We all have our preferences in fountain pens; some can be backed with a logical explanation, others may be inexplicable but nonetheless important and strongly held for all that. To begin with, I like pens with a proper filling system which rather disqualifies eyedropper fillers and cartridge/converter pens. That isn’t to say that I won’t use them. I just don’t admire them. For me, the lever filler is a good, well thought out method. The button filler is very similar in its workings but better, because the barrel is unbroken and your hand is kept away from the ink when filling. For the same reason, I especially love the Swan Leverless and it wins because it is almost always allied with an admirable nib.
Talking of nibs, I used to write with a medium flexible, perhaps oblique and stubbish. Such a setup flattered my writing; the breadth of the line concealed the imprecision of the creation of the letters and the flexibility provided a bit of distracting flash. A few years ago I became dissatisfied with that. I decided to try to write well with a firm nib. Making the nib a fine or an extra fine provided even more of a challenge.
Many people write with fines because their writing is small. Mine isn’t huge, to be sure, but it isn’t minuscule either. Within my own eccentric style of writing I aim to create the letters well and I pride myself (perhaps I delude myself) that my writing is clear and easily read. That’s the intention. I don’t aim for beauty in writing, just legibility.
So I am happy with my Swan Leverless 1060 with its very fine No. 4 nib. A No. 3 nib might be better and if I ever come across one that is extra fine I will swap.
5 thoughts on “Preferences”
Interesting post, thank you.
My choice also is for fine nibs, providing they are not scratchy, but I like eyedroppers for their simplicity and ease of maintenance. Also, they often are more elegant.
My Swan 300 with 18 ct gold liberty bands and n. 3 posting fine nib is a firm favourite of mine.
The old original eyedroppers are surely elegant, as you say, Alberto. I like them but I rarely use them.
Would you mind posting a photo of your Swan? I’m only glancingly familiar with examples of this classic brand.
If you scroll back or use the search facility for “Swan 1060”, you’ll see it. There are many Swans illustrated in my blog.