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

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87 replies to this topic

#21 Karmachanic

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 16:01

To me it feels like you sense a business opportunity, but are not familar with the environment, or the objects - pens. Fair enough. If this is the case I suggest you take the time to gain personal experience,

 

Are you familiar with the existing luxury brands and their products? What they feel like in the hand? How they write, the character of the nibs and the differences between them. And so on. How many pen shows have you attended? You will find the answers to many of your questions at such events.

 

Asking us what we think without having a deep and wide understanding of what is currently available is not going to be of much help.

 

In short I agree with mongrelnomad's assesment.

 

As an aside, I'm one of those odd people who  enjoys the lovely, luxurious feel of matte black  ebonite. Delrin too.


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#22 Ron Z

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 16:17

I would opine that starting with a post on FPN is not the way to do research, nor how to determine the market, nor to set standards.  Look at the companies that have failed in this venture.  Go to the archives of the PCA, and go back through the last 20 years of Pen World to see the companies featured, their ads, and how long they lasted.  As has been said, the market is littered with the corpses of companies that wanted to focus on luxury pens.

 

Too many companies go for the luxury market, and produce junk with a lot of bling and high prices, but provide little in the way of customer or repair service.  What killed Conway Stewart was the move to service just the luxury market.  Sales income dropped, and their quality control dropped, service dropped. and they folded. 

 

Edison on the other hand is thriving and growing as they work on making quality pens at reasonable prices with great customer service.  I'd buy an Edison, but never a strictly luxury brand. 


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#23 minddance

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 16:44

I think you have to make your brand luxurious first, and then have pens to sell, and with prices to match.

Don't worry too much about the pen right now. Work more on your brand.

Edited by minddance, 20 September 2018 - 16:45.


#24 mongrelnomad

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 17:23

I think you have to make your brand luxurious first, and then have pens to sell, and with prices to match.

Don't worry too much about the pen right now. Work more on your brand.


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Too many pens; too little writing.

#25 Precise

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 18:30

I don't understand 10.

 

I've modified a half-dozen pens by removing the threads and adding a groove for a 1mm O-ring.  But this must be done right.  These are my favorite pens.  Uncapping is easy, fast, and silent.

 

1.  The amount of compression of the O-ring is critical.  Too much and it's too hard to use.  Too little doesn't seal well.  Perhaps about 0.1mm radial compression works?  Depends on the rubber.   Also, some rubbers are less tacky than others.

 

2.  The O-ring is best positioned within a mm of the mouth of the cap when the pen is closed.  So when the cap is pulled, suction only occurs for one mm.  Incidentally, mounting the O-ring inside the mouth of the cap is best because it leaves a clean barrel, but the cap wall of the pens I've modified has been too thin to accept a groove.

 

3.  I've had to train myself to point the pen upward when decapping, to avoid sucking ink.  Many caps have small vent holes, even threaded pens.  I'd like to learn more about that.

 

 

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)

 

 


Edited by Precise, 20 September 2018 - 18:32.


#26 SoulSamurai

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 19:15

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.

 

I disagree. I'm always looking at pens and thinking "Oh, that's cool, but if only this was different...". I'm not saying that I'm regularly spotting market opportunities, only that I don't believe every possible style of pen and permutation of features is already available. Whether there's a market for certain things is a different story of course.



#27 Precise

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 22:34

I also, don't view lux pen makers as only fighting for the same customers.  For some gift-giving purchasers, that might be so.  But many of us will buy more fine pens for ourselves whenever they become available.

 

I have far more pens that I can use.  I wrestled with that for a while and came to peace with the idea that buying lots of pens is enjoyable and doesn't cause any harm.  I spend plenty on pens, but it's still less than my friends spend on wine.

 

For many of us in advancing years, we are spending our heirs' money.  You can't take it with you.

 

Alan



#28 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 23:55

However much I'd adore a diamond encrusted vermeil fountain about the size of the Platinum "President" with a complete set of swapable 18K gold nibs (xf, f, m, b, stub and or cursive italic in 3 widths), I could never afford it -- and unless the maker has a reputation for /usable/ & /working/ pens, likely wouldn't do more than glance at it.



#29 MisterSheaffer

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 00:21

I agree with mongrelnomad and Ron Z's comments. It seems like the original poster has no experience with fountain pens. And trying to start a luxury pen business by pretty much asking for free business consultations from a fountain pen board is curious. With the seemingly lack of experience in the pen collecting and making business I think the poster should wisely invest his money in something else and avoid the pitfalls of trying to create a niche luxury brand.

#30 Ron Z

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 00:47

He also seems to be unaware that real pen people are rather astute.  They know a good product, and easily recognize a crummy one.  Which is why the first reincarnations of Conklin, Chilton, and Esterbrook were such duds. 

 

Syd Saperstein on the other hand went about reviving the Eversharp brand (OK, second revival) with care, aiming to produce an excellent product and providing excellent customer service.  By all accounts, he's succeeding.


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#31 vrr

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 14:11

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.


Let me complete this exercise and then conclude that there is no Gap ....

If you read the messages here . You will realize that there is a huge huge gap ...

I will keep this forum updated ..

Thanks again.

#32 vrr

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 14:19

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.


Thanks for your thoughts, I understand that I have to look at what """I""" believe to be luxury ..

Also you dont perceive any original idea in my writing here because I have not mentioned any here.

though some replies here are adamant to prove that I have no idea of my own ..
when my message is extremely self explanatory that I need to understand your view of what you think True Luxury Pen is...


Thus if you can spend some time in putting your thoughts of what Luxury Pen should be having and put it to paper, there is a huge possibility that it will clear the list of queries arising ...

#33 vrr

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 14:27

I agree with mongrelnomad and Ron Z's comments. It seems like the original poster has no experience with fountain pens. And trying to start a luxury pen business by pretty much asking for free business consultations from a fountain pen board is curious. With the seemingly lack of experience in the pen collecting and making business I think the poster should wisely invest his money in something else and avoid the pitfalls of trying to create a niche luxury brand.


Interesting thoughts .. I will keep posting my progress here in ...

Free consultation is an interesting way to put it ..

However , any smart organization in this known world ... Always does research . Which includes asking the basic questions .. and I am sure that's not called free consultation.....

#34 vrr

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 14:31

I also, don't view lux pen makers as only fighting for the same customers.  For some gift-giving purchasers, that might be so.  But many of us will buy more fine pens for ourselves whenever they become available.
 
I have far more pens that I can use.  I wrestled with that for a while and came to peace with the idea that buying lots of pens is enjoyable and doesn't cause any harm.  I spend plenty on pens, but it's still less than my friends spend on wine.
 
For many of us in advancing years, we are spending our heirs' money.  You can't take it with you.
 
Alan


Alan,

Thanks for your message here in .


What I have been able to gather already is that ---- luxury means a lot of things and different for different people ....

However I am getting a better idea of what a luxury pen should not be and trust me that's also a blessing.

This also means that soon we will be able to close in on some points on what it certainly should have .

#35 vrr

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 14:35

To me it feels like you sense a business opportunity, but are not familar with the environment, or the objects - pens. Fair enough. If this is the case I suggest you take the time to gain personal experience,
 
Are you familiar with the existing luxury brands and their products? What they feel like in the hand? How they write, the character of the nibs and the differences between them. And so on. How many pen shows have you attended? You will find the answers to many of your questions at such events.
 
Asking us what we think without having a deep and wide understanding of what is currently available is not going to be of much help.
 
In short I agree with mongrelnomad's assesment.
 
As an aside, I'm one of those odd people who  enjoys the lovely, luxurious feel of matte black  ebonite. Delrin too.


Hello,

Thanks for writing here in .

My evaluation of luxury fountain pen is slightly different ... And thus I am taking my time to analyse the market.

When I posted the message .. the subject was """need your suggestion""" ...

Interestingly I have got loads of ""suggestions ""

Some have been critical of world based standard research method also...

Thanks again for your mail.

#36 vrr

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 14:39

I would opine that starting with a post on FPN is not the way to do research, nor how to determine the market, nor to set standards.  Look at the companies that have failed in this venture.  Go to the archives of the PCA, and go back through the last 20 years of Pen World to see the companies featured, their ads, and how long they lasted.  As has been said, the market is littered with the corpses of companies that wanted to focus on luxury pens.
 
Too many companies go for the luxury market, and produce junk with a lot of bling and high prices, but provide little in the way of customer or repair service.  What killed Conway Stewart was the move to service just the luxury market.  Sales income dropped, and their quality control dropped, service dropped. and they folded. 
 
Edison on the other hand is thriving and growing as they work on making quality pens at reasonable prices with great customer service.  I'd buy an Edison, but never a strictly luxury brand. 


Interesting thing here is that just seeing through loads of failures of companies and all the corpses of pens . The only thing to understand is ""what was the company thinking"" but you know that each one is smart in hindsight ....


Yes I am one hand learning from other peoples mistakes...


I am also trying to understand other people's success.

And above all I am asking people to define their thoughts ...

Some are doing it .. some are unable to do it ..

I will keep updatongy progress on this forum. ..

#37 gerigo

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 14:51

I will add my 2 cents worth but from a different perspective. I see this thread and the helpful suggestions others have offered. I also have read Ron Z's comments. While I agree with ALL of them, one aspect of pen making that is MORE important than all of the performance requirements, materials, nib selection is your point of view. What is the unique value proposition you're adding to the market and to collectors that others are not offering? In the higher end segment of the market, this point is SUPER important. Look at both Edison and Franklin Christoph. Both mentioned many times in this thread. If you look at the pens they offer, the materials, filling mechanism and nib selection is exactly the same. But yet all of us inherently can understand what each company offers.

 

I am helping a client design a new hotel product right now. Ace hotel is currently a very respected brand in the hotel industry. You can TRY and copy of their physical attributes, but if you don't have this clear value proposition, you will be a failed product. That's the location I am currently staying. A pale simulacra of the original, with absolutely no reason to charge the same prices. While I will always still stay at the Ace, I will never stay at this copy cat again.



#38 vrr

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 14:55

I would opine that starting with a post on FPN is not the way to do research, nor how to determine the market, nor to set standards.  Look at the companies that have failed in this venture.  Go to the archives of the PCA, and go back through the last 20 years of Pen World to see the companies featured, their ads, and how long they lasted.  As has been said, the market is littered with the corpses of companies that wanted to focus on luxury pens.
 
Too many companies go for the luxury market, and produce junk with a lot of bling and high prices, but provide little in the way of customer or repair service.  What killed Conway Stewart was the move to service just the luxury market.  Sales income dropped, and their quality control dropped, service dropped. and they folded. 
 
Edison on the other hand is thriving and growing as they work on making quality pens at reasonable prices with great customer service.  I'd buy an Edison, but never a strictly luxury brand. 

..

Thanks for the feedback .. .. seeing the global market .. Servicing will be extremely extremely critical ..

Am sharing a Thought ... You have made an interesting reference . . Edison Pen ..


Do you know that they are completely changing their material and they are moving to a new material that they have researched.

Interesting thing is that they stopped production completely and are going to is the ""new raw material,"" only.
.this is what I meant .. that continuous research needs to be done ... But fundamental research is also very very critical ...



And that's why I am doing this activity. .

#39 sirgilbert357

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 15:04

He also seems to be unaware that real pen people are rather astute.  They know a good product, and easily recognize a crummy one.  Which is why the first reincarnations of Conklin, Chilton, and Esterbrook were such duds. 

 

Syd Saperstein on the other hand went about reviving the Eversharp brand (OK, second revival) with care, aiming to produce an excellent product and providing excellent customer service.  By all accounts, he's succeeding.

 

 

I was blown away by the Decoband and want one very badly...but they are just too big. I need something M800 sized please!!!



#40 vrr

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Posted 21 September 2018 - 15:04

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.


Thanks again.

Handmade pens is what I am focusing on.

Material ebonite is being suggested by many ..

additionally .. gold lines from some leading workman can also do wonders.

I will keep this forum informed on how it goes ahead. Thanks again .





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