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First $400-$1600 Luxury Fountain Pen? (Namiki Yukari Royale/emporer, Danitrio Densho Shu-Dame....)


nmcnick
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Hello fellow FPN members!!

 

After getting a few nice pens (pilot c74, platinum 3776, Laban Mento with Pendleton Nib...) I've decided to delve into a pen that really connects with me.

 

I love Japanese pens as they seem to all be made entirely in-house and I love pens that are completely unique. I remember finding out that Bock and Yowo nibs were almost exclusively the nibs used in the West and my idea of Western pens falling a bit because of it. Don't get me wrong; they make great nibs! However, I'd like something a bit more... unique.

 

So, I've narrowed my listings down to some insane grail pens that I absolutely want. They vary quite a bit in price but I'd like your opinion on what I should get. What I want is something with a soft nib, a very smooth writing experience and easily transportable to college. Because I will be bringing them to school, it would be nice to have a cheaper pen but I won't complain too much if it ends up being more expensive. I'd like to stay within a budget of $1600. Here are my favorite findings:

 

Aurora Optima Auroloide ($495)

Pelikan M800 ($609)

Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog ($796)

Sailor King of Pen Pro Gear ($816)

Danitrio Densho Shu-dame ($1040)

Nakaya Decapod twist w/ 'sm' Two-Tone nib and Elastic Finishing ($1050)

Namiki Yukari Royale Vermillion Urushi ($1200)

 

I really love two-tone, beautiful and intricate nibs! Maybe even more than how the pen body itself looks at times :)

 

Thanks for all further feedback!

 

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Happy decision!

 

I'd recommend getting 2-3 pens of lower value rather than getting one $1600 pen. Your preference and taste will change over time, and having experienced the variety will help you guide through your journey. I can assure you that many of your 'original' pens will not be in your possession down the track and even after spending thousands and thousands of dollars you will still be lost.

 

Pelikan m800 + Visconti HS (normal version) + standard Nakaya might be a good starting point.

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For a school pen, I recommend a cheap, reliable, and rugged fountain pen. The potential for loss or damage in a school environment is high, and those dollar values in your dream sheet are more than you'd want to sacrifice. I brought my M805 to work, and I'm very careful with location and usage. I had a coworker walk behind me, grab my M805, and pulled the section from the body.

 

You didn't ask this question, but a good Parker 45, Esterbrook J, or Parker "51" will be excellent pens for school.

 

However, based on your list, you have a range of pens that trend toward thick diameters. But you have a wide range of weights on those pens. The Visconti HS is one of my least-favorite pens--unreliable filler, no ink window, and ok balance. The M805 is an outstanding pen, but it's not a long writing day pen for me. I love my Nakaya, and it's my most-used journaling pen. It does not leave my home office. You may want to consider the characteristics of your pens before you look too close at the price tag--that may help you narrow the search.

 

Buzz

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Thanks Buzz and Mastiff!

 

If I got anything over $800, I don't think id bring it to class. That's just a little too worrisome for me. I have large hands so id really love a pen with a thick grip and long section to hold on to. The Nakaya worries me a bit because of that but I just love the design so much.

 

I've heard many who were disappointed with their HS nibs as well which made me a bit skeptical; but being made of vocalnic rock sounds like it'd make for a lovely fairly porous material.

 

The cheapest "Luxury" pen I've thought of is a FC Model 02 or 19 with a Masuyama nib. Those look like beautiful pens.

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An MB146 or bigger 149 might work for you - and you could get a decent second hand one - at least consider it if the Pelikan 800 is on your list.

 

But if you love Japanese pens, go Japanese. You could get a wooden/ebonite one which accentuates beauty of the nib.

 

Is there a pen show near you?

 

You've picked some beautiful pens, and it would be worthwhile getting a feel for them before parting with your hard earned money.

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An MB146 or bigger 149 might work for you - and you could get a decent second hand one - at least consider it if the Pelikan 800 is on your list.

 

But if you love Japanese pens, go Japanese. You could get a wooden/ebonite one which accentuates beauty of the nib.

 

Is there a pen show near you?

 

You've picked some beautiful pens, and it would be worthwhile getting a feel for them before parting with your hard earned money.

Unfortunately id have to travel as I am located in the Midwest and there are very few around here; but I was thinking similarly. Can you dip test most of these luxury pens in that setting however?

 

I'd love to get an ebonite pen. Urushi looks gorgeous though too!

 

EDIT: Oh my, ebonite in Urushi would be heaven :)

Edited by nmcnick
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I would say the Pelikan M800 (or, better yet, and M1000) would be a "must have." Although I don't have an M800, I do have an M1000 that I got used for less than $400, and it's one of my favorites. In fact, I believe there is an M1000 in the classified section here for under $400 right now. I also have the Homo Sapiens oversize bronze, and I do love it. However, I would plan on spending another $50 or more having the nib adjusted and/or ground; as suggested above an elsewhere, many people (myself included) have found the out-of-the-box setup on the Homo Sapiens inadequate.

 

I can't really comment on any of the others, except that the Namiki is also on my short list. I absolutely love Pilot pens/nibs. Also, since you seem to desire larger diameter sections, I would also suggest the Delta Dolce Vita Federico Stantuffo (oversize piston filler). I have one in Oro and really enjoy it's extremely large, comfortable section diameter (IIRC, it's as wide as, if not wider than, the MB 149). They're not quite as expensive as the other pens, as you can pick one up new on Ebay for less than $300. But I would concur with Mastiff that you might be better off getting two or three pens in that lower price range ($300-$600) than spending it all on one pen.

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From your list I've got a Pelikan M800 and a Nakaya (Portable Writer) - I like them both quite a bit although they are very different in personality in my opinion. Both nibs are wonderful (I got the two tone nib for the Nakaya - it's the picture I use for my profile) and are very attractive. On par with the nib on my Montblanc 146 for sure. The urushi finish on the Nakaya feels quite different in your hand when compared to the Pelikan. The Nakaya almost feels silky smooth to the touch - it's a fairly light pen too.

 

My Nakaya is a F and it had some feedback to it when I got it so I smoothed it just a tad and it's now very very nice. The Pelikan EF was smooth (and wet) out of the box - they're both terrific writers and you really can't go wrong with either. The Pelikan gives off a classic aura - you sense the history of the pen when using it. The Nakaya feel is more of a unique artsy kinda vibe - very cool!

 

Good luck with your choice - I suspect you'll end up with several off the list over time!

 

Also - not sure what part of the Midwest you're from but the Ohio Pen Show is taking place in Columbus Nov 10th through the 13th. My wife and I will be attending!

 

I don't know how many pens from your list will be there (I don't think nibs.com is attending so likely no new Nakaya's present) but who knows - you may find something else you connect with. I'm hoping that's the case for me!

Edited by TheRealMikeDr
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Unfortunately id have to travel as I am located in the Midwest and there are very few around here; but I was thinking similarly. Can you dip test most of these luxury pens in that setting however?

 

I'd love to get an ebonite pen. Urushi looks gorgeous though too!

 

EDIT: Oh my, ebonite in Urushi would be heaven :)

http://www.fototime.com/E642234FBABDB9E/large.jpg

 

My Website

 

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The responsiveness is truly fantastic on this forum. Thank you for all your wonderful feedback!!

 

http://www.fototime.com/E642234FBABDB9E/large.jpg

That is one insanely gorgeous lot... Wow those red pens are especially breath taking. What is your personal favorite of those?

 

Does anyone know if the pilot sterling silvers are nice? They are quite beautiful as well- however, I was wanting a more colorful pen body.

 

It sounds like the M800 and Nakaya are very well respected on here. Those were sort of where my gut was taking me too as well as the Aurora Optima. If that Yukari Royale was cheaper...

 

What do you think is the most robust of my listings and least likely to have the finish be marred etc from falling or something similar? I'm very careful with my pens and thus that hasn't happened yet but if I'm going to take it to class it'd be nice to have a little reassurance.

Edited by nmcnick
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I am in the camp of don't take a high dollar pen to school. Unless you can afford to replace a $400 - $1600 pen at the drop of a hat. If it were me? Top end for school might be a Pelikan M200 range pen if that. (My last M200 set me back $100) I would rather fly under the Rader with something even less costly.

 

Parker 45 or 51 or maybe a TWSBI 580 or Eco. Both the TWSBI'S are bigger around and piston fillers. If I did have a $400+ pen it would not go to class with me and would be locked up in the dorm except while using it.

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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The responsiveness is truly fantastic on this forum. Thank you for all your wonderful feedback!!

 

 

That is one insanely gorgeous lot... Wow those red pens are especially breath taking. What is your personal favorite of those?

 

Does anyone know if the pilot sterling silvers are nice? They are quite beautiful as well- however, I was wanting a more colorful pen body.

 

It sounds like the M800 and Nakaya are very well respected on here. Those were sort of where my gut was taking me too as well as the Aurora Optima. If that Yukari Royale was cheaper...

 

What do you think is the most robust of my listings and least likely to have the finish be marred etc from falling or something similar? I'm very careful with my pens and thus that hasn't happened yet but if I'm going to take it to class it'd be nice to have a little reassurance.

I can't say one of them is my favorite; they each have a unique personality.

 

From left to right; it is three Nakaya Writer models, two Akatamenuri, the Neo Standard and the Portable then a Kikyo Piccolo. All are super reliable and the Nakaya (in fact all Platinum family pens) can use the Platinum cartridges or converters and there is also an adapter to allow you to use International Standard cartridges as well.

 

For school use the Neo Standard has one possible drawback and that is it takes 3¾ turns to cap or uncap. The Portable and Piccolo only take 1½ to 2 turns to cap or uncap.

 

The next three are Danitrios, a Hanryo size then two Takumi size. Cap and uncap is 2½ turns. All use the International Standard cartridge or converter.

 

The final three are Platinum Izumo fountain pens, in Akatamenuri, Soratamenuri and Kurotame and cap or uncap in a single turn. Like the Nakayas they use the either the Platinum cartridge/converter or with the adapter standard International cartridges. The nibs though are Platinum's 18K President nib.

 

NOW.

 

For taking to college I'd suggest either one of the entry level Maki-e pens ...

 

http://www.fototime.com/F0CEADE6FD41861/large.jpg

... or maybe something like the Platinum President.

 

http://www.fototime.com/2494EEC5930D17D/large.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/0DA8A6D9DE292A4/large.jpg

 

Here is the Platinum President next to a Platinum Izumo and then one of my Montblanc 149s.

 

http://www.fototime.com/6A9091A40C77145/large.jpg

The reasons I recommend considering the Platinum President are:

 

  1. it is considerably less expensive than other pens under consideration
  2. it is large, comfortable, reliable
  3. like other Platinum pens it allows you to also use standard International cartridges which are more likely to be available in a school environment
  4. it will give you a feel and introduction to Japanese nibs

 

My Website

 

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I agree with those that recommend a cheaper pen for school (Pilot VP is heavy, thick and a wonderful writer which would fit the bill. If you don't like the clip, Pilot 823 is also great).

 

I also agree with those that say to diversify.

Pelikan M800 would be at the very top of my list: they are wonderful writers, classy, and are the perfect sized pen in my opinion. If you buy from abroad you can get them way cheaper than what you mention above.

MB 146 is also a good option, but it is lighter and a little bit smaller than a M800. There is a person selling a bunch of them used in the classifieds for a good price.

 

I don't have the others that you mention (my 1st Nakaya is in the mail). But have a regular Visconti HS and the nib was excellent out of the box - although it never really fills the ink reservoir and, for that reason, it is not reliable. With the London fog, which is a demonstrator, that wouldn't be a problem.

 

Another fantastic pen is the Pilot 845, it is a beautiful black Urushi pen with a wonderful nib (there is also a gorgeous vermillion version). The size is about the same as a M800.

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Personally, my thoughts are...buy the pen YOU want. Whether it be $10 or $1600. After all, it's just a pen.

 

Yes, folks will say buy 2 or 3 pens instead of just one. You could also buy 2 pens and a really nice toaster! Or, 1 pen and 2 really nice toasters.

 

As to taking an expensive pen to school. Don't see the problem. If you spend $500+ on a pen, I bet you are more apt to take very, very good care not to let it out of your sight! I routinely carry between $1500-$3000 dollars worth of pens with me and haven't lost one, sat on one or had one stolen. They never leave my sight and if someone wants to borrow a pen I will show them how to use it and make sure they don't walk away with it. If they are not comfortable using it, I always have a decent rollerball with me just in case.

 

@Jar....OOOeeeeee those are some damn fine looking pens!

 

David

For so long as one hundred men remain alive,we shall never under any conditions submit to the

domination of the English. It is not for glory or riches or honours that we fight, but only for liberty, which

no good man will consent to lose but with his life.

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What Sandy Fry said. You can't take it with you when you go - so buy the pen you would enjoy using the most, and a case to keep it nice and everything will work out fine.

 

Don't fill your drawer with cheaper pens, and then buy the expensive one you really wanted anyway. In my opinion, it's a false economy - and yes, I have too many cheaper pens, and need to sell some on.

 

That said, don't overlook the 2nd hand market. You can get some good value there. The classified section here might be a good place to look.

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Thank you for all your valuable opinions :)

 

I'm definitely leaning towards Japanese pens. That Urushi just speaks to me. Those, the M800 and Aurora Optima. It's a big choice to make ahead of me! :)

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Thank you for all your valuable opinions :)

 

I'm definitely leaning towards Japanese pens. That Urushi just speaks to me. Those, the M800 and Aurora Optima. It's a big choice to make ahead of me! :)

 

I can't tell where you are in the "Midwest," but the Ohio pen show is coming in about a month - that one is WELL worth the trip, especially given what you are considering spending on a pen(s). Chicago has a show in May. Appointments in Cincinnati had a store-based show just last weekend.

 

I have discovered a number of pens (and some really cool people) while at the Ohio Show. No affiliation; just a satisfied and broke customer who si willing to travel 3 hours one way to get there each year.

 

Sharon in Indiana

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Earnest Hemingway

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Get the biggest, most expensive pen you can. The Porsche Solid. 3135 is also a great choice

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I own both a Nakaya and a Pelikan, although not the particular models that you are considering, and I am sure you would love either one. To my mind, the Pelikan is more of a workhorse pen. It's the pen you throw it in your pocket on the way to a long meeting at which you need something you know will write instantly and without any issues, or to take to class when you know you will be taking several pages of notes. My Nakaya is certainly reliable, and I carry it with me to work every day in my briefcase, but I keep it in its sleeve for most of the day. I use it much more often at home while sitting in front of the fire to write in my journal, or to write a personal note to a friend. I think of the Pelikan as a high-end Mercedes or BMW sedan that, although luxurious, you would drive to work every day, and the Nakaya as a Porsche Carrera that you would drive as often as possible but might hesitate to use for your daily commute to save wear and tear.

 

I hope this was helpful and please let us know which pen you buy.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

I plan to live forever. So far, so good.

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