You, Sir, are all kinds of awesome. Thank you so very, very much! I've been working on weaning myself off social media and getting back to keeping a handwritten journal. Fountain pens make writing even more exciting! Thank you, thank you!
Agree completely that one cannot go wrong with an Esterbrook pen. However, one CAN go wrong with an Esterbrook nib. The first Estie I ever got had one of the 2000-series nibs on it—it had no tipping; the end of the nib was just folded over and soldered down—sharp sharp edges, and it scratched like mad. If going for an Estie, highly recommend making sure the nib is a tipped 9000 series, or testing for writing smoothness in hand. However, given that these puppies have interchangeable nibs, like Pelikans, if you do get a bad one, it's super-easy to replace.
And yeah. Nothing beats finding an old beat-up vintage pen someone else is tossing as worthless, and bringing it back to life. But I must respectfully disagree with you on the very pinnacle of fountain pen technology: everyone knows that was the Parker 51. >^)
I just can't bring myself to spending money on a vintage/restored. I do have a vintage student pen that was gifted to me. It's a delicate writer, and I like beefy, heavy fountain pens.
I love bright, colorful, in-your-face fountain pens. I love my Lamy Safaris and Al-Stars, love the Pelikan Pelikano/Pelikano Jr and Future; I love my Platinum Preppies; Pilot Minis; but my true loves are my Pilot Vanishing Point (in my favorite color yellow) and Pelikan M205 (in the translucent blue). Close to those is a Pelikan calligraphy writer that lays down the most beautiful blue-black line.
But even beyond those, I love the color shading with a good fountain pen and good ink. A nice wet gradient line.
I have not yet found the perfect journal, but I do have a lot of love for Clairefontaine paper.
My goal for this year is to review books I read not only on Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Amazon (and sometimes Smashwords), but start using my journals I've accumulated over the years and use my many fountain pens that have been dormant for the past couple of years. Need to get back into holding a lovely writer with lovely ink and enjoy those simple pleasures.
ETA: I am currently looking for a big, beefy orange pen. I do like the Parker 51s I've seen.
I try to go to the DC Super Pen Show every year. Last year I came home with a couple of Noodlers Inks and two Noodlers pens with the flex nibs. I like them quite a bit.
Edited at 2013-01-04 02:31 am (UTC)
Haven't added anything to Memories in LJ for quite sometime. This entry goes there. Thank you.
I'll second the Lamy recommendation.
They don't look as lovely as a 1950s Conway Stewart lever-filler, but I have two of those waiting for a new home, because they turned out to be a little more fiddly than I have the patience for.
I have an Italix pen that writes very nicely indeed, but it's a fraction heavy as pens go, and it really wants to be carried carefully. It now lives on my desk, and will do so for a long time to come.
My Lamy Al-star, however, goes wherever I do, writes every time I put its nib to the page, and doesn't dry out if I pause for a minute to collect my thoughts. It doesn't care whether I packed it right-way up, or whether it was lying on its side while I pedalled over cobblestones for 20 minutes and then ran for 5. The difference between it and the Safari is that its body is made of aluminium instead of plastic.
If the nib is too fat or too narrow, you can buy a different one very cheaply and change them yourself. At less than €20, it's hard to go wrong.
If you want the opinions of lots
of pen geeks, though, head for the Fountain pen network
I have a warm spot in my heart for Pelikans. Like a lot of the large European pen makers, they make sure their inexpensive 'student' pen lines are reliable, smooth-writing pens. I always figure that a company that can't make a good inexpensive pen can't make a good pen period. They can make shiny pens for display, but that's not the same thing at all.
I'm fond of Parkers but if you use cartridges you can't use a standard cartridge with a Parker, which is annoying.
yeah -- the one fancy pen that I still want I don't have is a pelikan 800 or so.....
I have been trying to find a fountain pen that suits me perfectly for ages. Over the course of several fountain pens, I have discovered one minor inconvenience: My hands are really small and most pens are too bulky and begin to hurt my hand after extended periods of writing. Embarrassing! haha My dream pen has a narrow body, a fine yet flexible nib (possibly exchangeable?), and is a piston filler. The Montblanc that you gave away which you linked looked like it might fit my criteria, and imagine how disappointed I was to discover that they are not only discontinued but model was unknown! haha I know I may never find exactly what I want, but I thought you might have some ideas. It also sucks because I live in Idaho and the only shows we have around here are of the gun variety. >.
Check with Brian Goulet, http://www.gouletpens.com
... There are a couple of options you might like, some even usefully priced....
That was very helpful, thank you! I have found a few options that may work well for me. I am excited!
try a vector by pilot....
My current favorite, which lives on the desk and never goes anywhere else, is a red and gold VP Pilot. Another, that I love the look of but doesn't write for squat, is a kit that a friend turned for me out of a Brazilian lacewood... but it's got a proprietary converter that's cracked and an owner who won't pay $15 for a new one because the nib, on its good days, is like writing on sandpaper. With a dull drill bit. It sits and looks pretty.
Most of my knockabout pens are Chinese - Jinhao and a couple of others - which I picked up for prices varying from the mid-to-high single digits. There are several scattered around; they look like hell because the finish was junk from the beginning, but they write nicely.
My "there are lawyers" pen is a platinum preppy. Came with an ink bottle, writes more or less clearly but isn't pleasant to hold. Good enough for signing things, though. It's the only pen loaded with permanent blue ink (on advice of the lawyer who chewed me out once for signing my will in permablack because there was no good way to tell the original from a copy.)
The carry pens are Noodlers (one flex and one Ahab flex). They're nice users, a little scratchy but not so expensive I'm going to be devastated if they disappear. Likewise they're a nice fine line, which is important to me. Dad and granddad were doctors, so my handwriting took years to evolve into marginal legibility (!) and I just naturally write a very small hand. Anything above the finest of medium nibs looks the chimpanzees got loose with the Sharpie shipment.
My preferred inks at the moment are Heart Of Darkness and Xfeather - I found that the parchment paper and the high-rag 24-lb bond I use in the journals tends to feather out and, again, fine writing; inks that don't feather make for easier work. Noodlers has some gorgeous colors that I'm someday GOING to play around with, but for now I want black black BLACK.
My current workhorse "everyday" pen is a Lamy Al-Star fountain pen. It's a berry-ish purple metallic. I would call it burgundy, but Lamy calls it purple so there you go.
Only problem I've ever found with Lamy is that they tend to start skipping when they get down to about 1/3 full. I solved that problem by switching to a converter and bottled ink.
For looks, I've always had a soft spot for older Watermans.
its a inexpensive, functional, and solid fountain pen. some of them are a tad too scratchy, but you dont worry about them like you do about the expensive pens.
other than that? well.. like any hand tool (or artisan tool) what works for ME isnt always what works for YOU
do you have a heavy hand? a light touch pen will blot and blorp on you... if you have a light touch , that heavy hand pen will just scratch and sputter.
do you like a really flexi nib? a stiff one?
and some pens that are fabulous in their wide or medium nib, sck eggs on their fine tip... and vice versa (i like fine tip, which makes me a rarity in the fountain pen world... and i like a slim barrel.. which is why i love the old vectors)
added to memories...
i adore fountain pens, and i PROMISE to give a loving home to anyone's unloved fountain pens...
i used to get the Levenger catalogs just because they always had fountain pens.... sigh
If you want a good Fountain Pen Catalog fix, try Fahrney's. That's all they sell are pens and ink. I think I got on their list because of Levenger. I've yet to buy anything from them, yet they continue to send me pretty pictures every few months or so.