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Onoto/ De La Rue Pens


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#1 Csrae

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 15:14

Greetings, 

 

I'm looking for any comprehensive info about Onoto and De La Rue. There are some paragraphs about De La Rue and their company history but most of it looks pretty dated. I've checked ebay and individual pen sales sites but they seemed to be more or less empty. I do know they produce modern pens but sadly they are out of my budget. Thanks. 

 

I did read the reviews from the pen reviews forum but any other info would be welcomed. 

 

Brief History of Onoto 


Edited by Csrae, 15 June 2014 - 15:22.

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#2 FountainPages

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 01:06

The modern Onoto company is a name only. The current company bought the name from a holding company and is manufacturing under that name. De La Rue has long since passed and Onoto went that way in the fifties if I am not mistaken. While the current pens are nice ( I used to own an Onoto Magna Classic modern), they are NOT the Onoto of the past. Nor is Conway-Stewart. I sold mine as unusable to me and think they are grossly over-priced. If you buy, buy vintage...do not buy a shadow of the original.



#3 Csrae

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 01:28

That's too bad. I like vintage pens and the idea of pen company with a long history appeals to me. I thought Onoto sold modern day versions of their plunger fillers? At least according to their site.
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#4 Tadeusz

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 02:58

That's too bad. I like vintage pens and the idea of pen company with a long history appeals to me. I thought Onoto sold modern day versions of their plunger fillers? At least according to their site.

As far as I can see, most of the Onoto pens are cartridge converter affairs (the horror!). Only their limited, special editions (read: Laughably high prices) are plunger fillers.

 

Again, that is all if I can recall correctly, as I prefer not to look at the modern Onoto pens too often.



#5 Csrae

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 03:12

As far as I can see, most of the Onoto pens are cartridge converter affairs (the horror!). Only their limited, special editions (read: Laughably high prices) are plunger fillers.
 
Again, that is all if I can recall correctly, as I prefer not to look at the modern Onoto pens too often.


Huh, you're right. The only plunger fillers are their LE FPs. I guess I'll add it to my vintage pen list.
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#6 FountainPages

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:17

I am so sorry. When I bought mine I was looking for a storied history, I got an historical faux pas and price. The same with Conway-Stewart sadly.



#7 soapytwist

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 23:14

The modern Onoto company is a name only. The current company bought the name from a holding company and is manufacturing under that name. De La Rue has long since passed and Onoto went that way in the fifties if I am not mistaken. 

 

De La Rue is still a massive company, specialising in security printing (banknotes, passports, credit cards, you name it) : http://www.delarue.com

 

I think they decided in the fifties that pen manufacturing no longer fitted their portfolio, and that part of the company probably was not worth selling on, so they just closed their pen division.

 

Here's some fairly extensive info on the Magna: http://www.penpractice.com/page25.html

 

Some more history from RHR on these boards: http://www.fountainp...3-34-the-onoto/

 

The new company, although not related to De La Rue does at least try to emulate the quality of the original pens, and their decision to produce plunger fillers (however limited) is to be applauded - other companies wouldn't have bothered with the hassle of design and servicing that those sorts of pen require. There is also a definitive History Of The Onoto currently being written by Steve Hull, which was going to be published in time for last autumn's London Pen Show, but I'm guessing it wasn't finished in time. I presume publication is imminent.


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#8 raging.dragon

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:28

Visconti and TWSBI make modern plunger fillers. Stipula have made a few as well.



#9 Csrae

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:33

 
De La Rue is still a massive company, specialising in security printing (banknotes, passports, credit cards, you name it) : http://www.delarue.com
 
I think they decided in the fifties that pen manufacturing no longer fitted their portfolio, and that part of the company probably was not worth selling on, so they just closed their pen division.
 
Here's some fairly extensive info on the Magna: http://www.penpractice.com/page25.html
 
Some more history from RHR on these boards: http://www.fountainp...3-34-the-onoto/
 
The new company, although not related to De La Rue does at least try to emulate the quality of the original pens, and their decision to produce plunger fillers (however limited) is to be applauded - other companies wouldn't have bothered with the hassle of design and servicing that those sorts of pen require. There is also a definitive History Of The Onoto currently being written by Steve Hull, which was going to be published in time for last autumn's London Pen Show, but I'm guessing it wasn't finished in time. I presume publication is imminent.


Thanks for the links and background info on DLR. I've heard that Stephen Hull's book is estimated to be out sometime in October 2015.
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#10 PeterBeoworld

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 20:41

I have both vintage and modern Onoto pens, including new and old Magnas. The old are wonderful pens but are a trifle difficult to use as everyday pens as the collectors are not modern and the ink flow not what you would expect from a modern pen. The modern Onotos are interesting in design, the nibs are superb and one has the choice of both plunger and C/C pens. I have both types.  Customer service is superb - you are treated as an individual and communication is friendly and quick. Highly recommended. Obviously not cheap but the nibs are wonderful - I tend to get stubs tuned by Oxonian who attends to the custom nibs for Onoto.

I have just started using my new Doctor's Pen which is fantastic.



#11 Postscript

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 00:00

Love the modern pens; own two so far.  No problem with an interrupted history here.

 

Post Script

 

Same is true for CS BTW.  Have many without any issues for them.



#12 Postscript

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 00:01

And also own vintage CS pens; no difference in quality.



#13 richardandtracy

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:28

As I understand it, the new Onoto company has bought the name and intellectual property of the old one. So it is actually the true Onoto, even if it's revived from the dead.

 

Regards,

 

Richard.



#14 dior523

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 19:48

Just looking to buy a Onoto recently due to its history...