Treasure can be lost, perhaps tucked away for a later occasion, then forgotten with the passing of time. Sometimes, like the periodical cicadas that emerge from under the ground only once every 17 years, that treasure is rediscovered. Chronoswiss is a mechanical watch manufacturer based out of Lucerne, Switzerland and founded by Gerd-Rüdiger Lang in 1983. In order to commemorate the company’s 20th anniversary, Mr. Lang, a big fan of the M800, commissioned Pelikan to create limited edition pen known as the Styloscope which was released in 2002. Built off of the M800 chassis, the Styloscope was a numbered, limited edition of 999 pieces which I previously described in detail here. These were sold by Chronoswiss and could not be obtained through Pelikan. Now long out of production, finding one on the secondary market can be a challenge for those who lack patience or means as these models have appreciated nicely over the past few decades. The Chronoswiss company turns 40 next year and the Styloscope has now achieved its own milestone, turning 20 years old this year. While mildly interesting news in its own right, what really punctuates that birthday is the fact that 88 unnumbered Chronoswiss Styloscope pens were just recently found by Chronoswiss’ COO, Beat Weinmann, in the company’s basement. Talk about a serendipitous discovery. After much consideration regarding their fate, Style of Zug, a self-described Swiss concept store with a focus on fine writing instruments, has been tapped as the sole distributor for these newfound beauties which are being released into the wild. Read on to find out all of the details including how you might own your own Styloscope.
“Some treasures are found in unexpected moments. They are the proof of a time that is gone, that will never come back. Some treasures help you shape your future, write your history, mark your path, change the course of your life. A treasure is for few, few that will cherish it and preserve it, something meant to be used for the glory. This is a green treasure found unexpectedly with the heart of a watch maker, the courage of a pen maker. This is the beginning of your story.”Chronoswiss
It was back in February that Mr. Weinmann discovered this trove of pens. The company took its time to deliberate what should become of them but ultimately decided to offer the lot for sale. None of the original packaging was available this time around and Chronoswiss wanted to leave a good impression therefore this newly found version of the Styloscope is packaged a bit differently than the original. Each pen from the lost batch comes with a simple pouch composed of Italian leather and made in Switzerland. Also included in the box is the original Warranty Card, supplied for historical purposes only (as the warranty is now long since expired). Prior to being boxed up, each pen is checked and all 88 are being offered up for purchase. These are currently retailing on Style of Zug’s website for 865 CHF (~$867.55) with free shipping and 30 day returns. Amongst the lot, there will be 40 with medium nibs, 40 with broad nibs, and 8 with oblique nibs available for purchase.
For those who may be unfamiliar, the Styloscope is a dark green transparent demonstrator built off of the M800 chassis and adorned with Sterling silver furniture done in a very unique style. The end of the clip recalls the onion-shaped crown of the Chronoswiss Régulateur wristwatch. The trim ring at the piston knob and the cap top are reminiscent of the screwed and channeled bezel that contributes to the watch’s iconic styling. The cap top features the Chronoswiss logo in sterling silver. The pen is devoid of any Pelikan’s branding. The cap band bears the inscription “Chronoswiss Ag 925 Germany.” The end of the piston knob previously displayed the pen’s individual number, a spot which is now blank. The 18 karat nib is uniquely styled and bears the Chronoswiss logo. The pen originally came packaged with a zippered etui, a warranty card, a note pad, a numbered guarantee, and a spare nib in oblique broad, most of which is absent from the current offering.
Such a find is rare indeed and presents a unique opportunity for modern collectors to add a pen to their collection that has been out of production and hard to find for decades. The unnumbered 88 might lack the cachet of the original 999 but their design is no less stunning. There is always the risk that bringing more models to the market will dilute and tarnish some of the prestige of the original, but I don’t think that we need to be overly concerned about that in this instance. Personally, I’ve always admired the Chronoswiss Régulateur wristwatch but simply have never been able to justify the price of ownership. That said, I am the proud owner of Styloscope #16/999 which is a worthy consolation. It’s exciting to know that others may now be able to enjoy a truly unique and wonderful Pelikan Souverän but, with only 88 pens available, I wouldn’t wait long if this one strikes your fancy. What are your thoughts on the rediscovered Styloscope?