I'm a longtime FP user but still a very novice collector. My most expensive pen is probably my Cross Century II, and my favorites are the Sensa Meridian and Waterman Phileas. I currently have about a dozen pens in all, but several are cheap "no-names" or other low-quality pens that don't get used very often. My writing rotation is basically the Phileas, 2 Meridians, and a beautiful pen made of Desert Iron Wood I purchased at a recent craft show, with the ubiquitous "Iridium Point Germany" medium nib.
I've never used a gold nib pen. I know there are disagreements about whether they are worth the extra cost or whether there's any real difference at all between gold and steel nibs, and I'm also aware that a gold nib isn't necessarily "better" or smoother than a steel nib. It seems to me from reading up on the issue that 14K is probably the best way to go, but I'd accept recommendations for 18K or other options if those might fit my needs better.
That said, I find myself wanting to add a gold nib pen to my collection. I want to try writing with one myself to make my own conclusions about the differences between steel and gold.
I tend to prefer fine nibs (or medium nibs that write smaller than average), but have a number of mediums that work okay. My top properties to look for in a pen are smooth writing and easy, consistent starting. I'm comfortable with cartridge or bottle fill, and the filling mechanism isn't a big deal to me.
Since I've never used a gold nib pen, I'm curious what "flex" feels like. Ideally, I'd like something that has enough flex to present a noticeably different experience than steel, but not so much flex that I'd be overwhelmed.
I'd appreciate hearing any recommendations as to pens I should consider with these properties. I'm not looking for a huge investment, as the possibility exists that I won't like writing with gold, so I'd like to keep it in the $200-$250 range (or lower) if possible, but would be willing to go up to around $300 if necessary. I'd prefer something new, but will consider vintage options (though I'd also need some guidance as to where I could locate any recommended vintage pens).
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Edited by TimLawNYC, 18 June 2012 - 04:04.