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Fountain Pens in Sydney, Australia


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#1 Ashland

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 11:45

Should kissing, Phthalo, or anyone else end up in Sydney, Australia, I’ve compiled a list of places both great & average to buy fountain pens. Please note that my list was current as of Feb. 2006. There is no particular order in my lists.

Great:
*The Pen Shop http://www.penshop.com.au/
26 O'Connell Street, Sydney

*The Pen Place, Winter Garden Plaza, O'Connell Street, Sydney, 2000

The Pen Shop & The Pen Place are very near each other (diagonally across the street).

*Pen Ultimate
Shop P12, Northpoint, 100 Miller Street, North Sydney
QVB, Level 2, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, 2000

Average:
*Read & Write in Macquarie Centre in North Ryde carries a selection of Lamy pens, Lamy nibs, and a few bottles of common ink (Lamy & Quink).

*kikki-K in Chastwood Chase in Chatswood also sells Lamy fountain pens. I would imagine that the Melbourne stores would have a few as well.

*K-mart (at least the Chatswood Chase store) sells Vpens. In the U.S., Vpens are also known as Varsity disposable fountain pens. In my opinion, the Vpens are more stylish than the U.S. Varsity pens. I refill my Vpens. Instructions are available at http://hans.presto.t...ll_varsity.html

*Better newsagents also sell Vpens, but prices vary greatly; be selective.

*Books Kinokuniya in Galeries Victoria [across from the QVB (Queen Victoria Building)] in Sydney has a few fountain pens. If you are a pen aficionado, you will also want to check out their amazing selection of other types of pens from Japan.

*Myers (the larger stores have the best selection).
I bought my Smiggle mini fountain pens from Myers.

*David Jones (the larger stores have the best selection)

I would love to hear others' recommendations.

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#2 Phthalo

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 11:56

What a great summary - I've already printed a copy and tucked it away! :)

I fear I would return to QLD bankrupt if I ever got near Sydney again... last time I nearly shopped myself to death and spent way too much money. I agree that Pen Ultimate is a great store - their partner store here in QLD is very good also.

Thanks for the excellent list!

Laura / Phthalo

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#3 Dillo

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 12:27

Hi,

One of my pens (Waterman Ici et La Turquoise CT) came from Penultimate.

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Will someone with the name of "Jay" who emailed me through the email system provide me an email address? There was no email address provided, so I can't write back.

Dillon


#4 Dawn

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 12:52

Excellent, thanks for that, next time I am down in Sydney I will be sure to look these places up.

Dawn

#5 kissing

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 14:51

I lived in Sydney for 11 years before i moved to Melbourne 3 years ago :)

Where from Sydney are you, Ashland? I used to live in Epping :lol:

Some of those shops bring back memories, hehe. I bought Smiggle fountain pens from Myer in Melbourne - They're a cute bunch, but was a bit too extra fine for my liking, so i sand-papered the nibs a bit and made them Fine/Medium and write smoother and wetter than before (they cost $2AU, so they're an excellent pen for experimenting and practicing 'nib surgery' :D ) I also turned one into an Oblique stub nib that writes well.

The K-marts i have been to Melbourne dont seem to have FPs :unsure: . I'll take another look and ask the staff to double check :)

My local Newsagency sold me a Vector Flighter for just $20AU + Slide converter, which was my first fountain pen ever :) A lot of Newsagencies do have Fountain pens, but not usually a large range. A bit unpredictable, they are, but often you can find cheap deals if you find the right one.

I bought my Sonnet from Myer for 40% off by simple negotiation. So if you're buying pens from large stores like Myer - remember to negociate, negociate negociate.

One significant store you forgot to mention are the OFFICEWORKS (im sure they have them in Sydney?). They usually only have cheap, school fountain pens (either Reflex or Jotter FP).

If you're looking for higher priced pens in Melbourne, TAFTS is a store worth visiting. They're a bit stingy with discounts, but have a wide range and you could find a huge range, ranging from Parker51s and Duofolds to MontBlanc's and Waterman's, Lamy, Cross and many other brands. Also have a lot of accessories, such as ink and converters (even the old squeeze ones for vintage pens).

stores:
COLLINS STREET
259 Collins Street
Melbourne
Tel: (03) 9654 7993 / (03) 9654 7494
Fax: (03) 9654 1765 MELBOURNE CENTRAL

Shop 111
Melbourne Central
Tel: (03) 9662 3494
Fax: (03) 9663 3943

DONCASTER
Shop 242
Westfield Shoppingtown
Tel: (03) 9840 1586
Fax: (03) 9855 9893

SOUTHLAND
Shop 3062
Westfield Shoppingtown
Tel: (03) 9584 0911
Fax: (03) 9584 0722

http://www.tafts.com.au/

Also huge in Melbourne seems to be "PenCity"
http://www.pencity.com.au
Shop42 250 Elizabeth St Melbourne

Happy shopping :lol:

Edited by kissing, 14 June 2006 - 15:19.

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#6 Bill

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 14:59

*Pen Ultimate
Shop P12, Northpoint, 100 Miller Street, North Sydney
QVB, Level 2, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, 2000

Oh no!!! A horrible scream emits from the U.S.! I've been on level 2 of the QVB and never saw the shop!!!!!!!! And driven past the North Sydney shop, too (we stay with in-laws in Neutral Bay). Am I blind or what?

I know what to do. Next trip over I'll take revenge and buy so many pens that I'll need another bag to bring them all back. Yeah, that'll do it. What's that, you say? Customs? Ah...well...on second thought...

For you Aussies in the know: Are there any interesting pens available only Down Under? I'm thinking about a great gift from the rellies, eh?

Bill

#7 kissing

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 15:11

The only ones that I know that you can get Down-Under but not in USA are the Smiggle Mini-Fountain pens which you can get in some Myer stores. Not sure whether they would be a great gift idea, because they are extremely cheap ($2AU = $1.50 US) and not terribly high quality. But they are mini in size and you can carry them around or lend them around without worrying, since they're so cheap. They take cartridges, which i think might be the 4cm short Universal cartridges:

Posted Image

These write like a Fine/Extra Fine and are relatively great value for their price (price of a 600ml bottle of Coca-Cola)

Posted Image

Also, there are Jotter Fountain Pens (Parker), which are nice durable school pens which I heard from Dillo is unavailable in the U.S. I saw them at some OFFICEWORK stores, but not all OFFICEWORKS have them. Some have Reflexes, while others have these special Jotters:
Posted Image

Besides these two oddities, i think most other fountain pens sold here are the same as those sold anywhere else in the world. What do the other aussies think?

Edited by kissing, 14 June 2006 - 15:13.

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#8 Dillo

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 16:14

Hi,

Waterman Ici et La Crystal and Turquoise pens are available in Australia, but not here. Waterman Audace pens are also available there, but not here.

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Will someone with the name of "Jay" who emailed me through the email system provide me an email address? There was no email address provided, so I can't write back.

Dillon


#9 Ashland

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 01:05

I used to live in North Ryde & Dundas, and I have also worked in Chatswood. That's why I know about the Myers stores in those areas.

I don't believe the North Sydney Pen Ultimate store is easily seen from the outside. It's a beautiful shop & well worth the visit.

I can't recall having seen any inexpensive fountain pens in the Parramatta or North Ryde Office Works, but I may have somehow missed them. They do seem like a likely candidate for them.

I can't believe I left another great fountain pen source off the list.

*Peter's of Kensington
http://www.petersofk...on.com.au/Home/
57 Anzac Parade, Kensington
Their stationery counter has a very nice selection of fountain pens from Lamys to the pens of the year from Graf von Faber-Castell.

I mention Lamys so often because that is the only brand of fountain pen besides Smiggles I could afford in Australia. The markups there really are high.

#10 Parker Sonnet

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 05:59

I usually go to Pen-Ultimate at QVB. They offer fairly good service and are always willing to hear one's grouses. Does anybody know if any of these stores in Sydney sell Noodler's ink? I don't recall having seen anybody with Noodler's in stock.

By the way, no-one's mentioned Dymocks as yet. The stationery section at Dymocks George Street (which is only a stone's throw away from QVB... they pretty much lie on the same junction, +/- 50m) stocks a wide range of pens and pen-related accessories. Very good ink selection too.

There are also the specialty stores, such as Mont Blanc, that are so expensive you feel like you're being charged just for entry. As a trivial aside, they don't actually sell Mont Blanc ink at the Mont Blanc stores!

Edited by Parker Sonnet, 15 June 2006 - 06:00.


#11 Phthalo

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 08:02

One significant store you forgot to mention are the OFFICEWORKS (im sure they have them in Sydney?). They usually only have cheap, school fountain pens (either Reflex or Jotter FP).


Regarding Officeworks, they got rid of their fine writing section - that was about 3 years ago. I wish I knew then what I know about pens now - they had massive discounts on all their pens, but all I ended up buying was three Rotring Netwon Rollerballs. The pens were $20AU or so ($15US) - that was a screaming bargain, as even now that they are discontinued they are still about $30US. I also got three Rotring leather pouches, free with each pen and they usually cost $25AU alone.

Parker Sonnet: I'm not aware of anyone in Australia who carries Noodler's, and I think only one store carries Private Reserve - The Pen Shop.

Laura / Phthalo

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#12 Parker Sonnet

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 08:19

Shame, isn't it? Wonder why that is the case. Perhaps we should start a petition.

#13 ozwill45

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 13:26

Hi all,

I'm in Queensland as well but in the far north.

Didn't realise there were so many aussies on this forum.

I think Australian pen stores are very expensive - Pen Shoppe and PenUltimate.

Good know some locals like the same things I do.

Cheers

Will

#14 Ashland

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 13:42

I didn't know about the stationery section at the George Street Dymocks. Tsk, tsk.

I did know about Mont Blanc, but the anticipation of high prices and limited selection (only Mont Blancs, I'm sure) always prevented me from setting foot in the place.

Linda (? I'm bad with names) at the Pen Ultimate store in North Sydney had a salesman in the shop when I visited. I asked about a nice bluish green ink. Linda and the gentleman explained that Australia simply did not have the range of inks that are found in the U.S. due to the cost of shipping heavy, fragile glass bottles and the fact that there are less pen buyers able to support the quantities. My pen shop pilgrimage that day continued to The Pen Shop. Mr. Charles was able to show me a range of Private Reserve ink, but I decided to hold off a few months and buy the colour I wanted for single digits in the U.S. I never saw Noodlers ink anywhere.

Downtown Duty Free inside international customs in Sydney usually had a few fountain pens, but I didn't see any when I went through last time on my way out of the country. There is also an upscale newsagent inside international customs that had a very nice pen counter some years ago. As of February they had only one or two nice pens (fountain or not, I'm not sure) on a wall behind a counter.

#15 kissing

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 16:08

the only ink bottles i have run into in Australia are Waterman, Sheaffer Skrip, MontBlanc ink and of course Quink.

I use Quink though - for their relative cheapness and they seem to be available everywhere. I like to mix my Quinks around (sometimes with Skrip) to get colours i desire.
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#16 Sonnet

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 00:03

That Parker Jotter fountain pen sure looks pretty... :wub:
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#17 kissing

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 05:16

I dont actually own one, but i have a friend who has it. Seems like a great pen, and I'v seen it sold in some OfficeWorks stores in Melbourne (cost about $30AU). I think the nib is similar to a Vector nib, except the section before the slit seems longer than the short nibs of Vectors. Sturdy school pens with a tiny bit more glamour/elegance than the Reflex or the Vector. Too bad it doesnt come with a refill converter like the vector does.

Then again, Vectors seem to be hard to find in Australia. I asked a pen shop owner and she told me that Reflexes are replacing the Vectors in Australia. The only way to get a Vector is in a Calligraphy set or you may be able to come across a Vector Flighter in some stores (not common).
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#18 orion

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:46

I have recently made a few purchases from both Pen Ultimate and The Pen Shop in Sydney. Below is my opinion of the 2 shops.

Varieties
======
Both the 2 shops have very good range and varieties of fountain pens, from the ordinary ones to the exotic and limited edition ones. However, I find the Pen Ultimate shop at QVB has an slight edge over The Pen Shop in terms of variety. Don't get me wrong, you are still very likely to find what you want at The Pen Shop (I did). It's just that from what I can see at the shops, Pen Ultimate has more selections of inks, writing papers, vintage pens and such.

Customer Service
============
In this aspect, The Pen Shop has the edge. The sales person who served me was very friendly, polite, and knowledgeable. She offers polite opinions but was not pushy. It's the little things she does that impresses me. For example, I wanted to purchase a bottle of ink to go with my newly purchased pen, she showed me a chart of different ink colors by different manufacturers. It's an eye opener for me to see there is such a wide range of ink colors beside black and blue. In another shop I will probably be given the color I asked for and I will be none the wiser.

I visited Pen Ultimate at QVB on 2 occasions. On the first occasion I was served by a person who appears to be a senior sales person in the shop. She was cleaning some pens or doing stock take at the time when I visited the shop. Although she did attend to me, she was more occupied with her own task. In other words, I did not get her undivided attention. I sensed a bit of snobbery in her. I was not very impressed especially I was potentially going to make a big purchase. I still ended up making a purchase though as it was the pen that I am ultimately after.

On my second visit to Pen Ultimate at QVB, I was served by a younger sales person. She is more helpful than the sales person on my first visit. She offers polite opinions about different fountain pens that they have. I also made a purchase on this visit.



#19 hexadecimal

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 11:01

Agree that a lot of the local stores in Australia are expensive. I use eBay and FPN-gained info for most purchases.

In Canberra, Pepe's Paperie stock Noodler's - but you'll only find a decent range in the City (Civic) outlet.

I'll keep the Sydney info in mind for my infrequent visits.
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#20 Chippy1199

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:18

QUOTE (orion @ Jan 7 2009, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I visited Pen Ultimate at QVB on 2 occasions. On the first occasion I was served by a person who appears to be a senior sales person in the shop. She was cleaning some pens or doing stock take at the time when I visited the shop. Although she did attend to me, she was more occupied with her own task. In other words, I did not get her undivided attention. I sensed a bit of snobbery in her. I was not very impressed especially I was potentially going to make a big purchase. I still ended up making a purchase though as it was the pen that I am ultimately after.

On my second visit to Pen Ultimate at QVB, I was served by a younger sales person. She is more helpful than the sales person on my first visit. She offers polite opinions about different fountain pens that they have. I also made a purchase on this visit.


I recently bought my first fountain pen at pen ultimate, and i found the senior sales woman to be very snobby. When i asked her a question relating to a pen i had bought elsewhere she practically stopped serving me. I ended up looking through the sydney CBD and visited dymocks which has a nice range of pens, although their staff are not anywhere near as knowledgable as those at pen ultimate. In the end i went back to pen ultimate where i bought a caran d ache ecridor type 55 FP (dymocks only had the retro model)

Thanks heaps for the list of pen shops. I have been planning on making a trip to sydney soon to buy my second FP






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