In the heart of Rijeka, Croatia, a team of skilled artisans and history enthusiasts came together to create something truly remarkable - the limited edition luxury line of writing instruments known as "Pensa." Born from the success of their unique torpedo-shaped writing instruments, the GB Torpedo team set out on a new journey with the creation of "Pensa."
Luxury Pen ''Pensa'' / GB Torpedo
At the core of this exceptional project are four visionary individuals whose passion for craftsmanship and dedication to preserving local history have made "Pensa" a reality. The mastermind behind it all is Tonči Grabušić, a Rijeka-based goldsmith and lover of local heritage. Alongside him are Valter and Leonard Balen from Tokarija Balen, renowned experts in metalworking, without whom the GB Torpedo products would not exist. Completing the team is Vlado Valić, a world-famous designer of fountain pens and pencils.
The Artistry of Vlado Valić
Vlado's talent and success speak for themselves, as the list of his clients reads like a who's who of global icons. From Pope John Paul II to Muhammad Ali, from Fidel Castro to the British Royal Family, and the list goes on; Michael Schumacher, Sylvester Stalone, Salvador Dalì, Paolo Coelho, Quincy Jones, Queen.
Vlado's artistic creations have left an indelible mark on history. His journey began in the goldsmithing industry, where he meticulously crafted precision machines. In 1997, he received a personal invitation from a prestigious company, one of the few producing cellulose writing instruments at the time. Tasked with designing and creating a special machine to simplify and accelerate production, Vlado's success led to an offer for the position of Technical Director, which he gladly accepted. With over 30 years of experience in creating top-tier writing instruments and over 1000 projects, including collaborations with luxury car brands like Ferrari, Bentley, Jaguar and Bugatti, Vlado was a perfect fit for the GB Torpedo team and the "Pensa" project.
The story of how Vlado joined the team is a testament to destiny. After the GB Torpedo team read an article about Vlado in Jutarnji List, Tonči exclaimed, "We need this guy!"
Vlado visited Tonči's goldsmith shop, and to everyone's surprise, he became a part of the team after retiring. Vlado's vision for "Pensa" was simple yet profound: "Where Penkala left off, we continue."
The Soul of Pensa
According to Grabušić, for the Novi List newsletter, "Pensa" is a tribute to Croatia's rich and tumultuous history, an identity that is gradually fading as the kuna (Croatia's currency) takes center stage. The name "Pensa" derives from an old Croatian unit of measurement and currency, which once represented 40 denari, but its meaning has evolved throughout history. "Pensa Auri" refers to the gold coin that was minted in the Banska kovnica in Zagreb. The play on words with "pen" as a writing instrument and "pens" as a gold coin was ingeniously conceived by their friend, poet, and professor Martina Piškor, who became the godmother of the product, infusing it with soul. Within the package of every "Pensa" fountain pen lies her poem about the pleter (Croatian interwoven patterns) and a few other fitting stories, adding a touch of poetry to this exquisite creation.
"Pensa" is not merely a writing instrument; it is an embodiment of art, history, and passion. Each piece is a labor of love, meticulously crafted by skilled hands, ensuring that the essence of Croatia's heritage lives on in the form of these elegant writing companions. With "Pensa," the GB Torpedo team has succeeded in preserving a fading identity while paying homage to their roots.