Imagine paying almost ten grand for a fountain pen. Obviously only those who don't work in a sticky-fingered office would risk it
The movers and shakers of the world agree that on paper, as well as in life, we are known by the marks we make, so it makes sense to choose your scribing tool with great care.

Mont Blanc has known this for years. Seventy-five, to be ex-act, making it the old-age pensioner of writing couture. And its world-famous Meisterstuck Solitaire Platinum fountain pen, at pounds 9,250, has been a style icon since the beginning.

Made from hallmarked platinum to the finest ergonomic design, and incorporating cartridge converter or piston filling system, this is the kind of Swiss precision that gave us atomic clocks. Blobbing is not an option.

"The cost of a pen is pri-marily determined by the price of the nib, and the best are always made of gold," says Hugh Hall of The Pen Shop. And, indeed, a flourish with the Meisterstuck's handcrafted, 18-carat gold nib with platinum inlay reveals the essential qualities of noble nibdom: the softness and pliability that respond to individual writing pressure to turn your scrawl into perfectly-formed script.

Meisterstuck's writing motion is described as "smooth and effortless", but only if you're a shotputter, for this pen is as dense with craftsmanship as the pre-Big Bang universe. The ponderous, self-important result is in the signature. Which may explain why anyone with any gravitas, from JFK to the Queen, has chosen to make their mark with a Meisterstuck. Forget transient note-taking - it's a pen for signing autographs, and treaties, and buying oil tankers. In other words, for putting down on paper those momentous moments that eventually become part of the social record.

Of course, you don't need to bankrupt yourself for the art of writing well. Most fountain pens will add more class than a biro, such as the functional steel-nibbed Lamy aluminium fountain pen at pounds 18.95.

However, the Meisterstuck isn't just about writing well: it's about writing history. So if you have a penchant for indelible statement, then a pounds 9,250 investment will ensure that, if only in fantasy, you join the company of those for whom the hand that writes the word rules the world.

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