I own a Waterman L'Etalon ballpoint, which I love. And I want to complement it with the fountain pen: I love the elegant, sophisticated yet simple look of it and I love its solid weight.
However, looking around the internet, they don't come cheap - to my standards.
I am a fountain pen noob, so before spending an inordinate amount of money on a pen, I would like to experience somehow if I like the fountain pen experience in the first place. Can you guys give me a hint as to where to start? Does a supermarket pen provide a similar writing experience as does a luxury pen? Are there any others ways to help me avoid this being an expensive gamble? I know of no place in my neighbourhood where I can test a pen, especially not a vintage pen.
Thanks a lot for your input!
Welkom bij FPN.
I think the Stallion ('l Étalon) is a very good fountainpen. I have one, bought from a shop that wanted to close down. He had another and I still kick myself for not buying it.
That said, if you have never used a FP before, I think ENewton's advice is sound. Start with a cheaper pen, see how you like it and if you like it, go for something nicer.
Where in Belgium are you located? There are some penshops in Belgium, but I don't have their addresses.
You could always try La Couronne de Comte in Tilburg. Dennis is a nice guy and very helpful. If you get a Pilot Metropolitan from him be sure to ask for the European version that takes standard international cartridges. (called the Pilot MR2) Much easier to find inks to your liking here in the SI size.
Waterman cartridges are basically long SI sizes, and could be used in the MR2. Or you could get a converter to pull up bottled fountainpen ink. (make sure it's FP ink. Drawing inks, like India ink, are nice to use with a dip pen, but they'll ruin your FP)
If you can find a Waterman Kultur in a shop near you, or a Phileas, that's a good option too. You may be lucky finding cheap Phileas in Belgium.