I would hardly believe it but it’s almost 5 years since I started writing this blog. That’s nice, but it brings a problem with it: I’ve written about most of the more common British pens – and quite a few less common ones. Obviously, I will continue to try to get hold of all the pens that I haven’t written about yet but that isn’t going to happen very often. In the meantime, I want to continue blogging about pens. I don’t have many options about that. At one time, I would have been happy to switch to American pens but given the outrageous expense of importing pens from America these days I think that’s out. Yes, I can find a few American pens here in Britain but I’ve written about most of them. That leaves me with another option: inexpensive modern pens.
Now I know that that will offend (or at least bore) those among you who only read me for old pens. However, I have written about cheap modern pens recently and have got some good feedback so I think there will be some interest. Obviously, I would prefer to be writing about old pens and I will do whenever I can to do so but but in between I will attempt to fill in with good examples from the wonderful world of comparatively cheap and absolutely cheap pens of today.
Tell me what you think.
20 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here?”
I’ve been reading your blogs for a couple of yeRs and have always enjoyed your comments. It was bound to happen eventually; there are only so many old pens out there. I think that a lot of your readers will also own or will buy modern pens in the future. I will certainly appreciate any comments that you have on new or more modern pens.
Thank you, Andy. That’s encouraging! I also have a suggestion that I might make comparisons between new and old pens. For a variety of reasons, that’s quite limited, but possible.
How about old pens from the continent? From France there’s the beauties from Bayard, Edacoto, Stylomine, and many others. And there are many minor German brands, particularly in the post-war period, that could use a good writing up. Most European countries have made pens at one point.
I like to write about European pens and I do so whenever I can. The difficulty with that is that so few of them are on sale in the UK. Plenty in Europe, of course, but postage is quite high. I do occasionally buy pens from France or Germany – or even the former Czechoslovakia – but they have to be pretty special to justify the postage.
I am happy to follow where you lead when it comes to pens. Although I would prefer to learn more about vintage and classic pens, I appreciate the problem or problems that you face in that connection. It makes sense to write about modern pens given that these abound and many of them reach high standards in all ways. I applaud your efforts and look forward to reading what you have to say!
Thank you, Bill. I think that low cost pens – whether from China, Japan or Europe – have improved so much in the last year or two that it’s worth trying them and writing about them.
I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and I’ve found it really interesting. I think the modern low cost pen stuff is useful as it helps dispel the myth that fountain pens have to be expensive to be good. There are so many good reasons to use them but vintage ones can be a bit more of an acquired taste.
I quite like all the bits & pieces surrounding fountain pens. The pen is just the start, then there are inks, ink wells, blotters… it just goes on & on!
I use FPs every day. Mostly a Parker Aerometric 51, a Waterman Forum (1990 vintage) and a couple of Conway Stewarts. I also have a Parker 25 which I use in the field as its basically indestructible.
Thank you for your kind remarks about my blog. It is surprising that these days many of these very inexpensive pens write just as well as the top of the range ones. I occasionally write about these other things to0 – I particularly like inkwells.
I really liked the articles about tools and examples of repairs
I might do some more of that. You won’t find anything highly technical, though. I limit myself to easy repairs these days.
i have to admit i dont use the pens i buy!!!!!!!!!!!! i know its a sin…. I think my first pen was a Conway Executive 60 cracked ice – what an introduction, i thought it would be as easy to pick up things like this but i was wrong. I started collecting in the mid 1990’s and have, apart from a phase buying Waterman overlays (mostly US and UK) have always bought British i.e. Onoto, Swan, Conway Stewart, Parker Duofold/Victory and Mentmore. I dont know why – they are just class pens – e.g the swan leverless is a beautiful pen and thats brings me to my point – i would rather spend £50 off ebay for a 1940’s swan leverless rolled gold pen than a modern parker whatever hanging in wm smiths for £20 – its no competition BUT i buy them for the look, for the history, for the investment – i collected in the 90’s when we all bought for investment before ebay blew us out of the water and i dont think ive ever got over it. What i didnt see was the huge market for limited edition pens that has sprung up but i feel they are all packaging and style over substance. Anyway, wanted to have my tuppence worth as everyone will have their own thoughts but yes, in summary, i very rarely buy abroad and i stick to British pens – the bonus for me is that Steve H et al have written countless great books that its easy to see and research your pen and get an insight into a different era. Cheers.
It’s true that you don’t have to use your pens to enjoy them! I am sure that I will find some old British pens that I haven’t written about before. It’s just that there won’t be as many as there have been in the past, because I’ve reached that point where I’ve already written about most of the pens I buy. Steve Hull has done us all a great favour with his splendid research.
As I said some months ago, your blog is the first I go to usually every day. Your comments have always been useful, informative and interesting.
You lead and I’ll follow! (but within reason, of course!)
Keep up your excellent work!
That’s very kind of you, Ray!
Just to share Mr.Tucker’s concise contribution (above) .. with the simple add-on that I recently had the first chance to use the ever-increasing range of pens from Noodler’s Ink, and it is this type of pen that one would enjoy learning your judgements on — just as with your very useful take today on the Pilot Kukono.
That’s an interesting idea, Peter. I’ll see what I can do.
I’m a little late commenting but I would like to add my thanks for your efforts over the years so far. I’ve followed your blog with interest and, although I have my own clear views on what is desirable in the pen world, I have been content to be guided by some of your recommendations. I bought quite a few Swans when you advocated them, and no-one else was that interested, and also collected a number of Newhaven Duofolds which I had always considered dull until I actually used one! Good decisions all. Your move towards low cost modern pens should interest many of us but I would join the call for comments on minor German and other Continental makes. Some of the lesser known vintage German pens can come close to the quality of their much vaunted rivals (you know who I mean) and at a fraction of the cost. In particular, I have seen Geha, Mercedes, Tropen and Luxor piston-filled pens that are very appealing and very affordable. Of course it all comes down to your taste and pocket. Whichever direction you take I am sure we will all watch with interest and gratitude!
I agree with you about the German “school” pens. I have an excellent Geha that I think I have written about. As I said in an earlier comment it’s too expensive to import these things because of the cost of postage but I’ll certainly try to pick them up whenever they are on sale in Britain.
I’m delighted to hear that you have found my blog useful.
I second what others have already said. Over the last months your blog become my favourite, sparked my interest in British pens and is my first stop when looking for information on the pens I buy. The way you write is both interesting and entertaining. I really appreciate your time and effort to keep it going.
I wish you continue writing about British pens because in my opinion there is so much more to write. However, I am equally happy to read about either other vintage or modern pens from your perspective.
Thank you. I will continue to write about British pens when anything different comes my way. You’re right, there are many other British pens to write about but if I can’t buy them I can’t write about them.