It all started in 1998 with a maroon colour Mont Blanc. It was a gift from a family member, and though Jayant Mhaiskar was never inclined towards collecting pens, he held onto it for its mere sentimental value. It wasn't until he bought his first fountain pen in 2002, that he realised the joy of owning these beautiful tools of writing. From vintage to new models, the managing director of MEP Infrastructure makes it a point to collect as many pens as he can — even if they are rare or exorbitantly priced.
“Fifteen years ago, Guttenberg fountain pens were in fad. I loved their design and since then, I have been following up on all the new models," says Mhaiskar. Of the 200 pens that he owns, most of them are vintage fountains, many of which are not available in India anymore. He confesses that he has a peculiar fondness for these pens. “The love for fountain pens comes from school when we were asked to use those more than ball pens. More so because, fountain pens improved handwriting,” he adds. Fast-forward to now, Mhaiskar is not comfortable writing with ball pens anymore. Although he continues to collect ball pens, his weapon of choice his ever-favourite fountain pen.
Mhaiskar is also very specific about the brand that he is buying. Mont Blanc is his favourite, followed by Cartier. Amongst his beloved collection, Prince Rainier is his favourite vintage pen. The pen is one of Mont Blanc’s limited editions, named after the Prince of Monaco, with a ruby-coated cap. For Mhaiskar, Rainier is very much a piece of art. But he admits that he has never used the pen — he is too scared to cause any damage while writing. His other treasures from Mont Blanc’s collection are limited editions 4810 and 888. Being such a regular customer of Mont Blanc even earned him the privilege of inscribing his name on the pens.
Mhaiskar's love for pens goes beyond his collection. He is just as fond of gifting pens to people as a sign of gratitude. “In 2010, when a judgement was passed in favour of our firm, I gifted Mont Blancs to all my lawyers," he says. In fact, Mhaiskar goes above and beyond to catch up with his peers' favourite pens, at the social and corporate events that he attends. Sure, he comes across with likeminded people with a hobby such as his, but for Mhaiskar, it is always an opportunity to add yet another exclusive piece to add to his already enviable collection.