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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

#81 John-XXII

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 06:54

How is the project going? Good luck!


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#82 vrr

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 19:45

As someone new to collecting (but not to using) fountain pens, whose tastes are admittedly fairly niche and outside the mainstream in everything from fashion to music, my opinion may not be very useful. in fact you might do well to do the opposite of my suggestions. :)

Anyway, i don't find plastic pens--be it acrylic or resin or celluloid or poly-carbonate or Bakelite or whatever--to be luxurious despite the price they are sold for. Granted, some of the marbled/sparkly/translucent materials can be attractive, but i would prefer them as, maybe, a wide inlaid band or even longitudinally inlaid stripes in a sterling or gold or platinum barrel or cap. In fact others have suggested inlay of different materials, and i think that could be amazing. Japanese zogan style inlays would be brilliant. Or katakiri-bori on a shakudo or shibuichi barrel would be wonderful. Interesting shapes--so long as they are ergonomic-- are something that would interest me.

I think the most important thing, however, is the nib. If you could duplicate the alloys and tempering of 14k gold nibs from the '20s you would have guaranteed interest. In fact, i would suggest starting with the nibs. If you began with a reputation for superiour gold nibs, maybe sold as replacements for other pens, before crafting whole pens, you would have that "branding' and reputation to generate interest at the start.

 

Thanks for your reply and suggestion.  This is an amazing/different way to look at it. I will work on the same and keep you informed.

 

Apologies for the ONE YEAR DELAY... (Truth be told - Parallel Work Just took over Life and this project went on the side lines, however Now I am back with the focus on the Project.)  



#83 vrr

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 19:46

How is the project going? Good luck!

 

 

Truth be told - Parallel Work Just took over Life and this project went on the side lines, however Now I am back with the focus on the Project.

 

 

Apologies for the ONE YEAR DELAY in Replying.. I will keep you informed about how its going now on. :) 


#84 vrr

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 19:49

Produce your own nibs. A Jowo or Bock in an expensive body is.... has been done a hundred times before.

Better still, indicate the level of feedback/smoothness.

 

Thanks for the input. Rather this is what most have suggested. Now this is going to be a point of research for us. 

 

Apologies for the super delay in replying to you. Thanks for your suggestions.



#85 Estycollector

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 20:35

Fine, I will answer your question simply and concisely, or as simply and concisely as I can.

What is a luxury pen?

Is it - pens made from precious materials? Montblanc and David Oscarson think so.

Is it - association with those high-end precious metal pens? Montblanc also thinks so.

Is it - historical association? Montblanc thinks so too. As does Pelikan. And Onoto. And Conway Stewart (RIP). And Wahl Eversharp.

Is it - proprietary materials? ASC thinks so.

Is it - traditional artisanship and materials? Pilot thinks so. As does Sailor. And Nakaya too. Cant forget Yard o Led.

What about legacy? Hakase, Ohashido and yes, Montblanc would like a word.

Or is it innovation and impeccable build quality? Thatd be Conid for you.

The above list is far from exhaustive. Basically, my point is that there is no such thing as luxury, and that goes for everything, not just pens. Luxury is whatever appeals to your market, differentiates you, and allows you to charge premium prices.

So, I will ask you again, though you have made it very clear you will keep all information close to your chest: whats yours?

 

I had the exact same question. So, how would one make a luxury axe or pipe wrench??? 



#86 5Cavaliers

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 20:37

I just saw this post and read through all of the suggestions.  

 

I am fascinated with the construction and art of fountain pen making.  

 

If I were to deviate from my current consulting practice to create my own luxury brand of fountain pens, I would first start by doing thorough research on all facets of fountain pen making. 

 

Before I ever picked up materials, I would do necessary background research on: 

 

1).  Business practices - what is the best way to optimize my business.  This comes before and goes beyond pen construction. 

 

2).  Research:  nib manufacturers, feed manufacturers, raw components and possible suppliers, actual fountain pen makers. 

 

3).  Extensive visits:  nib manufacturers - construction, refinement, adjustments; feed manufacturers; suppliers for raw components, etc.  I would also visit every fountain pen manufacturer that I thought created a quality product.  I would purchase samples and take extensive notes on design, construction, costs, etc.  

 

All of this research - actually seeing how things are done - will only give you more fuel for your own creations.  No, you don't want to build a pen which is just like someone else's, you want to create your own unique brand.  

 

And, during this time, you also need to be getting a feel for what this is going to cost.  Then add at least 50% more to that cost.  

 

Only then are you ready to embark on your first creation.  But even before you start, build a strategic plan:  What is my purpose?  Who is my target audience?  What do I think, at this point it time, that it is it going to cost? Do I have all the skills I need, or do I need to learn and what is it going to take for me to learn that new skill?  What equipment do I need to get started, and what equipment will I need to buy to expand?  How long do I anticipate it will take to begin manufacture?  etc. etc.    Write out your plan so that you have something to come back to and to build from. 

 

Then, you need to design your first pen.  You will have done enough research to know what components you are going to use or make yourself, and to know how your want to build your pen.  

 

Now comes the "fun" part - construction.  You will end up making many pens before you find the one that meets the standards you have.  Take extensive notes about each one along the way.  Replication is one of the keys to success.  

 

Once you have 20 "prototypes" that will represent your best, and you have a solid understanding of how to replicate more consistently and at a profit-making price, send out at least 10, if not all 20 to those fountain pen experts who will give you written constructive criticism of your pen.  Then take their comments and modify your design accordingly.  

 

Only when you have honed your design and know you can replicate it perfectly, should you begin marketing your pen.  

 

One of the things that I believe has made Franklin Christoph such a success is not just the excellent pen construction, but they have an in-house nibmeister who tunes the nib before sending it out to the customer.  

 

I hope these comments have been helpful. 

 

I wish you very good luck with your endeavor.  And I would be happy to be one of the people to constructively review your pen when you need it.  


"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours.  When it is gone, it is gone.  Be wise, but enjoy!  - anonymous today

 

 

 


#87 Tseg

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 21:40

Don't forget the need for Influencers and Advocates.  Any way to acquire provenance (vintage celluloid from famous maker, vintage NOS nibs, etc...)?  Invariably differentiation will be key.



#88 bemon

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 16:20

To be successful, you'd probably either have to create a range or else consider building custom orders rather than looking for a one size fits all solution. For me for example: 

 

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

I prefer wood or metal because I like my pens to have some fair heft. I feel like harder materials help the pen be harder wearing too which is important for me if I'm spending a lot of money. My Montblancs and my Pelikans all feel like particularly delicate toys. 

 

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

Can't help you here- but I want my luxury pen to ride like an 80's Fleetwood. Just make it smooth!

 

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

Gold is probably a safe bet. I've got some steel nibbed pens that write better than some of my gold nibbed pens. But if luxury is where you're aiming being able to say you're selling a gold nib well help add cache. From an aesthetic standpoint I like my two tone nibs. 

 

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

I probably differ from the masses here, but give me a C/C pen. Again, if I'm spending a pile of money on a luxury item I want it to last without having to send the pen away for maintenance. Eventually any piston mechanism will need maintenance and I'd hate to have to send the pen away for costly repairs. Or even service it myself. I like the plug and play" simplicity of just ordering a new converter and calling it a day. 

 

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

Tungsten trim might be something you'd want to consider here. It's apparently the hardest metal in the world so it would be durable. I'm sure it could be polished to various finishing styles too. 


Edited by bemon, 03 March 2020 - 16:25.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: pen, fountain pen, luxury fountain pens, ebonite, wood, convertor, section, collector, feed, cap



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