Fountain pen

Discussion in 'The Good Life' started by Flatfish, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Flatfish

    Flatfish Member

    I have a Kaweco Skyline Sport. I like this pen but would like something a bit more posh.
    In the running are the Kaweco Al Sport in Blue (not the stonewashed version). Also the TWSBI 580al.

    My only demand is that the pen still looks good and is still running in 10 years (and beyond) time.

    I strongly suspect that the Kaweco will be still be working, but I also expect it to look like the stonewashed version by this point. I know people like a pen developing a patina. I don't. I would like it to look pretty much as I bought it.

    The TWSBI 580al looks really pretty. I suspect that in 10 years time it will still be looking really pretty and not as battered as the Kaweco. Will the TWSBI be still working in ten years time though.

    That's my dilemma. Don't know which one to buy.
    Any thoughts?
  2. Eeyore

    Eeyore Well-Known Member

    Buy a classic. Lamy has some excellent pens, just like Pelikan (but the pistons are slightly more maintenance). Pilot and Sailor make excellent pens as well.

    One of my best purchases was a Parker Sonnet sterling silver ciselé. Silver keeps looking good, and it is one of my daily writers.

    Have fun!

    Edit: I bought the Sonnet 20 years ago, and my Lamy 2000 is even older.
  3. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    I swear by my Parker 21s. Over 60 years old, all three of them, and running fine with no service that I'm aware of.
    richgem likes this.
  4. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    For my money, definitely go vintage. They have stood the test of time and they were designed to be daily users. Thus, they are lighter than modern FPs and easier to write with.
  5. danbuter

    danbuter Well-Known Member

    I've heard TWSBI's can crack. Not sure if it's just clumsy users, or a manufacturing defect.
  6. Eeyore

    Eeyore Well-Known Member

    Manufacturing defect, I believe. Not sure if it is still an issue in the current pens.

    Another inexpensive and classy piston filler is the Pelikan 200. I don't care for demonstrators, so I avoid the translucent ones.
  7. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    Last week, I got an order of 8 pens in assorted colors -- Jinhao 599 fountain pens from Amazon for a hair over $10 (price has gone up a little since then). And I have to say I am very pleased. They are billed as "disposable." While made of plastic (some translucent!), they come with a converter and will also take international sized cartridges. So, they can be easily refilled. They write very smoothly and "start" first time every time. The cap posts nicely and clicks in place securely when closed. The nib stays screwed in tightly due to a small O-ring... all of which means... no mess in your pockets from caps coming off or nibs coming unscrewed. One thing that may or may not matter: the nibs are noted as 18K gold plated. They are, in fact, stainless steel. You also do not get to pick your pen colors and pens do not come with ink or carts; just a converter for bottled ink.

    Link to a more expensive version with less expensive options on the side of the page:

    And at that price, who cares if you lose one or it "walks away"?

    edit: In case anyone was thinking of it, these pens cannot be used as an eye-dropper style (ie: just fill the body of the pen with ink and let the o-ring keep everything safe inside). The pen body has a small window on both sides so that you can see the ink level. This window is an actual hole and not just clear plastic.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
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  8. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    I have a number of them also. They work fine, just don't leave them too long without using them.
    Shaver X, GatorJoe and richgem like this.
  9. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    I much prefer the original Skyline(r), by Eversharp. Wonderful writers and amazing style (designed by Henry Dreyfuss)

    upload_2017-4-24_17-12-38.jpeg [​IMG]
    GatorJoe, gorgo2 and wristwatchb like this.
  10. jar

    jar Well-Known Member

    I would expect most any fountain pen to be around and working 100 years after it was made.
    Shaver X and Braswyn like this.
  11. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Got my only Parker 51 working. Finer (scritchier) line, slightly longer barrel and more substantial build, but I still prefer the simpler feel and bolder, smoother lines of my three rotated 21s.
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    Eeyore likes this.
  12. Flatfish

    Flatfish Member

    Two years after first posting this I thought I would post a follow up.

    I still have the Kaweco Skyline Sport. Just about works. Mostly me "fixing" the nib has wrecked it.
    Also have

    Lamy Safari in special edition petrol.
    Jinhao X450 black. A gift from a friend.
    Jinhao X750 silver
    Jinhao X750 white
    Wing Sung 698 demonstrator with Bock 1.1 italic. Love this pen.

    I am really liking these Chinese pens. So cheap (mostly)
    wristwatchb, 178-bplatoon and brit like this.
  13. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    Most nibs are fairly easy to replace as they are just friction fitted. All you need (in most cases) is a replacement nib of similar size and a pair of padded pliers (or regular ones if you're careful).
    GatorJoe, wristwatchb and brit like this.
  14. Flatfish

    Flatfish Member

    I considered a new nib. However for the price of a new nib to fix my otherwise plastic pen I could buy many Jinhaos which I find really good.
  15. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    I uncovered an everyday quality 1960s Scripto I'd forgot about. Need to load it up and see how it does.
    wristwatchb, 178-bplatoon and brit like this.
  16. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    If your budget permits, invest in a fountain pen with a solid gold nib. This is not merely decorative. As it is a softer metal, the pen has a more fluid, smooth feel when you write. Sailor makes some that are under $200.00
    GatorJoe, gorgo2 and wristwatchb like this.
  17. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    This has been my more or less daily pen for a few months. It's reliable, takes the long ink cartridges (a bunch of old blue Quinks I found before moving to Florida) and the finest nib writes very well without ever skipping, drying out, etc. Plus it's cheap enough that if it's ever lost, it's no big deal to replace. The hex barrel and diamond knurling gives a nice grip, too, but I used a green Scotch pad to scour the barrel and cap to a matte finish. It's even grippier than before.

    As much as I still like my all-steel Zebra ballpoint, there's nothing like writing with a fountain.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  18. DaveO

    DaveO Active Member

    I bought a Sailor 1911? a year or so ago for around $ 150. It has a 14k gold nib and is my best writing fountain pen.
    I also have a Namiki Falcon which writes almost as well for about the same price.
    Namiki also has a retractable fountain pen, but you hold it on the clip end which is strange. It clicks just like a ballpoint pen and there is a flap that seals the end so it doesn't dry out too fast.
    My favorite is the first one though. It has a beautiful nib in addition.
    Shaver X likes this.
  19. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Still working on trying to purchase a fountain pen. Working with a small monthly expendable allotment for hobbies. I'll get there one day and give it the old fashion try.
  20. DaveO

    DaveO Active Member

    Some of the fountain pens with steel nibs are not very expensive. They write fairly well though. Some even have plating on them that make them write better. I took notes all through college with an inexpensive fountain pen. I think that it was a Schaffer. You might start with something like that.
    Good luck, you don't have to start with an expensive one.
    Shaver X and Zykris like this.

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