The Perfect Pen
January 3, 2014 16 Comments
For a long time I had the perfect pen for me. It was a long,slender black chased hard rubber Onoto with a flexible oblique stub nib. It weighed virtually nothing (a very good property in a pen for me) and the glorious nib allowed me to write fast and legibly and make all sorts of fancy swirls when the mood struck me. Alas, time goes by and what was perfect yesterday may no longer be today. Arthritis has made gripping a slender pen painful and I had to set the Onoto aside. After a time I sold it. A pen like that shouldn’t sit not being used.
What would my perfect pen be now? Nineteen-twenties or thirties Duofolds are about the girth I want and those excellent pens weigh very little, but it’s very rare indeed that I find a Parker nib that suits my hand. The nib would have to have some useable flexibility and I remain fond of a well-formed stub – medium, though. Broad stubs are too much. Aesthetics would matter too. I would only want BHR if it was fully black and crisp. Otherwise, some colour is essential. Something like Mabie Todd’s prewar russet/jade marble would be nice. That would imply one of the larger prewar Swans, which would do very well. An Onoto Magna in mottled hard rubber would be quite satisfactory, thank you. Red hard rubber would be even better.
While I wait for my perfect pen to come along I pick and choose among the stock, or use pens from my accumulation. At the moment I use my tiny Kaweco Sport. It meets absolutely none of my requirements and it has a hard, rounded broad nib. It’s a challenge to try to write well with such a pen.
What would your perfect pen be? Do tell!