If you’ve got money to burn and are looking for something to burn it on, then put aside that yachting magazine and consider instead the humble pen. I say humble… when it comes to the world’s most expensive items, your “humble” pen ranks with the best. Obviously, we aren’t talking about any old biro from a multipack of 10. No, we’re talking diamond encrusted, sapphire glinting, emerald set, 24-carat gold beauties that would look more at home in a jewelry box than a writing set. Although that said, they probably cost a whole lot more than the contents of most jewelry boxes combined. With prices ranging from anything between $60,000 on the lower end of the spectrum to $8 million on the higher end, you’re going to have to be richer than Rockefeller if you want to afford any one of the world’s most expensive pens.
Sitting towards the upper echelons of the price range is the Caran d’Ache 1010 diamond. Carved in white gold and set with 850 glittering diamonds, the 1010 diamond is certainly a sight to behold. Before you get to carried away in the image, you might want to know how much you’ll need to hand over to get your hands on one. Hopefully, you’re reading this sitting down, as the price of $1 million might just make you need a seat. Before you write off the pen as the kind of overpriced status symbol that only the most foolishly wealthy would even consider buying, you might want to consider its background, creator and the quality of craftsmanship that’s gone into its design- I can’t promise that any of these things will convince you to buy one, but it might make you a lot more amenable to those that do.
For those in the know, Caran d’Ache represents the epitome of style, quality, and design. As Switzerland’s only manufacturer of luxury pens and pencils, Caran d’Ache has built on its nation’s reputation as the finest provider of high-end watches and jewelry to create a line of writing equipment that can happily compete with the best of the country’s other offerings. The brand has its origins in the first Swiss pencil factory to be established in the country in 1915. 9 years after its initial creation, its founder, Arnold Schweitzer, decided to rename his company after the legendary illustrator, Caran d’Ache. In so doing, another legend was created. The brand has now been crafting some of the world’s most desirable writing equipment for over 100 years, and yet remains as dedicated in its commitment to using the finest quality raw materials, the most advanced innovations, and the most skilled craftsmanship now as it was then.
Today, as from the very beginning, all Caran d’Ache products are manufactured in its Geneva workshop, a place of vigorous standards, intense concentration, and indubitable skill. From raw material to finished article, Caran d’Ache subjects all its products to the strictest, most rigorous quality standards imaginable, guaranteeing not a single item leaves the premises with even the tiniest of defect, flaw or freckle. As its website notes, “Colour pencils and inks are systematically tested for their lightfastness, while fountain pen nibs and ballpoint or roller pen tips are checked in terms of their premium quality and writing flow. Individual controls are conducted regularly in accordance with requirements and product types.” The quality standards and craftsmanship that goes into each Caran d’Ache pen or pencil is the reason the brand has acquired the reputation it enjoys… and can place such a premium price on its creations.
The Fun Fact
For those who like some trivia with their history, the origins of the name Caran d’Ache comes from the Russian word “karandash”, which in English translates to pencil. “Karandash” itself is derived from the Turkish “Kara tash” which refers to black stone (i.e. the genesis of graphite).
Now we know a little more about the brand behind the $1 million price tag, we can take a closer look at the pen itself. The 1010 diamond pen is almost as rare as a unicorn’s horn, but fortunately, slightly easier to get your hands on- provided you have the money, of course. The fine piece of writing equipment is crafted from white gold and set with 850 pure diamonds that blends the expertise of goldsmiths, premium jewelers, and master craftsmen. Looking purely at the diamonds, the attention to detail is sublime: not content with just the one cut, Caran d’Ache has cut them in three, totaling 24.61 carats overall and guaranteeing the starriest, most Elizabeth Taylor worthy pen imaginable. Looking next to the nib, the expert craftsmanship is again on fine display- made in rhodium plated 18-carat gold and delicately engraved, this is one nib you’ll kick yourself for breaking. The casing itself, meanwhile, takes inspiration from wristwatch parts, adding a unique flourish and demonstrating the innovative ideas that lie at the heart of the Caran d’Ache brand.
Want more specifics? Courtesy of Geek Alerts, you have them.
- Origin: Ethically sourced diamonds of approx. 24,61 carats of controlled origin (i.e.no blood diamonds).
- Nib: Handmade and polished nib made of 18-carat, rhodium-plated gold. Hand engraved with the gear wheel design of the 1010 Limited Editions Pen Collection.
- Ring: 88 baguette-cut white diamonds (2.28 carats) and 8 baguette-cut black diamonds (0.21 carats). The alternating black and white pattern is created to suggest the effect of a watch face.
- Cap: 26 lines of 22 diamonds, totaling 572 baguette-cut, hand adjusted stones.
- Clip: Designed to recreate a watch hand, set with a 0.18-carat diamond.
- Body: Interior and exterior crafted from white gold and set with 170 4.06 carat emerald-cut diamonds. Embellished by Swiss Made monograms set with 12 0.22 carat diamonds.
- In Feed: a white-gold piston pump set with a 0.03-carat diamond.
As we’ve mentioned, you can expect to hand over $1 million for this little beauty. While this puts it out of most of our leagues, for those with the cash, the superb quality, rarity and sheer beauty of the Caran d’Ache 1010 diamond makes it a more than worthy investment.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith