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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm new to the Pen (and watch game for that matter):

Does anyone have any advice on which pens are good value for a moderate price?

Thanks!
 

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Define moderate price for you, for a pen.
 

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Costco sells the Mont Blanc Starwalker for like $200+-
A Waterman can be had off Amazon for a broad range of prices.
A nice Mont Grappa can be found on eBay from a wide range of price points.
Don’t bother with a Chinese Xezo; perfectly fine construction but i found the roller ball cartridges were terrible and ruined any potential for the remainder of the pen.


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If your heart's not set on a fountain pen, I really love my simple Parker Jotter and Fisher Space Pen. They get the job done!

As for a watch, save up for an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. It's SOOOOO worth the sacrificing and waiting!
+2 for space pens, I use one for outdoor work and my Mont Blanc when I’m in the office


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I assume we are talking about fountain pens. A good starter if you want to see if the fountain pen thing is for you would be pilot metropolitan, kaweco sport, or Lamy safari.

If I were looking in the $50 range for a pen I would probably me looking at a TWSBI 500 series or mini, or a kaweco sport (I’ve really grown to love this pen). Some Conklins can be had at that price and look quite nice but I don’t enjoy the nibs as much.

Double your budget and I would look at something like a pelikan 200 series.

Bump the budget to 150 and you can get into some gold nibs. The Lamy 2000, pilot custom 74, and pilot vanishing point are all very nice and are great to give you a taste of gold nibs.

If you want a rollerball i agree with the Lamy 2000 rollerball as a nice elegant Bauhaus design that works everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I assume we are talking about fountain pens. A good starter if you want to see if the fountain pen thing is for you would be pilot metropolitan, kaweco sport, or Lamy safari.

If I were looking in the $50 range for a pen I would probably me looking at a TWSBI 500 series or mini, or a kaweco sport (I’ve really grown to love this pen). Some Conklins can be had at that price and look quite nice but I don’t enjoy the nibs as much.

Double your budget and I would look at something like a pelikan 200 series.

Bump the budget to 150 and you can get into some gold nibs. The Lamy 2000, pilot custom 74, and pilot vanishing point are all very nice and are great to give you a taste of gold nibs.

If you want a rollerball i agree with the Lamy 2000 rollerball as a nice elegant Bauhaus design that works everywhere.
Thank you for the recommendation! I'm actually not 100% sure i'd want a fountain pen.

Do you have more recommendations for other non-fountain pens?

Thanks!
 

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If you want a ballpoint/rollerball that is a different animal. The performance difference in a Pilot G2 and a 4 figure montblanc is negligible (I know some will disagree but it is what it is).

The questions you have to consider is what are you looking for then? Status and presence? Design? Ergonomics? Cool factor? EDC durability? Etc? Are you keeping this in your suit pocket or your shorts pocket? Are you using this to sign contracts or working as a contractor?

The one thing to consider, in contrast to fountain pens where you have unlimited ink options, is that you are pretty much locked into some ecosystem of cartridges. If you hate the cartridges you will always hate the pen.

Here are non-fountain pens is the $50 range that I think are cool for some reason or another: Lamy 2000, fisher space pen, Lamy pico, retro 51, kaweco.

I'm not one to spend much on rollerballs but I do quite like my Karas Kustoms that takes G2 refills.
 

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if you want a fountain pen in that range, I can't say enough about the TWSBI Eco (and you'll have enough for a nice ink!). If you're going to use it for work, get a Fine nib, otherwise, their stub nib is a lot of fun. TWSBI is well lauded and reviewed within the pen community. Phenomenal value and a great introduction to FPs
 

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if you want a fountain pen in that range, I can't say enough about the TWSBI Eco (and you'll have enough for a nice ink!). If you're going to use it for work, get a Fine nib, otherwise, their stub nib is a lot of fun. TWSBI is well lauded and reviewed within the pen community. Phenomenal value and a great introduction to FPs
I have had some issues with TWSBI (not the Eco specifically) but their customer service is off the charts good. TWSBI hits a great price point for a handsome, piston fill, demonstrator. Pick up one of these and a bottle of your favorite color of iroshizuku and you're off to the races!
 

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For a good affordable fountain pen, the Pilot Metropolitan is surprisingly good if you prefer a fine point, or the Lamy Safari if you prefer broad. The statement here is that their sizing convention is not equilant. A Pilot medium is quite thin, whereas a Lamy medium is quite thick. I've heard that there is a perfectly functional cultural explanation for that, Asian language characters are more dense, and so require a finer point by default than western scripts.

For a general purpose everyday pen, I swear by the Uniball Signo DX 0.38mm, which uses the excellent Mitsubishi UM-151 (it's the refill that makes the pen, not the body). Other fine tip pens I've tried feel scratchy, or seize up and need a scribble to kickstart, or leave blotches. The UM-151s are perfect every time. Not a fancy pen, it just writes better than most fancy pens IMO.

You don't need to spend big bucks to up your pen game and experience cool new stuff.
 

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Parker Jotter in any finish you care for and a Lamy Safari / AL Star with an F nib. Should be able to do both for around $50 (give or take a few bucks).

Edit: I also second the Pilot Metropolitan, probably in an M nib. Great pens. If you went Jotter/Metropolitan you could definitely get both for under $50.
 
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I have a pilot metropolitan that my school gave me upon graduation that I used to use as my "beater pen." I probably have gotten more comments in public on that pen being a "fancy pen" than I have my pens that cost 10-20x that amount.
 

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Is the OP still around? Bought a pen yet?

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to carry a nicer pen (as in, not a free one.) For my line of work, a ball point or roller ball works better.
I looked at pens in the $50 range, and decided that I didn't want to spend that much money. Then I found the Zebra F701. It's all metal, writes well (with the fine point replaced with a medium), and has held up now for several years of daily carry. It looks good and, most importantly has a push button clicker. I don't have time for a cap!

zebra F-701.jpg
 

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I would recommend anything by Pilot, Platinum or Sailor - you get what you pay for, but the improvement in writing quality and overall experience doesn’t increase THAT much as the pens get more expensive. As I said in another post, they are all a bit like Seiko/Grand Seiko. You get a huge amount for your money at any level. There is something incredibly satisfying about using a medium Japanese fountain pen nib.

Or get a vintage pen from a reputable seller. You won’t regret an Eversharp Skyline!
 
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