The store inside the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is offering an exclusive new edition of the traditional writing utensils.
For over a century (from 1841 to 1952), Berlin company S. Roeder OHG was synonymous with excellently made nib pens. They received requests for these new steel nib pens – which replaced quills – from all over the world. Business was booming, and the brand became a Berlin icon. But then came the Third Reich. Imposing a boycott, the National Socialists seized the Roeder family’s life’s work and handed the company over to a follower of the regime in 1939. Production of the writing instruments soon stopped, and the business started manufacturing military goods instead. The factory – which was moved to Silesia – became Polish territory and was subsequently pulled down. The family members who had stayed in Germany perished in concentration camps, while those who were living in exile abroad failed to return the business to its former success after the war ended. In 1952, S. Roeder OHG was shut down.
Moved by the family’s story and the demise of this traditional Berlin company, and at the same time impressed by the quality of their pens and writing culture, a communications expert from Munich purchased the brand rights to Roeder and initiated the revival of Roeder pens. The exclusive special edition of fountain and roller-ball pen has been given the name “Ellen”, in honour of the great-granddaughter of the Roeder founding family who died during the Holocaust.
The pens are produced by the Waldmann company in Germany, an attribute that has been acknowledged with the words “Made in Germany” engraved on the middle ring. The shaft is made of highly polished, black lacquered brass and the twist-off cap is made of solid 25 sterling silver, also smoothly polished, which can be kept shiny with the silver cloth inside the provided case.
Bikini Berlin has always merged history and modernity – the building complex from the 1950s was carefully revived with due consideration to the preservation of listed buildings. With the greatest focus on the mid-century modern design of the 50s era, an icon has been brought back to life. And on a smaller scale this process has now been repeated for Roeder pens as the Bikini Berlin owner and developer, Bayerische Hausbau, made the production of the relaunched writing implements possible in the first place. Bikini Berlin is selling these sophisticated writing utensils exclusively at the store inside the 25hours Hotel (fountain pen: €179, rollerball pen: €169) and we are delighted that this Berlin legend is now returning home to Berlin.
Especially in our digital age, holding a Roeder pen in my hands reminds me just how precious and creative the art of writing is. And also how much precision is needed to write something by hand, an art that we are neglecting far too much lately, preferring instead to type on keyboards or our mobile phone displays. The art of handwriting reveals our true selves, not only in what we write, but, above all, how we write it. Personal and on paper.
In China there is an unwritten rule that you shouldn’t ever throw away paper with writing on it because it’s bad luck – and an ancient Chinese proverb says that even the most faded ink is better than the sharpest memory. I agree: writing something down by hand is much more effective than reading it over ten times. I for one definitely plan to start writing more again – and to embrace the originality of my handwriting. I hope I’ve inspired you to do the same! Happy writing!