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I Want To Make "true Luxury Fountain Pens"! I Need Your Suggestions?

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#1 vrr

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 14:13

Hello Friends and Pen Enthusiasts, 

 

I plan to manufacture "Luxury HandMade Fountain Pens".

 

I want your suggestions with reference to the following:-

 

1. Which Material would you suggest I should use? a.) ebonite b.) teak wood c.) resin d.) any other then please suggest. 

 

2. Which  NIB  is the best in the world. ? a.) Schmidt b.) Bock c.) Jowo d.) any other then please suggest.

 

3. Which material nib is the best? a.) Steel b.) Gold c.) any other then please suggest.

 

4.  Which is  the best ink feeding system in the world?

 

5. What kind of material should be used for the Clip ? -- a.) Brass b.) any other then please suggest. 

 

I sincerely await your inputs or suggestions of any or all of the above points.

 

Incase you believe that I may have missed something crucial or I need to be aware of then please feel free to let me know. 

 

In the event you want to suggest something which is  different then my thought process mentioned above then too please feel free to share your thoughts.

 

Though I am at an advanced level of conceptualisation, my intent is to create a "TRUE LUXURY PEN" which can be handed down from generations to generations and is extremely high on quality.

 

All Suggestions are welcome. 

 

 

Thanks, 

 

 

 

Vikas 



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#2 Driften

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 02:25

You really should be asking in the pen making section, but here it goes.

I used to make pens. Unless you can entice the collector crowd you are not going to make money at this. What is your ability to make pens? You will need to make or have parts custom made for you. Bock and Jowo are the major nib makers you should be using. Higher priced pens normally require gold nibs. You also need to be able to adjust nibs as well as make pens.

 

Wood does not work well for pens unless you have a brass liner. You will be better off with acrylic or ebonite. Take inspiration from Edison Pens or Franklin-Christoph. Both companies make nice acrylic pens but use very high priced CNC lathes.

 

Again look at the posts in the pen making section and you should get a lot more information.



#3 sirgilbert357

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 03:41

Looking at all the questions in your opening post, I know exactly what I would do if I were going to have my own luxury pen brand. Are you not sure where to start or are you just looking for our input? The direction you want to take your brand and the look you want it to have will dictate the design elements. There is no "best" in any of these categories. There's Conids and Mont Blancs out there and they are both luxurious, but for different reasons. The same person might buy -- and love -- both types of pens...

 

Do you use fountain pens? If so, how long have you been writing with them and what are your favorites? The inspiration for your luxury brand has to come from you -- and it's going to need a creative twist to stand out these days. There are so many awesome vintage and modern pens...what do you like about some of them? Can you combine any of those features in a way that would be unique that others would like? Does it have to be handmade? I think luxury can mean attention to detail and materials just as much as "how it was put together". Robots make a Rolex from start to finish -- no human hands ever touch their watches during manufacturing, but they are still considered "luxurious", right?

 

Just trying to get you thinking.

 

My personal opinions:

 

-Gold nib > steel nib, all my favorite nibs are made in-house by the pen maker, so I don't think that would help you. I've had multiple bad experiences with Jowo nibs (like 6 in a row), so I can't recommend them. Well, their nibs are great, its their feeds that suck.

 

-Piston filler > Vacuum filler > every other kind of filler. C/C filling system is too commonplace and boring for me to consider it "luxurious", but it has it's advantages. Converters these days are made so cheaply though. I'm still waiting for someone to make a pen C/C and make it stand out by offering a really nice converter that holds more ink than the norm and is made better than the 5 dollar throw away kind. Pilot is onto something with their CON-70...someone could take that to the next level. Maybe just make your pen compatible with the CON-70 and save yourself a lot of effort and R&D...

 

Ebonite feed > plastic, but how well it flows ink to the nib is what matters most. If you can achieve good flow with plastic, so be it. The best feeds I've owned have been on my Pelikans, my Lamy 2000's and my Pilots. Generous flow and consistent ink delivery in all three types. I especially like the Lamy 2000's feed for how easy it is to take apart for cleaning.

 

Pen materials are incredibly subjective. What you end up using could be just as much a function of design choice and artistic expression as it is cost considerations and the ability to turn your design into a working pen from the chosen material at a price people are willing to pay.



#4 Precise

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 04:59

I prefer ebonite, celluloid, and acrylic pens.  But ebonite, though liked, is often pretty ugly.  I guess the only attractive ebonite pens to my eye are polished black, or coated.  Urushi lacquer over ebonite is viewed a lux.  For celluloid, the color of the Omas Arco Brown are viewed as the most beautiful.  Other marble or tortoise patterns are highly regarded.  Acrylic is also available with a marbled pattern.  I find the color and pattern of the Edison Antique Marble or the Bexley Amber material very attractive.  Marble red or amber or tortoise are often found on lux pens and I like them.  A transparent window to show ink supply is a nice feature.

 

Few pens are offered in polycarbonate.  It's tougher than the resins above.  But only available in solid color or transparent tint.  And it's more difficult to machine and polish.

 

I had an expensive Delrin (acetal) pen once.  It was so slippery that my hand fatigued gripping it.

 

I do not like metal on the section or the cap.  I also object to metal rings at the bottom of the plastic section.  These are common but can trap ink when you immerse the pen to fill it and even after a wipe, comes off on your fingers.

 

I like big nibs.  They may have little or no functional advantage.  But they look lux and are expected on lux pens like the Sailor King of Pen, Montblanc 149, and Pelikan M1000.  

 

Piston fillers are viewed as superior to cartridge converters, and I'm trying to rid myself of that bias because a good converter can be replaced for $10 in a minute and piston problems (which are  frequent) are expensive to fix.  Converters also have a functional advantage of permitting a quick check of ink level by viewing the converter.  Although windows in some piston pens allow that too.

 

I think the classiest clips don't rely on the flex of the clip itself.  Rather the clip is rigid, but extends from a springy hinge.  Rollers at the bottom of the clip are lux.

 

I like steel nibs.  But many people here think gold is better.  I think gold is inferior to steel.  Bock makes excellent steel and gold nibs for a very wide range of manufacturers.

 

Size of a pen relates to lux.  Look at the lux pens with large nibs for an example of size.  I'd say 6" long cappped, 0.6" body diameter, and 0.5" section diameter are right.  Weight in the range of 25 to 30 grams.

 

I like even bigger pens, but only if they weigh less than 38 grams.

 

You should have a good nib tuner available, either in-house or on-call.  He should check every pen before you ship it.

 

A mistake made by some pen manufacturers to require too many turns to uncap a threaded cap.  1 to 1.5 turns are right.  Many, including me like push caps.  I modify pens to this state by machining an O-ring groove.  But that's risky, and I'd guess 1 to 1.5 turns of thread is the safe approach.

 

I dislike gaudy pens, odd proportions (like some Montblanc Writers Editions), and narrow pens.  I do like polygon cross-sections, like Omas Paragon.  But this is much more costly to machine than round.

 

Alan


Edited by Precise, 20 September 2018 - 05:02.


#5 hari317

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 07:11

A serious pen company at a minimum must have its custom logo nib, the logo should be stamped onto the nib at the time of manufacture (meaning the nibs are custom made for the company by the nib manufacturer) and not simply laser engraved on later. This shows some minimum belief and investment in the product by the manufacturer. This is my personal view. Ymmv.

Edited by hari317, 20 September 2018 - 07:12.

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#6 SoulSamurai

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 08:35

Everyone has different tastes. I'll list some of mine here just as a datapoint, not because my tastes represent the majority or anything like that (probably the opposite in fact).

 

My grip shifts around depending on my position when I'm writing, so I don't like grips that force you to hold the pen in a specific place. I also don't like sharp steps; my ideal pen has a featureless grip and no step whatsoever (take a look at the Sheaffer 440 for example). However I do like grips that are very "grippy" rather than being slippery; ebonite, knurling, things like that help increase my control over the pen. If the cap is threaded then the threads should be soft and tapered slightly so they aren't uncomfortable and there should not be a "secondary" step (i.e. the step should be the start of the threads).

I often grip the pen very close to the tip, so I don't like large nibs (I rarely buy anything larger than a #5) or pens with threading just above the nib.

I find pens with a bit of weight feel nicer and more "luxurious" in the hand as long as they are well balanced. This is important; I hate pens that are tail-heavy.

Personally I don't like gold, but I love silver, so for me a luxurious pen will have sterling silver somewhere; a fancy shaped silver clip can work if it's tasteful. An engraved solid sterling silver body for example is about as luxurious a pen as I'm currently interested in owning.

I prefer steel nibs over gold myself, but I still recognize a gold nib as being the more luxurious/classy option. Many fountain pen users seem to feel let down by a steel nib on an expensive pen, so gold does seem to be the way to go; preferably something soft and bouncy (which is somewhat hard to get in a modern nib, steel or gold). A smooth wet nib is usually preferred for enjoyable "luxury" writing (while a dryer nib can be more practical as it can work better with cheaper paper).

Cartridge/converter pens do not feel luxurious; you definitely want a built-in filling system like a piston. In which case you probably want an ink window.

I do like fancy acrylics, but I think they look more "upscale" and classy with a bit of metal furniture (barrel bands, end caps, cap jewel) rather than just a solid chunk of material.

 

 

Anyway, would you be willing to give us more information on what you mean when you say you plan to manufacture pens? Are you going to be making them by hand or on small hobbyist equipment, or are you affiliated with a company that has access to more industrial manufacturing capabilities? Are you planning to build them to order, so each customer specifies exactly what they want, or are you going to mass-produce (relatively speaking) a single configuration and just put them up on a webstore somewhere? What kind of price range are you planning to target - fountain pens can be insanely expensive, while very nice classy gold-nibbed pens that have a good reputation for reliability and function are available from Japan for less than $100.



#7 vrr

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 09:27

You really should be asking in the pen making section, but here it goes.

I used to make pens. Unless you can entice the collector crowd you are not going to make money at this. What is your ability to make pens? You will need to make or have parts custom made for you. Bock and Jowo are the major nib makers you should be using. Higher priced pens normally require gold nibs. You also need to be able to adjust nibs as well as make pens.

 

Wood does not work well for pens unless you have a brass liner. You will be better off with acrylic or ebonite. Take inspiration from Edison Pens or Franklin-Christoph. Both companies make nice acrylic pens but use very high priced CNC lathes.

 

Again look at the posts in the pen making section and you should get a lot more information.

 

Thank you very much for your response. It is systematic and is very helpful. Further to your thoughts, I am mentioning some additional thoughts herein, please feel free to guide further or fill gaps if you think there are any. 

 

1. Purpose of the same is to entice the collector crowd and thus I want to understand what will collector be attracted to. 

 

2. Ability to make pens - I will be able to get to this later in some time. 

 

3. Gold Nibs - This is what I too have in mind. 

 

4. Wood and Brass Liner - That is one option that I have in mind.

 

5. Ebonite - I am trying to understand where in the globe will we get the best Ebonite.

 

6. I will look at the posts in Pen Making Section.

 

I sincerely thank you. for taking the efforts to guide me on this. It is going to assist me in analysing the thoughts better. 



#8 vrr

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 09:46

Looking at all the questions in your opening post, I know exactly what I would do if I were going to have my own luxury pen brand. Are you not sure where to start or are you just looking for our input? The direction you want to take your brand and the look you want it to have will dictate the design elements. There is no "best" in any of these categories. There's Conids and Mont Blancs out there and they are both luxurious, but for different reasons. The same person might buy -- and love -- both types of pens...

 

Do you use fountain pens? If so, how long have you been writing with them and what are your favorites? The inspiration for your luxury brand has to come from you -- and it's going to need a creative twist to stand out these days. There are so many awesome vintage and modern pens...what do you like about some of them? Can you combine any of those features in a way that would be unique that others would like? Does it have to be handmade? I think luxury can mean attention to detail and materials just as much as "how it was put together". Robots make a Rolex from start to finish -- no human hands ever touch their watches during manufacturing, but they are still considered "luxurious", right?

 

Just trying to get you thinking.

 

My personal opinions:

 

-Gold nib > steel nib, all my favorite nibs are made in-house by the pen maker, so I don't think that would help you. I've had multiple bad experiences with Jowo nibs (like 6 in a row), so I can't recommend them. Well, their nibs are great, its their feeds that suck.

 

-Piston filler > Vacuum filler > every other kind of filler. C/C filling system is too commonplace and boring for me to consider it "luxurious", but it has it's advantages. Converters these days are made so cheaply though. I'm still waiting for someone to make a pen C/C and make it stand out by offering a really nice converter that holds more ink than the norm and is made better than the 5 dollar throw away kind. Pilot is onto something with their CON-70...someone could take that to the next level. Maybe just make your pen compatible with the CON-70 and save yourself a lot of effort and R&D...

 

Ebonite feed > plastic, but how well it flows ink to the nib is what matters most. If you can achieve good flow with plastic, so be it. The best feeds I've owned have been on my Pelikans, my Lamy 2000's and my Pilots. Generous flow and consistent ink delivery in all three types. I especially like the Lamy 2000's feed for how easy it is to take apart for cleaning.

 

Pen materials are incredibly subjective. What you end up using could be just as much a function of design choice and artistic expression as it is cost considerations and the ability to turn your design into a working pen from the chosen material at a price people are willing to pay.

 

 

Thank you for taking time and sharing your thoughts, It is very helpful and its assisting me to reach closer to my understanding. 

 

I am replying to some points herein , and incase you believe you can guide further , then please do so. 

 

1. I more or less have my thoughts with reference to what my luxury pen should be, however I need to understand in further detail of whether a Luxury Pen in my mind is somewhere near of what is Luxury as commonly understood, thus this post. 

 

2. Conids and MontBlanc example cited by you is absolutely apt for where I am going towards.

 

3. Making Nibs in-house (GOLD) is a high possibility, however this will require lots of try an error at our end before we will be able to close on the final design, thus we will have to start off with buying from manufacturers and meanwhile built in-house capabilities of making gold nibs in-house.

 

4. Feeds - I am absolutely lost in that and I am trying to grasp the common solution for them.

 

5. CON-70 is what I too have my eyes on, however I have not been able to study the solution in detail. since there are few users who are facing problems with the filling.  (Compatibility is on my mind)

 

I sincerely thank you again for your thoughts. Incase something else also crosses your mind, then please do let me know. 



#9 vrr

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 10:00

I prefer ebonite, celluloid, and acrylic pens.  But ebonite, though liked, is often pretty ugly.  I guess the only attractive ebonite pens to my eye are polished black, or coated.  Urushi lacquer over ebonite is viewed a lux.  For celluloid, the color of the Omas Arco Brown are viewed as the most beautiful.  Other marble or tortoise patterns are highly regarded.  Acrylic is also available with a marbled pattern.  I find the color and pattern of the Edison Antique Marble or the Bexley Amber material very attractive.  Marble red or amber or tortoise are often found on lux pens and I like them.  A transparent window to show ink supply is a nice feature.

 

Few pens are offered in polycarbonate.  It's tougher than the resins above.  But only available in solid color or transparent tint.  And it's more difficult to machine and polish.

 

I had an expensive Delrin (acetal) pen once.  It was so slippery that my hand fatigued gripping it.

 

I do not like metal on the section or the cap.  I also object to metal rings at the bottom of the plastic section.  These are common but can trap ink when you immerse the pen to fill it and even after a wipe, comes off on your fingers.

 

I like big nibs.  They may have little or no functional advantage.  But they look lux and are expected on lux pens like the Sailor King of Pen, Montblanc 149, and Pelikan M1000.  

 

Piston fillers are viewed as superior to cartridge converters, and I'm trying to rid myself of that bias because a good converter can be replaced for $10 in a minute and piston problems (which are  frequent) are expensive to fix.  Converters also have a functional advantage of permitting a quick check of ink level by viewing the converter.  Although windows in some piston pens allow that too.

 

I think the classiest clips don't rely on the flex of the clip itself.  Rather the clip is rigid, but extends from a springy hinge.  Rollers at the bottom of the clip are lux.

 

I like steel nibs.  But many people here think gold is better.  I think gold is inferior to steel.  Bock makes excellent steel and gold nibs for a very wide range of manufacturers.

 

Size of a pen relates to lux.  Look at the lux pens with large nibs for an example of size.  I'd say 6" long cappped, 0.6" body diameter, and 0.5" section diameter are right.  Weight in the range of 25 to 30 grams.

 

I like even bigger pens, but only if they weigh less than 38 grams.

 

You should have a good nib tuner available, either in-house or on-call.  He should check every pen before you ship it.

 

A mistake made by some pen manufacturers to require too many turns to uncap a threaded cap.  1 to 1.5 turns are right.  Many, including me like push caps.  I modify pens to this state by machining an O-ring groove.  But that's risky, and I'd guess 1 to 1.5 turns of thread is the safe approach.

 

I dislike gaudy pens, odd proportions (like some Montblanc Writers Editions), and narrow pens.  I do like polygon cross-sections, like Omas Paragon.  But this is much more costly to machine than round.

 

Alan

Hello Alan, 

 

 

On the onset thank you very much for removing time and putting in efforts in replying to me. 

 

I am mentioning herewith my thoughts.

 

1. Ebonite seems to be preferred by many, however as you have rightly mentioned its coming across as ugly (BLACK ROCKS THOUGH).

 

2. Celluloid / Acrylic -  Fair thoughts but I will have to do fair amount of rework on the same.

 

3. Polycarbonate - We tried but its extremely difficult to turn ... and polishing is not possible.

 

4. Wood as a material can be used wood with walnut polishing makes sense but does it really look luxury is something we will make and evaluate.

 

5.  Piston Fillers  vis-a-vis c/c is to be evaluated, however windows in the barrel is a complete no no ....

 

6. Metal in Pens is a question. I was wondering if we can use Pure Gold and Pure Platinum in the Rings in the Pen?

 

7. Clips - springy hinge is a good thought -- however I am also thinking of making it very unique.

 

8. Size I am agreeing to what you have in mind. However I believe that even a 5" long pen would look nice if done well. That is we can have both 6" as well as 5 " , in all designs. 

 

9. 1.5 turn is what I too am gunning for. that way it will be super easy to use regularly. 

 

10. push caps - in a fountain pen --- ends up limiting the lift of the one, thus I would like to look at a twist model (but you can correct me if I am missing something here)

 

11.  Nib Turner . We will have in-house.

 

 

Alan Thanks once again for your inputs. Incase you come up with anything new or thoughtful to assist me please do share.

 

I will keep sharing how we are progressing on this. 



#10 vrr

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 10:04

A serious pen company at a minimum must have its custom logo nib, the logo should be stamped onto the nib at the time of manufacture (meaning the nibs are custom made for the company by the nib manufacturer) and not simply laser engraved on later. This shows some minimum belief and investment in the product by the manufacturer. This is my personal view. Ymmv.

 

Hello Hari, 

 

Thank you for your reply. I have seperately also sent an email to you on your email id mentioned. 

 

I completely get your point on the NIB Stamp - its way up there on the  plan.

 

Regards.



#11 vrr

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 10:32

Everyone has different tastes. I'll list some of mine here just as a datapoint, not because my tastes represent the majority or anything like that (probably the opposite in fact).

 

My grip shifts around depending on my position when I'm writing, so I don't like grips that force you to hold the pen in a specific place. I also don't like sharp steps; my ideal pen has a featureless grip and no step whatsoever (take a look at the Sheaffer 440 for example). However I do like grips that are very "grippy" rather than being slippery; ebonite, knurling, things like that help increase my control over the pen. If the cap is threaded then the threads should be soft and tapered slightly so they aren't uncomfortable and there should not be a "secondary" step (i.e. the step should be the start of the threads).

I often grip the pen very close to the tip, so I don't like large nibs (I rarely buy anything larger than a #5) or pens with threading just above the nib.

I find pens with a bit of weight feel nicer and more "luxurious" in the hand as long as they are well balanced. This is important; I hate pens that are tail-heavy.

Personally I don't like gold, but I love silver, so for me a luxurious pen will have sterling silver somewhere; a fancy shaped silver clip can work if it's tasteful. An engraved solid sterling silver body for example is about as luxurious a pen as I'm currently interested in owning.

I prefer steel nibs over gold myself, but I still recognize a gold nib as being the more luxurious/classy option. Many fountain pen users seem to feel let down by a steel nib on an expensive pen, so gold does seem to be the way to go; preferably something soft and bouncy (which is somewhat hard to get in a modern nib, steel or gold). A smooth wet nib is usually preferred for enjoyable "luxury" writing (while a dryer nib can be more practical as it can work better with cheaper paper).

Cartridge/converter pens do not feel luxurious; you definitely want a built-in filling system like a piston. In which case you probably want an ink window.

I do like fancy acrylics, but I think they look more "upscale" and classy with a bit of metal furniture (barrel bands, end caps, cap jewel) rather than just a solid chunk of material.

 

 

Anyway, would you be willing to give us more information on what you mean when you say you plan to manufacture pens? Are you going to be making them by hand or on small hobbyist equipment, or are you affiliated with a company that has access to more industrial manufacturing capabilities? Are you planning to build them to order, so each customer specifies exactly what they want, or are you going to mass-produce (relatively speaking) a single configuration and just put them up on a webstore somewhere? What kind of price range are you planning to target - fountain pens can be insanely expensive, while very nice classy gold-nibbed pens that have a good reputation for reliability and function are available from Japan for less than $100.

 

Thank you very much for your reply and the details mentioned by you. 

 

I am answering some of your queries and also adding my thoughts to your thoughts, so as to transfer clarity herein. 

 

1. Pen Grips without Sharp Steps is what I too am thinking of. Sharp steps are easy to manufacture  however going forward they seem to make the product look "just normal" and not very Luxe. (just my thoughts as of now) 

 

 

2. Threader caps are the plan ... however we are trying to have 1.5 turn only and that is difficult to get in a threaded cap. 

 

3. I am thinking of #5 and #6 in all models so as to have large nibs lovers and less large nibs lovers both accommodated.

 

4. Weight of the pen .. I am looking at around 35-40gms.

 

5. Silver fancy clip - this is a thought .

 

6. Steel or  Gold Nibs can be kept as users options. 

 

7. A wet nib is what it should be . Dry will have its challenges and may loose on the luxury feel.

 

I am below also answering  your questions as asked by you :-

 

1.  what you mean when you say you plan to manufacture pens?

 

Are you going to be making them by hand or on small hobbyist equipment, or are you affiliated with a company that has access to more industrial manufacturing capabilities?

 

Reply - We have the access and the manufacturing capabilities. Incase we require more labour then we can arrange for the same incase we require better CNC machinery then we can arrange for that too. 

 

2. Are you planning to build them to order, so each customer specifies exactly what they want, or are you going to mass-produce (relatively speaking) a single configuration and just put them up on a webstore somewhere?

 

We don't want to  mass produce but we won't only produce as per order.  We are thinking of limiting the number of units that we make to an Agreed Number of Units so that there are only that many available in the world.

 

That will be a place somewhere in between mass Produce and Hand Made,

 

What kind of price range are you planning to target - fountain pens can be insanely expensive, while very nice classy gold-nibbed pens that have a good reputation for reliability and function are available from Japan for less than $100.

 

Currently I am unsure of the Price point, though I want a product which can proudly be passed down from generations to generations. 

 

 

I hope I have been able to answer your queries for the time being. 

 

Incase you have some additional thoughts that can be of assistance  to me then please let me know. 



#12 SoulSamurai

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 10:47

Thank you for clarifying. Some additional suggestions:

 

Manual work is usually the way to go for an expensive luxury product; not because it improves the product necessarily but because it increases the exclusivity, and the sense that the product had care put into it. Therefore manual engraving work is something to consider.

 

If you want to attract collectors, try to find materials, designs or methods that have not been used in pens before, or at least are rarely used. For example, the Visconti Homo Sapiens is well known for it's lava-infused material.

 

You mentioned wood as a material. Just a suggestion, but how about wood inlaid with silver or gold patterns? That's something I haven't personally seen done too often in fountain pens (although other forum members might correct me about how often it's seen) and that sounds attractive to me.



#13 mongrelnomad

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 11:14

Unless you have some USP, dont.

I dont mean to be negative, but if you look at the FP landscape, the smaller companies that are surviving (and/or flourishing) are those that provide something unique. Conid? The bulkfiller system. Edison? Customization. Hakase? Legacy and craftsmanship. ASC? Omas celluloids.

Yes, there are others out there, but you are dipping your foot into a very crowded pond with many floating corpses. Please correct me if Im wrong, but your questions themselves seem to imply that this does not come from a place of knowledge or passion, so short of anything further I will say it again: walk away or risk creating for yourself a painful money pit.

Edited by mongrelnomad, 20 September 2018 - 17:31.

Too many pens; too little writing.

#14 SenZen

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 12:06

1. Who are you selling to? What are they looking for? What do they appreciate? It might sound obvious but many startups really produce for themselves instead of their actual customers.

2. Let your customers into the design process, it's good to ask what they want but you want to find specific gaps in the market; for instance I wouldn't want a copy but a design that follows an iconic model might be interesting, which solves that model's problems; for instance a much thicker Parker 75.

3. Adjust your business model, there is no need to produce an entire batch and then wait to see if it sells; if your customers like your designs and quality, they will vote with their money; of course you need to prove these qualities beforehand, but it can be done.

4. Invest in reliability, a nice design is useless if everyone has problems with it. This might imply a pen that is not for newbies, who are prone to messing up a perfectly fine pen (I did this, many times).

5. Invest in modularity, you may have a nice customer segment in India, but they may also have different tastes than in other countries; neither is better than the other, but for instance all those super vivid colours and gold nibs have kept me away from Indian pens, just not my cup of tea (and conversely my pens might be extremely boring to them).

 

Good luck!


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#15 jar

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 12:36

Almost all of my pens that I consider as luxurious use the cartridge/converter filling system.

 

Most of my pens that I consider luxurious have gold nibs and many were hand tuned before they were sold.

 

Some have a simple generic Bock nib but were set up to write perfectly straight out of the box.

 

Cap types vary with both threaded and slip on caps.

 

Sizes and widths vary greatly. So do section designs including straight cylinder shapes, conic shapes and concave shapes.

 

Weights vary greatly.

 

Body materials include ebonite, acrylic, celluloid, metals and a variety of finishes including urushi.

 

Wood is the least common material among my luxury pens and also the least often used in rotation but there are still a significant number of wood bodied pens in my accumulation.


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#16 sirgilbert357

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 14:42

Unless you have some USP, dont.

I dont mean to be negative, but if you look at the FP landscape, the smaller companies that are surviving (and/or blossoming) are those that provide something unique. Conid? The bulkfiller system. Edison? Customization. Hakase? Legacy and craftsmanship. ASC? Omas celluloids.

Yes, there are others out there, but you are dipping your foot into a very crowded pond with many floating corpses. Please correct me if Im wrong, but your questions themselves seem to imply that this does not come from a place of knowledge or passion, so short of anything further I will say it again: walk away or risk creating for yourself a painful money pit.

 

 

+1 This was my initial reaction upon reading the opening post.



#17 vrr

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 15:04

 
 
+1 This was my initial reaction upon reading the opening post.



#18 vrr

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 15:07

 
 
+1 This was my initial reaction upon reading the opening post.


Well this is very interesting feedback and it's feedback like this that will assist me in getting on a path.

When I have got into this task of asking individuals for their thoughts, the reason is that we go and fill a gap .. and not just. Reate a pen for creating one ...

I also agree that there are individuals who have loads of expectations from a luxury pen and that is what I need to collTe and freeze on which of those would I like to offer on.

Thank you once again for your feedback and I will use these as caution steps....

#19 mongrelnomad

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 15:26

When I have got into this task of asking individuals for their thoughts, the reason is that we go and fill a gap .. and not just. Reate a pen for creating one ...


Only there is no gap. Every conceivable permutation is covered by one brand, often many, and they are fighting for the same small batch of customers. There are so few people in the world who know that a fountain pen exists, fewer still who realize there are manufacturers other than Montblanc. Like I said, unless you create something truly unique (and Im sorry, but it doesnt appear that is your intention), youre just adding to a market already over-saturated for the customer-base.
Too many pens; too little writing.

#20 Dickkooty2

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 15:38

You want to make 'true luxury fountain pens', yet I don't perceive any particular creative idea in your writing. If you do not have your own vision of what a 'true luxury fountain pen' might be and how it transcends others that fit that subjective description, make a pen that you would like and see what you learn.







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