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Pens/inks As Fashion Accessories And/or Status Symbols


chromantic
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While I'm hesitant to reduce pens/inks to mere fashion accessories, picking the colors to use each day is pretty much the same as deciding which tie or which wristwatch to wear. That's why I like giving each ink its own pen; having that ink in this pen makes it easier to find the ones I want.

 

Of course, the same can be said of the pens themselves. There was a thread awhile back by someone seeking advice on what would be a nice but not too expensive FP that would be suitably impressive for whipping out at business meetings attended by the boss and other FP-wielding co-workers. The one bit of advice I remember in particular was "don't get a nicer pen than your boss has!" So, FPs as status symbols for successful businessmen, like Rolexes and BMWs. I get that.

 

Yet the pen can be merely a fashion statement as opposed to a status symbol, like my Waterman JIF Color or my red Pelikano or all those demonstrators with the ink sloshing around in them. Just using a FP instead of a ballpoint is making a statement.

 

Not quite sure where I'm going with this but would be interesting in hearing your thoughts.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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I have a very nice tactical ball point pen that uses the same Parker refill as pens literally 1/10 its cost. But it's very comfortable to use I'm the same with fountain pens; comfort is much more important to me than making an impression. But then I've been using fps for a long time so I've become used to the reactions. And frankly if my boss (who just this moment is me) is so insecure that my owning a better pen is off putting then there's going to be a LOT that they will have problems with.

 

To answer your question more directly, yes fps can certainly be a fashion statement. Anything can be a fashion statement. Just as it can be an affectation. My initial attraction to fps was based in my desire to be more expressive than the limits I was in at that time allowed. As I used them more and more I realized that many of the things I detested about handwriting went away. Now I rarely write with anything other than a fountain pen. Which led to my motto:

 

Writing should be a joy, not a chore.

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I personally think fountain pens are like wrist watches. There is a certain level considered to be top quality and high end that is bought by those not in the know to show wealth and/or success. The pens/watches themselves are very good, but any owner is likely to be under the risk of some one else assuming they bought it as bling, not for usage and personal desire. Of course to many on here that matters little. A good example brand wise is, for the watch, Rolex, and for the pen, Montblanc. Both are bought by people in the know, but also those who just want a status symbol.

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In the past I committed the faux pas at work of using a better fountain pen than my boss. :D I used a Parker Duofold International and he used a Cross Solo. But It was because of my pen that he got interested in using a fountain pen in the first place and we had many interesting conversations about pens over the years.

 

Today I carry a Sonnet blue and silver. Could care less about status or fashion. I carry it because it is beautiful, compact, robust, reliable and writes on touchdown wherever I am. That said, I am not immune to using a "status pen" such as Montblanc, which is a superb writer and my primary home-use pen, or a "fashion pen," witness the surprisingly highly functional one below, which I also use at home.

 

post-20384-0-50464500-1464645661_thumb.jpeg

Happiness is a real Montblanc...

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> Pelikano P460.

 

> That's a great pen, Joane. I'm jealous.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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I just use what I like. Sooner or later, it's cool again!

"Life would split asunder without letters." Virginia Woolf

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I got hooked to fountain pens because the cost/writing life of fountain pens is considerably higher than gel, rollerballs and ballpoints. The initial investment is the pen itself, once you find a non-premium ink that suits your tastes one inkwell lasts up to 6 months of EXTENSIVE writing, longer if you use it moderately

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That's a good one. The current version is like an inferior status symbol.

the current one (and that's a new version of one that was previously - looks identical to the one now excpet the grip) looks like a (bleep) toy. I love the Pelikanos all up until (and including) the P460, although the design greatly strays from previous designs. Now the new pelikanos look so bad, no child wants to be seen dead with them. All flog to Lamy Safari. So sad. I wish they had at some point stopped messing around with the Pelikano design, they would be surely as cult and classic as the Safari. But no, Pelikan had to go and (bleep) all over their product. In case no one can tell, I'm really dissappointed in Pelikan, a brand I really love and grew up with but I have barely any reason to buy their pens (apart from the piston fillers).

Just like the nipple is so ridiculously short that you can't properly fit converters into their cartridge pens. Also the new pelikano has no real clip anymore. I mean (bleep) What idiot sits in the cockpit and steers the wheel into the abyss?

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That said, I am not immune to using a "status pen" such as Montblanc, which is a superb writer and my primary home-use pen, or a "fashion pen," witness the surprisingly highly functional one below, which I also use at home.

 

attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

 

That is a really awesome pen. :D

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I think my coworkers regarded it as an affectation, rather like favoring Linux (and yes, I do) or being a coffee snob (numerous coworkers had coffee presses).

 

*fist bump* Always nice to see a fellow Linux user.

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*fist bump* Always nice to see a fellow Linux user.

*fist bump fist bump* makes 3 of us.

Edited by Bluey
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This is true of every type of product once you get past the cost of decent workmanship and the best materials. Everything else is just marketing and brand-name. If not for conspicuous consumerism, the fountain pen, handbag, and most electronics markets would look very different.

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All my fountain pens are subtle raw metal finish or black (no gold, ever) with two exceptions. Vac 700 in clear, because vacuum filler and Sailor High-Ace Neo in red, because it's dedicated to annotating documents in red ink. The Vac is the only pen I have that I'd say could be considered a fashion accessory. No-one really notices beyond "Hey, is that a fountain pen? They still make those?" anyway.

 

P.S. I also like Linux, it just isn't practical for me on my main machine, I do have another dedicated box for it, though, running Arch, mostly.

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Maybe this is an overly broad generalization, however, from my experience those who carry a pen as a statement almost always carry a MontBlanc, usually a ballpoint and haven't the faintest interest in pens generally.

 

I carry what interests me any given day, yesterday, returned another bottle of MB Golden Yellow to the MB Boutique and signed off with a Paragon.....that might be a statement of sorts.....they loved it by the way and we got into a discussion about my ink choice, Diamine Oxblood.

 

As fountain pen people I think we make a statement by using our pens, it has little to do with fashion or accessorizing, our accessory may be the ink we choose and some carefully considered paper.

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Few people use fountain pens, so they come off as retro more than anything. I have very little time for social status but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, rich people with no taste will go for the most expensive pens with the most bling, a Montblanc roller ball pen never fails to elicit a chuckle from me, whatever it's writing characteristics. Writing really helps me get work done and it's a pleasure to use nice ink with nice paper, the pen itself is more the vehicle to get there, for me.

 

That said, a beautiful pen can be an end in itself, after a bunch of utilitarian pens I finally got a pearwood ambition and boy is it good looking.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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As I used them more and more I realized that many of the things I detested about handwriting went away. Now I rarely write with anything other than a fountain pen. Which led to my motto:

 

Writing should be a joy, not a chore.

 

This, I think, covers the topic admirably, from my perspective. My main concern is that I enjoy the act of writing with my chosen pen -- how comfortable it is in my hand, how the ink looks going down on the paper, how much I like looking at the pen when I'm pondering. The name on the pen is absolutely not a thing I care about. (Except insofar as it might guide me to other pens I like, o'course.)

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I don't think of them as status symbols, but if someone thinks that of me, that is their problem not mine.

 

Of course, the most I have paid for any pen is $100.

 

In my mind it is about using it, not buying/using/carrying it to impress someone.

Edited by Runnin_Ute

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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