Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

I have decided to purchase some pens that I can actually use, rather than a bunch of cheap pens that fall apart.

 

This is sort of a challenge, I guess. I have set a budget of $200-$250 USD, how much bang for my buck can I get in terms of fountain pens? I am not looking to spend $200 on a single pen, but rather see how far I can stretch the cash. I really enjoy vintage pens, so I have been searching for the following:

 

Aurora 88 (the piston filler)

Lamy 27 (metal capped version)

Parker Vacumatic

Parker 51 Vacumatic

Pelikan P1

Onoto Plunger Filler

Sheaffer Imperial Touchdown with the inlaid nib (with a metal cap)

Other Pelikan Piston Fillers

Omas Piston Fillers (Just in case hell freezes over and people want to dump off their pens for cheap prices! :lticaptd: )

Suggestions

 

The problem with many modern pens is that they are usually cartridge converter, and I just cannot stand such a filling system (I don't know why). Unfortunately, many retailers and producers charge a premium for piston, vacuum, plunger, etc. filling pens, so that cripples my purchasing power to one pen.

However, a few manufacturers seem to make self filling pens that are reasonably priced, I have been looking at the following:

 

Lamy 2000

...... open to suggestions

 

I would like to obtain as many nice pens as possible with my budget, instead of spending all of the money in one place. I am shooting for at least 3 or 4. Basically, I am asking where one can find user grade pens like those above for realistic prices. If you happen to have one of the pens like those above, and you are willing to sell it, then that's excellent as well :D

 

I have not had very good luck with eBay (a vacumatic listed in good condition....with a section glued to the barrel on with elmer's white school glue, but it wasn't expensive)

 

If it helps, I am a right handed writer and am open to most nib sizes.

I think this is the correct forum section for this, but if it isn't, just tell me!

Edited by Tadeusz
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 27
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Tadeusz

    11

  • Florida Blue

    4

  • Paddler

    2

  • hari317

    1

That's an interesting task, and it would be good to know what type of pen you enjoy using. Length? Width? Nib?

 

I'll take a quick shot at the vintage pens:

Parker 51 Aero

Parker 51 Vac

Parker Vac

Parker VS

Sheaffer Snorkle (lots of variants)

Sheaffer Balance

Sheaffer Liftetime

Sheaffer Touchdown

Esterbrook J (many variants)

 

You will get more pens for your money if you work farther down the list. You can get 5 Esterbrook L/S/J under your budget and still have money left over. You can get some good, restored pens in the Sheaffer category for half of your budget. Parkers are going to eat up more of your budget quickly (depending on what you are looking for). I've been consistently impressed with the value per dollar for the Sheaffers that I own, but my heart is still with the Parker "51" (in all of its forms).

 

If you aren't happy with your purchases on eBay, you can find some amazing restorers across the internet. I can recommend Dave Nishimura's http://www.vintagepens.com, Teri from http://www.peytonstreetpens.com, and Ernesto from http://www.parker51.com. I bought my last three vintage pens from Teri, and the pens are fantastic.

 

Buzz

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

Thanks for your response, and the great links. They reminded me to check peytonstreetpens and parker51.com, and I did not know that Dave Nishimura had pens for sale! As to the size of pen, I really enjoy all pens as long as they are not extremely short or extremely long. I do not think that helps, though :lol:

 

For size, I have medium sized hands that are big enough to handle a Big Red Full Size duofold yet small enough to handle a Pelikan 140 (although I only own the Pelikan 140). I like stubs, fines, mediums, broads, etc....I guess that does not narrow it down any further, though. Really, anything but extra fines although the one extra fine I have is perfect for me...but I think that is because it has been worn down so much (Pelikan 140) by the previous owner through use.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you indicated a willingness to add a modern pen (or pens) to your collection consider making one of your purchases a TWSBI (the mini, 5x0 series, and classic are piston fillers, while the 700 is a vacuum filler).

 

Though do consider the Esties :)

http://www.nerdtests.com/images/ft/nq/9df5e10593.gif

-- Avatar Courtesy of Brian Goulet of Goulet Pens (thank you for allowing people to use the logo Brian!) --

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I already have a Vac 700 in smoke, and it is an excellent pen. And on the topic of esterbrooks, I have acquired some very nice samples of them, a dollar pen, a J, etc.

 

Whenever I need a reliable pen that I am not afraid of scratching a little accidentally, an esterbrook is among the first I choose. However, I wanted something different than an estie (which are still no doubt excellent writers).

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't go wrong with a Pelikan M200. Not expensive, piston filler, lots of nib options, damn near indestructible. Great writer too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For Parkers, I would look at a Vacumatic Major or a Junior. Both are standard size pens and are the same size. They came in several colors and the Jr. was available in both double and single jewel variants. The Major is a post 1942 single jewel Vac. You can find one of the two for around $75-$100.

 

You can find a nice single jewel 51 Vac for around $80-$110 with a lustraloy cap in one of the common colors (Blue Cedar, Dove Gray, India Black or Cordovan Brown).

 

You could get a nice, restored Vacumatic and Parker 51 Vac for around $200. Maybe a bit less.

Edited by Florida Blue

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

Thanks to both overwriter and Florida Blue for your responses.

 

overwriter-

I think I will hold off on the M200, while it is a very nice pen (I used to own one), I find that I enjoy the green striped Pelikans more, if not simply because of their color but also due to the gold nibs fitted.

 

Florida Blue-

After extensive searching for vacumatics (I had too much free time for a period...and became obsessed with finding a vacumatic.....now I have two useless pens) I have been unable to find one under $100 but will continue the struggle! By the by, anyone want to trade a green deb cap for a standard size cap? I have a double jewel vac that was sold with the wrong cap :lol:

 

I have heard that there are excellent prices for 51s (vac and aero) as well as Vacumatics to be found at pen shows, however, the Chicago Pen Show is 4 months away, and I cannot be expected to wait that long, right? Nevertheless, I will try to attend and scoop up all the vacumatics ("51" and otherwise) that I can get my hands on for the right price.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Florida Blue-

After extensive searching for vacumatics (I had too much free time for a period...and became obsessed with finding a vacumatic.....now I have two useless pens) I have been unable to find one under $100 but will continue the struggle! By the by, anyone want to trade a green deb cap for a standard size cap? I have a double jewel vac that was sold with the wrong cap :lol:

 

Hmmm… what makes your other Vac useless? What kind is it? Maybe it can be remedied. I can't help with the cap, but if you do go to a pen show you may be able to trade your Standard cap for a Debutante cap. For now, I would shoot some emails to various restorers and see if they might have one for sale and if they would take your cap as trade or partial payment. You can also list a WTT (want to trade) add in the classifieds section.

 

Actually, Five Star Pens has a green Debutante cap for sale on their website.

http://fivestarpens.com/parker-pen-parts.html

Perhaps they would be interested in your cap.

Edited by Florida Blue

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was the other way around, I needed a standard double jewel cap, I have the debutante.

But I have another vacumatic (this one in blue) and it has major issues. The section was snapped off my a previous owner, then hastily glued on. When I tried to find out the cause of the leakage from the section, the section fell off without even touching it (once I applied heat from a hairdryer).

Thus, I have the threaded portion stuck in the barrel, with the gripping part of the section loose from the pen. i do not know how I could get that restored, as it seems extremely specialized. They would have to be able to somehow get ahold of the threaded portion and remove it without ripping the barrel to pieces. And then there is the task of obtaining a new section.

 

It is an azure blue major, the one with the incorrect cap is a double jeweled green standard.

I fear the cost of restoring the azure blue one would cost drastically more than the pen itself did (It cost $50 from ebay), and with an extremely high chance of damage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont have any experience with the Parker vintage FP but I can vouch for the Sheaffer vintage FPs. They are honestly becoming my favorite vintage pens. Peytonstreet pens has the Sheaffer Imperial II deluxe seconds for a measly $38ish and the best bang for my buck that I've spent so far. The nib is amazingly smooth and lays down such a nice wet line, the fine is more like a medium to my experience. Seriously, ah-mah-zing.

 

I've also found that the Pilot VP is one amazing pen...the clicking mechanism is so handy and I can bring with me anywhere and has a nice "springy" smooth nib (I have the medium and it has been a working horse pen for me). I know that the pilot VP is a converter but I've been using a cartridge with a syringe and found it pretty easy to fill (much easier than a converter).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes, I have had my eye on those NOS sheaffers from peytonstreetpens, I had a 440 from her once....but alas, it was taken from me.

 

And I have tried the Vp out in person, and I find that although I can hold the old version very nicely, the new version does not quite fit my grip, even though I had thought it was a standard tripod.

Edited by Tadeusz
Link to post
Share on other sites

*General remark about including Jinhao in the list.*

 

Everyone should have a 159 or a 450/750 in their collection :)

Do, or do not. There is no try - Master Yoda

 

Dude, can you turn those drums down? We can hear them in the next street! - That one annoying neighbour

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, I already have 450 and a 750 a while ago. I have many cheap pens, but not very many working expensive pens.

 

And your avatar,WirlWind, that is just hilarious.

Edited by Tadeusz
Link to post
Share on other sites

However, a few manufacturers seem to make self filling pens that are reasonably priced, I have been looking at the following:

 

Lamy 2000

...... open to suggestions

 

Have a look at the Pilot Custom heritage 92, a piston filler with a gold nib at the 110USD mark.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Joe in Seattle

Used Levenger True Writer - great colors, great writers, cartridge/converters, thus economical. Check out the "outlet" on EBay.

"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are willing to work at it, you can get very nice vintage pens at flea markets for $5 each. Then you have to recondition them: a $2 sac, a $1 o-ring, etc. Be prepared to break a few until you get the hang of pen repair. You will need a few simple hand tools and a loupe.

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and thank you for the response,

 

I have traveled the gauntlet of the flea market many times, that's where I find my esterbrooks! I haven't ever really looked too far into it, only skimming over. I'll bet that if I really looked I could find some nice stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been looking into the Custom Heritage 92 from Pilot. Does anyone know if there are any plans to release opaque versions of the pen, or are they just going to stick with the demonstrator theme?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and thank you for the response,

 

I have traveled the gauntlet of the flea market many times, that's where I find my esterbrooks! I haven't ever really looked too far into it, only skimming over. I'll bet that if I really looked I could find some nice stuff.

Don't just skim. You have to look in all the boxes and under the tables. You really have to spend time and wring the place out to find the great buys.

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now







×
×
  • Create New...