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Fountain pen recommendations

Vintage Gent

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OK, fountain pen aficionados, I need your thoughts. I'm interested in acquiring a fountain pen. Generally speaking, here's what I'm looking for:
  • sleek and elegant design
  • gold nib
  • piston fill
  • should have decent heft
  • cost: under $500

With those parameters, what would you recommend?
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by Vintage Gent
Most reviews of Pelikan fountain pens have suggested they're pretty lightweight. Is there a particular model I should be looking at?
I don't know which reviews you've read, but I don't find Pelikan to be lightweight at all, and haven't read reviews stating such. But I'm biased in that I write with Pelikan fountain pens exclusively. I prefer the 800 series. The size is perfect for me, and the quality has been exceptional. I also have several special editions in the 800 size and use at least one of them daily.
 

CHenry

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Originally Posted by Vintage Gent
OK, fountain pen aficionados, I need your thoughts. I'm interested in acquiring a fountain pen. Generally speaking, here's what I'm looking for:
  • sleek and elegant design
  • gold nib
  • piston fill
  • should have decent heft
  • cost: under $500

With those parameters, what would you recommend?


Platinum celluloid.
 

Vintage Gent

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Originally Posted by CHenry
Platinum celluloid.

Appreciate the recommendation. The Platinum Celluloids I've seen are too aesthetically gregarious for my tastes. Looking for something a bit more restrained.
 

CHenry

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You might look at the Platinum President in black resin, about as restrained as you can get. As for other brands, I have liked some of the Omas celluloid models, but they come in above $500. The Aurora Nettuno Trident is a nice looking pen, 18K nib that comes in a nearly black shade of blue, and is attractive and restrained, and not so common a brand to be uninteresting.
 

DerekS

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I love fountains. A pelikan 800 is a great choice. Classic. I'm also a huge fan of montegrappas. There's a lot to consider and look for. In your price range you an get a VERY good pen.

Another to check out is Krone. It's been my daily writer for about 2 weeks now. Very wet an super smooth.
 

Mark from Plano

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I'm boring. I write almost exclusively with Watermans. Not going to appeal to the pen geeks, but they're pretty much bullet-proof. There's a wide range of styles in a wide range of prices.

I use the Charleston. 18k nib. Pricing is more like $100-150, IIRC. (EDIT: Looks like retail is more like $190)

There are others that cost more, if you want a nicer one.

As I said, though, won't get much love from the pen geeks.
 

Thracozaag

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This pen geek definitely likes Waterman--have a rollerball and fountain pen--they're superlative writing instruments.
 

clarinetplayer

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I cast another vote for the Waterman Charleston.
 

ramuman

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I like the Chinese lacquer S. T. Duponts
 

Steve Smith

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Originally Posted by Mark from Plano
I'm boring. I write almost exclusively with Watermans. Not going to appeal to the pen geeks, but they're pretty much bullet-proof. There's a wide range of styles in a wide range of prices. I use the Charleston. 18k nib. Pricing is more like $100-150, IIRC. (EDIT: Looks like retail is more like $190) There are others that cost more, if you want a nicer one. As I said, though, won't get much love from the pen geeks.
I like modern Watermans and Parkers. There is nothing wrong with Pelikans but they just don't float my boat for some reason. I owned an M800 and an M1000, both short term in my pen stable. When I hear someone talk about spending $500 on a fountain pen I cringe. Sure, you can buy a nice pen with that money but you could buy a small collection of 5 or 10 working vintage pens, every one of which is a better writing instrument than the one modern pen. Do this and use a different pen every day of the week. I know this doesn't fit the OP's criteria, but take a look at a vintage oversize lever-filler Sheaffer Balance or Sheaffer Flattop on ebay. These are pens from the 1920's or 1930's which will last you the rest of your lifetime. They have huge 14kt gold nibs which you could just about hammer into a board. The only thing which will ever go wrong with these pens is that the rubber sac which holds the ink will harden and need to be replaced every 30 years or so. This is and easy repair which anyone can do. In these particular pens, only buy a lever filler. The alternative filling system is a dog and is virtually impossible to repair. Some sellers may refer to that as a piston system but it is nothing like those plastic piston systems on modern pens. Many sellers of fountain pens on ebay know pens. Ask whether a pen is in writing condition and whether it has a fresh sac. Most of these pens are black but you can also find a striated material (usually brown/gold, gray or blue) or a nice white / black pearl material. One of these should cost from $70 to $150 depending on color and condition of barrel. If you want to see what I am talking about go to ebay and search Sheaffer oversize. There is an interesting pen "Parker 1937 Vacumatic" which has a little over 24 hours left.
 

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