If you’re going to be remembered for something, then being known for your astounding mathematical and astronomical prowess isn’t a bad choice. Johannes Kepler was, without a doubt, one of the most brilliant people who ever lived. Better still, if you’re going to be commemorated, a pen made of diamonds is a stunningly attractive option. Kepler was known for his sense of wonder, and his incredible description of how the planets move. We call it Kepler’s Laws. To this day, scientists use Kepler’s Laws to describe and determine how astronomical bodies locomote. And now we know more about this brilliant and expensive writing instrument.
Who Was Johannes Kepler
To understand why Kepler deserves the honor of a $1.5 Million pen, you must first know who he was and the absolutely next-level accomplishments of his work that helped set modern science on its path. Johannes Kepler was born at the end of 1571 to a Lutheran family. It was not what you might call an enlightened era in which to grow up. As a child, he was often sick and never very sturdy, but inside his frail body lurked an incredibly vibrant and robust mind. Though his family was quite poor, his mental prowess was enough to get him into the University of Tübingen. There he planned to study as a Lutheran Minister. It was at school that he was introduced to the ‘dangerous,’ and forward-thinking ideas of Copernicus.
Copernicus was the scientist who introduced the scientific world to the idea of heliocentrism. At the time he lived, the world was thought to be the center of the universe with everything spinning around us. The stars were considered to be merely lights placed in the sphere of a sky that surrounded us like a snow globe by God. Copernicus was shunned for his ideas, and later in the 1600s, Galileo was sentenced to life long house arrest for defending these ideas. However, it was Kepler who first defended the heliocentric universe ‘theory’ (fact).
By 1596 he was teaching math in Graz, and Kepler wrote a very controversial document called the Mysterium Cosmographicum which argued in favor of the ideas of Copernicus. As with those who came before, this sentiment was considered an argument against the church teachings. While his family adhered to the Lutheran teachings, Kepler himself refused to sign the Formula of Concord and as a result, was ousted from the Lutheran church. Because he also refused to convert to Catholicism he was left without a church to protect him during the Thirty-Years War.
A New Position
He was forced to leave his teaching job because of his beliefs and eventually ended up working for Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe in Prague. Brahe was reasonably forward-thinking, and though he argued against Copernicus, his ideas were still considered rebellious for the era. Brahe believed in his own Tychonic System. He said that the *five planets circled the sun, which in turn revolved around the Earth. Because of his work with Brahe Kepler took over the post of Imperial Mathematician where he eventually published Astronomia Nova in 1609. This details his first two Laws of planetary motion. It would be another ten years before he finally published Harmonices Mundi which tells of his third and final laws of planetary motion.
*That’s all that were recognized by people of the time. It would be years before lensmaker Hans Lippershey created the telescope that was popularized and so famously used to observe the planets by Galileo.
- Other Notable Kepler Facts
- Epitome Astronomiae in 1621 was his most well known and influential publication on astronomy.
- Kepler was married to his first wife until she died. He remarried, but sadly between the two marriages, he was forced to bury all four of his children, two sons, and two daughters.
- He successfully defended his mother against charges of witchcraft.
- In 1604 Kepler observed and recorded a supernova.
As you can see, Johannes Kepler lived a difficult, if scholarly life in an era when being smart was only acceptable if you toed the line. He was forced to move repeatedly because of his religious and scientific status and had more than a few money troubles. With his personal life so fraught with tragedy, it’s likely his refuge was inside his mind where he saw a universe most people in that time could not conceive of or accept. Kepler is, in a very real way, one of the fathers of the known universe. Without his works, it might have taken scientists many more decades or even centuries to understand how the universe beyond our Earth actually works and moves.
Johannes Kepler High Artistry Stella Nova Limited Edition 1
Like Kepler himself, the Montblanc Company is German, so it should come as no surprise they chose this outstanding German mathematician and scientist to be honored by one of their exceptionally exquisite pens. The Johannes Kepler High Artistry Stella Nova Limited Edition 1 is an homage to his life’s work. Perhaps it’s slightly ironic that such a poor man is being acknowledged with such an expensive luxury, but regardless, he certainly earned the recognition.
The pen, like the man, is singular. While Montblanc created several pens to highlight Kepler’s life, work, and influence, this particular example is truly one-of-a-kind. The design of the body and cap exhibit all the brilliance of the inspiration and mimic our own outstandingly gorgeous Milky Way. To create such delicate details, Montblanc used 5,294 blue sapphires and 570 diamonds.
In the Details
The cap of this pen is graced with a star-shaped 6.20 carat, DIF Montblanc diamond. It’s set inside a geometric and three-dimensional framework of pristine white gold. Three rings of white gold and diamonds represent his Three Laws of Planetary Motion. Every detail is crafted to show reverence for Kepler perfectly. Even the stand is made to look like a seventeenth-century scrolled collar such as Kepler wore with an open scroll on top featuring a drawing Kepler made. The clip on the cap is styled as a compass set with a diamond. Additionally, the forepart is engraved with Ophiuchus constellation from De Stella Nova and the orbit of Mars from Astronomia Nova on the bottom of the cone. The nib is also adorned with a diamond set in an engraved sun. Matching cufflinks with Montblanc F/ VVS1 diamonds of 1.71 carats and 1.72 carats were created to go with the unique pen.
The elegantly handsome Johannes Kepler High Artistry Stella Nova Limited Edition 1 is a work of art and science beyond compare. With the intricate and thoughtful details, whoever holds this pen will doubtless reflect on the struggle that the muse went through to bring his genius and vision into the world. There is truly no finer way to express appreciation for Kepler’s many accomplishments than creating such a complex and incredible tribute.