For many years and up to a year ago, I only had one fountain pen. Now I have 5 usable and decent ones. I have always liked writing by long hand and with pens, but I have only recently had a collection of fountain pens which I use on a daily basis.
Lamy Vista with F nib / 1.1mm nib
My first fountain pen and until the others prove otherwise, it is my favourite pen. Of course, I’ve had this pen over seven years years as compared to the less than one I’ve had with the others. I remember liking it right away though.
I think the Lamy Safari line is fantastic for beginner fountain pen users. It made me fall in love with it and writing with an FP too. It is sturdy, offers a great clip and it’s just a workhorse.
This past week, I finally put in the 1.1mm nib that I bought for it. So far, I like it. The Vista and the Mont Blanc are my journal pens.
Cross Verve – M
I bought this off someone on Kijiji. It is probably the best looking of all my pens. I love the snakeskin texture and it writes very smoothly. The flow is probably one of the best of all the pens I’ve tried.
I am trying to sell this pen though. First, the nib is really too broad for me. Secondly, I write very close to the nib, and this pen does not like that. As a result, I always get inky fingers. This would be a point of pride if it didn’t happen every time. The clip and cap are quite useless. It is still a gorgeous pen.
Pilot Cavalier – F
This is the only fountain pen that would fit in my Filofax Malden pen loop. Even then, I had to go to another town to buy it.
When I first got this, the nib was a bit scratchy. After two months of using this daily, it somehow broke or was dropped. The nib bent; I was sad and annoyed. I took it back to the store and the owner quickly bent it back just with his fingertips and nail. It worked again and it was less scatchy too! I still think this pen is a bit too delicate for my liking (notably the nib), and since it is so thin, I refill it frequently. I can’t live without it because it fits in the Filofax though.
Gui Guan 250 – F
I requested some Chinese pens and my Uncle obliged by sending me five of them. Only this one worked. Gui Guan is a Hero subsidiary, and I’ve heard decent things about other Hero pens too. It stalls a lot between uses, but once it gets going, the flow is decent. I can’t complain for an FP that works and probably retails for much less than $10USD.
Montblanc Meisterstück No. 145: Hommage à Frédéric Chopin – F
This was another gift from my Uncle who had it gifted onto him. He sent this to me, but my parents threw out the boxes for it. I got the pen and the CD though. At first, I thought this was a fake too. But, this is the real deal: serial number, Pix, red resin, and everything.
It wrote well from the get-go. I find the black design rather boring, but it’s standard Montblanc. What bothers me about this pen is the screw cap. I always forget about it. Sometimes I try screwing open my other FPs after I’ve used this one only to unscrew the actual pen.
Lamy Safari – Green (2012 LE) – EF
Not pictured because as of this writing, it hasn’t arrived yet! I’ve wanted another Lamy for years now, and one day, I’ll save up for the 2000. While I don’t always love the design, the Vista has done me no wrong so I thought I’d get a Safari as a backup in a way. Originally, I wanted an EF nib, but only had the fine with my Vista. At the time, I didn’t know you can swap the nibs. This pen was also on sale online so I decided to treat myself. I’m looking forward to this.
Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black
Due to moving around, I have two bottles of this and it has taken me ages to use it up since I really only used it with the Vista up until this year. I have not much else to compare it to as it was my first and only bottled ink for awhile. I like it.
J. Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean
My first coloured ink and I liked this. It looked really good in the Cross Verve M nib too. Weirdly, I’ve found that I don’t quite love it with the 1.1mm Lamy nib. It’s not saturated enough, but for finer nibs, it’s very nice.
J. Herbin Poussière de Lune
Also on its way to me. I think this will be my new journal ink.
If anyone is interested in more depth reviews of any of the above pens or inks, let me know.