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Buying Advice: Fountain Pen With Piston Mechanism And Calligraphy Nib



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Dear Friends of Dapper Writing,

 

It's me, back again, Canned_Brain -- I took a little time off this forum, but now you have the mixed blessing to enjoy my fateful attendance again.

 

Today I'd like to ask you for an advise on which fountain pen to buy.

 

These are my criteria:

 

1) It should definitely have a piston filling mechanism,

2) it should not have a "plainly" writing nib such as F or B, but rather a more expressive one; that might be, a 1.1mm Stub, an OM/OB, an Italic, a Flex, or a Music Nib.

3) It should have a two-digit price tag. If I like it a lot (and I mean a lot a lot) I might be able to raise the pain barrier to 150 €.

4) It should NOT be a TWSBI. I already do have three of them.

5) In either case, acquiring a second-hand model is a welcome option.

 

What would you recommend me to buy?

 

Thank-you in advance and have a great weekend!

 

Finest regards,

Canned_Brain

Trust ██ ███. █ ███ your █████ ███ government.

 

"To be, or not to be." (William Shakespeare)

"Dobedobedo." (Frank Sinatra)

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Not sure why you specifically want a pen with piston-filling mechanism, as opposed to a eyedropper-filled or vacuum-filled model, if the key concern is the capacity of the built-in ink reservoir. Nevertheless, your criteria are your criteria, and it's nobody business to challenge your reasons with a view to changing your mind or broadening your consumer horizons, if that's not what you want.

 

So, these would fit your criteria:

  • PenBBS 494 pens fitted with nibs 'donated' from Pilot Plumix pens
  • PenBBS 309 pens fitted with #6 Italic or Stub nibs made by JoWo
  • Wing Sung 3008 pens fitted with Lamy Z50 Italic nibs

All relatively cheap 'frankenpens' with no part of them made by TWSBI, takes a trivial amount of work to swap the nibs into the pen bodies, and with effectively no warranty because the nib swapping would void manufacturer's/retailer's warranty on the pens, but satisfy all your stated criteria.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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For 150 €, and a little patience, you should be able to get a vintage Pelikan 400NN or 400 with an OB or flex nib. Also a 1990's M250/M400 can also be had for that price with an oblique nib. All of these are wonderful pens.

Pelikan's M200 or M150 with 1.0/2.0 Italic nibs are well within that budget.

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I can second the Pelikan 400NN. Your flag indicates Germany, so you should be able to find easily a 400NN for way less than 100€. OB and OBB nibs are a bit more sought after and can be a bit more expensive than F, M, B nibs. But they were very popular in Germany and thus are still abundant. Both nib and pen are among the best vintage buys you can find in my opinion.

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Hi Canned Brains,

 

Another option is getting a Noodlers Konrad or Ahab and get a #6 JoWo broad nib and have it ground by a nibmeister to any kind of nib you want - which may prove better than any factory nib.

 

 

- Sean :)

https://www.catholicscomehome.org/

 

"Every one therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in Heaven." - MT. 10:32

"Any society that will give up liberty to gain security deserves neither and will lose both." - Ben Franklin

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If you want something sedate, you may want to consider a Lamy 2000 with a OB or perhaps an OBB nib. They should be readily available in Germany.

 

I have also heard great things about Leonardo Momento Zero Grande and Leonardo Furore Grande. I believe they are both piston fillers, come in gorgeous colors. They might, however, be more than your desired price. I love my LMZ's with stub nibs.

 

A third option is to look for a older Montblanc. Most are piston fillers, and many have oblique or stub nibs. There are great resources here that can help you learn about them and to select just the right one.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Hi Canned Brains,

 

Another option is getting a Noodlers Konrad or Ahab and get a #6 JoWo broad nib and have it ground by a nibmeister to any kind of nib you want - which may prove better than any factory nib.

 

 

- Sean :)

New (cheap) pen + new (cheap) nib + (not so cheap) nibmeister + shipping for under hundred bucks? I want that! ;) But it’s not so likely.

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A Lamy 2000 comes to mind to me.

PAKMAN

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If you want something sedate, you may want to consider a Lamy 2000 with a OB or perhaps an OBB nib. They should be readily available in Germany.

 

I have also heard great things about Leonardo Momento Zero Grande and Leonardo Furore Grande. I believe they are both piston fillers, come in gorgeous colors. They might, however, be more than your desired price. I love my LMZ's with stub nibs.

 

A third option is to look for a older Montblanc. Most are piston fillers, and many have oblique or stub nibs. There are great resources here that can help you learn about them and to select just the right one.

Lamy 2000 certainly is a great pen but might be hard to find with OB or even OBB nib within the OP’s budget. Might be possible with one of the less popular Montblanc models, though you still would pay a brand premium for Montblanc. But I think that German vintage pens might be the best option. Kaweco Dia from the 1950s/60s are also a great option. My 805 with OBB nib is a dream, one of my favourite character nibs, and I paid less than 20€ shipping included. :)

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New (cheap) pen + new (cheap) nib + (not so cheap) nibmeister + shipping for under hundred bucks? I want that! ;)

 

So skip the nibmeister part. :) I bought a Pilot Enso Plumix 'hand lettering' pen set, and three PenBBS 494 pens — which are cheaper than three Pilot CON-40 converters — onto which to transplant the F, M and B italic nibs from the Plumix pens, for less than AUD 60 (inclusive of tax and 'free' shipping); so for anyone talking in EUR or GBP, the number would be even smaller.

 

fpn_1604280579__penbbs_494_and_writing_s

 

fpn_1604280558__writing_samples_with_pil

 

The pens look cheap, feel cheap and are cheap, but nevertheless are perfectly usable and serviceable; and the nibs are very good. One could buy a PenBBS 309 piston-filler, on which the default F nib is not a "plainly" writing F nib with standard geometry anyway, and still not get to AUD 100; and if the PenBBS F nib isn't "expressive" enough — as if expressiveness was up to the pen's own mind, and not the user's own flair and technique — add a strip of fine/ultra-fine emery board (the type used for smoothing fingernails) to the purchases, try one's hand at regrinding the nib to a stub, and still not exceed budget.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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