Demonstrator pens were first constructed for use as sales tools, i.e., generally made for salespersons or the retailer to show how the filling mechanisms (that were hidden from view inside the pen) worked. Some of the demonstrator pens were made from transparent or translucent materials while others, called “cutaway” pens, had a portion of the barrel removed or cut away/out to show the inner workings of the pen. The transparent/translucent demonstrators functioned properly; however, the cutaway pens did not (obviously). Neither type was intended for sale to the public although they are sought after by collectors today.
The popularity of demonstrator pens is such that they are made by almost every manufacturer in a variety of colours, in some cases, and price points, in others. People are attracted to these pens for many different reasons, for example, some writers like to be able to monitor the amount of ink left in their pen while others like how the transparent material of the pen changes colour every time a different colour ink is used – it’s like using a different pen. Of course, there are always those that enjoy the chance to watch and understand how their pen works.
The demonstrator fountain pens from a recent pen club meeting as shown in the above photo are, from left to right, as follows:
- Lamy Vista(clear);
- Namiki Custom 823 (clear);
- Omas Ogiva Vision in Guilloche (clear);
- Omas 360Vintage Limited Edition (blue);
- Levenger Pelikan M200 (clear)
- Pelikan M205 (light blue);
- Pelikan M800 Etchings (clear);
- Stipula Etruria Nuda Limited Edition (clear);
- Visconti Van Gogh Maxi Tortoise (amber); and
- Visconti Voyager Anniversary (clear).
We’d love to hear from you – do you like demonstrators? what demonstrators do you own? what is your favourite demonstrator, whether owned or wished for?