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Fountain pens

walkingbootweatherwalkingbootweather Posts: 2,443
edited March 2013 in Commuting chat
Following advice on here I'm a happy convert to an old skool double edge razor and brush. I'd like to follow this up with another lifestyle purchase - a decent fountain pen. You have proved yourselves as a discerning and knowledgeable bunch so what do you recommend? I fancy something that I can use everyday so good quality but not mega expensive.
What inks do you use? I'm tempted to try and find something a bit unusual but classy - maybe a dark blue or even a brown?
Nobody told me we had a communication problem
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  • timestartimestar Posts: 226
    Maybe a Waterman or a Mont Blanc?
  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    Cross- lifetime guarantee.
    Coloured inks are for artists & loons who write to the letters page of newspapers; stick to black or dark blue.
    Mont Blanc seems crazy priced for a less than superb product- I have a Meisterstück (21st gift) & I rarely use it after spotty performance (literally).

    <DDD>I only whip it out to impress the laydeez & make the guys envious</DDD>
    Location: ciderspace
  • So what's wrong with corresponding in colour?

    Mont Blanc looks a bit rich for me so glad you aren't trying to convince me to get one of those.

    Cross and Waterman look more the sort of level I was thinking. Is it just a case of finding one I like the look of, or are there some features that make one better than another?
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    edited December 2012
    Yup - weight, feel & nib shape make the pen. You also have the fill method - cartridge or reservoir, and how the latter refills. Lamy are another marque to consider; have you a pen shop you can visit? Larger WH Smiths used to have a good selection, but I suspect that's fallen victim to the "pile-it-higher-&-cheaper" path that they've taken in the last few years.

    (edit for grammar - standing in AppleStore awaiting my happy shoppers)
    Location: ciderspace
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    Try a pen first. Mrs A and I have a Cross, a Parker 51 and a Mont Blanc between us. Mrs A prefers the Cross and I prefer holding the Parker. I never use it though as I write cack handed and I'd just get covered in ink.

    Not sure the Mont Blanc has ever been used; another great present for Mrs A from me.....
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • timestartimestar Posts: 226
    Also don't ignore the top-end products of household names in pens such as Parker. There is something about writing with a fountain pen. Word of caution - as a left-hander make sure you check they do lef-hand nibs - a fontain pen with a right-hand nib I tend to dig a trench in whatever I am trying to write on LOL
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,806 Lives Here
    asprilla wrote:
    I never use it though as I write cack handed and I'd just get covered in ink.
    It's a sign of genius*. The word sinister comes from the right handed majority's mistrust of the plainly superior left hander.

    *although a complete pain in the aris when using a fountain pen.
  • Fireblade96Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
    Yayy ! Another thread for old-school niche snobbery !

    I've used a fountain pen ever since school, with a few interruptions. My writing is poor, so a fountain pen makes/helps me write legibly.

    My current fave is a Parker (don't know which model) that I got as a present for ushering or something at a friend's wedding. I love it, but have considered getting something higher-end, so I look forward to the recommendations... :D
    Misguided Idealist
  • DF33DF33 Posts: 732
    Another vote for the Parker 51.
    It's a timeless, classic design, feels good in the hand, is reasonably affordable (although a true mint pen will cost far more than the average price) and writes beautifully.

    I have two :D
    Both the black / silver versions. It's amazing how many people comment on it and how much they like it.

    My Grandfather bought one for me on my Christening. It still rests in it's original box and I keep it at home for use there where I can't lose it. It's in immaculate condition.
    When my Grandfather died I found another in his desk. He had used it as his everyday pen. So I now use that one for taking out in a pocket when out and about, it doesn't have the sentimental value of the other so much so not the end of the world if I lose it.

    If you decide to go for one, bide your time and get a good one. And enjoy it!
    Peter
  • WidgeyWidgey Posts: 157
    Having both a Cross and Parker, go for the Cross. Yes its slightly more expensive and the cartridges are only in a few shops but definitely a better option. Feels sturdy, bit heavier but overrall my choice.
  • Disagree about lefties ploughing a furrow in the paper, depends how hard you press. at school I used stephensons royal blue ink, ( lovely colour) don't know if you can still get it. Left handed nibs didn't exist way back when, so you learnt not to push the pen but let glide across the paper. I'll just go & write some poetry.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    veronese68 wrote:
    asprilla wrote:
    I never use it though as I write cack handed and I'd just get covered in ink.
    It's a sign of genius*. The word sinister comes from the right handed majority's mistrust of the plainly superior left hander.

    *although a complete pain in the aris when using a fountain pen.

    I'm not a lefty; I'm just censored at writing.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • My knowledge of this area amounts to very little (which is perhaps befitting of my horrendous dyspraxic handwriting...), but I bought a Waterman Hemisphere (I think) a few years ago and really like it. It's certainly nicer than the cheap Parkers I used when I was at school, and it comes out whenever I have an excuse to write a letter or sign anything.
  • greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    edited December 2012
    I used a Sheaffer of some now discontinued sort and school, and now a Mont Blanc Meisterstück. like them both; I'd say the main thing is to try the nib before you buy. I have found I prefer a narrow nib, which is not the standard size.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • For daily use, I use an old Sheaffer fountain pen that my aunt gave me for my birthday 26 years ago. It's nothing fancy, but writes so smoothly. My hand-writing's pretty good, but always better with a fountain pen.

    I'd also look at pens by Kaweco - I bought a Sport Classic recently. Less than 20 quid, and made of plastic, but it has a very nice nib.

    Black ink for me.

    There's a future for you in the fire escape trade...
  • Was the sheaffer a snorkel ? remember the ad. tube extended from underneath the nib into the ink - pen filled - tube retracted then a white gloved hand (female I think) wiped the nib & showed fingers to camera, spotless. End of ad.
  • DF33DF33 Posts: 732
    Just to be clear on this, Parkers were the cheap option at school, but they made some fantastic pens. Others also made great pens. Take your choice.

    People seem to think because of that they are bottom end. Google Parker 51 on the forums and see what comes up. I hadn't until tonight.

    That aside there are many nice pens out there from quite a few manufacturers. I find quite a lot of them a bit 'bulky'. My taste isn't yours.

    Looking forward to seeing what you choose!
    Peter
  • Thanks for the tips so far. The more I look into this the more confusing it gets. Some of the more traditional designs and colours aren't really doing it for me, especially those with hooded nibs so something like the Parker 51 is out I'm afraid. Based upon looks alone, and in no particular order, these are the sort of pens that are catching my eye...

    Diplomat Excellence
    D_ExcellenceA_Marakesh_Chr_FP.jpg

    Parker Ingenuity Large
    P_Ing_Lg_Brown_Rubber_Metal_S.jpg

    Lamy Studio
    Lamy_Studio_FP_Plat_S.jpg

    Cross Sauvage
    CRO00117.jpg

    FABER CASTELL E-MOTION
    FAB00169.jpg

    Parker IM Premium
    PAR00034.jpg

    Am I barking up the right tree?
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    no. you should buy a Namiki pen (founders of Pilot). their maki-e pens are works of art.

    but fricking expensive...
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,806 Lives Here
    asprilla wrote:
    veronese68 wrote:
    asprilla wrote:
    I never use it though as I write cack handed and I'd just get covered in ink.
    It's a sign of genius*. The word sinister comes from the right handed majority's mistrust of the plainly superior left hander.

    *although a complete pain in the aris when using a fountain pen.

    I'm not a lefty; I'm just shoot at writing.
    So you're just pretending to be a trendy lefty with your shoot writing? That's just sad.
    More importantly I was going to say that I was amazed nobody had suggested penisland.com yet as it was made famous for having a URL that looked like something other than an island based pen vendor. Just checked it out and it looks like it does now go to a pron site, shame.
  • mroli wrote:
    no. you should buy a Namiki pen (founders of Pilot). their maki-e pens are works of art.

    Oi - not fair! I already have a long list of nice things I can't justify buying, without you suggesting more :lol:

    The Namiki Emperor Black Lacquer looks nice. What else would I do with £2,500?

    There's a future for you in the fire escape trade...
  • £2,500? Are you taking Namiki?

    BTW anyone like Beaver?
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • I thought i was the only person who still used them.
    The looks I get when I pull it out of my pocket at meetings...
    "I haven't seen one of those in years" :o

    Savages. I have an old Waterman Exception (I think). Fat and heavy.
    2007 Felt Q720 (the ratbike)
    2012 Cube Ltd SL (the hardtail XC 26er)
    2014 Lapierre Zesty TR 329 (the full-sus 29er)
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    I like my old ST Dupont, but I don't think there are any hard and fast rules, except find one you like the look and feel of and use it lots (so you wear the nib in a bit and so you don't lose the habit).
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,243
    Oh how i yearn to be able to use a fountain pen.

    But, that dream was abandoned during school.... You see, i hold my pens a bit wonky and end up dragging the knuckle of my pinky over the line i have just written.

    Im stuck with ball-points.
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    peat wrote:
    Oh how i yearn to be able to use a fountain pen.

    But, that dream was abandoned during school.... You see, i hold my pens a bit wonky and end up dragging the knuckle of my pinky over the line i have just written.

    Im stuck with ball-points.

    Cloven hoof...always a hindrance when writing with a pen..... :lol:
  • veronese68 wrote:
    More importantly I was going to say that I was amazed nobody had suggested penisland.com yet as it was made famous for having a URL that looked like something other than an island based pen vendor.

    Think you mean http://www.penisland.net/. Understandably they claim to specialize In wood :lol:
    Nobody told me we had a communication problem
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,806 Lives Here
    veronese68 wrote:
    More importantly I was going to say that I was amazed nobody had suggested penisland.com yet as it was made famous for having a URL that looked like something other than an island based pen vendor.

    Think you mean http://www.penisland.net/. Understandably they claim to specialize In wood :lol:
    That'd be the one. Didn't want to do too much seaarching, especially on the work computer. :oops:
  • mudcow007mudcow007 Posts: 3,861
    i thought i had seen it all....

    i didnt know you could have pen snobs!!

    whats wrong with a good old fashioned

    bicbiro_zps565fb783.jpg

    personally i use a parker jotter
    Keeping it classy since '83
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