Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

The current fountain pen landscape


BambinoFortunato

Recommended Posts

56 minutes ago, piblondin said:

I disagree. I think the trend of bigger watches has reversed itself. 

One hopes. 

 

The dial on the largest of my watches, my dive watch, is a mere 30mm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Bo Bo Olson

    16

  • inkstainedruth

    5

  • sansenri

    5

  • ParramattaPaul

    13

Oddly I don't remember

3 hours ago, Sailor Kenshin said:

the 60s, when Enormous Watches was the Thing du Jour.

Of course my Timex pocket watch....$3.75 or so was pretty big.

 

Seiko had just come in with Quartz watches.'No one' had ever heard of that brand before. It was a bit thicker than some but not bigger.

 

They sold very well to service men who had been stationed in Japan....Draft age Privates/Airmen...E-2/3  couldn't afford a nice thin American made Elgin.

 

So I missed that....must have been in fashion magazines......that was back when American made Levies could be afforded by draftees, so no one I knew wasted beer money of Esquire .....and if they were in Playboy....missed reading those big watch  adds for some odd reason.

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.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 4:07 AM, effrafax said:

 

Someone has: have a look at Osprey Pens' Milano.  There are polished and chased hard rubber versions.  Lots of nib options too.  Find them here:

 

http://www.ospreypens.com/

 

That's not to mention all the Indian pen manufacturers such as Ranga that make a huge variety of ebonite pens, including flat tops e.g. the Ranga Model 3.  See them here:

 

https://rangapens.com/

 

Usual disclaimer applies, no affiliation, just a happy customer.

These look great. Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 10:11 AM, Bo Bo Olson said:

Sorry I don't know your flag....so can not be as exact as necessary.

 

I've ranted often enough about that....there are many vintage and semi-vintage pens that have  great balance posted as they were deigned to be, have better nibs. They were once flagships at now affordable prices.

 

Suggest you try German Ebay.de.

If you Hunt and take your time you can get lots of good to better vintage and semi-vintage pens for E-100..............and not the basic $285 for US prices of the same pens.

Hadn't thought of German eBay. Way better prices than American eBay. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/26/2021 at 12:56 PM, A Smug Dill said:

 

Funny you should mention ‘all-or-nothing’… I think any single physical or functional attribute one could reasonably want in a fountain pen can be satisfied by some product in the market today, with the expectation that the prospective buyer or user will have to accept some compromise in the candidate's (or candidates') other attributes. Being able to get something, let alone a range of alternatives, that tick ‘all’ the boxes at once and on entirely one's terms — including (but not limited to) two particular attributes that has nothing to with physical or functional requirements: price and country of origin of a product — is what is unrealistic; but some shoppers are self-limiting with an all-or-nothing mindset, i.e. if they can't get a perfect fit, then they conclude there is nothing in the market to suit their preference in whichever headline attribute or quality.

 

I think it's perfectly fine if someone is not able to get the size of pen, the type of nib, or level of affordability they want from, say, Italian brands and must look to Indian, Japanese and Chinese brands to tick that box. A landscape dotted with ‘imperfect’ choices does not support the argument that there is insufficient variety available to make for a healthy market.

"functional attribute" is somewhat relative when it comes to the enigmatic concept of 'writing experience.' In no way do I dispute that it seems to be a healthy market (i.e a variety of pen makers are doing good business), but practically no one is making pens with the level of aesthetic and sensory finesse of many vintage makers. Period. The best pens available today are larger than the best pens of yesteryear...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not the Pelikan 200/400...........the 600 is not all that very large. I have an Osmia 76 that is @ that size.Osmia made a 78 which is larger, that I don't have.

 

Both the 200/400 & 600 balance well when posted....and gold semi-vintage and vintage nibs fit them well....if one don't want a fat and blobby modern gold nib.

The gold plated 200's nib or even the steel one is IMO an improvement over the modern fat and blobby Pelikan post '97 nib.

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.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, ele said:

The best pens available today are larger than the best pens of yesteryear...

Not quite.  Owning modern renditions of Conway Stewart's Duro, and series 58, and current production Onoto Magna as well as vintage editions of the same, I can assure you that each of them is sized the same as those made in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ele said:

...practically no one is making pens with the level of aesthetic and sensory finesse of many vintage makers. Period. The best pens available today are larger than the best pens of yesteryear...

Again, current renditions of Conway Stewart and Onoto vintage designs  (Duro, Ser. 58, Ser. 100, Magna, etc.) of today are true to the style and quality of those produced last century, and -- from my experience -- worth the price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are plenty of pens available today that have exactly the same dimensions that pens had half a century ago.  In the student and office pen segment, which interests me, the Parker Jotter and Lamy Safari have not changed in size in 40 years.

 

I think what's happened is that the market has broadened over the years.  In addition to there being 'smaller' pens, there are now also more larger (longer, heavier, bigger girth) pens available, for those who want them (I don't).  There are also more pens around with gaudy decorations, but that's another topic entirely (and I wouldn't want to be caught dead with one of those).

 

I don't think that it's a bad development that larger pens are also available.  That way, we can all get what we want.  It doesn't bother me that others choose to write with chunky pens that I would not use myself.  

 

As far as the watch analogy is concerned, I do agree that it's getting harder (but not impossible) to get smaller watches.  I wear a watch with a 37mm case (which would have been considered large a few decades ago) and a colleague remarked that it looked too small for my wrist.  Huh?  The dial is large enough for me to tell the time.  What's wrong with that?  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a tiny rectangular art deco 1950 Buliva...it was small for a man's watch back then....then when women smoked one only needed a real tiny dial to squint at while taking a drag; with the wrist up at eye level.....Women had class to pretend the man speaking was of interest so hid they needed to see how long the torture would last.......After they stopped smoking they needed a watch they could see, so took men's watches. Has women's rudeness increased with their stopping smoking?????...And wearing a man sized watch?

 

Men of course couldn't be caught with a new sized woman's watch so walk around with pocket watches on their wrist....So wide one needs to wear it over the cuff, instead of under it.

 

I do have two or three leather wrist bands for putting a pocket watch in the band to be carried around on their wrist....I think I should wear one to make a statement.....don't ask me what statement....

I'll just let conclusions be drawn.....got to make sure someone at the Stamtisch has an big oversized wrist watch to see which one is bigger.....well mine might be thinner.:P

 

My watch (my largest) I was given for surviving 15 years on the job is 1/4th bigger than the normal sized one I got for lasting ten years.

 

*** Being of the B&W TV era, my watches are standard sized..... now considered woman's watches.:yikes:....Ask me if I care.

I've nothing against women wearing men's sized watches....the thinner the better then and now. Why squint when one can look.

 

Though my small Buliva ain't that terribly small; one can see the face with out bringing the ciggy to one's mouth....did give that up ...again.

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.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Bo Bo Olson said:

pocket watches on their wrist....So wide one needs to wear it over the cuff, instead of under it.

 

I do have two or three leather wrist bands for putting a pocket watch in the band to be carried around on their wrist...

The first wrist watches were actually pocket watches worn in a wrist-worn case by soldiers -- or so says the accepted history.

 

ADDED:  

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. During the Boer Wars of South Africa, it soon became apparent that extracting a pocket watch while mounted on a horse or loading a rifle was not only impractical but very dangerous. Enterprising firms like Mappin & Webb, the reputed British silversmiths, retailed a Campaign watch in 1901 that could be dispatched to the front for an additional shilling. This military watch was in fact an Omega pocket watch fitted into a leather strap that could be attached to the wrist, enabling British officers to synchronise their manoeuvres.

  •  
http://www.thejewelleryeditor.com/media/images_thumbnails/filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/9b/b4/9bb42db4-1ccb-4782-ad36-44554135cbe0/cartiertanklouiscartier-wristwatch-1925.jpg__760x0_q75_crop-scale_subsampling-2_upscale-false.jpg
War provided an unconventional muse for Cartier when, in 1917, it developed the legendary Tank watch, which was inspired by the shape of the Renault tanks rolling across the Western Front.

Although not developed for bellicose ends, Louis Cartier is generally acknowledged as the father of the first watch designed specifically to be fastened around the wrist. A request from his Brazilian aviator friend Alberto Santos-Dumont to customise a pocket watch to strap on his wrist in 1904 led to the creation of the rectangular Santos. War also provided an unconventional muse for Cartier when, in 1917, it developed the legendary Tank watch, which was inspired by the shape of the Renault tanks rolling across the Western Front.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I have a costume book which has a photo of a "bracelet clock" which supposedly dates to Elizabethan England.  I don't have the book with me (it's at home and I'm in Chicago at the moment), but I did a quick Google search, and found this: https://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/wristwatchinvention.php

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

ETA: I was completely bowled over when I saw the photo of what really does look like an ornate bracelet with a watch face on it in the book.  Unfortunately, I don't remember what museum that piece is in.

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ruth, get to drop that into my SF book with Queen Jane and her cousin Duchess Lizzy.

Had the ring watch didn't have the poker.(and diamonds were gray stones mostly back then; bar cut so didn't shine much. ),

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.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 3:44 AM, BambinoFortunato said:

There's also the massive step so many modern pens have from barrel to section

 

This is the part I notice a lot and I'm always on the outlook for no step pens...

 

There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the external design of the pen, the streamlined look and flush body, but then when you open the pen, too often sharp edged steps are uncovered, and they often get in the way of your grip!

 

A few manufacturers are re-discovering vintage design (Tibaldi has been mentioned), and a few historical brands keep true to tradition (Pelikan for one), but there are still far too many nice looking modern pens that are a pain to hold!...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, sansenri said:

There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the external design of the pen, the streamlined look and flush body, but then when you open the pen, too often sharp edged steps are uncovered, and they often get in the way of your grip!

These streamlined, cap the same diameter as the barrel, pens with their massive step down to the section are uncomfortable for those of us who take a higher hold on a pen. 

 

I have one such pen.  I bought it without realising that it had a significant step.  It's been used and put away because it is a nuisance to use.  My normal pen hold had my tips of my first two fingers and my thumb resting on the barrel threads and the joint of the section and barrel -- exactly where the step on that one pen is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, sansenri said:

There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the external design of the pen, the streamlined look and flush body, but then when you open the pen, too often sharp edged steps are uncovered, and they often get in the way of your grip!

 

I like to think that pen designers and manufacturers are not stupid, and they know the business well enough to churn out what actually sells well in the market (i.e. with appeal to the majority). If the trend is to emphasise a sleek overall shape and slick external presentation of the pen, with trade-offs in what happens after then pen is uncapped (e.g. having a step-down from barrel to gripping section, and whether the cap can be posted on the end of the barrel), then I suspect that is what pen buyers at large want. There will always be a minority of brands and pen designs to cater to the minority preferences in the market, with or without using that to justify charging more than other products considered to be of similar standard, quality and/or cost of manufacture.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

I like to think that pen designers and manufacturers are not stupid, and they know the business well enough to churn out what actually sells well in the market (i.e. with appeal to the majority). If the trend is to emphasise a sleek overall shape and slick external presentation of the pen, with trade-offs in what happens after then pen is uncapped (e.g. having a step-down from barrel to gripping section, and whether the cap can be posted on the end of the barrel), then I suspect that is what pen buyers at large want. There will always be a minority of brands and pen designs to cater to the minority preferences in the market, with or without using that to justify charging more than other products considered to be of similar standard, quality and/or cost of manufacture.

True, and I agree that the manufacturers of such pens know the market, and will cater to it.  I also admit that my personal pen hold is not common today at a time when the majority of the buying public grew up using Biros almost from, and in some cases actually from, infancy gripping whatever writing instrument almost at the very point. 

 

So yes, I am the minority and as such not a market influence.  There are plenty of other choices out there to keep me happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, sansenri said:

There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the external design of the pen, the streamlined look and flush body, but then when you open the pen, too often sharp edged steps are uncovered, and they often get in the way of your grip!

 

That's not an attribute that I associate with modern pens.  My Parker 25 (which I bought in the late 1980s, when I was at Uni) and my Parker 75 (which came out in the 1960s) have the cap flush with the barrel.  I think they look sleek.  From a practical perspective, the step down does not bother me at all.  I hold the section much lower down.

 

The Parker 75 was discontinued in favour of the Parker Sonnet, which does not have a flush barrel and cap.  Personally, I prefer the look of my Parker 75 over my Parker Sonnet.

 

The classic flush look has been around for decades and, dare I see it, is here to stay.  It just looks classy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

P-75 is a pen with great balance posted, and for silver is light and nimble.

I don't know if they ever fixed the Sonnet problems, but was ever so glad in 1970/71 I bought my P-75 so never had to worry about a Sonnet.

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.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

I like to think that pen designers and manufacturers are not stupid, and they know the business well enough to churn out what actually sells well in the market (i.e. with appeal to the majority). If the trend is to emphasise a sleek overall shape and slick external presentation of the pen, with trade-offs in what happens after then pen is uncapped (e.g. having a step-down from barrel to gripping section, and whether the cap can be posted on the end of the barrel), then I suspect that is what pen buyers at large want. There will always be a minority of brands and pen designs to cater to the minority preferences in the market, with or without using that to justify charging more than other products considered to be of similar standard, quality and/or cost of manufacture.

I am sure you are right, manufactures know their business and follow the trend of what customers want, even when that means putting priority on looks rather than ease of use. On the other hand, step downs are not an issue for everyone, as Paul says, it usually mostly impacts users who hold the pen far up. Since the OP was pointing out this aspect as one of the ones he defines "a total bummer" I was just commenting that I agree this one is the one that matters to me...

In that respect I do actually appreciate when new models come out that embrace the traditional design of cap over barrel.

One of them is the Tibaldi Bononia, but also the new Modello 60 or the Perfecta, or the Leonardo Momento Magico, and no doubt there are others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
      amberleadavis
      37808
    2. PAKMAN
      PAKMAN
      30911
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
      28220
    4. jar
      jar
      26101
    5. wimg
      wimg
      25595
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • Matthew TWP
      @Ruaidhri This was an absolutely wonderful bit of writing, and I hope that you're able to maintain the style once all of the medications are out of your system.  Take care and recover quickly!
    • Dr.X
      Very punny daniel
    • danielfalgerho
      These comments make me sad as I sympathise with Ruaidhri, having great difficulties in being taken seriously. Or being taken at all (no off-colors jokes, please!) In spite of overwhelming odds,  Ruaidhri -now I know how to spell it- made a courageous decision and stuck to it. I was diagnosed with a similar growth in a place I will not reveal. Oh, well, if you insist it was Mount Sinai Hospital. But I firmly intend to walk in Ruaidhri's footsteps, if he will let me, on my next visit to Dublin.
    • ParramattaPaul
      Reminds me of the day my associates and I developed a cure for all mankind's ills and mistakenly wrote it down with invisible ink.
    • AnneD
      Was that the end of the Laboratory? Somehow the exactitude created a fully destructive device, as always!
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Expiring Soon

    • By benbot517
      51 years and 11 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 11 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 11 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 11 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 11 months
  • Random Adverts

  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. ace5968
      ace5968
      (32 years old)
    2. arya
      arya
      (41 years old)
    3. azrunner
      azrunner
      (62 years old)
    4. cavey
      cavey
      (44 years old)
    5. Ccdjr106
      Ccdjr106
      (25 years old)





×
×
  • Create New...