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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,
I know that it might be not the best place ever, but I believe that "a pen" (be it fountain or not) is a piece of accessory which goes together with clothes, style, elegance.

I have been thinking for some time to invest in a good quality pen - the one I would always have in my jacket pocket. I believe it looks really nice when a gentleman does not use ANY pen but while signing a bill etc. uses his own.

OK, having said what I said, the question arises - do you happen to know any idiot guids to buying pens? Or at least any "top 10" producers? There are thousands of them, of totally different prices and different qualities. I do not want to treat it as a piece of jewelry filled with the most expensive stones I could afford. It must be elegant, yet functional.

It would be great for start if sb managed to explain to me the difference between ball point pens and roller ball pens...

Thank you for help and I am sorry that it is not exactly about clothes... I hope you don't mind (as there were some subjects about watches as well).

Kind regards,
Theriel
 

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From the standpoint of recognition, Mont Blanc is the standard for luxury inkpens.
(Rollerball pens use water-based liquid or gelled ink, as opposed to the oil-based and more viscous inks found in ballpoint pens. The characteristics of these less viscous inks, which tend to saturate more deeply and more widely into paper than other types of ink, give rollerball pens their distinctive writing qualities).
 

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FountainPenNetwork.com

Go to https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/ and surf around.

Pelikan seems to be the favored make there. Other popular makes include Parker, Waterman, Lamy, etc. Mont Blanc is the unfavored make there.

Questions to answer when buying a fountain pen include: How wide do you want the nib to write? Will you be using bottled ink, ink cartridges, or both? How long, big, and heavy a pen do you prefer? How much boffo/bling do you like? How much are you willing to spend?

If this is your first outing into the world of fountain pens, you cannot go wrong by going to https://www.richardspens.com/?page=sales/newp_pel.htm and getting a custom-built Pelikan M200. IMHO. Check out Richard Binder's "Reference Information" while you're there.

I use a Lamy 2000, a Pelikan M200, and a Pelikan M250--all in an extra fine nib, and all are bottle fed only (via a piston mechanism). I've had several Parkers and Sheaffers.
 

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Go to https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/ and surf around.

Pelikan seems to be the favored make there. Other popular makes include Parker, Waterman, Lamy, etc. Mont Blanc is the unfavored make there.

Questions to answer when buying a fountain pen include: How wide do you want the nib to write? Will you be using bottled ink, ink cartridges, or both? How long, big, and heavy a pen do you prefer? How much boffo/bling do you like? How much are you willing to spend?

If this is your first outing into the world of fountain pens, you cannot go wrong by going to https://www.richardspens.com/?page=sales/newp_pel.htm and getting a custom-built Pelikan M200. IMHO. Check out Richard Binder's "Reference Information" while you're there.

I use a Lamy 2000, a Pelikan M200, and a Pelikan M250--all in an extra fine nib, and all are bottle fed only (via a piston mechanism). I've had several Parkers and Sheaffers.
Although the recognition of MontBlanc is huge, my choice for a fountain pen is a vintage Shaeffer.
 

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The Montblanc is the "Rolex" of pens, instantly recognizable as expensive and intended to impress others. Eschew that option and look for a vintage Pelikan or Parker or in the other direction a Montegrappa. Also, buy a copy of a pen collector's magazine. I think there is one called "Pen World". If you are going to do something special, a little investigating would be a good thing.
 

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I'm a Waterman man.

The French: wine, scent, cheese, bread and pens! (Some might add to this list. ;))
I don't know if Waterman's have improved at all, but in the late 80s I had a beautiful set called (I believe) The Opera Series, with the most gorgeous waves imprinted in the black surface like watermarked silk. Beautiful, and it came apart in normal use (and not the nib) within a year. I was pretty mad about this. I took it in for repair expecting some good service. The poor soul at the store acted like a Russian civil servant; unimpressed with my problem, he took the pen looked at it and shrugged putting it in a thick manila envelope; then put it in a bin full of other Waterman returns; couldn't say when it would come back; gave me a receipt and I never saw the pen again. It was swallowed up in the pen repair gulag. On the other hand, my Parker went in for service and was back in about 10 weeks, and has worked flawlessly since then. Pens are very fragile, however, and I would not necessarily suggest spending a lot on a pen. Maybe I am just responding to my own bad experience. I like watches and Scotch these days. Although I am flirting with fine stationery at this point. There's always something to tempt away what remaining cash one has.
 

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One more thing about Mont Blanc, the resin used to make the pen body breaks quite easily if you should happen to drop the pen on a hard surface. As you can imagine, replacement parts, while readily available, are expensive.
 

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I have a montblanc meisterstuck that I have had for about 10 years, the real secret of the pen (its a roller) is in its replaceable cartridge, the rest of it is just a housing. When I bought it I think it was around $120 and now they go for about $300, I am not sure what has justified the price creep but I wouldn't think of buying another at that price. It is a very good pen and writes well, is recognized as a shiny bauble by many and it forces you to keep an eye on it lest it gets used and not returned. I don't think its all that amazing but their high-end stuff certainly looks amazing. This pen is really the minimum entry point for snazzy pens but the reality is there is a whole pen-aholic subculture out there.

If you go to Ebay you will find a brisk trade in fine pens and no shortage of fanatic pen websites, rather than ask about them here I would direct you to a pen forum (google it, I don't know of any specific ones). Good luck.
 

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Pens are a bit like shoes -- what fits me may not fit you.

How you hold your pen, writing style, etc. are very personal. I suggest that you go to a local pen shop and try as many as you can. Roller ball and gel pens do not have as much writing "personality" as fountain pens (nor do they require as much care and feeding). Buy what works for you and fits your personality.

Keep in mind that my $10 Waterman Phileas fountain pen writes as well as my $400 Mountblanc. Pens like most luxury goods have little price/performance relationship (unless you are trying to impress people).

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I second Dunhill.
I also like Cross pens, if only because they remind me of Mark Cross when it was around.

I like ballpoints because I must write slower with them (due to viscous ink) which improves my handwriting. And, because they do not smudge and can get wet morseso than rollerball and fountain pens can.
 

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Parker Sonnet in cisele (sterling silver with a engraved black crosshatch). I've had mine so long the engraving is starting to wear smooth. The predecessor, the Parker 75, is a iconic design with the Sonnet beng updated in the nib. The thing I like is the metal barrel and cap give the pen real heft without being fat and bulky.
 

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One more thing about Mont Blanc, the resin used to make the pen body breaks quite easily if you should happen to drop the pen on a hard surface. As you can imagine, replacement parts, while readily available, are expensive.
I dropped a Mont Blanc and it snapped at the threaded part you unscrew to change the cartridge. They replaced it for free.

They've since changed the threads to metal, and it doesn't happen anymore. And there are a lot of things they'll fix for free, particularly if the model is still in production and the parts are readily accessible.

That said, my favorite pen ever is the Parker Sonnet, specifically the sterling silver "Fougere" model. I had a rollerball for years and lost it, and it's on the list of things I'm too cheap to buy myself and everyone else is too cheap to buy for me too. :(
 

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I have had a Peliken for years, and really like them. They do not go through the washing machine. Oddly, only about half the parts were found. Don't know what happened to the rest of it. Am trying to treat the new one with more care.

While you are at it, Visconti ink is wonderful stuff. So is Waterman.
 
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