Something Old. Something New

There’s plenty of research that indicates that despite being the owners of this planet’s most advanced brain and possessors of the power of logic, we as humans, make decisions based on emotion rather than rationale on many, if not most, occasions.

I’m not immune either.

Something I thought I’d share in this blog is a long-held fascination. I say fascination not passion. The latter implying that I will forsake other things in the single-minded obsession of whatever that quest may be.

I have for many, many, years now enjoyed the look, feel and performance of fountain pens. Yes, weird huh? I know, my previous blogs and the likes speak of computers, gadgets, devices and other modern conveniences that streamline my life. I’m powerless to explain why this very retrograde interest exists. I admit, roller ball pens and the Apple Pencil + iPad Pro among others, all outperform a messy and oftentimes awkward fountain pen. Yet here I am, owner of multiple fountain pens.

If this is of no interest to you, stop reading now and move along. Nothing to see here, sorry to have wasted your time. If you have a passing interest, here’s some insights to what I’ve invested a few dollars in and my opinion on the results.


Waterman Apostrophe – This was a gift quite a few years ago and quite possibly the genesis of my interest in fountain pens. This pen has a magnificent finish on it. Its plated with a burnished blue coating and finished with gold trimmings. Lovely to look at, nice to hold. It has a very fine nib which, to me, is unsatisfying to write with and does not make my handwriting look like it is worth reading.

Lamy AL-Star – AUD $49.95. Captivated by a very colourful in-store display and intrigued by the profile of this German pen maker who seems to be popping up everywhere, I invested in their entry-level fountain pen. It is made from lightweight, aluminium, satin anodised teal blue with a characteristic Lamy front section in transparent plastic and its signature flexible clip of polished chrome and polished steel nib. Like my Waterman above, all show but no go. The nib is scratchy on the paper and the ink doesn’t flow overly well. Can’t really say that I’d recommend it to anyone who actually wants to write with it, but it is a statement piece when protruding from a pocket or clipped to a journal or notepad.

Daiso fountain pen – AUD $3.80. A clear blue ‘demonstrator’; meaning that you can see inside the pen to the ink cartridge and nib housing. I bought this on a whim and considering that it cost less than a cup of coffee, for the life of me, I can’t criticize it. Write’s well, comes with two ink cartridges and feels ok in the hand. Incredibly small nib but the ink keeps flowing and hey, at under five bucks it’s value-for-money if ever I saw it.

Waterman Carene Black Sea – AUD $285.00 (Don’t tell my wife!) It has a metal body covered in black lacquer and in heavier than my other pens. The real attraction of this pen to me was its beautiful solid 18kt gold inlaid nib. Stylish and classy to look at, nice to hold and lovely to write with. Smooth flow of ink and a gold nib means that friction between nib and paper seems less, leading to a faster and smoother writing experience. The downside? – It leaks ink everywhere. Not when in use but put the cap on, transport it somewhere and uh-oh. Take the cap off and you’ll find your fingers now have ink on them. Start writing and your first couple of words will be much bolder than the rest of the sentence. Consequently, this pen stays mostly on my desk, meaning I’m the only one who sees it.

Taking a step back and looking at my curious interest hasn’t revealed much to me whilst writing this post. I thought that I may finish with a profound insight to share yet I may simply have to finish with I like fountain pens because ….. well, they’re fountain pens.