Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Vintage Versus Modern .. What Criteria Are Relevant To The Decision To Purchase?


nweissma
 Share

Recommended Posts

restricting concern to the nibs. what can be said about Vintage versus Modern?

 

 

restrict concern to the filling system, not only the design but also the materials: Vintage vs. Modern?

 

restrict concern to the feel of the barrel -- cigar-shaped, length, weight, material used. Vintage vs. Modern?

 

this will be my first fountain pen since i was 15 ... i'm 61. and my finances suggest that i must not spend beyond $80 (but i likely will: “a man often does not have money for what he needs but he always has money for what he wants.“ i forgot who wrote this)

 

after a visit to The Fountain Hospital and attending a BAPC meeting, i'm reasonably sure - but not dispositive - that i want a stiff and smooth-writing and oversized cigar-shaped version. assuming that this is settled then one of the remaining factors in my purchase decision is Vintage or Modern.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 24
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • rwilsonedn

    2

  • sandy101

    2

  • Algester

    2

  • nweissma

    4

I suspect you can find a vintage OS Sheaffer Balance for $80. Lifetime nibs are nails (though flex ones do exist).

 

J

"Writing is 1/3 nib width & flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink. In that order."Bo Bo Olson

"No one needs to rotate a pen while using an oblique, in fact, that's against the whole concept of an oblique, which is to give you shading without any special effort."Professor Propas, 24 December 2010

 

"IMHO, the only advantage of the 149 is increased girth if needed, increased gold if wanted and increased prestige if perceived. I have three, but hardly ever use them. After all, they hold the same amount of ink as a 146."FredRydr, 12 March 2015

 

"Surely half the pleasure of life is sardonic comment on the passing show."Sir Peter Strawson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Avoid vintage - if you've got $80, you want a pen that will work.

 

Vintage is a lottery - you win some and you lose some and there are some lovely modern pens out there.

 

The Pilot MR and Prera may come within you price range, as will the Lamy Studio, the Faber Castell Basic & Loom and the Cross Century 2

 

The FC pens come with nice nibs, but you lose the cigar shape, the Cross is a light all metal affair which crucially comes with a lifetime guarantee and Pilot pens are good - and I'm sure other members will tell you how wonderful the studi is.

 

I'd choose a new pen, as you do get a warranty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

self filler or ED for 80 USD you can pretty much get an oversized cigar shaped ED pen but thats from India (to compare it out dwarfs the Dolce Vita oversize by quite a margin)

but for 80 USD... maybe vintage

Edited by Algester
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to mention Monteverde, Conklin, and Noodler's pens. All have a variety of price points, all give great service and are reliable. Would suggest looking at some of the pen shops, lesser end. Places like xFountainPens.com, GouletPens.com, even JohnNealBooks.com. All carry great low-end pens.

 

Best of luck,

Yours,
Randal

From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alongside Algester, I'd say in this budget range Indian pens are well worth considering - vintage-ish looks, in many cases (though you can get some quite startling acrylics), you can buy C/C fillers from most manufacturers now, and with Jowo or Schmidt nibs. Try Ranga or ASA Pens, very friendly and excellent manufacturers, or look on the FPN classifieds. You could also look at what Fountain Pen Revolution has available - again they're very friendly and efficient. You'll get oversize and super-oversize and super-duper-excessive-oversize, acrylic or ebonite, at that price point. In fact you might just be able to get two. :)

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alongside Algester, I'd say in this budget range Indian pens are well worth considering - vintage-ish looks, in many cases (though you can get some quite startling acrylics), you can buy C/C fillers from most manufacturers now, and with Jowo or Schmidt nibs. Try Ranga or ASA Pens, very friendly and excellent manufacturers, or look on the FPN classifieds. You could also look at what Fountain Pen Revolution has available - again they're very friendly and efficient. You'll get oversize and super-oversize and super-duper-excessive-oversize, acrylic or ebonite, at that price point. In fact you might just be able to get two. :)

Can you tell me about JoWo (#6) nib versus Schmidt (FH4422) nib?

 

I understand that fp usage is common in Germany which translates into substantially lower prices; why haven't UK's bought their pens from Germany?

 

when i peruse FPN Classifieds, how do i identify and indian pen?

 

One more question: acrylic vs. ebonite = ?

Edited by nweissma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We Brits quite often do go hunting secondhand and vintage Pelikans in Germany! I've had a few good deals from German ebay. but I suspect the fact that relatively few Brits have good German may mean we don't hunt as much as we could.

 

For Indian pens - look for the names Deccan, Guider, Ratnam/Ratnamson. These are all good brands of Indian pens which FPN'ers have put up for sale over the past few years. Or check out sales by Hari317 (you can search by member), and there are some Indian eyedropper pens up right now. But I'd suggest you just go and browse the Indian pen forum first - lots of pictures and you'll get an idea of what you might like.

 

Acrylic vs ebonite is a big question. Ebonite is generally going to be in classic colours - mottled brown, mottled green, black - though Ranga in particular has some amazingly colourful premium ebonite. It smells of rubber, which for some people is a dealbreaker. It warms up nicely in the hand. Acrylic is a modern plastic, often can have effects of translucency or transparency, and can come in some very funky colours indeed (there's a black white and yellow pen I've often coveted). I like both. Other people prefer one or the other.

 

As for Jowo vs Schmidt - I have both, I'm happy with both. They're more similar than they are different, when you compare them to say an Ambitious (Indian) nib or a vintage Parker nib.

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I confess there's no good reason to go into the chancy world of vintage pens unless you really like the sensation of writing with a flexible nib.

 

I do, and my defense is that it's less self-destructive than Schedule 2 narcotics. It also makes my handwriting much more interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must admit my first thought was a Sheaffer Balance. You don't have to have a Lifetime - there's the Feather Touch or the 530. If you're looking for firm and smooth, you can pretty much guarantee that's what you'll get and they're not prohibitively expensive. They handle like a dream, nicely weighted and sit just right in the hand. I don't use them as much as I should because I prefer flexible nibs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are willing to some restoration you can get vintage pens for pennies. I've seen solid 14kt for $20 mind you they probably need a new sac but a sac and shellac are cheap. Just today I bought some very pretty vintages for ~$15 altogether. They likely only need a $2 sac and I have 2 functional vintages.

Don't mind me, I like to ramble... A LOT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These days I've thrown at least as much money into repairing pens as buying them in the first place, but that's the game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as one person's opinion, if you are returning to pens after all this time and you intend to have just one (for now) I would strongly recommend either a vintage pen refurbished by a well-regarded professional, or a new pen from either a German or Japanese mainstream manufacturer. Otherwise your first experiences with the pen are likely to be troubleshooting--poor writing, scratchy nib, skipping, leaks, etc. All are fixable, but why bother when what you want is a fine experience with your new pen? (Ironically, you are probably better off in this regard with a well-restored vintage pen in this price range, as the new pens are unlikely to write as well out of the box. They almost always need some adjustment.)

Now the word "oversize" is a problem. An oversize vintage pen, restored by an expert, is probably going to cost about three times your budget, unless the pen is from a third-tier manufacturer. (That is OK: for example, New Banker made some wonderful oversize cigar-shaped pens. But buying third-tier means you are putting much, much more faith in the restorer. And restorers don't often work on third-tier pens, because they bring less money.) Oversize modern pens are likely also to be quite expensive, unless you buy a Chinese pen, which involves more variable quality control.

You can finesse this dilemma to some degree with an Indian pen. I would suggest you have a look at Peyton Street Pens' house-brand. They are good Indian acrylic and ebonite pens that have been reworked in-house to insure quality and provide a user-friendly filling system. (The normal filling system on Indian pens is eyedropper, which I don't suggest for a first pen unless you are both patient and meticulous.) You pay more than you would from a direct Indian dealer such as ASA (please browse their site as well--their pens are wonderful) but you get a hand-checked, modified pen.

Just some thoughts.

ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as one person's opinion, if you are returning to pens after all this time and you intend to have just one (for now) I would strongly recommend either a vintage pen refurbished by a well-regarded professional, or a new pen from either a German or Japanese mainstream manufacturer. Otherwise your first experiences with the pen are likely to be troubleshooting--poor writing, scratchy nib, skipping, leaks, etc. All are fixable, but why bother when what you want is a fine experience with your new pen? (Ironically, you are probably better off in this regard with a well-restored vintage pen in this price range, as the new pens are unlikely to write as well out of the box. They almost always need some adjustment.)

Now the word "oversize" is a problem. An oversize vintage pen, restored by an expert, is probably going to cost about three times your budget, unless the pen is from a third-tier manufacturer. (That is OK: for example, New Banker made some wonderful oversize cigar-shaped pens. But buying third-tier means you are putting much, much more faith in the restorer. And restorers don't often work on third-tier pens, because they bring less money.) Oversize modern pens are likely also to be quite expensive, unless you buy a Chinese pen, which involves more variable quality control.

You can finesse this dilemma to some degree with an Indian pen. I would suggest you have a look at Peyton Street Pens' house-brand. They are good Indian acrylic and ebonite pens that have been reworked in-house to insure quality and provide a user-friendly filling system. (The normal filling system on Indian pens is eyedropper, which I don't suggest for a first pen unless you are both patient and meticulous.) You pay more than you would from a direct Indian dealer such as ASA (please browse their site as well--their pens are wonderful) but you get a hand-checked, modified pen.

Just some thoughts.

ron

Please define “third-tier manufacturer”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please define “third-tier manufacturer”

http://www.richardspens.com/?page=ref/glossary/T.htm

 

"Term applied to a pen of relatively poor quality, made with thin celluloid or other body material, with thinly plated furniture and almost always having an untipped steel nib. Also applied to a manufacturer of such pens. Many third-tier pens were made with remarkably beautiful celluloids. Among the third tier of U.S. manufacturers were companies such as Arnold, Majestic, Stratford, Travelers, and Welsh. "

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were going to buy only one pen for quite some time, I would do as Rwilsonedn suggests and buy a quality product from a Japanese or German manufacturer. But that would imply that you would be willing to change some of your parameters. I don't think you can get an oversize pen from a top tier manufacturer in that budget. And if you don't get a pen from a top tier manufacturer, you may have trouble down the road (and sooner than you expect), which would just spoil the experience of using a FP. Again, that is just my opinion.

 

With that in mind, there are some pretty good pens out there that would certainly make most people happy.

 

A Platinum 3776 Century, is a cigar shaped with a fairly good size, it posts well (helping with the size problem) and it has a wonderful 14 k nib. It can be had from Amazon or Japan for $ 80.00 in a variety of nib sizes (mind you that Japanese pens ten to put down a very fine line when compared with western pens). It is one of the best bangs for the buck out there and the Chartres Blue or Bourgogne are just gorgeous.

 

Pilot Custom 74 is similar to the 3776 in price and also has a 14 k nib. I hear good things about it, but have never used it. Again, not oversize.

 

If you are willing to give up the cigar shape too and pay a bit more (as you said you probably would) for about $ 115 you can get either a Pilot Custom Heritage 92 or a Pilot Vanishing Point shipped from Japan. The CH92 are very sturdy piston filler demonstrators (14 k nib), which post extremely securely and have a nice size and decent heft. The vanishing point has a good size and heft (18 k nib), but you need to see if the position of the clip would be a problem or not - I think the vanishing point is one of the best pens out there. Notice that pilot nibs are not nails, but have some slight spring to it.

 

All of the above pens are likely to last for ages and be excellent writers.

 

Then, later on you could probably get a Chinese oversize pen from eBay for about $5 to scratch the itch for an oversize. I recently bought a Jinhao 450 (not oversize, but reasonably large and heavy) for $3 just to see how it was, and I have to say that it writes pretty well (but it is a nail), and the quality is better than I expected (but, of course, nowhere near the quality of the Japanese pens).

 

Good luck.

 

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that, with a little patience and luck, you probably can get a Lamy 2000 for around $100-105 shipped from Martini auctions. The Lamy is also a very well respected pen and would certainly last "forever".

Edited by Lam1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Italix Parson's Essential from Mr Pen.

 

Yes, it ships from England, but you do get a tax discount.

 

Cigar shape, nice nib, nice heft and writes well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ohh you when I think of oversized I'm really thinking of giant pens so probably in my image an OS pen would be outdwarf by the OS size standard hence the Guider super zimbo pen I posted since I think it outdwarfs the Heritage 1912 (and perhaps the C-S Churchill as well) by MB

but is has to be smaller than the kaweco sport cutout that currently sits in the kaweco headquarters

Edited by Algester
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These days I've thrown at least as much money into repairing pens as buying them in the first place, but that's the game.

Ditto here. But I tend to prefer the look and size of vintage pens. There's just a different aesthetic to them (even though the bulk of the ones I've found are F nibs, and nails at that). It struck me yesterday when I was at the Commonwealth Pen Show, that a lot of modern pens (particularly the acrylic bodied ones) have this sort of "sameness" to them, regardless of the type of fill mechanism. Whereas, with the vintage pens, there's an almost infinite variety of celluloid colors and body shapes: the Parkers don't look anything like the Esterbrooks, and the Pelicans don't look like the Sheaffers, and so on.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto here. But I tend to prefer the look and size of vintage pens. There's just a different aesthetic to them (even though the bulk of the ones I've found are F nibs, and nails at that). It struck me yesterday when I was at the Commonwealth Pen Show, that a lot of modern pens (particularly the acrylic bodied ones) have this sort of "sameness" to them, regardless of the type of fill mechanism. Whereas, with the vintage pens, there's an almost infinite variety of celluloid colors and body shapes: the Parkers don't look anything like the Esterbrooks, and the Pelicans don't look like the Sheaffers, and so on.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

It's like being unsupervised in a candy store with a $5 bill, isn't it?

ron

Link to comment
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
 Share








×
×
  • Create New...