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The Best Fountain Pen Ever Made?

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#21 Suji

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 04:30

The Pelikan M1000.

 

It is just so pleasurable to hold in your hand (if your hands aren't too small), looks great (some people aren't a fan of the Pelikan stripes though...), huge nib is incredibly springy, and has excellent balance.

 

Now only if they made a Tortoise version of the M1000... 

 

:D :D :D 


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#22 Zaphod_Beeblebrox

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 13:10

Before I started collecting I read this post on this network.  It had great influence on me.  I started working my way down the list. I was honestly interested in others opinions so I can expand my collection beyond this particular list. I thought it would be fun.  It turned out not to be fun. Really?  Trying to start a fight in the family? come on.  Just have fun with it.
 
"There can be little doubt - especially among American collectors - that the best fountain pens (in my considered opinion) are as follows:
1921 Parker Duofold (U.S.A.) Era of the great fountain pen arrives
1924 Sheaffer Flattop (U.S.A.) Competition for greatness is joined
1929 Sheaffer Balance (U.S.A.) Step towards a streamlined future
1933 Parker Vacumatic (U.S.A.) Parker competes for the future
1941 Parker 51 Vacumatic (U.S.A.) Modern design comes of age
1948 Parker 51 Aerometric (U.S.A.) One of the best pens ever
1952 Sheaffer Snorkel (U.S.A.) Best pen ever race is joined
1956 Parker 61 (U.S.A.) Capillary filling arrives
1959 Sheaffer PFM (U.S.A.) Pen for Men lives for 10 years
1960 Sheaffer Imperial (U.S.A.) smaller PFM style - drops snorkel
1962 Parker VP (U.S.A.) the precursor to the 75
1963 Parker 75 (made in U.S.A. then in France) one of the greatest for 30 years
1966 Lamy 2000 (made in Germany) innovation at the highest level- still around
1976 Sheaffer Targa (U.S.A.) Great inlaid nib lives on in many finishes
1984 Parker Premier (made in France) 75 for the elite
1984 Sheaffer Connaisseaurs (made in U.S.A.and England) remake of classic
1991 Sheaffer Crest (made in U.S.A.) rebirth of the conical nib
1984 Waterman Le Man (made in France) Waterman produces a classic
1993 Cross Townsend (made in ?) Cross delivers a heavyweight
1993 Parker Sonnet (made in France) The Parker tradition is reborn in France
1995 Sheaffer Legacy (U.S.A.) Rebirth of PFM with a more correct name
2004 Cross Verve (made in ?) Incredible futuristic styling

 
http://www.fountainp...9669-the-best/"


I am an American collector but none of the pens you have listed I would have in my collection.

Unfortunately or actually Fortunately my very first Fountain pen was the Monteverde Black Tie. It was so bad it forced me to look for better. Then I found Lamy and yes it was better but still lacking. Onward with the pursuit...Until i found Onoto. The search is over!

#23 Zaphod_Beeblebrox

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 13:26

Here are my reasons why I am not interested in Parker, Cross, and Sheaffer.

Growing up thru the Seventies Up to today, when I go to a office supply or art store and look at pens I see the evidence that these companies have polluted their good name but making bottom line cheap pens that are barely better than buying a zebra ball point. If they wanted to make cheap junk they should have used another name to protect reputation of the parent Brand Name. I think Montblanc needs to be careful about releasing their cheaper "cruise" line of pens.

So bottom line, if I did a "first thing that comes to mind" test......

Montblanc.........Expencive
Cross............cheap pen/pencil sets
Conway Stewart..........Handmade Sterling Silver pens
Parker..............common pens with arrow from 70's
Sheaffer............dirt cheap not well made Calligraphy sets
Lamy.............workhorse pen
David Oscarson.........just plain beautiful
Onoto............best value around


Ok, ok, so this is just a little play here guys, do not get too worked up!

#24 pajaro

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 15:45

I should have done this in my original post but here are the reasons I believe the Sheaffer Snorkel (especially Valiant, Setinels, Crest, Triumph and of course the Masterpiece) are the best pen ever made

1. It feels extremely balance in my hands.

2. I love the triumph nib.

3. It has a very complicated filling mechanism yet it will work for decades. (The other day I bought a 1st year snorkel that hasn't been restored and it still works more than 60 years later). If it does need restoration the restoration is fairly easy.

4. I think their design is beautiful.

 

I bought a Snorkel and tried to restore it.  Gave up and it defeated me.  Tried again with rebuilt one and then yet again with another rebuilt.

 

This gets into the subjective.

 

1.  I was not regaled into falling in love by the feel and balance.

2.  I disliked the triumph nib on this and on an Imperial, because I couldn't keep it on center.

3.  I thought the mechanism was a bit much to work, tedious, and it was not easy to rebuild.  I found it much easier to rebuild a Parker 51 Vac and infinitely easier to rebuild an Imperial Touchdown with inlaid nib.  Both are simpler to work the mechanism on and fill the pen than a Snorkel.  The little Snorkel tube is cute and the mechanism is devlishly ingenious, but I found it just devilish. 

4.  I thought the design of the Snorkels I had (and Balances, etc.) was kind of old and dorky.

 

Illustrating that this matter of what you like, what you esteem as the greatest, and what is the best ever is very subjective.  You might be right, but not for reasons that appeal to me. 

 

Real good pens, order fuzzy:

 

Parker 51 aerometric.  Still running in my collection unrestored since 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1950s, 1960s, 1970 and early 70s (squarebacks).

 

Montblanc 144, 1980s, Rouge et Noir.  Dorky pens but writers to love, especially lovely in red.

 

Waterman Carene, very smooth and ingeniously adept at throwing the cap off when posted.

 

Waterman Phileas, a pen I resisted but found workable, the feel of a MB 146 without the crummy filler mechanism and crummy feed.

 

Lamy Safary, simple and works with a variety of nibs that really are easy to change and durable.

 

Cross Solo, probably one of the best buys around, great nibs, great size.

 

Esterbrooks, usually old looking pens with mainly decent but unremarkable nibs that have the virtue of being moderately easy to change, inducing leaky nib threads, dangerous use of silicone lube as a sealant, and actually available if you shop patiently or open your wallet wide.  Almost kinda-sorta nearly great pens.  Easy to fix which makes them infuratingly persistent in the market.  Mediocrity that you cannot kill off.  But good and much loved mediocrity.  9312 the best nib.  9312 makes it a keeper.

 

Very, very much a matter for each to decide and to hate everyone else's picks.  We are all different and different things shape our tastes.  Early on, pens I had to use were older, pre-Parker 51, and leaked and failed, making me hate pens older than the 51, and looking older than 51s.


"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 . . .


#25 pajaro

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 16:08

Forgot about the Sheaffer Touchdown Imperial with Inlaid nib.  Rather than the Snorkel, I think this might easily be the best of the Sheaffers.  It's affordable, you can find the nib you want, the Touchdown filler is fun and really easy to service and less costly than the PFM.  I have desk pens and regular carry around ones.  My mother had a great one.  I got most of mine decades ago at an office supply closeout sale, and for little money.  These have nice nibs, just like the MB 144s do.  Both about on a par.  The writers you will be glad you tried.


"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 Oslowe

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 10:26

I like 'em. "They're the most complicated fountain pen ever made and will blow your head clean off, so you gotta ask yourself..."

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I beg to remain, Sir or Madam, your most humble, historical valediction using, and obedient servant, Oslowe

#27 Haribon

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 23:01

I like 'em. "They're the most complicated fountain pen ever made and will blow your head clean off, so you gotta ask yourself..."

 

Where are the PFMs?


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#28 Oslowe

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 00:09



I'm CERTAINLY no expert, and someone will set me straight very shortly, but I believe the line, apocryphal or not, evolved very early on in the after-release period and was attributed to the new Sheaffer's Snorkel® Pen. My GUESS is that it certainly was never a part of Sheaffer's institutional phrasebook, but probably snuck out of the repair shop.

Just as Dirty Harry's gun was superceded as the worlds most powerful handgun, so was the Snorkie, by the PFM and possibly others (?).

Edited by Oslowe, 01 January 2015 - 00:32.

I beg to remain, Sir or Madam, your most humble, historical valediction using, and obedient servant, Oslowe

#29 Oslowe

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 00:18

The PFM is a wonderful candidate and a beautiful object from both an engineering and aesthetic viewpoint.

Edited by Oslowe, 01 January 2015 - 00:35.

I beg to remain, Sir or Madam, your most humble, historical valediction using, and obedient servant, Oslowe

#30 Quadratus

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 13:22

Pity to be joining this conversation late... but my vote would go for the Pelikan Soveran 800 or the Delta dolce vita fusion range. Both combine supreme smoothness of nib (I own several of both types and use medium and fine nibs). Both have ideal weight without being too heavy (I like quite a big pen with some presence in the hand). And both series look fabulous (especially the blue and black Pelikan 800 or the Dolce Vita orange and black). I also admire Aurora, Visconti and Watermans as manufacturers but Pelikan or Delta have the edge for me.

#31 Ron Z

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 14:48

Entertaining reading, even 6 months later.  The OPs ruffled feathers needn't have gotten ruffled, having asked for opinions on what is most certainly question with very subjective answers.  My answer changes from day to day, depending on what I'm working on and what I have in my pocket.

 

Having said that, and even though I rarely use one, I think that the Parker 51 is one of the best pens ever made.  Second in line would be an Esterbrook of whatever model you choose.  Both are well made, reliable, repairable, durable, and sold in huge numbers for a very good reason.  I find the snorkel to be fussy and a pain to work on.  Lots of parts there to fail.  But Sheaffer sure sold a heck of a lot of them.


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#32 ArchiMark

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 18:36

Entertaining reading, even 6 months later.  The OPs ruffled feathers needn't have gotten ruffled, having asked for opinions on what is most certainly question with very subjective answers.  My answer changes from day to day, depending on what I'm working on and what I have in my pocket.

 

Having said that, and even though I rarely use one, I think that the Parker 51 is one of the best pens ever made.  Second in line would be an Esterbrook of whatever model you choose.  Both are well made, reliable, repairable, durable, and sold in huge numbers for a very good reason.  I find the snorkel to be fussy and a pain to work on.  Lots of parts there to fail.  But Sheaffer sure sold a heck of a lot of them.

 

Agree, Ron, this is quite a thread.....

 

What's your take on the PFM and subsequent Legacy series pens?

 

Thanks,

 

Mark


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#33 Rick Krantz

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 21:44

Entertaining reading, even 6 months later.  The OPs ruffled feathers needn't have gotten ruffled, having asked for opinions on what is most certainly question with very subjective answers.  My answer changes from day to day, depending on what I'm working on and what I have in my pocket.

 

Having said that, and even though I rarely use one, I think that the Parker 51 is one of the best pens ever made.  Second in line would be an Esterbrook of whatever model you choose.  Both are well made, reliable, repairable, durable, and sold in huge numbers for a very good reason.  I find the snorkel to be fussy and a pain to work on.  Lots of parts there to fail.  But Sheaffer sure sold a heck of a lot of them.

 

 

I think when you answer a question as to best pen ever made, you have to look at how they survived, durability, and sheer ruggedness.

 

Now, I love chiltons, and that's where you need to seperate the love out for the real world view of what constitutes "Best".  

 

I collect many a varied pen, but I have to agree with Ron.

 

if you restore pens, and encounter these things in the wild, take a few apart, the pens I see the LEAST issue with are 51's, vac or aerometric, and esterbrooks. They are virtually indestructable and lasted.

 

Others are really great, but let's face it... for an item not meant to exceed a life expectancy of say 20 years or maybe 30, those pens that survive and survived well, you have to give them a nod to being some of the best made. 

 

just my observations.... 


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#34 Ron Z

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 22:13

What's your take on the PFM and subsequent Legacy series pens?

 

Better made VS preference are 180 degrees apart. 

 

I don't like the PVM, but think it's a fairly well made pen because it can be repaired, and can be a reliable pen.  Though it's technically a snorkel the carbon spring, which is the vulnerable part in a snorkel, has been replaced with stainless (or at least rust free) steel in the PFM.  You can restore a PFM and replace parts if needed.

 

OTOH I like the look and feel of the Legacy over the PFM, and end up or have ended up selling every PFM I've owned.  I still own 3 or 4 Legacies.   But Sheaffer glued the Legacy sections together.  You can't disassemble the writing unit, which I think is really dumb.  Rather hard to straighten a bent nib if you can't pull the feed out.  


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#35 ArchiMark

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 01:52

 

Better made VS preference are 180 degrees apart. 

 

I don't like the PVM, but think it's a fairly well made pen because it can be repaired, and can be a reliable pen.  Though it's technically a snorkel the carbon spring, which is the vulnerable part in a snorkel, has been replaced with stainless (or at least rust free) steel in the PFM.  You can restore a PFM and replace parts if needed.

 

OTOH I like the look and feel of the Legacy over the PFM, and end up or have ended up selling every PFM I've owned.  I still own 3 or 4 Legacies.   But Sheaffer glued the Legacy sections together.  You can't disassemble the writing unit, which I think is really dumb.  Rather hard to straighten a bent nib if you can't pull the feed out.  

 

Understand your point about better made vs preference....

 

Very interesting and helpful info regarding the technical details of the PFM vs Legacy pens.....

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge!


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#36 Hobiwan

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 07:13

No one seems to have mentioned my favorite; the Sheaffer pre-snorkel triumph Touchdowns.  The conical nib, touchdown filler without the complexity of the snorkel, easy to re-sac, and just as classy.  Next, the same in lever-fill, and, if you can find one, a nice Chilton with its great manumatic touchdown filler. 


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#37 EBUCKTHORN

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:14

luvgolfing-  Sorry your question created a fuss. There are lots (the majority, for sure) of friendly, helpful folks on here. Stay with us!



#38 Ron Z

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 13:24

luvgolfing-  Sorry your question created a fuss. There are lots (the majority, for sure) of friendly, helpful folks on here. Stay with us!

 

Not to worry.  This thread was started 6 months ago, and their profile says that they checked in just a couple of days ago.


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#39 robert1962

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 00:47

So.... Whats the worst pen ever made?


Shouldn't phonics be spelled with an f?

#40 pajaro

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 03:24

I am an American collector but none of the pens you have listed I would have in my collection.

Unfortunately or actually Fortunately my very first Fountain pen was the Monteverde Black Tie. It was so bad it forced me to look for better. Then I found Lamy and yes it was better but still lacking. Onward with the pursuit...Until i found Onoto. The search is over!

 

That's a lot of great pens you would not have.

 

I don't think I will bother with Onoto.  I have followed a lot of posts concerning Onoto over time and I would prefer most any of the pens you reject.


"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 . . .






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