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Thread: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

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    Default Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    Pens from your first year of collecting (that you still have); what do you think of them now?

    I can't speak for others but it took me a long time find my collecting niche and more or less know what I like these days. For a long time I took the sentiment of maintaining a smaller collection and selling those pens that fell out of favour. So I only have two left (from that year).

    I don't use them a lot but I would never sell them.

    These are my two a Parker Sonnet Dark Grey and rotring Esprit.

    In regards the Sonnet it's a nice writer and was my first gold nib. I prefer broad nibs these days so it does get into my rotation normally once a year and being lacquered it's more of at home pen.

    In regards to the Esprit it was the first pen I found that really suited my hand there were some more exciting pens that I had back then but I much prefer how this pen wrote it's ergonomics and it's less flamboyant design. I can't remember when I last used I think maybe 2 years ago, it's probably due an ink.

    Curious to know others experiences.

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    Last edited by top pen; June 24th, 2020 at 01:25 PM.

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I don't remember all the pens I got in the first year but I remember a handful of the pens I got early on.

    I started with a Metro and I like the nib but the step in the section isn't my favorite. My Parker 51 Aerometric is still one of my favorite, most used pens. I also got a Sheaffer Skripsert at the same time and it is just too persnickety to use often. My Jinhao 8802 is nice to look at and writes nicely but it is super heavy so I haven't used it in ages. Jinhao Lamy Safari knockoff was nothing but trouble and I tossed it.

    So, yeah, I didn't do that great with my first several pens. It is still a bit of a crapshoot but I have more favorite pens at least.

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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I had149 in '93....just saying.

    Got back interested last year restoring Esterbrook pens. Even after Parker and Sheaffer experience, the Estys are still my favorite. I'm just enjoying the ride. Love them all.

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    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    Pelikan M800. I might not have acquired so many pens if not for how much trouble i had I traded it away after a few years for a 1970s Pilot Custom. I still have the Custom.

    There were some other pens from that time, such as a really nice English 51, which i lost. Sad.
    Last edited by guyy; June 24th, 2020 at 09:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I started in 2014. Don't have any of the ones from the first year still (unless the ones I noted for 2015 were from late 2014).

    The ones I still have from 2015 are :

    • 1956 Pelikan 400NN with a 14K Semiflex EF[/*]
    • 2008 Pelikan M640 Special Edition Mount Everest with an 18K Medium tuned by Masuyama[/*]
    • 1970s Montblanc 225 with a 14K XXF Firm[/*]
    • Aurora Afrika Limited Edition with a 14K EF (marked "M" on the feed but writes like an EF)[/*]
    • 1920s Wahl Gold-filled pen 431 fitted with a 14K semiflex needlepoint #2 nib[/*]
    • Platinum Preppy 05, that has been filled with Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng eye dropper method since 2015[/*]


    I keep an album of the changes since 2014 : https://imgur.com/a/hbvykbS

    Seeing as my first couple pens were Jinhao X450 and X750 I can comment on those. I initially replaced the nibs with Goulet ones (had a EF, Medium, and 1.5 that I put into them). They were heavy pens so not that great for long note-taking in college. I felt it was suited for daily frequent writing, basically to use up the ink before it completely evaporated from such a poorly sealed cap (which is one of the main deal breaker with those pens). Now days I'm into much lighter pens with a lighter hand used and prefer soft or semiflex nibs, also definitely leaning much more vintage.

    Of the ones I still have, the two Pelikans I still feel are excellent pens that don't really get into the rotation as much as some of the newer ones, but they're definitely here to stay.
    The Montblanc 225 is pretty much one that's on the backburner, hardly used but good for an XXF in a slim pen.
    Really like the Aurora, but haven't used it much since the nib/feed collar cracked, and the replacement they sent was pre-cracked in the same spot...
    The little Wahl I take out seasonally (around the fall) and fill it with Scabiosa. I'm waiting for a Wahl 62B to arrive from Canada (been about 3 months now) so I can put the needlepoint into that older pen.
    The preppy, mainly only sees use for addressing envelopes and other purposes where I need a broad waterproof stroke.

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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I still have my TWSBI Mini, one of the first pens I ever bought:

    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Senior Member Ray-VIgo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    Still have them - Sheaffer No Nonsense pens. At that time, Sheaffer was still making pens in Iowa and you could get a basic No Nonsense for a few dollars at your local office supply store. They're good pens, but I have the originals now from the 1920s and I think the originals were a better pen than the No Nonsense. If in doubt, try a vintage Sheaffer, I say.

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    Senior Member Wahl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I still have a Parker 21 I was given when I was 11 years old, and that was a loooong time ago

    Still keep pens inherited from my late father and elder brother.

    My actual collection has been rather stable since the mid 90´s

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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray-VIgo View Post
    Still have them - Sheaffer No Nonsense pens. At that time, Sheaffer was still making pens in Iowa and you could get a basic No Nonsense for a few dollars at your local office supply store. They're good pens, but I have the originals now from the 1920s and I think the originals were a better pen than the No Nonsense. If in doubt, try a vintage Sheaffer, I say.
    I had those, too—-still do, and I added a few colors over the years. Then, a Waterman Carene. Still have it, and a couple more (I was going for the One-In-Each-Nib-Size thing). And a yellow/black trim Lamy Safari. Guess what.... 🤣

    I like them all for different reasons, but I'm using the Safaris more than the others.

    Oh, and a Rötring ArtPen. Still gots.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!


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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I actually am able to identify what I bought during my first year of accumulating fountain pens, I keep that kind of record. There are two absolute pieces of junk, a Parker IM, which was my first fountain pen, and a Zebra 301, which I must have thrown in as an extra on some other order, because it was so cheap.

    But everything else looks pretty good, my first Esterbrook Js, a Parker 51, a Lamy Safari, and a bunch of low end but decent pens. I even have one, a Sheaffer School Pen, inked right now after a long hiatus.

    Mostly though, I don't use them. For modern pens, most of my favorites are mid-range Pilots like the Falcon, Custom Heritage 91 and 92, and Elite. I have some semi-vintage pens that see regular use, a Montblanc Noblesse Oblige and a Pilot MYU and Murex. For vintage pens, I have a number of pocket worthy lever fillers such as my Eversharp Skyline, Sheaffer Flat Top, and Mabie Todd Swan 3150, and some more finicky or delicate ones, old BCHR Conklins and Watermans, that I prefer to use at home. And most of these were bought after I learned what I could from my earlier pens.

    It's now been a year and a half since I bought a fountain pen, although I write with them every day, and have five inked at the moment. But right now, I'm trying out different types of pencils. Some of the ones I got earlier don't get used so much any more.
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    Senior Member wingwiper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    Hard one to answer..............had a Parker 45, misc Sheaffer School Writers I guess you would call them to start off for formal writing in HS. From there some P51's Sheaffer Balances, Waterman 52...........then it went crazy after I got out of the military. I was fortunate to collect when most were still inexpensive, found at Antique Shops, etc. It was during this time I acquired most of my 14k flex nibs and not even really realizing at the time.
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    Pens I got early that I still love: Edison Collier. I now have five, in different colours.

    Parker 51 and 45. Still love using them, though I find the 45 a bit light in the hand for my taste.

    Lamy 2000.

    Pens that didn't stay the course: TWSBI Micarta. The Chinese cheapies.

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    Senior Member Scrawler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I still have my sister's Conway Stewart school pen. All the rest from my first year (a few cheaper ebay antiques and Chinese pens) I have given away.

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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    My first pen was Montblanc 146. I got that pen from 2001 -2004 hardly used it. That was when I was in France.
    It was just dusting in a pen box for many years. Then I came to London and I happened to buy my first pen "Feber Castell Emotion" then a few ink bottles.
    I bought that pen on a crocodile skin design. It was the most uncomfortable pen to write with.
    Then I don't know what happened. I now have a big collection of about 100 pens. Some modern pens and then a selected vintage and antique pens.
    I love vintage pens and I am no longer going for modern pens. If you are into writing with pens it is the vintage that you must consider.
    That is my take on a pen. All of my pens are with me and I never sell them. Perhaps I might give away some...

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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    My first few pens were a Waterman Perspective, Pilot VP, & a Diplomat Excellence A2. Still have them all. Doubt I'll ever part with any of them.

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    Junior Member NumberSix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    In my first few months of collecting, I must have bought 8 or 9 Safari/Vista/Al-Star pens. I didn't really like any of them, but I kept having hope I would enjoy writing with the next one. Within a month or two, I would give them away. I did have a Lamy LX that I really enjoyed, and I regret giving that one away during a "Lamy purge".

    I bought a Parker 45 Flighter with a med gold nib. That was my first vintage pen - I later dated it to about 1965. It wrote like a dream and started me down the Parker collecting road. (I sometimes wonder what would have happened if my first "vintage" had been a Targa or some other properly vintage Sheaffer pen.) Every P45 I have bought since in steel or gold, EF-B size, has been good - but none of them have written as wonderfully as that first one. I gave it to my brother when he graduated with his Master's earlier this year.

    The other thing I did was buy a bunch of Noodler's pens - mostly Ahabs. I loved my Ahabs. But I was too new to be able to adjust things or know how to properly swap in a different nib, etc. (I returned a Triple Tail to Goulet because I couldn't get the flow properly adjusted. I have since learned about some of things I might have been doing wrong.) So instead of, for instance, swapping in an EF or F nib when it was "writing too wet", I ended up thinking they were just not usable. Or sometimes fell into the trap of "Noodler's pens are not for serious collectors - you need a Parker 51 or a Custom 823 or a Lamy 2k".

    It was quite the roller coaster ride.

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    Senior Member Lady Onogaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I think I still have almost all of mine.
    Lady Onogaro

    "Be yourself--everybody else is already taken." --Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    When I first started I bought a Parker 51 and a Parker 45, July, 1970. I threw the stainless 45 away, because it was terminally scratchy, but I still use the Midnight Blue 51. Both pens were brand new. It was probably over a year before I bought another fountain pen.

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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    Quote Originally Posted by pajaro View Post
    When I first started I bought a Parker 51 and a Parker 45, July, 1970. I threw the stainless 45 away, because it was terminally scratchy, but I still use the Midnight Blue 51. Both pens were brand new. It was probably over a year before I bought another fountain pen.
    Oh my, all of those nice spare parts.
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    Default Re: Pens from your First Year of collecting; what do you think of them now?

    I have none of the pens I bought in the first year. That included some Chinese pens (the usual Baoers and Jinhaos) and a whole slew of vintage pens. While I may have some small regret at disposing of one or two vintage pens, I still learned a lot from having them - both in terms of the models, nibs and so on, and in the kind of people that deal in them.

    Now when I look at my very small bunch of pens (it's hardly a collection) the oldest one I have, in terms of how long I've owned it, is a Pilot Custom 823, closely followed by a Lamy 2K.
    The thing is, we're all pretty on edge at the moment. It would be great if people could be considerate of others in these matters. Not much else will change the situation beyond that. - Jon Szanto

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