Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Glorious Utility of Fountain Pens

At Saint Austin's Pub, we prefer to use fountain pens with heavyweight high quality paper rather than ball-point and roller-ball pens. It isn't that we never use ball-point pens; Mrs Augustine actually gave me a beautifully handcrafted ballpoint pen made out of abalone and brass. The abalone shimmers with multiple colours and the quality of the ball-point cartridge is unusually satisfying. Even so, fountain pens are the writing instrument of choice at the Pub.

The four pens above are, from left to right (1) Namiki - Pilot Carbonesque Vanishing Point (2) Monteverde Invincia carbon fibre "Bow Tie" (3) Pelikan M215 (4) Cross ATX - matte black

All four write well and are reliable on their ink flow. However the two best are the Pilot and the Pelikan. These two are always ready to write - they never seem to dry up, even if not used for a couple of weeks. Their points are flexible and very pleasant with which to write and sketch. The Monteverde is probably the most pleasing to the eye but sometimes needs to be primed before it can be used. It is heavy and will start to unscrew apart after much use. The Cross is an elegant work-horse - heavier ink flow than the others and very reliable.

You Scots who have the good taste to drink stouts, ales and porters, rather than the wretchedly tasteless American lagers, should likewise put away your Bic Stics; go out and buy a real pen!

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