As avid TeleRead readers will know, I’m an onscreen handwriting nut. I’m also a writer. And like many writers, I’m almost fetishistic about the tools of the trade. The writing instruments, paper (or device), writing desk, accessories, all make a difference to me. So it’s been a continuing annoyance that the great pen manufacturers, whose lacquered and tortoiseshell wonders I used to treasure back in the days when I worked mostly on paper, haven’t taken a small logical step into the digital era and started introducing pen designs with touchscreen styluses for smartphones and tablets.

I’m sure there must be plenty of chic aspirational iPhone and iPad owners out there who would love to sport a smart Montblanc or Waterman stylus pen to match their favorite digital toy. But if you search the Montblanc or the Waterman websites for styluses, nothing comes up. It’s the same result with old faithful Parker. Why this blind spot? After all, makers of pens are if anything looking at a sub-sector in danger of digital disruption. But now that technology has finally come back round to a more handwriting- and freehand drawing-friendly format than the keyboard, they seem to be ducking the opportunity.

You’d think that a company like Montblanc that is busy promoting “the brand film ‘I tell stories’ with Hugh Jackman on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Meisterstück” would be dead eager to seize the brand opportunity of working with creatives who increasingly sketch onscreen. Not so, it seems. Meanwhile, brands like Wacom and Griffin have cornered the market.

If I’ve missed anything in my trawl of pens I’d most like to own – if only they didn’t scratch my screen – please let me know. Otherwise, I’m still waiting for makers of fine pens to catch up to the 20th century, never mind the 21st.



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