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Your Top 5 Writers


PithyProlix

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So, I realize this is mainly just an entertaining topic to think about and discuss and has little practical value. And likely an exercise in extreme frustration for many here (I, for one, absolutely cannot limit myself to a 'top three'.).

 

The question: If you absolutely had to limit yourself to five pens that you currently own, what are they? Criteria is purely writing performance, fairly broadly defined, which can include writing ergonomics, for instance, but not aesthetics, build quality, and other factors not directly related to the writing experience and results on the page. 

 

*No cheating*:  no more than five! 🤨

 

My current best try at five:

  • Vintage Platinum 3776, f nib, flat top cap, ebonite feed
  • Pilot E-300, script nib
  • Parker 61, 1st generation (longer than the later ones), seems to be an italic-like extra fine nib (was my father's pen) 
  • Waterman Le Man 100, extra fine nib
  • Dunhill Gemline, extra fine nib (manufactured by Montblanc and similar to the Noblesse) 

 

So difficult to leave off Sailor and to choose between many other Japanese pens! I would also love to have a flex pen on the list but I just don't have a great one, yet. And if I had other great extra fine italics another one would probably make the list. 

Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Italic when I'm inclined. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis

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Pelikan M500, OBB nib

Parker 75 Ciselé, BB nib

Pelikan P1 OB nib

Parker 51 Insignia, BB nib

A rotating variety of Wing Sung pens with home ground cursive italic or stub nibs

Children think adults have all the freedom and adults think children have
all the freedom.
 

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1 hour ago, PithyProlix said:

The question: If you absolutely had to limit yourself to five pens that you currently own, what are they? Criteria is purely writing performance, fairly broadly defined, which can include writing ergonomics, for instance, but not aesthetics, build quality, and other factors not directly related to the writing experience and results on the page. 

 

Limit myself to what exactly, though? If it's limiting myself to ownership of five pens only, it'd be a very different question to not being restricted in ownership (of hundreds or even thousands of pens), but can/will only use and write with no more than five pens within some defined scope (in my journals only? for calligraphy practice? or any application of putting pen to paper at all? for 365 consecutive days? or until the day I die?); and, if it's the former, then aesthetics and all that unrelated to writing performance should surely count as valid and relevant criteria for selection of the final five.

 

Otherwise, you may as well clarify or reframe the question and its caveat as, “Ignore what sparks joy. Spare no thought for sentiment. Consider only the uses where you are putting ink on paper and caring primarily about the fitness of the outcome, and decide which five will give you the most capability.” If two pens do exactly the same thing the same way, then by implication only one of them should be chosen, if the owner of the pens has more than five pens.

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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7 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Limit myself to what exactly, though? If it's limiting myself to ownership of five pens only, it'd be a very different question to not being restricted in ownership (of hundreds or even thousands of pens), but can/will only use and write with no more than five pens within some defined scope (in my journals only? for calligraphy practice? or any application of putting pen to paper at all? for 365 consecutive days? or until the day I die?); and, if it's the former, then aesthetics and all that unrelated to writing performance should surely count as valid and relevant criteria for selection of the final five.

 

Up to you, within the broad criteria I described, if rather vaguely. And no need to answer, of course. 

Script nib for writing screenplays. • Fine nib for my best writing. • Extra fine for my *very* best writing. • Medium for requesting a séance. • Bold for adventure stories. • Manifold for many various types of writing. • Coarse for indignant letters. • Oblique for making a point in a roundabout way. • Italic when I'm inclined. • Stub for when I intend to leave a manuscript unfinis

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Ha! By coincidence I emptied out most of the pens I had kept inked for some meet-ups in April and May, leaving me with eight pens inked. Five of those I would consider my best writers:

 

1) Montblanc Meisterstück 142 [Italic Medium], hosting Pennonia Balaton-Kék (light blurple)

2) Montblanc 232g [Italic Medium], filled with Pilot Iroshizuku 100th Anniversary Benzaiten (soft peachy pink)

3) Montblanc 242g [Italic Medium], displaying the subtle beauty of Monteverde Emotions Confidence (light sky blue)

4) OMAS Dama Grey Celluloid [Fine], filled with an accidental mix of blues (I messed up when I "refilled" the pen -- with the wrong ink)

5) OMAS Extra Desk Pen [Italic Flex Fine], letting me enjoy Private Reserve Daphne Blue (a light turquoisy blue)

 

I'd call these my favourite writers as all have custom grinds and are tuned to my liking (pretty wet and generous). The italic nibs were all fine or medium round nibs which I flattened to retain their general line width vertically, but leave a fine line vertically, the OMAS Fine was a blobby but boring medium/broad nib, that somehow when narrowing down the tipping all of a sudden was such a pleasure that I left it round.

 

All of these rather small pens fit my hand perfectly and have just the right amount of flair to their lines to make writing fun. And all are tuned rather wet to display all the fun and splash of colour any ink deserves. 

 

Cheating alarm!!! Honourable mentions go out to

 

6) Montblanc Masterpiece 142 [Italic Medium], currently having Wearingeul Scarecrow (a beautifully undecided warm green-brown-mud-brown-green, depending on the paper)

7) Moonman f9 Coral Red [Fine] (Montblanc Rouge & Noir clone), filled with Diamine Inkvent 2021 Red Robin (a warm "burnt red").

 

Yeah, these make me happy and let me write pages upon pages with sheer joy! 😉

 

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In no particular order

 

Parker Sonnet - Stratum (M)

 

Visconti Van Gough Wheatfield under thunderclouds (F)

 

MontBlanc 146

 

Montblanc William Shakespeare WE

 

ST Dupont Leonardo Da Vinci.

 

I picked these because these are the pens in my collection that "just write". The get out of the way and let me get on with writing. There are others, but I'm limited to 5. 

 

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Yes, this is for entertainment only, @PithyProlix. Nib, feed, pen body dimensions and weight are influencing the "right" feel in an equal way.

In alphabetical order:

Aurora Blue Mamba F

Aurora Optima F flex

Montblanc Gold Leaf puck flex

Pelikan M60X puck (M)

Pineider Grande Bellezza F

One life!

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I rarely buy anything else apart from my Indian handmade ebonite pens. Top 5 is hard to pick, but strictly based on writing performance, which means pens having nibs that I love to write with, these are my top 5:

 

  • Krishna Lyrebird with very smooth Ambitious nib grinded by Dr.Sreekumar
  • Kim ACR Jumbo with a juicy and smooth Ambitious nib
  • Woodex 39 with Kanwrite nib
  • Faber Castell Loom
  • ASA Daily with Schmidt nib
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My best writers? 

 

Lamy 2000 BB. Far and away the most enjoyable pen to write with that I own.

 

Swan snakeskin lever filler, flex to die for.

 

Pelikan 400 brown torty factory stub tied with Pelikan 600 red torty Fritz Schimpf stub

 

Waterman Exclusive, fat fat fat broad nib (all Watermans nibs of that period are gorgeous)

 

Pilot Custom Heritage 92 fine

 

 

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/

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Following the old joke about football being a game played with 22 players which Germany always wins on penalties... Any of my 9 Pelikans, perhaps a Sailor Professional Gear, a Carène and a Man 100 would sneak in. I would have to point out that performance for me implies specific and constant ink hues.

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

 

B. Russell

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Mine are as follows:

  1. MB 149 'M'
  2. Diplomat elox 'B'
  3. TWBI 580 AL '1.1'
  4. Karas Vertex 'BB'
  5. Opus 88 Opera 'B'
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1. Parker 51 Aero (mid/late-50s, England, M nib, RG cap)

2. Parker 61 (capillary filler, England, M nib, Rainbow cap) 

3. Parker 75 (Sterling Cisele 60s, USA, F nib)

4. Parker Duofold Centennial Int. (modern)

5. Parker 100, M nib.  

All the best is only beginning now...

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In order:

 

Lamy 2000, fine

Parker Sonnet, fine

Lamy Studio, 14k fine

Parker 61, fine

Esterbrook LJ, 1551 nib

 

As noted by the OP, this is not necessarily my order of preference; aesthetics, filling capacity, etc., also factor into that ranking.

"Nothing is new under the sun!  Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us." Ecclesiastes
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Not in any order: 

 

Montblanc Unicef Le Grand with OB nib

Montblanc 146 with OM nib

Leonardo Momento Zero with 1.5 stub nib

London Pen Company Brooks Abalone with Kirk Speer Architect nib

Franklin-Christoph Panther with Matsuyama Medium Cursive Italic Nib

 

Honorable Mentions: 

Montblanc JFK with BB nib. 

Delta Horsepower with stub nib

Pineider La Grande Bellezza with Broad Quill Nib

Waterman Carene Medium nib

"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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In no particular order:

1. Diplomat Magnum with a Sheaffer Feather Touch F nib

2. Ohto Jazz with a Pelikan F nib,

3. Nimosine Fission with a F nib

4. Jinao "Classic" with a TWSBI EF nib

5. Platinum Preppy with a 0.2 nib

 

 

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Opus 88 Omar #6 Osprey Extra Fine

Opus 88 Jazz #6 OEM Fine

Opus 88 Halo #5 Extra Fine

Narwhal Original #6 Osprey Fine

Conklin Duragraph #6 OEM Fine

"Life is too short to use boring ink!" - JPMH

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At the moment, it is the five pens inked and on my desk.  An Onoto Magna and a Scholar, A Conway Stewart Churchill, Duro, and Series 58.

 

That said, there is a Gravitas Entry and a Kaweco Special on my bedside table.

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In no particular order:

 

Opus Picnic Green fine with Diamine Evergreen

Pelikan M200 Smoky Quartz EF with Pelikan Smoky Quartz

Pilot Custom Heritage 912 Posting filled with Van Dieman's Cradle Mountain Grey

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen filled with Platinum Carbon

Sailor fude (the cheap clipless one) filled with R&K SketchInk Thea

It's all about the greys...

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As (I am sorry to report) I currently own roughly 300 pens, some of which I haven't written with in a couple of years or more, I am going to have to limit my choices to pens that I can remember what they write like. In no particular order:

 

1. A Warranted 14K nib currently housed in a Townsend big yellow flat-top, that came from a different, no-name big yellow flat-top with a shattered cap. This is a semi-flex nib that is an effortless joy to write with.

 

2. Parker True Blue Streamlined (the smaller one, 1929 or so) button-filler. Another semi-flex nib that shows it knows what it's doing, even when I don't. 

 

3. Parker Duofold Centennial (yes, I am going to praise one of these for the writing) that was a Medium, ground down to an EF by the seller (I bought it used). It demonstrates crispness and perfect feedback so I never need another pen for that purpose. 

 

4. Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with a Posting (PO) nib. The finest writing ultra-fine nib I have experienced -- "finest" in every sense (except not the most Fine nib that exists). 

 

5. Pelikan M600 in the orange crush finish, which I mention only because it's a beautiful pen that I never used because the nib it came with was a nail. A nice nail, but uninspiring. Until I swapped in a vintage Merz & Krell Pelikan F nib with just enough line variation to finally make it interesting. 

 

If you had asked me last week, some of these would have been different. The list is very changeable. 

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just for writing pleasure then 

1.  montblanc 149 1950s medium nib

2.  onoto magna 2020 stub medium

3.  omas extra lucens black 1930s EF

4.  pilot yukari royale custom oblique broad

5.  aurora 88k ef 

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