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Hiding In Plain Sight.


goodpens
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Looking for suggestions:

 

What do you think are the best fountain pens that can hide in plain sight at an office? Something that writes smoothly, but isn't flashy or call too much attention to itself as a fountain pen? Something that doesn't look expensive, but still functions well? Something that looks kind of average? Something that can be used at an open-plan office, then be left in a pen cup on a desk (mixed with other standard issue ballpoints, etc.)?

 

Dark colored, not-blingy bodies would be best for this.

Disposables, like the Pilot Varsity, are good office options, but I'd like something refillable.

 

Bonus points for:

-Ink window

-XF nib

 

Pens that come to mind:

Jinhao 991 and 992

Parker Vector

 

Others?

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If you leave one in plain sight it needs to be cheap and one you don't care if it is lost. I always brought my nice pens to the office when I worked, but never left them in plain sight for others to potentially grap and use. Either in my briefcase or pocket anytime I was away from my desk (or at it for that matter)!

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Disposables, like the Pilot Varsity, are good office options, but I'd like something refillable.

 

If you are going to leave it in plain sight, it WILL disappear. If I were going to leave a fountain pen for all to use, a Varsity would be my ONLY choice. And refilling is not difficult.

Edited by Charles Rice
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Preppies are also easy to refill. The Platinum cartridge can be easily refilled with a disposable bulb pipette as sold by Anderson, Goulet, and others. They also regularly see eyedropper conversions.

 

But I think you've already hit the nail on the head with the Jinhao 992 and even more so the 991, which is styled like a UniBall Micro, and apparently far less prone to cracking.

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:angry: :rolleyes: :headsmack: No lockable drawers???? Where do you hide your Jelly Beans? :gaah:

An antique shirt....you know one with one or two pockets. :bunny01:

Shirt pockets were invented in @ 1895 for the new fountain pens with removable clips....went with the rage shoe the Oxford.

Combat Boots were suddenly so out of style....so Country.

As soon as the rich Bike drivers forced cities to pave the streets, low under the ankle shoes could be worn.....no must be worn....style being style.

 

 

A leather belt pouch would do too....just a bit smaller than a safety knife pouch.

"""If you are going to leave it in plain sight, it WILL disappear."""

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Well, a Parker 51 is the ultimate in well-writing but not flashy. Another choice (to hide amongst ballpoints) might be a Pilot Vanishing Point or Decimo.

But since those are all very likely to walk or get damaged by people who don't know what they're doing, you might want to look at something that's a knockoff of a 51 (although I don't know what the quality of the 51 Vac knockoffs that are currently out there.

I suppose a Vector might do, if you don't get one of the "fancy" designs that just screams "kids' pen" like the Batman or Looney Toons or Shrek designs (although I do now kinda want one of the Puss in Boots Shrek pen B)) -- or one of the crazier colors like pink or the re-issued French-made purple ones. And remember -- Vectors are fairly skinny pens if you have to do a lot of writing; I love all of mine, but would NOT be trying to write the Great American Novel with one...).

Another thought or two: something like a Sheaffer No-Nonsense (masquerades as a BP or rollerball) or an older model Pelikan Pelikano (I paid $5 US for one -- which I think is from the 1980s -- last year at the Baltimore Washington Pen Show, and it's an amazingly good little pen for being a "school pen" -- smooth nib, not too skinny, and a c/c pen has its advantages.

But yeah, Pakman is right -- don't just leave a pen lying around on your desk because it will get lost/stolen or damaged or both.

Another possibility might be a Parker 45 (although also a bit on the slim side if you have large hands).

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."

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Refillable? You fuuunnyy!

One wonders how one refillls something that isn't there.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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What's the use case here? Are you wanting others to use the FPs or not? Are you really hoping you can leave a FP in a pen cup and no one (other than you) will use (or take) it? That's not likely to happen, so unless you want people to use it, you should stow it elsewhere - even just in (the back of) a drawer - that won't keep it from getting stolen, but it will keep it out of the hands of someone who really is just looking for a pen.

 

In my experience, anything other than a Bic round stick looks "fancy" to people who use only ballpoints. People think my Wing Sung 601 is faaaannnncyyy. :rolleyes:

 

Of course, I just carried my pens to and from work (and anywhere else I needed them), so I'd recommend that - if you don't want people using your pens.

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A matte black Lamy safari would do ok. Currently there are lots of disposable rollerballs that imitate the safari clip design. Just add a converter and you have refilling capabilities enabled. Though, if you plan on using it sparsely it can dry up.

OTOH, a pilot varsity may not be refillable but has great ink capacity, is ever reliable and has an incredibly sealed cap. Cheap enough to not miss it if lost, and good enough to start other people into fountain pens.

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If you leave one in plain sight it needs to be cheap and one you don't care if it is lost. I always brought my nice pens to the office when I worked, but never left them in plain sight for others to potentially grap and use. Either in my briefcase or pocket anytime I was away from my desk (or at it for that matter)!

 

Perfect advice. I came to it after even my desk pens disappeared.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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Black pens with silver trim look understated.

 

Low price: Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari.

 

Mid range price: Lamy Studio in steel trim, Faber Castell Ambition.

 

Higher price: Pelikan m205, Pilot 74, 91, 92.

 

Higher still: Sailor Professional Gear, Pilot 912. These look really understated, just try not to drool in a meeting when you see the nibs...

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

 

B. Russell

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What's the use case here? Are you wanting others to use the FPs or not? Are you really hoping you can leave a FP in a pen cup and no one (other than you) will use (or take) it? That's not likely to happen, so unless you want people to use it, you should stow it elsewhere - even just in (the back of) a drawer - that won't keep it from getting stolen, but it will keep it out of the hands of someone who really is just looking for a pen.

 

In my experience, anything other than a Bic round stick looks "fancy" to people who use only ballpoints. People think my Wing Sung 601 is faaaannnncyyy. :rolleyes:

 

Of course, I just carried my pens to and from work (and anywhere else I needed them), so I'd recommend that - if you don't want people using your pens.

Overall, I'm really just curious about suggestions. I often take higher-end FPs everywhere with me, but don't always like having to think about taking them back and forth from an office. I like having an assortment of pens at the desk, sitting out, without worrying about them or whether or not they disappear. And if someone tries one and likes it and keeps it, I'm fine with that. I suppose it is a passive form of penabling. :) At the same time, I'd like the pens not to cry out "pick me!"

 

Generally, I've found my office to be a very respectful environment, so I'm not worried about theft. That's not always the case, and I did have a custom-made BP (that had been a meaningful gift to me) get swiped 20 years ago when I left it sitting on my keyboard in a very exposed cubicle. I learned a lesson, but in general I trust those around me.

 

And I think you're right that anything other than a Bic round stick looks fancy! I find that slightly-nicer-than-average-but-easily-available pens (blue and black Pilot G2 or V5/V7, for example) are the things that people tend to take, while the more unique pens I have generally don't walk off.

 

:angry: :rolleyes: :headsmack: No lockable drawers???? Where do you hide your Jelly Beans? :gaah:

No, no lockable drawers. I hadn't even thought about a place for the candy stash!? Oh no!

 

Well, a Parker 51 is the ultimate in well-writing but not flashy. Another choice (to hide amongst ballpoints) might be a Pilot Vanishing Point or Decimo.

But since those are all very likely to walk or get damaged by people who don't know what they're doing, you might want to look at something that's a knockoff of a 51 (although I don't know what the quality of the 51 Vac knockoffs that are currently out there.

Good suggestion. I just looked and found that Jinhao makes a knockoff. For $1.59 on eBay, it'll be worth trying. I may order a few of those and a few Jinhao 991s; I find the nibs surprisingly good and a small stash of these might do the trick for what I have in mind and/or passing to friends to get them hooked.

 

A matte black Lamy safari would do ok.

Good idea. I wish I hadn't given mine away!

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Black pens with silver trim look understated.

 

Low price: Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari.

 

Mid range price: Lamy Studio in steel trim, Faber Castell Ambition.

 

Higher price: Pelikan m205, Pilot 74, 91, 92.

 

Higher still: Sailor Professional Gear, Pilot 912. These look really understated, just try not to drool in a meeting when you see the nibs...

Thanks for the suggestions. You added a lot to my wish list! I think many of these would be camouflaged very well.

 

I'd never heard of the Faber Castell Ambition; I just looked it up and like it! And thanks for the reminder that I've been wanting a Sailor Professional Gear since I got to try one at a meet-up last year ...

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A Platinum Preppy is cartridge/converter so you could go that route. I used a Nemosine Singularity for months at work without anyone deciding to pick it up off my desk.

Currently inked:

- Pilot Custom 743 <M> with Pilot Black

- Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue <B> with Pilot Blue

- Lamy Studio All Black <M> with Pilot Blue-Black

YouTube fountain pen reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2qU4nlAfdZpQrSakktBMGg/videos

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My only recommendation then is snap caps - people don't get screw caps, and will try to pull them off (and even if they figure out they're screw caps, push the cap back on after use).

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My only recommendation then is snap caps - people don't get screw caps, and will try to pull them off (and even if they figure out they're screw caps, push the cap back on after use).

Good point.

 

Wing Sung 601 (with ink window) I think would tick all the boxes. The "fitting in" part says hooded nib to me.

 

Thank you!

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The Preppy is cheap so easily replaced, and looks cheap so people won't steal it because they think it's worth something - but they might walk off with it because they think it isn't worth anything so don't think anyone will care?

 

I have a Jinhao 51A (c/c clone of the Parker 51). It's cheap, looks nice enough, but the nib is a bit scratchy, so you might want to pick up some micromesh if you choose to go the Jinhao route just in case (although honestly that's true for almost any pen company).

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The nice thing about being a programmer is that no one writes anything. Everything goes through a device. So pens last a long time and don't walk off because no one uses them. I use Shark and Varsity pens at work although I carry an Online Switch. Being old, I have to use a written planner so the pens are a necessity.

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