The son of an Italian civil servant working for the Italian government in Switzerland, Naldi grew up in Ticino, the Italian speaking southernmost Swiss canton. After completing his studies in business the young Naldi learned German first in Germany and later in the German speaking Switzerland.
His next move was moving to Lausanne where he lived for thirteen years and where his children were born. From there he settled in Zug, central Switzerland. His first serious foray into the world of luxury goods business starts in 1996 in Lausanne where he establishes Pandora Ltd. The aim of the company is to bring ‘Made in Italy’ goods to Switzerland and beyond. The company specialises in fine textiles, accessories and writing instruments. Later on, starting 1999, the company would start producing luxury boxes for the likes of Caran d’Ache, Marlen, Omega or Jacob&Co. Some of the pen brands represented by the company are big names like Aurora, Delta, Marlen, Stipula, Visconti but also Sailor.
In 2008 Naldi and his wife Antonina open Style of Zug. A unique boutiques specialized in fine writing instruments and accessories. Many of the accessories he offers are sold under the name Naldi-Italia.
This special business position and his passion for fine objects allows Naldi to acquire a unique understanding of the luxury pen business. With a keen eye for innovation and taste for well designed objects, Naldi understands that there is a market for a new and innovative pen brand. The Swiss location also offers him a unique angle due to the proximity to high horology. And yes, the sleepy world of fine pens has a thing or two to learn from the dynamic Swiss watchmaking.
All this formative experiences would come together to form Edelberg. The DNA of the brand fuses together a number of different strands: beauty, style and excellence on one side, technology, advanced materials and the Swiss Made badge on the other hand. The most relevant motifs used for finishing are from fashion, textiles, tailoring, watchmaking and sports.
Looking back at the trajectory of Naldi’s life things do fall into place neatly. His love of beautiful things traces back to his childhood and formative years. His Italian background had a decisive influence on his penchant for design and deep sense of style. The Swiss watchmaking connection added the technology and utterly modern take on luxury, whilst his contact with pens through his business has offered the perfect opportunity to bring together and materialize his eclectic experiences.
After years of planning and development the brand came to life in early 2010 under the name Edelberg. The name is a portmanteau made through the fusion of two words. Edelweiss, the national flower of Swizerland and Gutenberg, the inventor of printing press. The denomination subtly encompasses the values of the brand. Beauty, Swiss spirit and innovation.
The distinctive logo of the brand is not an I or an H on a side either. If you look carefully the outside frame contains all the letters of the brand Edelberg. Rather neat.
The brand offers two collections: Sloop and Tachys. Sloop takes its name from a sailing boat with a single mast and a fore-and-aft rig. The shape of the pen is also inspired by the shape of the sailboat. It also has a cool retractable clip. Reflecting Naldi’s textile connection the model has been issued in fabric and animal print. The watchmaking influence has materialized in the use of SuperLuminova (a luminous substance often used in watch dials), the design of the technical clip, but also special collaborations with the watch brand Artya and watch retailer Chronopassion.
Underlining the sportiness of Sloop the collection is issued only as ballpoint. The purity of lines, originality of concept and finish in high performance materials lend Sloop a resolutely modern character. Within the Parthenon of fine pen brands only Porsche Design shares some similarities with Edelberg. However they diverge where Edelberg ceases to be an instrument only and becomes more of a fashion accessory.
The second collection Tachys takes its name from the Greek word for speed. Tachys is a prefix often used in watchmaking for timepieces with Tachymeter function. Furthermore the clip is based on the design of the needle of a speedometer. SuperLuminova and textile prints are also employed for the collection. As opposed to Sloop which comes only as ballpoint, Tachys has a more classic feel to it and comes in rollerball and fountain executions (with titanium nibs).
Reflecting the wider philosophy of Carlo Naldi, Edelberg is more than a luxury pen brand. The brand offers luxury pen boxes, cufflinks, belts, key-rings and even wine! The Edelberg design language runs clearly through all of them.
The brand is very successful with architects, designers, media people, businessmen and collectors too. Interestingly over thirty percent of the customers are ladies. Since March 2015 his son, Samuel, has taken over the helm of the brand as the new CEO.
Iunal Giumali is editor of [http://www.penficionado.com], the premiere online source of writing instruments and one of the most original providers of pen related content.
With ten years experience in the luxury market, Iunal has spent over five years in a luxury environment in Harrods, London, working both in the writing instruments and watches departments. Previously he worked as a jewellery buyer for an Instanbul based jeweller.
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