Richard Mille just released a $105,000 fountain pen

Made from carbon and titanium, the RMS05's white gold retractable nib is powered by a watch mechanism.

Neil Churchill January 28, 2016

As any man knows, if you’re in the market for a statement pen to impress your peers, there’s one brand you turn to before all others: Montblanc.

If however you don’t want to be a corporate sheep, or desire a writing instrument more reflective of your creative personality, then you might opt for a Montegrappa. 

But now there’s another ‘M’ in the high-end pen sector, and it’s just blown the other two out of the water. 

Yes the super high-end boutique watchmaker, Richard Mille, has launched its first non-timepiece product, the RMS05 – a $105,000 fountain pen. Yes, we said over one hundred thousand dollars, for a pen. 

Released at SIHH 2016, it may be Richard Mille’s only product not to be adorned with a clock face, but the brand insists on describing it as ‘epitomising the brand’s entire philosophy.’ 

Of course though this is Richard Mille we’re talking about and as such this is no ordinary pen – there’s a reason it took almost four years to develop. 

First of all, the pen is made out of hundreds of layers of carbon and was heated up to 120 degrees in an autoclave – similar to those used in aeronautics – to achieve its layered and striking look. In fact, each layer of carbon was finished randomly, meaning no two pens will ever be the same. 

But it is what’s inside the carbon case that makes this pen so extraordinary, and a peek though the sapphire window shows exactly what. It may not have a watch face, but the RMS05 does have a mechanical watch calibre. 

Centred on a skeletonised baseplate with bridges made from titanium and rhodium plated gears, the jewelled mechanism powers the release and retraction of the pen’s 18k white gold nib. Yep, this is no ordinary fountain pen. Watch the video above to see what we mean. 

A button at the end of the pen triggers a baguette movement fitted with a recoil escapement – something normally used in striking watches – which releases the nib, and voila, the pen is now ready to write. 

Replacing the cap, tentatively we imagine, raises the barrel of the mechanism, retracting the nib to be stored away safely until you next wish to write.

Richard Mille describes the history of the fountain pen as a ‘symbolic luxury object designed to appeal to the daily or occasional user, the simply curious, the connoisseur and the collector alike.’ 

At $105,000, we’re guessing the RMS05 will apply strictly to the latter.