Well, how I ♥love♥ your budget!
Just writing this brought back all of my loving feelings about these expensive fountain pens. Thank you so much for the opportunity to think about my favorites at the upper end of what I’ve reviewed! (More on pens in this price range at the end of this article.)
Aurora Optima (that link takes you to my full review) a stunner. ’nuff said. this pen will knock the socks off of anyone that sees it. Piston Fill. Heirloom pen. signing checks, love letters, and your will. Too big for a pocket, but who cares? Marilyn Monroe to your JFK.
Aurora 88 (that link takes you to my full review) whew… my favorite sleeper pen. Understated, no one knows how much you spent, but it feels like eating cotton candy in rich, velvety chocolate clouds. Piston Fill. Serious writers: poetry comes to mind. Fits in a pocket, but large – can you tell I love big pens?
Montblanc Boheme (that link takes you to my full review) my personal favorite, but it’s a small pen with a retractable nib, not everyone loves small pens. It also ONLY takes cartridges so purists will hate it. You can syringe refill cartridges for more ink color choices (see how here). I love this damn pen. Too much. You’re making me miss it just typing this. MB loaned it to me, and it ripped my heart out to send it back. I used this pen EVERYWHERE, and didn’t feel a speck of guilt despite the price-tag. My grail pen right now. Someday when my disposable income gets to where yours is, this will be my pen. Mainly because it combines practicality, absolutely drop-dead looks, fits anywhere size, with a don’t touch my baby price-tag. Did I mention I love this pen?
Montegrappa Nero Uno (that link takes you to my full review) so unique, I didn’t like the look at first, but the feel… wow. buttery, wet, slippery goodness. Pocket pen: Will fit in your pocket. Use everywhere. Requires cleaning the body because lint will get in those engraved body lines if you carry it in a pocket or purse (speaking from experience.) 🙂
Parker Duofold Centennial (that link takes you to my full review) Nothing can prepare you for the marble finish on this baby in person. Astounding. Grandpa’s pen times twelve. Heirloom. Keep it on a pen stand and everyone will admire its beauty. Love letters, Holiday notes, checks, a note to the kids that you’re spending their inheritance on more fountain pens like this one… Too big for a pocket but the envy of everyone that sees it. They’ll want to write with it, and you won’t let them. Stunner.
I can’t really rank those in order yet… I’m still thinking about it because I loved them all so much. But if you’re looking for a flashy pen check the Duofold, Optima and Boheme. If you’re looking for more of a classic look, the 88 fits the bill. Nero Uno is one amazing pen, dances the line between eccentric and classic.
The pens I’ve reviewed so far tend to top out around $500 so if you’re spending more than that, you’re richer than my blood (SO FAR, but I’ll keep working my way through more pens!) There are only two pens I’ve reviewed that cost more than $500 at the time I reviewed them and they are: Montblanc 149 and the Montblanc Grace Kelly. Honestly, neither were my favorites… beautiful pens, just not my thing.
You’ve entered into the world of piston fills
What’s that? There’s no cartridge, no converter, the converter IS the pen. You twist the backside cap of the pen to draw in bottled ink right into the body of the pen. There are benefits and drawbacks to this. Benefit: HOLDS A LOT OF INK! Drawback: Takes longer to clean and flush.
Of course not ALL expensive fountain pens are piston fills, but many are.
These are a few of my best fountain pen 400 & up favorites at the top-end of what I’ve reviewed.