Your Pen of Choice

What is your pen of choice, vintage or modern? For me it’s Swan, for several reasons: build quality, variety of nibs and the Leverless filling system. Celluloid Swans, especially of the 1930s, have an incomparable range of colours and patterns. They are very durable and restore to be the equal of any modern pen. That’s not to say that there are not many other admirable pens. The Onoto comes to mind with its excellent filling system and splendid nibs. In US pens the early Duofold heads the list with the Waterman close behind, especially the 52 and 94; great nibs and wonderful colours, both hard rubber and celluloid. The earlier flat-top Sheaffers are wonderful pens. In later Sheaffers I like the Triumph and inlaid nibs. Among German pens the Soennecken comes first though they are hard to find and expensive now.

What about you?


10 thoughts on “Your Pen of Choice

  1. Among modern pens, Aurora and Pelikan are the ones that please me most. My experience with vintage pens is much less and of mixed quality. I have enjoyed Wahl Eversharp and Swan when they work well. Leaks are my enemy. Somehow I’m good at causing them.

    1. I like Aurora too. Not so much Pelikan as the nibs don’t suit me. A well-restored vintage pen is as good as a modern one so look around, find a restorer that you like and you’ll open the door to great pens.

  2. For general everyday life, Pilot’s modern pens; they are usually designed subtle enough to be useable at the office and not stand out (too much!); write fairly thin as well, meaning low quality papers are fine, especially if using Pilot’s inks. It used to be Pelikans for this use case, but for some reason, those haven’t been inked in a while and paper quality matter more with them.

    For home, early Waterman’s are probably my go to; I love my one Mabie Todd pen as well, but the early Waterman nibs are just so perfect; I probably grab for both in equal amount depending on how wet (Mabie Todd double feed ) I want something, or how much variation (flex Waterman nibs) I want; or feedback… if I want almost none, I have a Waterman from 1901 or so that basically feels like glass.

    Of course, waiting to get the Mabie Todd stub from you here soon – so that could change the calculus 🙂

  3. I am all about the vintage pens, it’s all about nostalgia plus I am sentimental. Duofold, Jr is the pen of choice, I also frequent a Conway Stewart (their Esterbrook relief pen – I enjoy the nib). As for contemporary pens, I fell for Waterman Hemisphere 15 years ago.

  4. I frequently use my grandfather’s button fill Parker Victory mk4 and absolutely love doing so. It’s an unostentatious thing, with the smoothest of nibs. I wouldn’t swap it for any modern pen.

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