What is Your Perfect Pen and Why?

By LPC member Rafal

From time to time we suggest and pick particular themes for our meetings. Those themes have to only loosely be related to pens, inks and papers. The theme for April 3, 2010 was for each member to bring the pen from his/her collection that they would consider the “perfect” pen (for him or her) right now and explain why they chose that particular pen.

There was a strong suspicion that the idea of a “perfect pen” would mean many different things to many different people but some suggested selection criteria included:

– How the pen fits them?
– How the nib matches their preference for most of their writing
(smoothness level, flow rate, stiffness, and point size/shape)?
– How durable is the construction?

– How it matches their esthetic tastes?
– How easy it is to fill and how it matches their ink capacity requirements?

We thought that this exercise might reveal a few interesting observations including:

– The “perfect” pen for someone might not be their most favourite pen;
– There might be a lot of variety in the pens selected by the group or there may be
some similarities; and

– We might even find that there are some repetitions.

This turned out to be a pretty interesting topic of discussion and here are the pens each member brought (along with the reasons for their choice) and a slide show  of those perfect pens:

Rick: Parker 75 Cisele
– Size / weight just right
– Dry writing wine nib –  just likes Rick likes
– Cartridge capability – great for travel
– Classic design

John: Waterman Edson
– Perfect size
– Broad nib – pretty much the only nib for John
– Very pretty  – navy blue color with gold trim
– Sentimental value – it was a gift from John’s employer for 25 years of service
– Does not have a vacumatic filling mechanism 😉

Mike: Tibaldi Iride
– It’s the pen that David wants more than any other from his collection but can’t have it.

Dan: Sheaffer 300
– Has a nice heft
– Spring loaded clip
– Durable

David: Modern Aurora 88 (large) with a stub nib
– Black with silver trim
– Size / feel
– Piston filler
– Great nib
– Classic, elegant design
– Italian pen

Doug: Delta 20th Anniversary
– Feel in hand
– Barrel shape is smooth and flowing
– Ink flow on the wet side
– Nib is ‘right’ – It’s neither fine or medium or broad, it is just right.
– Colour – Orange Black
– Filling system – Vintage classic (lever)
– Construction – Screw-on cap (when posted to end of barrel). At first he thought it was a hassle and stupid. Now everything lines up. Cap never falls off.
– A larger pen, yet again, body flow and colour… Writing for hours…
– Gold nib, and it has some flex
– Classic design

Marie: Sheaffer 300
– Size
– Nice to write with
– Colour
– Durability

Stan: Waterman 100 Year Pen
– Perfect flexible nib – almost calligraphic.
– Lends itself very well to Stan’s style of writing

Patrick: Parker 51 Slender
– Matches his jacket
– Perfect weight / balance posted and not posted
– Awesomeness,
– Classic
– Hooded nib design
– Nice nib
– Discrete

Ben:Waterman Expert II
– Colour – light blue
– Dependable
– Reliable
– Flows smoothly
– Can be used anytime (always ready to write)

Rafal: Parker 51 Aerometric
– Perfect Size
– Smooth, wet XF nib
– Elegant styling
– Very durable and easy to service

After everyone’s choices were revealed, a few things became apparent:
– Out of 11 pens, Waterman and Parker were picked most often [3 times each (27%)/6 out of the 11 in total (55%)];
– Out of modern pens, Sheaffer 300 was picked twice (67%) and out of vintage
pens Parker 51 was picked twice (67%);
– 4 pens were vintage (36%) and 7 were modern (64%);
– The cartridge/converter filling system was picked most often [5 times (45%)];
– The pens picked were either American or Italian brands;
– Surprisingly, there were no German or Japanese pens picked; and,
– The nib/writing characteristics was used as a criteria by 9 out of
11 participants (82%).

It would be interesting to compare the results of this exercise if these same question was asked a year from now.

We’d love to hear what your perfect pen is and why?  Maybe you think the same as some of our members or maybe something completely different.  Let us know!

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4 thoughts on “What is Your Perfect Pen and Why?

  1. Parker Vacumatic! 🙂

    Why?

    – huge ink capacity and easy to fill. Easy to top up if you’re keeping the same ink in it.
    – my sample has a nib with just a little flex, which I enjoy – I find writing more effortless with such a nib.
    – very reliable starting and consistent line quality
    – this Vac (a green ’46) is a beautiful pen (a blue one may be in my future). The ones with two-toned nibs are even nicer (mine is gold single-tone)
    – screw-on cap never falls off

    The only negative is that it’s fairly hard to service, but I don’t service my own pens anyway. 🙂

    1. Perfect pen, eh?
      Good topic!

      Although I am *generally* not a fan of hooded-nib pens, I have to say that my Parker 51 Demi (Aerometric filler) fountain pens, when used posted, are the perfect pens for me to *use*.

      The Aerometric P51 Demi is:
      –extremely-well balanced (more so than its regular-sized P51 counterpart, I dare say)
      –not heavy in the hand
      –very durable
      — well-made, with a simple filling system
      –sleek and stylish
      –comes in a few different cap designs, so you can easily swap out your Demi’s “hat”
      –reasonably priced, for a vintage pen
      –comes in a variety of colours

      There is a Parker 51 Demi pen that uses the Vacumatic filling system. It’s a slightly shorter pen, but I prefer the size and balance of the Aerometric Demi.

  2. Sheaffer targa:
    My favourite because it is an elegant looking, well built, smooth writing, dependable pen.
    I especially like the gorgeous 14K inlaid nibs, the satisfying click of cap when closing the pen, the sturdiness of the clip and the myriad of beautiful finishes.

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