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Thread: The Allure of Expensive Pens

  1. #41
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    I find a great deal of enjoyment in looking for a pen that has caught my interest: the chase.

    In getting to know the world of pens, I've gone from being bewildered by the millions of options, new and old, to gradually refining my tastes and interests. I've found what piques my curiosity and what is best left for others to enjoy. When gradually focusing in like this, the occasional pen will come up that... well, it would be really great if I can find it, and find it within what I'm comfortable paying for. I am very well aware that scarcity can (and usually does) increase the cost of an item. I accept that is the way the world turns, and adjust my attitude accordingly. It is also a given that with rarity comes a commensurate increase in the likelihood I won't be successful. Completely understandable.

    I found one pen that I looked for over a seven year period. I was lucky, and rewarded with a pen in pristine condition and less than I expected to pay. It was not a cheap pen but the majority would have been sold for even more. I value that pen for all of the elements it holds: design, history, function, and the delight and honor of being able to use it. Adding on top of all that, the charm of finding it after such a long search, never stressful, just curious and fun, and the patient action of looking and gathering it in finally paying off. It was worth every cent I paid for it, though I have paid more for other pens.

    So the chase adds a personal value, one that I can't transmit to anyone else. At the end of the day, what is expensive? It is just a word that differs in meaning, in this instance, from person to person. I constantly see pen friends purchasing pens far more costly than I'd ever spend, or buying pens in great regularity, the sum total making my head spin. None of that really affects me - I just relate to pens the way that gives me pleasure, and everyone else can find their own way. If I share my experience, it is just that: sharing. No one need, nor should, follow my interest or path.

    Besides, until we go to a completely cashless world, there's always a bank to rob.
    Last edited by Jon Szanto; September 12th, 2020 at 12:29 PM. Reason: grammar
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Iíve enjoyed the search as well.
    Recently discovering the Parker Jotter generations has been enjoyable.

    Iíve also thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful forum. Itís made the hobby path a delight.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    I used to chase vintage American pens and got a few very nice ones at low prices. I also enjoyed restoring them. I could have just plonked down the cash and purchased the pens from a dealer, but i guess i enjoyed the hunt in all those Great Lakes basin small towns.

    I donít have the time for the hunt anymore. On top of that, iíve narrowed my preferences so much that it would end up being frustrating.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    I was going to say that the premise is the same as asking why eat delicious food, but realised that it's not really the same at all.

    The allure of pens that are expensive seems to boil down to several simple factors (in no particular order, and please add, as I'm sure I've missed some)

    1. Scarcity of build materials.
    2. Known quality (including artisanship).
    3. Perceived quality.
    4. Brand perceptions.
    5. Trend following.
    6. Lack of other options.

    edit:

    7. Aesthetics.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; September 15th, 2020 at 05:01 PM.
    Be a little more open into accepting other viewpoints, if you can, as it really deepens the experience. - Jon Szanto

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    I have a Lamy Vista made from precious resin aka ABS. I've been delighted with the FP nib that is really a medium in disquise.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I was going to say that the premise is the same as asking why eat delicious food, but realised that it's not really the same at all.

    The allure of pens that are expensive seems to boil down to several simple factors (in no particular order, and please add, as I'm sure I've missed some)

    1. Scarcity of build materials.
    2. Known quality (including artisanship).
    3. Perceived quality.
    4. Brand perceptions.
    5. Trend following.
    6. Lack of other options.
    I would add a pen's aesthetics. Be honest. Don't we appreciate beauty in an object? Aren't pens appreciated for their appearance? Isn't a well crafted, visually attractive pen a work of art?

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by An old bloke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I was going to say that the premise is the same as asking why eat delicious food, but realised that it's not really the same at all.

    The allure of pens that are expensive seems to boil down to several simple factors (in no particular order, and please add, as I'm sure I've missed some)

    1. Scarcity of build materials.
    2. Known quality (including artisanship).
    3. Perceived quality.
    4. Brand perceptions.
    5. Trend following.
    6. Lack of other options.
    I would add a pen's aesthetics. Be honest. Don't we appreciate beauty in an object? Aren't pens appreciated for their appearance? Isn't a well crafted, visually attractive pen a work of art?
    They look good in the pocket.....LOL!!

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    Senior Member Empty_of_Clouds's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by An old bloke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I was going to say that the premise is the same as asking why eat delicious food, but realised that it's not really the same at all.

    The allure of pens that are expensive seems to boil down to several simple factors (in no particular order, and please add, as I'm sure I've missed some)

    1. Scarcity of build materials.
    2. Known quality (including artisanship).
    3. Perceived quality.
    4. Brand perceptions.
    5. Trend following.
    6. Lack of other options.
    I would add a pen's aesthetics. Be honest. Don't we appreciate beauty in an object? Aren't pens appreciated for their appearance? Isn't a well crafted, visually attractive pen a work of art?
    Absolutely!

    Add to the list.
    Be a little more open into accepting other viewpoints, if you can, as it really deepens the experience. - Jon Szanto

    As long as you don't throw out friendships, I'm pretty much ok with you being you. - Jon Szanto

  13. #49
    Senior Member AzJon's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by An old bloke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I was going to say that the premise is the same as asking why eat delicious food, but realised that it's not really the same at all.

    The allure of pens that are expensive seems to boil down to several simple factors (in no particular order, and please add, as I'm sure I've missed some)

    1. Scarcity of build materials.
    2. Known quality (including artisanship).
    3. Perceived quality.
    4. Brand perceptions.
    5. Trend following.
    6. Lack of other options.
    I would add a pen's aesthetics. Be honest. Don't we appreciate beauty in an object? Aren't pens appreciated for their appearance? Isn't a well crafted, visually attractive pen a work of art?
    They look good in the pocket.....LOL!!
    Totally do. When we could still go out and do things, and I were present at an event where I could wear a shirt with a pocket, I would put a nice pen in there for the evening. I started more than one conversation over my Sheaffer Radite/Jadeite.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I was going to say that the premise is the same as asking why eat delicious food, but realised that it's not really the same at all.

    The allure of pens that are expensive seems to boil down to several simple factors (in no particular order, and please add, as I'm sure I've missed some)

    1. Scarcity of build materials.
    2. Known quality (including artisanship).
    3. Perceived quality.
    4. Brand perceptions.
    5. Trend following.
    6. Lack of other options.

    edit:

    7. Aesthetics.
    This is essentially the same thing I pointed out in my comment earlier

    But, you made it into a list and leave it open ended. Good job, David!

    I would add:

    8. Innovation (perceived or not).
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

  15. #51
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    It dawned on me last night that there is a large disconnect embodied in the entire thread (as titled). The fact of the matter is that I have never been attracted to a pen based on it's price. I am not drawn to pens because they are expensive, nor am I drawn to those that are cheap. I am drawn to pens that I like for any reason outside of that.

    I was reminded of this last night while getting to know a brand new Moonman S5, which came with two extra nibs, one of which is a really nice italic of about .5-6 mm. I lined up 4 other pens that have narrow italics that I enjoy writing with, and they range in price from $20 to $350. I would buy any one of the them again, but the fact is that they all appeal to me for elements other than the price. This S5, with additional nibs, was $25.
    Last edited by Jon Szanto; September 16th, 2020 at 07:52 PM. Reason: Correction on nib width
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    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    True that; it's more likely that there's a small section of the population that is drawn to a brand because it represents wealth (and is concomittantly expensive) rather than just on the basis of price alone.

    Expense is going to be inevitable with regard to some factors, like unusual materials or gold nibs, but it is precisely these things that form the allure. Hard to separate one from the other, though some pen companies may try.

    Complicated subject because even if we use the word "taste" it is not a simple 'what it looks like' proposition, but encompasses a variety of perspectives about the object.
    Be a little more open into accepting other viewpoints, if you can, as it really deepens the experience. - Jon Szanto

    As long as you don't throw out friendships, I'm pretty much ok with you being you. - Jon Szanto

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    Senior Member picautomaton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    The allure to me is coupled with unattainable. I still lust after an MB Agatha C knowing full well it ainít gonna happen. I have every type of pen I need with spares in case. A copy or clone of an expensive pen doesnít work to satisfy the allure, itís just a waste of money.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Being a novice in the FP world I am unaware of pens being sold/have been sold which have/had provenance tied to a famous person. For example, I would imagine a Conklin pen from the era of Twain would sell for X dollars and a Conklin pen owned by Twain would sell for X*Y dollars. I can imagine such a pen would add an enticing element as well as a bump in the price.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by picautomaton View Post
    The allure to me is coupled with unattainable. I still lust after an MB Agatha C knowing full well it ainít gonna happen. I have every type of pen I need with spares in case. A copy or clone of an expensive pen doesnít work to satisfy the allure, itís just a waste of money.
    I felt the same - in fact I was near obsessed, since I always loved Agatha Christie and read all her works by the age of 15. I don't have one within the meaning of the act, according to MB; I bought a damaged one for a very reasonable price and sourced a replacement clip, (not from MB, hence their rejection of it) since mine was gone. However, it is my custom Agatha, since I was never fond of the red eyes - mine has a silver snake with emerald eyes. And it is fabulous, but not my favorite pen, because the nib is just a little too thin for me. Irony, eh?
    Last edited by empliau; September 17th, 2020 at 07:13 AM.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Hello all. I made an account here just to weigh into the conversation and then I didn't post anything because I thought "wtf do I know?" I'm new to all this. Anyway. I'm new to fountain pens. I've only been playing around with them for about a month. I was moving around some old boxes that belonged to my grandparents last month when I came across an old Kaweco Sport. Memories flooded back to me of stealing gramps "screwdriver" pens when I was a kid and here I am. I hopped online and started doing research. So far I have ordered another Kaweco Sport but in stainless steel and a Kaweco Liliput in steel too. Today I have a Kaweco Supra in steel (see the theme here lol) arriving that I am pretty excited about. I found this site when looking into all the hype I saw about Noodlers inks and the fellow who runs it.

    I caught SBREBROWNs video on youtube and it temporarily delayed my supra purchase. I kind of questioned why it was that I wanted these pens. The Kawecos I was buying weren't close to the Visconti's I've been drooling over.. In the end I decided that I was going to get what I wanted and that was all the justification I needed. As far as being attracted to expensive pens, for me It's definitely not the price tag that draws me in. It's something about the pen itself that draws me in. They cost what they cost just like anything else. It's worth the price if it's something you want.
    Cogito, ergo sum
    -- Renť Descartes 1637

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by digitalsedition View Post
    Hello all. I made an account here just to weigh into the conversation and then I didn't post anything because I thought "wtf do I know?" I'm new to all this. Anyway. I'm new to fountain pens. I've only been playing around with them for about a month. I was moving around some old boxes that belonged to my grandparents last month when I came across an old Kaweco Sport. Memories flooded back to me of stealing gramps "screwdriver" pens when I was a kid and here I am. I hopped online and started doing research. So far I have ordered another Kaweco Sport but in stainless steel and a Kaweco Liliput in steel too. Today I have a Kaweco Supra in steel (see the theme here lol) arriving that I am pretty excited about. I found this site when looking into all the hype I saw about Noodlers inks and the fellow who runs it.

    I caught SBREBROWNs video on youtube and it temporarily delayed my supra purchase. I kind of questioned why it was that I wanted these pens. The Kawecos I was buying weren't close to the Visconti's I've been drooling over.. In the end I decided that I was going to get what I wanted and that was all the justification I needed. As far as being attracted to expensive pens, for me It's definitely not the price tag that draws me in. It's something about the pen itself that draws me in. They cost what they cost just like anything else. It's worth the price if it's something you want.
    Well said.

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by digitalsedition View Post
    As far as being attracted to expensive pens, for me It's definitely not the price tag that draws me in. It's something about the pen itself that draws me in. They cost what they cost just like anything else. It's worth the price if it's something you want.
    As Jon Szanto did in his earlier post, I think you summarized nicely what the majority of us here feel about the correlation between "expensive" and "attractive pens". So good job!

    And also your story about your grandfather's "screwdriver pen" made me smile, what a precious memory.

    That's all really, welcome to the group and hope to see upcoming posts from you soon.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: The Allure of Expensive Pens

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post

    As Jon Szanto did in his earlier post, I think you summarized nicely what the majority of us here feel about the correlation between "expensive" and "attractive pens". So good job!

    And also your story about your grandfather's "screwdriver pen" made me smile, what a precious memory.

    That's all really, welcome to the group and hope to see upcoming posts from you soon.
    In retrospect I probably should have done a proper new to the forum post first but thank you for the welcome.
    Cogito, ergo sum
    -- Renť Descartes 1637

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