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Expensive Pens: What Makes Them Worth It?

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25 replies to this topic

#21 Polanova



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Posted 07 August 2014 - 22:14

200 - 300 $ would be my absolute limit & it would be a pen with an ultra crazy wet noodle nib - maybe one of these days (years, man, years!!)...

I consider any pen beyond, say, 80 bucks as expensive, because I got a few pens from the bay, which cost less then that: made from beautiful celluloid or HR, wonderful 18K nibs in excellent condition, some of which are terrific writers. So it`s difficult to justify spending more than that.


When I started getting into FP`s about 1,5 yrs ago, the third pen I bought is to this day my most expensive: Sailor Sapporo (Zoom), what with shipping & taxes :( .

My second expensive one was a golden Mabie, Todd & Bard. I had to have one of those because of it`s age & the terrific minimalist design


Since then, it went seriously downhill in terms of price, because I ignored the Usual Suspect Vintage Pens & - above all - only bought unrestored pens (anything with an inc sac I`ve learned to do).


Luckily I`ve no interest in modern pens (unfortunately the exception of this rule is the FC Intrinsic I`ve just ordered - it cost as much as the 19th Century Eyedropper :rolleyes: )


In the end it`s all very relative (how much dough you have) but I say this much:

If you go vintage, even if you buy a restored one, you can get a high quality pen for under a hundred, which`ll give you a terrific writing experience.

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#22 Kuhataparunks


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Posted 11 August 2014 - 16:58

It's almost entirely just the novelty of having them; $500 for a pen is okay, given most of the users here I'd assume are paid pretty well.
I'm struggling with myself to get a Pilot Heritage pen which is roughly $180; I'm scared a penmanship nib will write the same, then I'll have buyer's remorse...
Also, I would hate to order one and it he a fake. Funny considering $200 is cheap compared to MB's, so I shouldn't be very concerned with authenticity.
I think it's just novelty, though, or also pretention: "oh, let me just use my pen that cost the down payment of a car" haha. I want that $200 pen though, still deliberating it!

#23 dojocho


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Posted 15 August 2014 - 18:37

I have not yet reached $200 for a pen, but I have considered (and decided against) a couple of $220 models.  So perhaps that is close to the limit.  Maybe say that hypothetically $250 in today's dollars might be the maximum, and that's really pushing it.


It's not just a matter of how much I can afford.  If I could afford four $150 pens, I could have gotten a $600 pen instead.  But no matter how much I enjoyed writing with it, it would have bothered me to have spent that much on a single pen.  When you achieve a certain level for performance, durability, and reliability, when you have a pen that is comfortable to write with, has a good ink capacity and a reliable filling system, I can still see paying a little extra for premium materials and an attractive design.  Not that much extra, though.  Pay too much, and I just feel that I'm being taken advantage of.


By the way, one of the $220 models I mentioned was a Pilot Custom Heritage 92, which costs about that from US dealers.  I did get one, but it was $133.80 including shipping from a Japanese eBay dealer.  I did spread the tines just slightly to make it write a bit wetter, but now it's a lovely pen.


And I have a number of cheaper pens which are certainly good enough.  I wouldn't be unhappy using a Pilot FP-78G every day.  Also if you include vintage pens, you never know what deal you might find.  My flexiest gold nib is on a Moore L-94 that cost me around $30.


I couldn't agree more. I'm constantly on the lookout for yet another early 90's marbled Duofold Centennial, but I  don't need it; I already have 5 Duofolds and I paid between € 75 - € 200 each. It's all about the chase, dixit Wayne Carinni. Maybe I'd pay € 250 for a pen but I honestly think that most of the pens aren't worth the money.

My TWSBI Mini writes as good as my 1992 Duofold, the Duofold looks far more better and the material looks/feels better. My pens need to write well and look good...and I'm a sucker for these flattops. I don't care about LE's, I'm a user not a collector.


But as they say...to each his own and de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum, and neither are prices and how much one is willing to spend on a fountain pen.



Thou shalt not stir one foot to seek a foe. Eadem Mutata Resurgo.

#24 greatorg



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Posted 15 August 2014 - 19:44

I agree, it' all about chase, patience and the right moment. Up to now I never spent more than 200 bucks and I own a Big Red, a Duofold Centennial, a Graf von Faber Castell Ebony, a Sheaffer Fred Force 10, PFM, Legacy.

My last deal was a Caran d'Ache Varius Ivanhoe.

They're all worth the money.

Keep on chasing




#25 pajaro


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Posted 15 August 2014 - 19:54

Pens . . .yeah, sure.  A nice looking woman, now . . . that's something.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.


They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .

#26 prf5


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Posted 15 August 2014 - 19:58

I believe there are four distinct reasons why an expensive pen may be a worthwhile purchase: the aesthetic pleasure that one has toward a piece of fine craftsmanship; the investment value or projection of future worth; the normative expectations of work and life; and how fully the pen fulfills the practical needs of the user.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: edison, steel nib, gold nib, materials, filling systems

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