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I Need Advice About Finding A Pen

vintage flex nib ladies

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15 replies to this topic

#1 knitter8688


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Posted 18 September 2013 - 19:46

Hello! I discovered fountain pens about 18 months ago. My first pen I purchased on Ebay was a 1959? Lady Sheaffer Skripsert Paisley (periwinkle/gold design). I had Pendemonium grind the nib to a cursive italic. I LOVE it! However, I would really like to get a pen with a very flexible nib (even wet noodle).


I am frustrated that it seems like pen companies no longer market to women. I don't mean to sound sexist, but I really hate the big bulky plastic polymer? tortoise shell design style pens....and any big bulky pen, actually.


I would like to find a delicate, slender, lightweight pen with a vintage flex nib....although I am willing to purchase a new pen if it meets my criteria. Style characteristics I'm looking for include: metal, art deco, solid color or regular geometric pattern (not random design), classy - not cheap looking. My wardrobe includes a lot of black/white with red or rose/purple highlights. I love hounds tooth patterns (not expecting this in a pen - just giving a description of my personal style.)


Am I crazy to think I might find a pen that fits even some of this criteria? HELP!!! Any advice appreciated!

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#2 WirsPlm



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Posted 18 September 2013 - 20:32

Not sure about flex nibs, but for slim, colorful pens try:


Parker Vectors (can be ordered on eBay I hear)

PIlot 78Gs come in nice solid colors and aren't too bulky

Esterbrooks are great for me, and come in lovely colors and beautiful pearlized abstract patterns. 

Wearevers often have abstract colorful patterns, but I haven't seen many called 'slim'.


For a more expensive option, Cross pens are slim, classic-looking and metal, but they are also not necessarily a woman-friendly brand.


Japanese pens seem more likely to have designs or patterns, but YMMV.


Other threads (hopefully can give you some ideas):

http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/247694-cute-pens-for-us-girls/  (some unhelpful people came and started fussing about the term 'cute', but there's some nice pen ideas, just ignore the angry posts)




Some info on relative pen sizes:



I hear Waterman 52 (something like that) recommended for a vintage flex nib. 


Of course, you can also get some nib workers to make a nib more flexible, so you can get the pen you want and have the nib worked on, but I'm not sure how much that would cost.

Edited by WirsPlm, 18 September 2013 - 20:36.

#3 zap210



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Posted 18 September 2013 - 20:40

Old Watermans came in a very wide variety of nibs. The #15 eyecropper was slim and could be fitted with everything from delicate and flexible to nail. You will have to do some searching or have an expert pen hunter find you one that you like, then most likely fix it up for you,

#4 Pterodactylus


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Posted 18 September 2013 - 20:45



(Waterman 12 1/2 BCHR ..... Sailor Jentle Sky High)


I think my tiny Waterman 12 1/2 would fit your requirements. ;)


Btw. you won´t find a modern pen with a good flex nib, such beauties are not made anymore these times. :(

Edited by Pterodactylus, 18 September 2013 - 20:48.

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#5 ac12


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Posted 18 September 2013 - 20:54

Except for the nib, it sounds like you might like the Cross Spire or "Classic Century."  According to the Cross web site, it is 8.1mm in diameter.  About the same diameter as a #2 pencil. 



I like slimline pens, because I have small hands, and like you I do NOT like the fat pens.  My personal favorite is the old Parker 180 or CLASSIC.  Fat pens make me feel like I'm holding one of those HUGE kindergarten pencils.

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#6 Rita_K


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Posted 18 September 2013 - 21:03

You might want to check out our member Mauricio's website  ( no affiliation unfortunately )



He has some great information on flex nibs along with written examples. Also some beautiful pens for sale.

#7 jar


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Posted 18 September 2013 - 21:30

A second voice whispering "ask Mauricio or Sam to find what you want".

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#8 c4bb0ose


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Posted 18 September 2013 - 22:46

I would suggest a sheaffer targa for slim and "lady like" they also come in a lot of styles, if you can find one with a 14kt gold nib in fine or extra fine you will be able to get some nice line variation, they are smooth as anything. The reason I say find a fine or extra fine is anything above that is going to have generous, and I mean generous tipping material.

#9 Centopar



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:09

I think a Waterman 12 1/2v - or, more specifically, a 412 1/2v - the 12 1/2v with a sterling silver overlay - would be right up your alley, given what you say about your aesthetic taste. I have a few 12 1/2s and 12 1/2vs, and thev variant (for "vest" - they're ringtops meant to be kept on a chain in a vest pocket or hung around a lady's neck) are tiny, slim pens which need to have the cap posted to be long enough to write comfortably. They fit my small hands perfectly, they're very (surprisingly) often equipped with a lovely flexy #2 nib, and I suggest the silver overlay because it sounds exactly like what you're after.


See this thread for more on the 12 1/2v. I love the things; if I could only have one model of pen in my collection, it'd be that.

#10 Runnin_Ute


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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:31

The first thought I had was a Esterbrook SJ. The J is a little longer, but may work as well. Check the Esterbrook sub forum or esterbrook.net for more information including photos.

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#11 Rndmness


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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:07

Take a look at the Pilot Decimo. A practical, dainty pen that I think you may like, although it lacks the flex element you're looking for. 

#12 firebug



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:33



You know what, I am not so FP literate as some of the experts here are, especially on the vintage. Honestly, they don't even fascinate me as much. 


Having said that, I have just used a montegrappa cosmopolitan FP and it's got an amazing flex nib.... Though it's a costly FP, but it's the most flex nib I've seen amongst 30 odd FPs that I've used. I've not inked it, but just pushed it on pen... else could have told you how does it write too....


Another one, a regular in my stable is Caran D'ache Leman Bicolor - which my sis gave back to me, now that she wants to sell it. and it's kind of with me for sometime now...That also writes butter smooth and has a flex nib.


Both the nibs are 18ct gold...


Hope this helps... and if it doesn't sorry again...

#13 pencils+pens



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:02

I don't know about flex but go to eBay and search for Lady Sheaffer. An entire line of pens just for the ladies. They were the counterpart of the PFM (Pen For Men) and the forerunner of the Bic For Her. The Lady Sheaffers don't have clips as they were expected to be purse pens.


You should also look at the Noodler's Nib Creaper line. They are semi-flex and come in a variety of colors. They are thinner than the Konrad (mid-size) and the Ahab (very large). The Nib Creaper is also listed as the "Standard Flex Nib Piston Fill". I would suggest looking at ISellPens and Goulet.

#14 Pelikan Vera

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 17:48

What about a nice Pelikan new 101N in tortoise. Maybe not flexi now, but you could get it adjusted by Binder or Mottishaw to fit the bill......Vera

#15 pen lady

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 19:31

 I agree with you, ladies pens fit a small hand so much better.  Making pens for women isn't sexist, it's sensible - just don't make 'em all PINK!  I have several Waterman lady's pens in my collection, (they were still making them till the mid 50's) and the advantage of buying a smaller pen is price.  "Girlie" stuff doesn't go for as much money as men's pens.  If you can get to a pen show so much the better, but if not, search on eBay for lady's pens and good luck.

#16 balson



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 19:51

watermans are usually good bet for finding a pen with flex but another one that you may like is the wahl metal pens.  the gold filled ring top ladies pens usually have a flexible nib and unrestored seem to go for around $40 for a fair condition one.  


i also second, www.vintagepen.net as a good place to look.  

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: vintage, flex nib, ladies

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