized advertisements for Seth Myers and The Tonight Show that are visible through the large glass panel windows at the back of the retail space that look out on an interior hallway of 30 Rockefeller. One would gladly remain indefinitely (but comfortably) ensconced amongst these finely crafted works of art, perusing and admiring.
And what works of art there are. Pineider’s emphasis on lifestyle as a luxury purveyor of quality goods is evident upon merely a cursory inspection of the leather luggage set on display near the atelier’s entrance. Leather works range from travel desks and leather-bound notebooks to messenger bags, overnighters, duffles, holdalls, and totes. And then there are the writing instruments, a testament to the skill and imagination of Signor Dante Del Vecchio, the company’s resident “pen expert.” From the resin-based pieces to bright, eye-catching enamels, or the more subdued but still enticing skeleton models, the artistry, attention to detail, and pure love of the craft is apparent in each offering. Perhaps even more importantly for the customer, wielding one of Pineider’s instruments allows the writer to experience the simple act of writing on an altogether different level. Whether one is taking a step back in time to a bygone age with the fountain pen, staying the course with the ballpoint, or trying something off the beaten path with the roller-ball, the feel of a Pineider pen in one’s hand is truly an experience unlike any other.
As a writer, my creative process usually begins with a pen and notepad. Over the years, I have found it easier to formulate my thoughts when putting pen to paper, as opposed to fingers to keyboard. Quite simply, I can’t write with a pen faster than my mind can formulate a sentence, so I find the pace of drafting in longhand to be a pleasant one. On the few occasions where I have tried my hand at typing an initial draft via word processor, subsequent drafts invariably require more revisions. To put it bluntly, I suspect this is because I can type faster than I can think (insert “shoulder shrug” emoji here).
Recognizing these preferences (or limitations – beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder), my incomparable Editor-in-Chief at No Chaser, Karl Edwin Guerre (who, it should be noted, is also a brand ambassador for the company) suggested that I broaden my horizons and consider a luxury writing instrument from the skilled craftsmen at Pineider. With that in mind, I met Guerre on a bright and sunny afternoon at the Rockefeller Center location, where I was introduced to Liz Burghardt, a sales associate who proved to be quite knowledgeable. After explaining the unique peculiarities of my particular writing process, Liz suggested the rollerball model. As it turned out, her observations proved to be quite prescient. And so my journey as a Pineider-enthusiast began.
Daniele Delerme Flores is Associate Editor and a contributor to No Chaser (print and online), a luxury lifestyle publication. He has written extensively about men’s style for publications such as The Rake -the Modern Voice of Classic Elegance, and websites like A Suitable Wardrobe. He is also the author of The Best Dressed Man In The Room – A Photographic History of the Sartorially Inclined Goniffs, Gamblers, and Gangsters of the Inter-War Years, 1920-1945, and, more recently, Pretty, A Novel from the East Harlem Cycle. His blog, An Uptown Dandy, remains a frequently cited source of information regarding menswear ephemera. He can also be found on Instagram at @an_uptown_dandy.