The Nautilus by Hermès

From the “Objets d’écriture” collection, the Nautilus, a reference the Captain Nemo’s submarine in Jules Verne’s Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, maintains an air of mystery about its functioning. An emblematic object that is not unlike a baguette, it has the length of a pen but neither cap nor ring nor clip to speak of, and no plume or ball to be seen. You have to turn its body to make a plume or ball appear, ready to ink up your paper. Designer Marc Newson, who conceived the interiors of the Qantas Airbus A380 – the first Australian airline – highlights the difficulties in concentrating such technical prowess into such a small object. “Conceiving this pen wasn’t any more or less complicated than imagining the interior of a plane. The real constraint was that a rotating mechanism had to fit into a tiny object.” This retractable mechanism is so complex that it took four years to create it.

Loyal to its ethics, Hermès has once more payed a great deal of attention to the materials used. The pen is sculpted in massive aluminum braided with leather (cobalt blue, black, or ebony) while the 18 carat gold plume is topped off by an iridium ball. Available in six different ball widths, this pen guarantees maximum writing comfort. To accompany it, the brand created exclusive inks, like Hermès red or blood orange, sold in cartridge-filled boxes that look like leather-bound matchboxes.

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