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What Is The Definition Of A "cheap/inexpensive" Fountain Pen?

fountain pens cheap inexpensive

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51 replies to this topic

#41 inkstainedruth

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:54

Bargain Basement : under $5 shipped.
Cheap: under $20
Moderate: $20-60 or so
Expensive:$100+

I'm mostly going off common sense prices of fountain pens as utencils. Most people outside the fountain pen hobby would not justify a fountain pen of $100 and above. Some might rationalize specifically Montblanc pens as a status symbol / object that dictates certain level of well-to-do and professionalism.

 

They might rethink that last statement (the part about professionalism) if they look at some of the overly tacky LE pens....  :rolleyes: 

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#42 Intensity

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 04:13

That's true.  I'm thinking more of the standard black (146, 149) with recognizable snowcap top, peeking out of a shirt pocket or something like that.


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#43 TSherbs

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 09:56

That's true.  I'm thinking more of the standard black (146, 149) with recognizable snowcap top, peeking out of a shirt pocket or something like that.

Before I knew what high end fp's cost (until I was 50, iow), I never would have guessed, nor known, what a fp with a white star top was... And certainly not what it cost. One thing I have learned through all this is how much money some people carry in the form of pens on their pockets or bags. But I don't think that many people actually know, so they can't be all that "impressed." No one at my job has any idea (teaching school). They are shocked by the $90 I spent on my Decimo. :)

#44 inkstainedruth

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 00:39

Before I knew what high end fp's cost (until I was 50, iow), I never would have guessed, nor known, what a fp with a white star top was... And certainly not what it cost. One thing I have learned through all this is how much money some people carry in the form of pens on their pockets or bags. But I don't think that many people actually know, so they can't be all that "impressed." No one at my job has any idea (teaching school). They are shocked by the $90 I spent on my Decimo. :)

 

You scored a Decimo for only $90?!  Dang!  Nice score.... :notworthy1: 

 But what you said really does seem to be the case.  A friend of mine got a 1990s era Pelikan M200 for me as a gag gift (she saw it on Freecycle a few years ago because it had the Bayer logo on it); I don't think she had any idea what it was actually worth -- especially since it was clearly NOS, never inked by the original owner.  And even more especially because of the thought behind the gift.  :blush:

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"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#45 corgicoupe

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 01:17

Those are truly the best pens in one's collection.


Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

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#46 miwishi63

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 00:06

The pens I value the most are the ones I inherited from my great-grandparents, none of which are worth a great deal of money, but are nonetheless invaluable to me.



#47 Noihvo

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 14:22

fpn_1559226118__img_5137.jpg

 

fpn_1559226132__img_5138.jpg


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#48 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 01:59

Interesting conversation and much of what has been said fits how I personally treat the difference between cheap and inexpensive. My collection of roughly 40 pens includes five of $100 or more and another seven between $50 and $100. Some of the "best" buys I have made over the years are a Pelikan M200 blue marbled (old style) with an OB nib for $46, and a Pelikan 120 Merz & Krell with an M nib from the 70's for $17.50. Both piston filler pens.

 

I do have a pair of Pelikan Jazz Elegance (one white, one black) M nib, that were $14.99 each including a 6 pak of cartridges for each. Not a bad pen, would be a pretty decent "first pen" for someone. 

 

I have three or four Esterbrook J's I paid more than that 120 for.

 

All these I consider inexpensive not cheap.

 

I have a few pens I got for free as part of a PIF in most cases, and in varying conditions. Most are in a range I would call inexpensive rather than cheap. Even the under $20 pens including freebies.


Edited by Runnin_Ute, 24 June 2019 - 02:03.

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#49 Brianm_14

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 06:46

Another way of looking at a pen's cost occurred to me recently, when I was advising one of my son's on how much to spend on a pair of binoculars for his professional natural history field work.

In my own case, I purchased a fine pair of binoculars around 1976 (I have been a field biologist and hunter), and the price pinched more than a bit at $130 NYC discount on my then pittance of a stipend. They were good enough that NASA had picked them for back-up optics for astronaut use, and they came with a solid 30-year warranty.

What did they REALLY cost me? They are cosmetically banged up, but function today as splendedly as they did the day I opened the box they came in. That was 42 years ago. So they cost me -amortized- $3.09 a year for the true privilege and pleasure of owning them. I cannot quantify all I learned or enjoyed on several continents through their use. They will be passed down to the grandchildren.

Were they expensive? Wouldn't I have gladly rented them for that annual outlay? My son is lucky, in that if you know how to shop, very fine optical goods of a highly superior quality are now available for relatively little money. So he has found an even greater bargain.

Shouldn't we look at a frequently used pen the same way? How much per use, per day, per year, per generation?
Brian

#50 A Smug Dill

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 07:39

Shouldn't we look at a frequently used pen the same way? How much per use, per day, per year, per generation?


You could, if that's how you prefer to look at pens that way. "We" could. I don't see any argument for "should", though, or what the benefit is in promoting, advocating or evangelising that approach so that it is more widespread and common in the global hobbyist community.

If adopting your perspective "makes" you feel you're getting better value (with or without being wiser in your purchase decision-making) out of your discretionary spending per dollar than the next consumer who takes a different approach, then it's more of a win to you and more power to you! My personal preference would be for a hundred (or a thousand, or more) of our peers to pursue whatever they want, throw their money in that direction, and in doing so change the landscape of the market and the priorities of the industry to suit themselves (directly or indirectly).

I did a lot of business analysis professionally for "bean-counters" in large corporations who were spending other people's (e.g. shareholders') money, and who needed to answer for costs per transaction, per hour, per agent, etc. Fountain pen acquisition and use is a hobby to me, and I don't see why I'd take the same clinical approach to how I spend my money and evaluate the "return" on my purchases in the name of personal enjoyment.
Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. We're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but not necessarily any shared values, and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative or position.
 

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#51 praxim

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 10:08

@Brianm_14
I agree.

Now, what should I do with over 100 pairs of very fine binoculars?

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

#52 TSherbs

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 11:52


....
Shouldn't we look at a frequently used pen the same way? How much per use, per day, per year, per generation?


Sure, but that only works at the end of a product's life cycle (or the user's life-span, whichever comes first). 🤔





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