Their pricing might be different (by order of magnitude), and their vehicles might be radically different as well, but Bugatti and Bentley largely cater to the same cadre of elite clientele. The two auto marques – both subsidiaries of the Volkswagen Group and both managed by the same CEO – share a common branding approach as well, so it should hardly come as any great surprise that, following Bugatti's collaboration with Italian pensmiths Ferrari da Varese, Bentley's gone a similar route with Tibaldi.
Fact of the matter is, like the timepiece collaboration with Breitling, Bentley and Tibaldi have been working together for several years already. We reported on one of their previous collaborations a few years ago, and now the Italian pen-maker has released their latest in honor of the new Bentley Mulsanne.
The Tibaldi for Bentley Mulsanne pen series includes roller-balls and fountain pens crafted in sterling silver and 18-karat rose gold. They feature knurled metal grips and wood trim in any of Bentley's three veneers: dark stained vavona, burr oak or burr walnut. With a clip reminiscent of Bentley switchgear and an emblem styled after the car's starter button, you can bet the Mulsanne pens have a feel to them as weighty as the car they're designed to compliment. And just to gild the lily, each comes in a specially crafted wooden box to match. Have a look for yourself in the gallery below and read the details in the press release after the jump.
For a new Bentley to merit the name "Mulsanne", inspired by the legendary straight and corner at the Le Mans circuit, that vehicle must reflect the glory of the challenges that honed the marque's reputation.
As evocative an historical achievement as the victories themselves is the actual vehicle to inspire the new Mulsanne: W.O. Bentley's masterpiece from 1930, the immortal 8-litre. The last "big Bentley" to be designed, engineered and built entirely by Bentley engineers, the 8-litre's heart and soul define the Mulsanne: it, too, was conceived, styled and engineered entirely at Bentley's headquarters in Crewe, England, and will be built there in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The Mulsanne is the pinnacle of Bentley motoring – like its ancestor, a true grand tourer.
As interpreted by Tibaldi, the TIBALDI FOR BENTLEY MULSANNE pens will marry two traditions, two aesthetics. Now an established family of writing instruments for connoisseurs, the pens fashioned by the Italian maker for England's greatest automotive force employ the proportions and patented technologies of Tibaldi, with the forms and details prescribed by the cars they honour. Notes Tibaldi CEO, Giuseppe Aquila, "The greatest challenge when developing these extraordinary pens has been the production of the wood components, which were designed to match the interior of this outstanding new car."
To capture the essence of the Bentley Mulsanne, Tibaldi has fashioned a series of writing instruments that communicate the feel of the Mulsanne in a piece of functional, hand-held sculpture. Fingers holding the Mulsanne will make contact with knurled bands, the surface matched on the pocket clip, echoing the design of Bentley switchgear. The pen is topped with a Bentley emblem reminiscent of the vehicle's starter button. And every pen adheres to Tibaldi's respect for the Divine Proportion, the ratio between the pen's cap and the visible portion of the barrel when the pen is closed, equalling the ratio of 1.618.
Fashioned from precious metals, including versions in sterling silver and 18K rose gold, the TIBALDI FOR BENTLEY MULSANNE is unmistakably an adjunct to a car handcrafted from the finest materials. Addressing not only the construction but also the exclusivity of the actual vehicle, the TIBALDI FOR BENTLEY MULSANNE will be limited to 90 fountain pens and 90 roller balls per finish in the sterling silver version and 9 fountain pens and 9 roller balls per finish in the solid 18K rose gold version, to represent a significant anniversary for Bentley: 2009 marks 90 years since Walter Owen Bentley founded the company that bears his name and which has become synonymous with British luxury motoring. There are three finishes with their caps and barrels accented in one of the three woods found in the cars themselves: Dark Stained Vavona, Burr Oak and Burr Walnut.
Tibaldi, S.p.A. Founded in 1916, Tibaldi has been creating fine writing instruments for almost a century. For
more information, please visit www.tibaldi.it.