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Best Fountain Pens (Vintage Or Otherwise) Up To A Value Of Around £120/$150


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#1 Bexinthecity247

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:34

Basically looking for a good, smooth as butter, pen for everyday work/study stuff and because I write short stories entirely by hand - up to a value of around £120/$150.

I've been using a MB 14 (which is my favourite pen ever - very springy nib, and smooth as anything to write with) and a cheap Parker Frontier (which is very smooth too).

I prefer medium sized nibs and I'd prefer a piston filler (however cartridge is fine if I can get a converter).

I'd also prefer a nice vintage rather than a new one but not essential.

I hate heavier kind of pens as I write everything by hand, I have a Cross Beverly (I think) rollerball that I cannot use for extended periods of time. And a jinhao (I think it's called) that's far too heavy to use for very long. 

So - hit me with your best suggestions.


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#2 praxim

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:05

Aurora 88 (or 88K, 88P) meets all your criteria and is easily serviceable as well. Rugged, comfortable to use, holds plenty of ink, piston filler with ink window, clutch cap, writes beautifully.

eta: and within your price range of course.

Edited by praxim, 10 August 2018 - 10:06.

Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#3 Bexinthecity247

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:10

Thank you for your suggestions - I will be on the look out. I haven't seen many Aurora's in my searches, if any actually.


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#4 praxim

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 11:11

Strange. I must have bought them all.

Limitlesspens usually has some in the Classifieds here, but not at the moment it seems. I have bought some directly from Italy; sometimes those are on ebay UK.
Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#5 Bexinthecity247

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 11:22

I will have a look - the guy I bought my MB off has some but there's a message saying he's not processing any orders for the foreseeable future so I'll keep looking.


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#6 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 11:22

If you don't need a soft, bouncy nib, the lamy 2000 is about as close to a piece of engineering perfection as is possible. That pen is machinist's porn, the piston is glorious, and it writes like a mofo.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 10 August 2018 - 11:22.


#7 Bexinthecity247

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 13:11

Thank you for the suggestion!


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#8 rochester21

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 13:26

I'd probably look for a restored 60s/70s Pelikan or Montblanc.

But to keep things simple, i'il say this: a Pilot Custom 74 is cheap, looks vintage and the soft medium nib is really smooth& springy. Good size and weight for a girl. There is nothing to regret about it at around 90 dollars shipped.

Vintage is great, but you might end up with a lemon and regret it. A C74 is a "one size fits most" type of fountain pen.

Edited by rochester21, 10 August 2018 - 13:27.


#9 fphilipp

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 13:44

If you don't need a soft, bouncy nib, the lamy 2000 is about as close to a piece of engineering perfection as is possible. That pen is machinist's porn, the piston is glorious, and it writes like a mofo.

Echo that! excellent pen and perfect design - but remember that is a very subjective thing. Another pen that comes to mind is the Pelikan M215: it's a bit smaller than the Lamy but has the same built quality and it's a piston filler too. Good luck in your search (that will never end, beware!)



#10 Antenociticus

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 14:41

Sailor Pro Gear Slim.



#11 pajaro

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 16:37

Parker 51 Aerometric

Montvlanc 144

Lamy 2000

Pelikan M2xx, M3xx or M4xx

Sheaffer Imperial with Dolphin or Inlaid nib

 

Other pens tend to dry up.


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#12 chromantic

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 22:00

My first thought for modern in your price range would also be a Pelikan M200 but if you want vintage you might look at a 140 - slightly springy gold nib, lightweight and can be had fairly reasonably (mine cost $79 iirc).


Edited by chromantic, 10 August 2018 - 22:01.

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#13 praxim

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 22:08

I checked an Italian seller who invariably has Aurora 88s among their offers and found none there either. This is positively mysterious.

 

I agree with proposals for Pelikans of the 50s-70s as well.


Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#14 SpecTP

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 22:27

Basically looking for a good, smooth as butter, pen for everyday work/study stuff and because I write short stories entirely by hand - up to a value of around £120/$150.

I've been using a MB 14 (which is my favourite pen ever - very springy nib, and smooth as anything to write with) and a cheap Parker Frontier (which is very smooth too).

I prefer medium sized nibs and I'd prefer a piston filler (however cartridge is fine if I can get a converter).

I'd also prefer a nice vintage rather than a new one but not essential.

I hate heavier kind of pens as I write everything by hand, I have a Cross Beverly (I think) rollerball that I cannot use for extended periods of time. And a jinhao (I think it's called) that's far too heavy to use for very long. 

So - hit me with your best suggestions.

 

You can probably find a vintage MB34 for that price range.



#15 Honeybadgers

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 04:13

If you buy vintage, buy from a reputable seller. Nathaniel Cerf over at thepenmarket has treated me right through the several years I've been buying from him, and have yet to get a dud in the ~20 pens I've bought, everything from $25 lever fillers to a $500 MB149. He restores everything dutifully and lists any issues in detail. 

 

If you want to get a flexible nib and don't have more than about $150, Greg Minuskin sells pretty spectacular stuff restored well, almost 100% of it is flex. But fair warning, he is a giant d-bag and prone to throwing massive temper tantrums. But he is worth tolerating for the work he does.

 

Personally, for vintage pens, I find medium thickness and celluloid or ebonite to be my sweet spot. The parker vacumatic can be fount in good condition with the gorgeous stacked celluloid and a semiflex nib for under $150. I also like sheaffer statesman snorkels with the palladium triumph nib. I have an extra fine that lays down the most uncannily smooth needlepoint line.

 

I also love the wahl-eversharp skyline. gorgeous art deco design, can be had with flexible and rigid 14k nibs.

 

A pelikan 140 is also a great reliable piston filling vintage pen, easily found in the sub-150 range with semiflex nibs.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 11 August 2018 - 04:17.


#16 Honeybadgers

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 04:18

Aurora 88 (or 88K, 88P) meets all your criteria and is easily serviceable as well. Rugged, comfortable to use, holds plenty of ink, piston filler with ink window, clutch cap, writes beautifully.

eta: and within your price range of course.

 

 

Where the hell can you find an 88 in that price range.



#17 praxim

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 04:34

We are talking 1940s-1960s Aurora 88s, not the current model. The average price for of all of mine is US$120, with a cheapest of $44 (a bit lucky on that one) and one for which I paid just over $200 (nice pen but early error). Bexinthecity247's specification was under $150.

 

eta: I found them where I said. Some from Limitlesspens, some from sellers in Italy. About a month ago I passed on a Nikargenta asking $125 including freight Italy to Oz, having at least one of all the cap and model variants already.


Edited by praxim, 11 August 2018 - 04:36.

Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#18 Honeybadgers

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 05:04

Ah, I forgot about the old hooded nib design.

 

Yeah, those are on ebay in that range too.



#19 Bexinthecity247

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 07:08

Ahh lots of suggestions to be going off, thank you.

I should have added that though I quoted in dollars, I'm in the U.K. so only really want buy from sellers in U.K. Or Europe to avoid customs charges.

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#20 minddance

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 08:30

Sailor is not butter smooth and you won't get piston at that price(?). I love Sailors but if you want butter smooth, they are not, at any nib width. You will have to use your hand in a certain way to pander to the sweet spot(s).

Get Pelikans. M200 or M205.

m200 fine can write reasonably broad at the sweet spot with 'normal' papers, not Rhodia. Of course, it is angle/ink/paper dependent.

Lamy 2000 (F nib) has that irritating sweet spot problem for me and it coerces my hand to write in a certain way. Or else it won't write. Not recommended. But when held right, it can be glass smooth. Mine is a Fine nib. Probably Medium and Broads are more forgiving, I won't know. F nib is plenty broad for me.






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