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Suggestions On A First Fountain Pen For My Minimalist Dad?


Meethil
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Hello everyone!

 

I have recently decided that I shall give both my parents the most useful, enjoyable, quite expensive, and memorable gift. (I have recently started to earn money myself)

 

To my dad I decided to give him a fountain pen and a simple squared A4 notebook.

I came to this quick decision as to my dad's gift because I frequently saw him use a single cheap 1.0 bic ballpen with a standard, cheap 70gsm A4 spring notebook.

 

The problem is this : My dad is as extreme a minimalist as you will encounter. (and consequently also very, very hard to please with a gift.. It's easy to miss his specific taste)

 

He is in his mid 50's, in a respectable business position, and hates complicated, useless decorations, ornaments, and generally dismisses what is considered 'better' or 'good' and is satisfied with the least of things.

It seems logical that my dad would hate or even never use a fountain pen given to him...(especially with the inevitable fuss of inks, cleaning, ink smearing, varying dry times, pen maintenance etc..)

but I really want to see him write with a well performing fountain pen that pleases him.

 

It's so hard to imagine a fountain pen that can satisfy all these criteria. For example, any filling system would still seem fussy to my dad (maybe a piston filler COULD be enough)...

 

Does anyone have any good ideas for such a pen? If anyone out their is himself/herself a minimalist maybe you can help out or try and argue as a minimalist as to why you still adopted the fountain pen life.

 

I would say as a general guideline that my dad does seem to prefer a fairly thick grip section. (I had him try some of my pens) (He even said the grip of the Jinhao 159 was reasonable so 11mm to 12mm I guess)

He also uses a 1.0 ballpoint daily so a pen available in a good Medium to a Medium~Broad nib would suit.

Also I am thinking of spending about 400$ for this pen, I'm making this gift partly because I also want to see my parents use something expensive for a change.

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful suggestions!

M.

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Well, as a starting point, I would suggest a basic black pen with gold trim, and not a lot of flash. I would also say to stick with a pen that will be simple to fill and maintain.

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Here's another suggestion...yeah, not black...but very minimal. I just picked up an orange one, and I really like this pen. You'll get to pick your nib (I like the medium), and it's just a nice, basic, piston fill pen.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bexley-Fountain-Pen-Flat-Top-Style-Mandarin-Yellow-/142068308609?hash=item2113ee5a81:g:A58AAOSwBnVW9WLN

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Lamy 2000 - it is a nice design, and being a piston filler comes without the clutter of cartridges and convertors and such like.

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I too would suggest the Lamy 2000 for someone who's minimalist. It's not flashy, has smooth gold nib, large ink capacity, and is durable. It's like the complete pen.

 

The only issue I foresee is if he wants to change ink colours (being a minimalist though I would think he would want to stick to only one ink. In that case, he won't need to clean out the pen too often) because cleaning out a piston filler is not straight foward like a cartridge converter. For that he would be better off with a cartridge converter pen like the black Jinhao 159 or a Pilot Custom 74, both being very classical looking..

Edited by Bluey
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If your Father is a minimalist, as I understand the term, he would probably value function over form.

My suggestion in no way wants to diminish the value of your gift to your Dad, but a simple inexpensive Lamy Safari (or its upscale aluminium version) would seem minimalist, yet still having a lot of options.

 

The grip shapes for both the Safari & 2000 have their adherents & detractors. Some do not like the triangular section of the Safaris. I for one love the simple lines of the 2000, but like pens with similar style of grips (P51, etc...) I'd find the pen extremely uncomfortable,... impossible to use.

Edited by tinta

*Sailor 1911S, Black/gold, 14k. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *1911S blue "Colours", 14k. H-B "M" BLS (PB)

*2 Sailor 1911S Burgundy/gold: 14k. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 14k. 1.1 mm. CI (JM)

*Sailor Pro-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14k. (factory) "H-B"

*Kaweco SPECIAL FP: 14k. "B",-0.6 mm BLS & 14k."M" 0.4 mm. BLS (PB)

*Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14k. "M" -0.7 mm.BLS, (PB)

 

 

 

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I immediately thought Lamy 2000 too when I saw the title of your post. It is more expensive than the Safari and as minimalist as it gets. My dad is a lot like yours from the sound of it, so beware...I have tried to do the same thing, but tested the waters by mentioning it and he really did not like the idea of a fountain pen, but my father had to use them in school, so he has negative associations with it as fussy, etc, and dislikes the idea of an expensive pen.

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The Namisu Nova is minimalism to the max. I also think the black/charcoal gray Safaris are quite minimalist in appearance. I understand you're willing to spend a good deal more on your Dad but it seems the higher the price, the blingier (is that a word?).

 

Also, an all black Parker Duofold Centennial is pretty basic and in my experience, a well behaved pen.

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I would second the suggestion of the Lamy 2000.. very Bauhaus style design which is the style that you describe your father's preference. An alternative would be a demonstrator pen.

Edited by SpecTP
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Caran d'Ache 'Ecridor' in a classic finish.

 

Pelikan 'Signum' (vintage)

 

Lamy '2000' or Lamy 'Logo'

 

Rotring 600

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A Faber Castell Ondoro in Graphite Black might suit his aesthetic preferences. The medium nib is smooth without being slick. Although not a lengthy pen it is quite chunky. I love the look and feel of mine. I also have it in the grey-brown finish, which is also very attractive.

 

Not as much as the amount you want to spend though.

 

 

 

 

Edited by migo984

Verba volant, scripta manent

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He sounds like my father:)

Lamy 2000 came to mind first, but given this will be his first fountain pen, filling a pen with ink from a bottle may feel daunting. For people use to convenience of a ballpoint, just being able to pop in a cartridge may be better for a newbie user.

With your budget I would recommend a black parker duofold, waterman carene, sheaffer legacy, or cross Townsend. These are down to earth business pens but still upscale enough to be special.

Edited by max dog
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Another idea would be a Waterman Man 100 fountain pen in black. The Man 100 is an extremely nice pen with a good heft, and given that your father would probably use the same, conservative ink on a consistent basis, he wouldn't have to flush the pen often. I wrote with the similar but slimmer Waterman Gentleman fountain pen, using a single Pelikan ink consistently, for 20 years and confess that I never once flushed it. I had no concept of what is now called "good pen hygiene."

 

The Man 100 is not in current production. You would want to buy one from a reputable dealer whom you could trust to be honest about the condition of the pen. I have bought several pens from Peyton Street Pens and have been impressed with Teri's knowledge and commitment to customer satisfaction.

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Pelikan M205 in black and rhodium, extra fine; a block of Rhodia so it glides; J Herbin Perle noire ink if he can't conceive of inks being anything but black (hey I didn't either until I saw the light, or rather the colours).

Edited by pseudo88

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

 

B. Russell

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pens are such personal things. . .i was in your position many years ago. i bought for my father, a minimalist successful attorney who could have had anything, a pelikan 400 series fountain pen. my thought process was that he was proud of his ancestry tracing back to Germany of long ago, he had ample opportunity for handwriting, including signatures on important documents, and this would be an elegant gift with German lineage to be used and enjoyed in this part of his professional life. When he opened the gift, he expressed gratitude, but said if i wanted to get him his favorite pen i should return the pelikan and buy two parker vector rollerballs and a handful of refills. he used those vectors till he retired.

 

please consider asking your dad what his "grail" pen is. you never know what will make a guy happy.

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Lots of great suggestions! I see they are also inclining towards the Lamy 2000

I do think the Lamy 2000 is a great option.

 

Another thought I had was that the cap would necessarily have to be a Snap-cap, which the Lamy 2000 satisfies (I know this makes the task even more infeasible...)

A screw cap would definitely be out of question for a lifetime ballpoint/pencil user like my dad.. hmm...

 

I immediately thought Lamy 2000 too when I saw the title of your post. It is more expensive than the Safari and as minimalist as it gets. My dad is a lot like yours from the sound of it, so beware...I have tried to do the same thing, but tested the waters by mentioning it and he really did not like the idea of a fountain pen, but my father had to use them in school, so he has negative associations with it as fussy, etc, and dislikes the idea of an expensive pen.

This is also what I am worrying about. I also sort of 'tested the waters' by getting him to try my pens, and he didn't really like it. He said he would rather use any pencil rolling around on his desk simply because it's more reliable and erasable etc...

It's like comparing a smartphone to a book, the book doesn't have a battery life, or needs maintenance or anything else but for the majority of people they can see why we take the fuss to use smartphones right? For people like my dad it must be hard to see the use of a fountain pen vs a pencil.

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Another thought I had was that the cap would necessarily have to be a Snap-cap, which the Lamy 2000 satisfies (I know this makes the task even more infeasible...)

Now you've mentioned that, 1 other suggestion come to mind: Pilot Vanishing Point.

Simplicity in itself for those transitioning from ballpoints.

Your father could stick to cartridges which would keep it nice and simple, and it's also a breeze to clean out if ever there's a need. Plus it's reasonably priced.

 

Good luck in your choice

Edited by Bluey
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Lamy 2000 - it is a nice design, and being a piston filler comes without the clutter of cartridges and convertors and such like.

 

I would second the suggestion of the Lamy 2000.. very Bauhaus style design which is the style that you describe your father's preference. An alternative would be a demonstrator pen.

 

 

+1. Whenever I think minimalist, I think Lamy 2000 but now just in terms of design but that fact that it is a writing instrument first and an object of minimalist design second.

 

Also like the Nova but no clip means the cap rolls. pet peeve.

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This is also what I am worrying about. I also sort of 'tested the waters' by getting him to try my pens, and he didn't really like it. He said he would rather use any pencil rolling around on his desk simply because it's more reliable and erasable etc...

It's like comparing a smartphone to a book, the book doesn't have a battery life, or needs maintenance or anything else but for the majority of people they can see why we take the fuss to use smartphones right? For people like my dad it must be hard to see the use of a fountain pen vs a pencil.

It sounds like a fountain pen might be a miss. It adds more things to worry about, which it sounds like he finds offputting. And for a lot of people, the idea of an expensive pen is actively unappealing, because it's easy to misplace them, and misplacing something expensive is unpleasant. Why don't you focus on the things that do bring him joy? What does he enjoy? Conversely, what things irritate him? Is there any item that never fails to make his day a bit worse because something about it doesn't work for him? That could also help you figure out a good gift.

 

If you really want to persist wuth the fountain pen idea, however, a restored aerometric Parker 51 is supremely reliable, and thus likely to go over better. A Parker 45 is also reliable and uses cartridges if that would be preferable.

Edited by celesul
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