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Thread: Introductory pen

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    Default Introductory pen

    First post...

    First I got into nice clothing.....and I took to a forum and learned about good quality threads...

    Then I got into watches....and I took to a forum and bought my first Rolex...

    And now I want a high quality writing instrument. I sign my name and write a lot in my law practice so what Iím looking for is either a rollerball or ballpoint (maybe both) that is a good introduction to high quality writing instruments. Suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Ash


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    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by ashullscachull View Post
    First post...

    ... what Iím looking for is either a rollerball or ballpoint (maybe both) that is a good introduction to high quality writing instruments. Suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Ash


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Do you realize this is FOUNTAIN PEN geeks?

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Welcome to Fountain Pen Geeks.

    Many members on here won't equate either a rollerball or ballpoint as a "good introduction to a high quality writing instrument." However, several well known and quality brands produce all 3 types of pens plus mechanical pencils. Maybe look at Montblanc?
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member VertOlive's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Yes, if you like the Big Names, Montblanc, Pelikan, Visconti. My favorite of these is Pelikan, but I have no idea what the ballpoint might be like.
    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life"?óMary Oliver

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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by ashullscachull View Post
    First post...

    First I got into nice clothing.....and I took to a forum and learned about good quality threads...

    Then I got into watches....and I took to a forum and bought my first Rolex...
    If you're willing to pay a huge premium for a brand that everyone recognises, but doesn't work especially well, then Montblanc is the automatic choice. (To the extent that I'm surprised you actually felt the need to ask.)

    ..If you are going to be signing legal documents then it might be an idea to make sure that whatever pen you buy uses reasonably fraud resistant ink. (In particular, if someone does persuade you to switch to a fountain pen, most fp ink is VERY easy to tamper with..)
    Last edited by ilikenails; January 19th, 2019 at 12:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Welcome to Fountain Pen Geeks.

    Many members on here won't equate either a rollerball or ballpoint as a "good introduction to a high quality writing instrument."
    There are some superb rollerballs on the market. Eg quite a few artists have replaced Rotring technical pens with Uniball Visions -

    http://nymag.com/strategist/2016/10/...ll-vision.html

    ...That's a hell of a standard to reach. But these pens are not "prestige" brands.

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    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Iiiiikkkk Rollerballs .......even worth than Ballpoints......

    Just for the records:
    Nothing wrong with Montblanc pens, the quality is excellent.
    Itˋs not their fault that there are also people buying Rollerpens and Ballpoints, they have to make money so they sell what the market demands.

    Ash, forget that kind of pens, leave your life as Ballpoint barbarian behind you and enjoy the uniqueness and elegance of good fountain pens!
    You will see that there is nothing comparable, FPˋs give your writing personality.

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    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Just wanted to add, we also treat Ballpoint barbarians and Rollerball users with respect.

    In the spirit of Albert Einstein:


    Quote Albert Einstein by Ptero Pterodactylus on DeviantArt

    (Montblanc 14 - OBB ..... Colorverse Extra Dimension)

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    Senior Member jar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios
    My Website


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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    When you get right down to it, ballpoints and rollerballs are a function of the refills, which usually sell for $2-$10. All the rest is comfort in the hand, beauty to the eye, and (if you really must) brand. On that basis, you may choose a great writer, a comfortable writer, a handsome writer or a brand/status statement.

    I've owned several Montblanc ballpoints and rollerballs; all have since been sold not because there was anything wrong with them, but simply because they wrote no better than others and people wanted to pay me $$ for them.

    Here is my current clutch of ballpoints (one has a mini-rollerball refill). By the way, I prefer a button mechanism (clicker) than a twist mechanism.

    IMG_1911.JPG

    Left to right: Vintage '30s Waterman 7 pencil converted to ballpoint with twist mechanism by Carl Seidl; another vintage Parker Duofold pencil conversion with twist mechanism by Carl Seidl; black '70s Parker (gift new back then from my English father-in-law, but made in USA): '60s Parker sterling Ciscle (both take a wide variety of OEM Parker or aftermarket refills available everywhere!); '60s Sheaffer gold-filled with clip mechanism; Pelikan K200 with button mechanism (I have a few of these for good reason).
    Last edited by FredRydr; January 19th, 2019 at 02:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Since you're already familiar with rollerball and ballpoints, maybe you can take this opportunity to explore why there are a group of people that are just super-fans of fountain pens.

    In broad 3 categories (there may be more), the fountain pen hobby covers these:

    1. Writing (or drawing) with one, in which you get to be as particular about the size, color, material, filling system, down to the one that matters most in this category: Nib performance. As a true instrument, fountain pen nibs can be tuned, adjusted, ground to different size and line characteristics. In this category also, you would also be introduced to the hundreds of inks (although for legal documents you want to use water resistant, permanent inks).

    2. Collecting. In this category, the emphasis is to build a well-curated collection of fountain pens, typically vintage, or limited editions because of the added rarity dimension, but it doesn't have to. I know a few people who collect non-limited edition modern pens.

    3. Tinkering. This category ranges from custom pen makers using exotic materials and elaborate designs, to vintage pen restorers who rescue broken, neglected and forgotten pens back into life of service for appreciative new owners. Plus other artisans who modify, resurface, and do other creative work on fountain pens.

    Hope this is helpful as a way for you to look at this new (to you) hobby.
    - Will
    Sketches with restored vintage fountain pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by ilikenails View Post
    ...If you are going to be signing legal documents then it might be an idea to make sure that whatever pen you buy uses reasonably fraud resistant ink. (In particular, if someone does persuade you to switch to a fountain pen, most fp ink is VERY easy to tamper with..)
    Which is certainly true, but there are many fountain pen inks available that have good "permanent" characteristics, and they won't all clog up your pens. It's just a matter of being aware of what you're using. And it's worth mentioning that some of the inks used by gel pens and rollerballs are also not very water resistant, let alone being permanent. I'm not sure which are best.

    On the main topic, I wonder if part of the OP's concern might be to create an impression by the perceived quality of the pens he uses. Nothing wrong with that, as impressions do have real importance. But the things that would impress the people on this forum are not necessarily those that "non pen people" would notice.
    "So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."
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    Senior Member Kulprit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    If you must eschew fountain pens, might I suggest a Waterman Expert rollerball? If you prefer ballpoints, get the Expert rollerball anyway and just use ballpoint refills. That way you get a pen you can at least cap.


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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    Iiiiikkkk Rollerballs .......even worth than Ballpoints......

    Just for the records:
    Nothing wrong with Montblanc pens, the quality is excellent.
    They don't write as well as Japanese pens costing a 1/20 the price so, no, that statement isn't true. They're also dishonest with customers in that they call cheap perspex "precious resin." Except that they add equally cheap glass fibe to it to make it shiny, which makes it notoriously brittle-

    http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/fo...recious-resin/

    This is especially problematic with twist mechanism ball points - every retract stresses the material, so there are quite a few reports of pens simply breaking from normal use. Then there was that little matter of them selling customers $10,000 diamond encrusted pens without being clear that the diamonds were worthless chemically cleaned stones...

    Otoh, the company that makes their ink for them is excellent.
    Last edited by ilikenails; January 23rd, 2019 at 02:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaputnik View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ilikenails View Post
    ...If you are going to be signing legal documents then it might be an idea to make sure that whatever pen you buy uses reasonably fraud resistant ink. (In particular, if someone does persuade you to switch to a fountain pen, most fp ink is VERY easy to tamper with..)
    Which is certainly true, but there are many fountain pen inks available that have good "permanent" characteristics, and they won't all clog up your pens. It's just a matter of being aware of what you're using.
    I'm not sure that I'd say "many" - it's about 1% of those available? Probably less. It's an issue that you definitely have to be aware. And that a lot of standard fp inks disappear on contact with water in a way that ballpoint doesn't, so you wouldn't want to use them for addressing an envelope or taking notes in an important meeting.

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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulprit View Post
    If you must eschew fountain pens, might I suggest a Waterman Expert rollerball? If you prefer ballpoints, get the Expert rollerball anyway and just use ballpoint refills. That way you get a pen you can at least cap.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Can you tell me more about this? Thatís one of the pens Iíd identified as an option and I like the idea of a removable cap. Will the refill fit seemlessly?

    Thank you all for your responses. I like nice things so part of this is about impressionsóI donít think my lifestyle suits itself to a fountain pen as a daily driver. I might get one to mess around with, but why Iím really looking for is a well constructed ballpoint or rollerball that will look good in my pocket, feel good in my hand andómost importantówrite well.

    Ash


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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    I get the gist of this. Depending what girth you want, just buy a black Montblanc LeGrand (standard girth) or Classique (slim girth) in excellent condition for $75~200. If the refill in the pen doesn't write well, just buy a packet or two new refills (you'll eventually need them anyway). You'll get good quality and the pocket presence you want, too.

    Remember, this is a fountain pen forum, so once you get past the issue of whether a particular ballpoint refill "writes well," there's not much left to talk about.
    Last edited by FredRydr; January 24th, 2019 at 08:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by ashullscachull View Post

    Can you tell me more about this? Thatís one of the pens Iíd identified as an option and I like the idea of a removable cap. Will the refill fit seemlessly?
    While Iíve never tried it, Goldspot claims that the rollerball version of the Waterman Expert will take a Waterman ballpoint refill as a straight swap. It stood out to me since, at the time, I had a friend who was looking for a ballpoint with a cap, since most are either click- or twist-retractable.


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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Think about comfort first so choose a pen that will feel good in the hand - not too thin or fat for your hands, not too heavy for you to feel comfortable writing with it for a while.

    Choose a pen that takes a standard refill size. Then do some research - even if that just means buying every refill that fits, and trying them all out till you find the one you're happiest with.

    Decide on your style. You may want sober black: all metal: black with a twist (I have a lovely Jean Pierre Lepine ballpoint, nicely understated black but with a wonderful corkscrew twist clip): single colour: or vibrant colour. Depends who your clients are and what your image is.

    Then take a good look around. Waterman Carene (rollerball, very nice) and Parker Duofold can be recommended, Pelikan (various sizes) or Mont Blanc, or Lamy (some very attractive Lamy 2000 ballpoint versions including Titanium, matt black, steel and yew wood) but if you want a minimalist and modernist style you could also look at Venvstas, a French brand that's not so well known.

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    Default Re: Introductory pen

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    Think about comfort first so choose a pen that will feel good in the hand - not too thin or fat for your hands, not too heavy for you to feel comfortable writing with it for a while.

    Choose a pen that takes a standard refill size. Then do some research - even if that just means buying every refill that fits, and trying them all out till you find the one you're happiest with.

    Decide on your style. You may want sober black: all metal: black with a twist (I have a lovely Jean Pierre Lepine ballpoint, nicely understated black but with a wonderful corkscrew twist clip): single colour: or vibrant colour. Depends who your clients are and what your image is.

    Then take a good look around. Waterman Carene (rollerball, very nice) and Parker Duofold can be recommended, Pelikan (various sizes) or Mont Blanc, or Lamy (some very attractive Lamy 2000 ballpoint versions including Titanium, matt black, steel and yew wood) but if you want a minimalist and modernist style you could also look at Venvstas, a French brand that's not so well known.
    I like the look of the Parker Duofold ďbig redĒ. I like the screw cap of the rollerball, but I think a good ballpoint probably suits my lifestyle more. Do you know if the Duofold is similarly cross-compatible?


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