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Pen thread

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
There was a great thread regarding pens before the Great Crash of '06. I'm looking to buy my sister a nice pen for graduation. Before I run to my local Mont Blanc, does someone have a recommendation for something more esoteric? Reputable online sources would be great also.
post #2 of 6
www.fountainpenhospital.com. www.joon.com. I prefer FPH. What's your budget like?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-$400. How much pen does that by one? Are there any clear favorites in this range? And for someone who's never picked up a nice pen in their lives (me), would a fountain or ball-point pen be better?
post #4 of 6
I think spending more than $200 for a ballpen is a little silly (no offense), because the mechanism is the same as a $5 pen. But it's not a bad idea is she has never used a FP before and may never use one if you buy it for her. You might want to think about buying both a fp and a ballpoint. Montblanc is fine, but I find them really boring. More of a status pen for non-"stylophiles". If you do get a fountain pen, $200 will get you a nice one. $400 will get you an excellent pen, top of the line, with many more design options. Be sure to get a solid gold nib (plating wears off, and steel does not adapt to the writer like gold). I'd also recommend getting a cartridge/coverter pen, which can take both plastic cartridges or draw up ink from a pot. The former is more convenient, the latter gives your more options for ink. The easiest cartridges to find are Waterman. Brands to check out: Aurora, Conway Stewart, Delta, Omas, Parker, Pelikan, Waterman. One of my personal favorite fountain pens is the Namiki Vanishing Point. A unique design, solid 14kt gold nib, and just over $100. http://fountainpenhospital.com/colle...p?CK=70&MFG=22
post #5 of 6
As a gift, particularly for a person without an interest in fine pens, I'd suggest skipping the fountain pen. This is partly because they're prone to leak and partly because some people find them a bit much for daily use. Personally, I like rollerballs. A good blend of convenience and style.

One thing to consider is how your sister will use and treat her pen. If it's going to get tossed in the bottom of her purse, then you'll need a pen that is much more durable than if she's going to keep it on her desk at home. Some pen materials are prone to chipping and fare poorly when exposed to rough-and-tumble daily use. If she's the type to take good care of her things, this will be much less of an issue.

As for recommendations, I'm a big fan of Waterman. You can get some very nice pens relatively inexpensively.
post #6 of 6
Pens are so personal that unless you really want to give a surprise, I suggest you take your sister to your local pen store and let her pick one out herself. Ideally not a single brand store like Mont Blanc.
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