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Fountain pen for a gift

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zippyswife Wed 10-Jan-18 05:53:45

After a year of job hunting and literally thousands of job applications dh has finally landed an amazing new job. It’s been a stressful year and I want to get him a gift for his nw job.

He loves writing with fountain pens- my budget isn’t massive though (were pretty skint) so was wondering to buy one new or try to get a second hand from eBay. I can spend up to £50. Which Parker is better? Could I try for a second hand Mont Blanc? I don’t know anything about pens!!

TheRabbitOfNegativeEuphoria Wed 10-Jan-18 07:51:04

I have had a Cross fountain pen for years and I love it. You can get nice ones for £40 - £60 from their website and I've seen some cheaper on Amazon.

HermionesRightHook Wed 10-Jan-18 08:42:03

I don't really like Parker personally, they're a bit basic, and there's lots of other nice brands out there. Cult Pens is a good place to see all the different brands. www.cultpens.com - the pocket pens are a good price and handy. I love my kaweco.

EastMidsGPs Wed 10-Jan-18 08:48:02

What a lovely idea OP.
I went back to using fountain pens 2 years ago and find any excuse to leave a note find my handwriting is far more readable.

DH could do with using one, reading his handwriting is pure guess work.

IJoinedJustToPostThis Wed 10-Jan-18 08:50:24

Germany is where it's at for stationery.

A Lamy Studio fountain pen is about your budget - very slick design and decent reviews. It comes with a converter though - is your DH a bottled ink or a cartridge man?

I have a Parker Urban which I love (it has sentimental value anyway, but also, I've had it a few years now and it writes like a dream).

sashh Wed 10-Jan-18 09:10:56

I have Lammy and Cross, love the cross and I think it is a nicer pen. You can get one for about £40-£50 or cheaper from ebay for second hand.

Pedallleur Wed 10-Jan-18 09:40:09

Parker 5th Generation are interesting - it looks like a fountain pen but isnt. The Pen Shop has some deals on and Cult Pens always good. Mont Blanc are v overpriced for what they are - you are paying for the branding. Lamy/Cross make great pens

zippyswife Wed 10-Jan-18 19:02:30

Thanks all for the advice. For some reason I assumed I’d get no responses for this.

Lots of ideas. I’m thinking about this one:

www.paperchase.co.uk/stationery/pen-shop/cross/cross-calais-matt-black-fp.html

Any thoughts? He does like antique items so wasn’t sure whether to go down that route. Although I don’t want to land up with something that doesn’t work. And this one is all nicely boxed too!

I assume he has cartridges? I’m not really sure!!

zippyswife Wed 10-Jan-18 19:03:54

And is engraving naff? I was thinking of just his initials?

zippyswife Wed 10-Jan-18 19:12:53

What are thoughts on this? The price seems great and I like the look but does it seem a bit slim?

IJoinedJustToPostThis Wed 10-Jan-18 19:22:02

I looked at reviews (yep, there are people who review pens grin) for the Cross Calais - not great, some issue with the colour flaking off the barrel, when a decent pen, well looked after, should outlast its owner.

Cartridges is a good point too - a lot of pen brands only fit their own cartridges, so it's worth checking that the brand you'll need is widely available. Another (pen geeky) option is to buy a converter (for a few pounds) that fits into the pen where the cartridge would go, and can be filled with bottled ink. Some fountain pens come with converters already, check all website info carefully.

I think you'll struggle to get a working antique pen within budget, but there are plenty of awesome, more modern designs available. I would have a look at Cult Pens or Goulet Pens or Hamilton Pens, scroll through till you find a couple you like the look of, then google search for reviews of that make and model. Often people review a pen they've had for weeks or months, so you get a good idea whether they're value for money.

You can expect any fountain pen you buy new at £50 to come nicely boxed smile

IJoinedJustToPostThis Wed 10-Jan-18 19:26:12

If you do go with the Calais, it's £36 at the Pen Company.

Mormont Wed 10-Jan-18 19:36:36

Does he like to write with a fat pen or a thin pen? I would check that. I've got slim hands and long fingers and I think people would assume I'd like a slim pen and buy that but I actually prefer a fat pen.

MikeUniformMike Wed 10-Jan-18 19:39:34

I wouldn't get a fountain pen. Been given some over the years and I've not used them. I'd get a smart rollerball in a make that you know he likes. I'm very fussy with a pen and the wrong nib won't cut it.

GinisLife Wed 10-Jan-18 20:28:58

Have a look at www.beachwoodpens.co.uk. A bit more than your budget but very individual. Every one is different and is hand made.

zippyswife Wed 10-Jan-18 20:38:32

Thanks for all the advice.

I know nothing about pens (can you tell?!) and I don’t know what nib he likes or thickness of pen or whether he likes cartridge or a cartridge converter... I wanted it to be a surprise but I’m wondering whether I should ask him. We never get each other spontaneous gifts though so it would have been nice to surprise him. Maybe when he’s out of the house tomorrow I can try to find the pens he has for inspiration!

zippyswife Wed 10-Jan-18 20:39:17

I do know he likes a fountain pen though- rather than a roller ball.

UterusUterusGhali Wed 10-Jan-18 20:42:11

Following.
I think I want a naice pen.

What colour ink does he use? Out of interest.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 10-Jan-18 20:44:05

This is a fabulous pen for the money. I have several different types and if you like a weighty fountain pen, they are perfect.

Canyousewcushions Wed 10-Jan-18 20:44:44

Have a look an Amazon for cross pens- the one you linked to is cheaper on there. Also worth checking the cross website sale section- they have some good deals on there.

Pens can be quite personal things though - I love using foubtain pens but prefer a faily heavy one- I got a beautiful one for Christmas but it's much lighter and just doesnt feel as good to write with. My dad, on the other hand, picked up my favourite one and declared it unbearably weighty.

Pens often come with one or two cartridges but he'll need more of the right brand in the long run. If he prefers ink from a bottle then he'll need a converter as an extra.

I like Cross, and many of their pens have a good warranty too (and it works, they recently repaired mine with no quibbles). But worth shopping about and checking prices as there are some good deals out there.

Maelstrop Wed 10-Jan-18 20:45:36

You need to find out if he prefers thin, thick nib, sim, fat barrel. I’m ridiculously fussy so I’d be grateful but secretly wishing I’d chosen it. Could you get him a voucher/gift card for the relevant shop?

I like a broad nib Schaefer, just to add to the confusion.

Swissgemma Wed 10-Jan-18 20:46:55

I am a fountain pen lover (actually a pen lover!) I love mont blanc but I would be wary of one in your budget. I also have a Parker Frontier fountain pen (and biro too) which i love plus the ink is relatively cheap. I hate roller balls! I also love the lamy fountain pens I have a couple of Vistas (with turquoise and violet ink). Generally cartridges are easier (I have an ink slurping mont blanc and to be honest rarely use it and tend to use the cartridge one as I can more easily carry ink!)... but look at the pens he has (I have a preference for fat pens and medium nibs!)

ShiftyMcGifty Wed 10-Jan-18 20:48:10

I have a £400 fountain pen but I carry (and mostly use) my £12 Lamy fountain pen. Love Lamy!

MikeUniformMike Wed 10-Jan-18 20:52:52

Does he have any pens or pencils he tends to write with?
The Cross ones vary - I have a plastic ballpoint one and a heavier promo ballpoint. The plastic one feels nice weightwise but the promotional one is too heavy.

You should be able to get the nib part replaced - the paper insert in the box or website will probably tell you. The pen should include a 'reservoir' (converter) that you can use or remove to use cartridges.
Some nice (cartridge) writing paper to practice or a notebook would be a nice idea.

I would buy one that is expensive enough to be a luxury but not so expensive that he'd be scared to use it. Don't bother getting a matching ballpoint.

MikeUniformMike Wed 10-Jan-18 20:55:10

Don't forget to get the cartridges.
Many congrats to zippy and good luck in his new job.
You sound a real sweetie zippyswife.

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