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The Montblanc Fountain Pen

Nigel Cox Montblank's Meisterstück Chopin fountain pen, $385.

Photo: Nigel Cox

In a world of blackberrys, Palm Pilots, and Treos, it's refreshing to know that the tried and true still has a place. The Montblanc fountain pen—introduced in 1910—elevated the humble writing instrument to a status symbol. Over the years, its classic design, with its 18-karat gold nib, black resin cap and barrel, and gold-plated clip and rings, has certified historic unions (the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana) and sealed cultural bonds (the 1990 German-Russian Friendship treaty). Some of the world's most iconic traveling men (Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy, James Bond) never left home without it. But if you don't have novels to write or pacts to sign, it also works just fine for jotting notes in your travel diary.

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