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Instead of reaching for a ballpoint, there’s nothing quite like using one of the best fountain pens to get your writing done. The whole experience is rewarding, from purchasing one and unpacking it through to using it for the first time. And, buy yourself a premium fountain pen and you should be able to get years of service too.
Parker is one of the go-to brands when it comes to fountain pens, but there’s actually a thriving marketplace out there with numerous manufacturers to choose from. And, what that means is you can find a fountain pen that suits not only your taste, but one that has an ergonomic design style to fit any kind of hand.
What with how well they handle chocolate and cheese, we should’ve always left it up to the Swiss to make a thoroughly desirable and beautifully engineered fountain pen.
Coated in palladium and engraved all over with an intricate guilloche design (that’s ‘braided’, for those who don’t belong to some kind of pattern-making guild), it’s both tough and beautiful, and comes with a lifetime international guarantee to back it up. But how does it write? One reviewer commented that it writes as well as pens double its price, and many others raved about the balance, weight, and smooth line.Take a more superior handwriting line with this super stylish fountain penBest for: A lavish show of handwritingNib material: 14k gold with Rhodium inlayBarrel material: Black resin+High-end look and feel+Superbly made nib-You'd be very angry if you lost it
The Montblanc Le Grand 146 Fountain Pen is an indulgence for sure, but its high price tag rewards you with a dreamy handwriting journey. Much of that revolves around the nib, which is a 14k gold and Rhodium combination in the medium format that delivers a precise ink-to-paper experience.
Similarly, the body, though fashioned from more conventional black resin, feels nicely balanced and you can tell that this is a quality product. As you’d expect from Montblanc, the Le Grand 146 Fountain Pen comes lavishly presented in a gift box while they also offer a dazzling array of different ink colours to compliment it.Fan service meets secret service in this dashing collaborationBest for: Distinguished detailsNib material: Iridium-tipped 18-carat goldBarrel material: Acrylic+Refined design+Well-weighted- The details will be lost on non-Kingsman fans
This is a French-made classic fountain pen that packs the archetypal cigar shape that is so popular around the world and comes with a perfectly serviceable medium tip that makes it suitable for pretty much anyone. However, a fine nib variant is available for anyone wanting a more petite look on their paperwork.
We like the way that Waterman has designed this model in a raft of different variants, so you can choose from a pretty conventional black and gold look or opt for one of the wilder designs. Deluxe Blue Obsession, for example, looks like a great alternative. Arrives in a very nice presentation box too.Wonderfully weighted with an unmistakable distinctionBest for: HandcraftedNib material: 18-carat gold and rhodiumBarrel material: Resin+Amazing handcrafted details+Well-weighted- Huge cap
21 individual pieces go into making Parker’s Duofold pen, each one put together by hand to make some very handsome pocket candy indeed. This craftsmanship shines through in the design, sure – there’s no mistaking the Art Deco vibes of the gold trim, or the contrasting ace design on the partially-covered rhodium nib – but also in the way it handles.
Reviewers loved the solid feel of the chunky barrel, and found it well weighted for writing; smooth, with just the right level of feedback.For a bit of natural beauty in your pocket, look no further than this wooden fountain penBest for: Feels greatNib material: Stainless steelBarrel material: Pearwood+Distinctive wooden barrel+Feels great to write with-A little tricky to unscrew nib
If you’ve grown tired of black and gold, this wood-cased fountain pen is set to shake things up a little. With just the right amount of bling courtesy of a mirror-finish cap, nib and collar, the bulk of the pen is given over to smooth pear wood with a beautiful natural grain that reviewers say feels wonderful to write with.
Coming with a cartridge/converter system, it gives the option for easier modern cartridges or use with an inkwell, and in both cases, reviewers were pleased to report a smooth writing experience.A superb fountain pen for those with a delicate touch and an eye for subtle detailsBest for: A fine writing styleNib material: Rhodium-plated 18k goldBarrel material: Birchwood+Wonderful to hold and handle+Innovative edge to the design-Might be too fine for some
The main highlight of this Pilot fountain pen is its glorious wooden barrel, which feels excellent in your hand as well as being nicely balanced. This one comes with a fine Rhodium-plated 18k gold nib. As a result, it’s better suited to those with a featherlight touch, but it’s not scratchy to use as some at this end of the nib spectrum tend to be.
Originating from Japan means that it’s got an innovative edge too, with a mechanism that prevents the fountain pen from ever drying up. The Pilot also comes in a special gift box along with a cartridge refill so that you can hit the paper running so to speak.Or ode, or haiku, or limerick – what you write with it, and how it looks, is up to youBest for: Comfort and customisabilityNib material: Stainless steel or 18k solid goldBarrel material: Stainless steel+Loads of colour options; choice of nibs+Smooth writing action-Finger grip prone to rusting
As stationery geeks, we think every fountain pen is beautiful in its own way (don’t laugh), but sometimes the choices can seem a little… well, safe. Refreshingly, this Parker pen takes a little walk on the wild side, offering seemingly endless options for customisation, including a choice of medium or fine nibs, three nib materials, and over 15 colour, print and trim combos. Most importantly, its action is smooth as butter – what’s not to love?Lightweight, leak proof, and legendaryBest for: LightweightNib material: Gold-platedBarrel material: Chrome and gold plate+Lightweight and slender+Lifetime mechanical warranty-Casing prone to fingerprints
Building on the success of the original Cross Century pen, the Century II beefs up the profile and adds a contrasting silver and gold colourway to create a new classic.
What users loved about the original is still here in full force, though. They commend the leak-proof design, immune to all kinds of bumps and jiggles in-transit; the beautifully smooth writing action, and the longevity of the build, with one long-time user noting the impressive lack of wear on the gold plating.Enjoy a dependable writing experience from this surprisingly upmarket budget fountain penBest for: Those on a budgetNib material: SteelBarrel material: Plastic+Writes well using cartridges or liquid ink+Looks deceptively upmarket for the price-Might feel too light for some
Want to make a style statement without spending the big bucks? The Dryden Luxury Fountain Pen ticks all of the boxes when it comes to delivering a great all-round real ink experience. However, it comes at a fraction of the price, which is why it has become a best seller.
The design is classic, functional and there’s a medium tip so it’s perfect as a gift or for anyone who doesn’t have a specific preference. The other bonus with this fountain pen is that it comes with an ink converter, which means that you can use it with both cartridges or liquid ink. In fact, as a complete package this one is hard to beat at the lower end of the market.Beautifully blingy, this rose gold fountain pen brings joy to all jotsBest for: Eye-catching designNib material: Gold-plated steelBarrel material: Rose gold plated steel+Looks fantastic+Even ink flow-Presentation box isn’t the best