Jan 16, 20193134 views

If you could keep/have only one...

Fountain Pen.
In the time-honored tradition of preposterous impositions: you can have only ONE pen, or even pencil (yeah, I'm that inclusive). Which one will it be? It can be any writing instrument you have, or wish you had. You may even qualify your answer with "at the moment", "these days" or "right now". Do you go with something practical or something that encapsulates your passion for fountain p--fiddlesticks--writing instruments? Also you will still need something to write on, in that alternate reality with only one writing instrument. What is your one and only notebook? For me, were the writing apocalypse to befall us today, the choice is clear:
My Rotring 1928, because it has something of every aspect I love about fountain pens, and my SuperBuch A5, because its awesome and I only cracked it open yesterday.
What would yours be?
johngouldrubin, Checolin, and 13 others

I used to collect black fountain pens with gold trim. There’s something about the look of them I adore. Also, I’ve got an old hand injury so I like broad, ‘fat’ pens that don’t give me any pain while writing. If I had to choose one fountain pen I’d pick the one that I had stolen and because I’m a pensioner now, I can’t afford to replace. It’s the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Fountain Pen Nice and ‘thick’; a good hefty weight but beautifully balanced with the cap posted and a glorious smooth flowing nib with just enough ‘grip’ to good paper to put you in touch with every stroke. At around AUD$1300.00 I don’t think I’ll ever have another one but it’s nice to dream… Cheers, BH
The 149 is definitely a "masterpiece". With a little bit of luck you can snag a mint used one for under $500US, especially if it has a 14kt nib. It's still a big chunk of money, though. Fortunately there are some very respectable copycats, most noteworthy the Senator President (odd name combination) for under $200 and the Penlux Masterpiece for about $100.
G’day Theroc, Thanks for those tips! I’ve not heard of either of those pens so I’ll hunt them down on the web. Thanks again. Cheers, Bill Halliwell
My Sapphire Blue Waterman Edson fountain pen.
🤑Awesome fountain pen 🤑
If it had to be only one, the answer would be a Waterman Carene with Florida Blue ink - a combination that saw me through the better part of the early 2000's. Today, I would saw the MB 146 with Royal Blue.
Mine would be the Lamy 2000 with a medium nib on Rhodia dot grid A4 pad. As you cannot write without ink, my choice would have to be Diamine Asa Blue - the subtle hint of red in shaded areas is just gorgeous.
For the money, the Italix ’s Prescriptor is a smooth writing wet nib (Med cursive nib).
I also like the Mont Blanc Doue in medium oblique.
Love the top quality and feel of both.
Sweet collection, how long have you been collecting?
If only one pen ... Conid Minimalistica . . . I have so many equally impressive pens, but this bulkfiller is like no other. I use it everyday at my watchmaker's workbench, and it's become an extension of my business as well as an integral tool in my interpersonal relationship with my customers. I wish the Conid experience upon everyone!

Any fountain pen with a flexible medium or broad nib that can also perform well in reverse mode. I have two pens that can do this and they put down a broad line as easily as a fine line when writing in "reverse." For me, it's either an old Montblanc 149 (1950's era) with a 14C tri-tone (M) nib and a Visconti Southern Cross with a 14K (B) nib. Interesting question. Thanks!
I would have to say my Ensso Piuma. It writes effortlessly every time and doesn't leak. And I love its sleek shape that doesn't hang up on anything I put it in, solid body and threaded cap. However I'd be extremely hard pressed not to sneak along my iconic black Lamy 2000 which I've had for years, and doesn't need a bladder or other separate ink reservoir, even though it leaks (like all my more expensive pens). Philip Sawyer, Boston
My one pen is likely to be the Pelikan M1000, with a fine or even extra fine bouncy nib. After writing with so many nice and high end fountain pens I always seem to conclude that Pelikan stands out for quality, workmanship, and ease of use and ease of care and cleaning. Thanks for asking! frank Bruno from Boulder, Colorado
Lamy studio 2000!
If I could only have one, it would be a 1947 Parker 51 (vac) with F nib, smoothed, Navy Grey. I do not currently own one. I have several similar pens, but the original is beyond my grasp.
Well, right now my only usable pen -- Lamy Vista (aka the demonstrator Safari) -- for my answer. BUT of recent, I have purchased a 1941 Parker Silver Vacumatic that I'm hoping to restore and justify as my next "one" keeper pen (pictured with the pencil).
Mont Blanc Noblese - Circa 1979
This pen was made by Visconti for Rotring. It's a beautiful pen. Enjoy it.
Pilot 912. A little bit more modern look and options of Nibs for every occasion
Vintage Sheaffer Imperial Touchdown, fine nib.
Pilot vanishing point
A TWSBI ECO EF. I apologise for the appearance of all capitals, but that is, in fact, how the name of the company and model are spelled, it is customary to use capitals for the nib size, and the beginning of a sentence is customarily capitalised, so I am at the mercy of accuracy and proper grammar. Since purchasing my first ECO 18 months ago, I have stopped using all other pens. Even my Pelikan M800 gathers dust. I have purchased two more ECOs and one ECO-T, and I plan to purchase more for seasonal colors. The ECO is beautiful, well-made, inexpensive, and performs as well as all pens ought. It costs $30 USD, so I never need to worry overmuch about theft, loans, damage, or misplacement loss. It has a high-capacity piston filler mechanism, and is available in five different nib widths. I use the EF most often, because I use a Filofax Personal organiser (95 mm x 171 mm page), and frequently write in Japanese, which necessitates an extra fine nib and a small hand. My primary ink is Mrs. Stewart's Concentrated Liquid Bluing. This is a Prussian Blue pigmented ink (ferric ferrocyanide) that is waterproof on paper, does not clog, and is archivally permanent, in addition to being my favorite color blue, a deep, dark, midnight blue in masstone. Prussian Blue was the first synthetic inorganic pigment discovered, and it has the smallest pigment size of all aside from carbon black. Mrs. Stewart's Concentrated Liquid Bluing costs about $5 for an 8 oz (237 mL) bottle and is widely available. I decant it into much prettier 2 oz inkwell bottles from Pelikan or Mont Blanc for desk use, or a small Nalgene bottle for travel.

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The 698 does post just as well as the ECO.
I wrote quite a lengthy comparison on these pens about two years ago, if you are interested: https://drop.com/talk/1503/piston-filler-demonstrators
Good to know! I have been mislead about the caps, then.
Lamy 2000 and a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook.
Lamy 2000
If I were restricted to only one writing instrument, it would have to be a Uni Jetstream pen. It's sturdy, the ink is waterproof, it and doesn't smudge after a minute or so. If I drop it, it will probably still write, and if it won't I just have to replace the refill. One refill will last far longer than any writing session I'm likely to experience. A spare refill is small, inexpensive, and not particularly fragile. IMO the Jetstream writes better than other ballpoint pens, and while something like a Uni Signo may write a bit better (again IMO) than the Jetstream, the Jetstream will write on surfaces that a Signo or other rollerball/gel roller won't. On the other hand, if I didn't need to be practical about my choice, I'd probably go with one of the fountain pens I inherited from my father or grandfather.
OMAS Paragon Brown Arco Celluloid

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That's a really nice-looking pen! :-)
Thank you - beautiful, and writes like a dream too!
visconti watermark

Nice collection!
I love your Visconti collection! The Homo Sapiens writes so nicely.
I would love to own a Yard-O-Led FP.
Opus 88 Koloro. Elegant, original, understated, thoughtful design. Holds plenty of ink, writes smoothly and has a very comfortable section.
My every day writer, TiLiner in full copper!
Would love to see MD offer the Nakaya Decapod, or, for that matter, just about any Nakaya pen--at the right price.
Toss up between my 1936 Vacumatic and my original flat-black Vanishing Point. Both have semi-flexible nibs that are like butter.
The 1958 Parker 51 that was my father's
I inherited one from my mother when she was a secretary right out of high school and can't put it down. Nice choice!
I've been very partial to the Kaweco sport with an EF nib. I love the flow, the reliability, the price point. I'm surprised that Kaweco hasn't been mentioned already. I tend to write in journals from Poppin, which I buy by the fistful. Nice paper that doesn't bleed through, and again at at price point that doesn't force me to treat it like a precious commodity
Kaweco is quite popular with the Massdrop writing community. I've owned quite a few and I still hold on to the Special. However, I regret the lack of something more substancial from Kaweco. There was the Kaweco King once, but it was a limited edition and is very expensive to acquire. I never tried Poppin, may give them a try.