Back in January of 2016, I went through my previous favorite pens lists and determined which fountain pen I’d replace if I lost it. My favorites lists have become so old that I stopped linking to it from my accumulation page. But I’d thought I go through my old worth replacing list and see how it changed. After all, I know my preferences have changed.
The exercise in 2016 was simple – Answer the question: If I lost the pen, would I replace it with the exact same fountain pen for the same price? I ignored inflation along with any potential availability issues, While not stated at the time, I did assume that the nib performance out of the box would be duplicated. This was a mental exercise to determine my true favorites, not a contract or blood oath.
So here are the 2016 pens from the article, and my current thoughts.
Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age
2016 Me: “Hell, yes, I’d sell as many pens as necessary.”
2020 Me: Bronze Age? Oh yea, I think I had one once.
It went from a pen I gushed over and loved at the time, to a pen I sold off and is now a distant memory. The pen remained great, I just wanted a change.
Sheaffer Balance II Aspen
2016 Me: “Yes, if I could.”
2020 Me: Yes, if I could. Availability and price would be an issue. I wouldn’t pay much more than I did back then, but for the purposes of this exercise, the answer is yes. Finding one in pristine condition could also take some time. I do have two other Balance II fountain pens. If I was to lose all three (something I think about as I put them all in the same 3-pen case), I would undoubtedly look for at least one replacement. Heck, I look for them now.
Pilot Vanishing Points
2016 Me: “Mostly, yes.” I dealt with these as a group and picked the XXXF and left oblique nibs, along with the Cherry Bamboo barrel as replaceable.
2020 Me: Exact same answer and selections.
Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe
2016 Me: “Yes.”
2020 Me: “Yes,” but I’d almost certainly be unable to do so. The pen is no longer made, and the nib wasn’t a factory-installed option. While it is an extra-fine Sailor nib, it was swapped by Classic Fountain Pens when I bought the pen. The nib is a big part of what I like about this pen, although weighing more than a typical Sailor resin pen is a big attraction too.
Pelikan M805 Stresemann
2016 Me: “Yes.” I did gripe about the nib (medium claiming to be an extra-fine). After publishing the 2016 article, I got the nib ground down to a true extra-fine.
2020 Me: Another pen I sold off, making it a solid “No.”
I also mentioned two other pens that were a “No” in 2016 and remain a “no” today.
The Lamy 2000 is a pen I want to love, but I still struggle with it at times. The Pilot Custom 823 contains two aesthetics I hate: gold furniture and a transparent colored body. The only reason I keep it is that it’s such a comfortable fountain pen to use.
I find that I can get bored with the look of a fountain pen, even a nice bright one. Two pens went from must replace to the post office for shipping to new owners. I don’t have any regrets or miss those pens. In fact, I have no seller’s remorse for any pens I sent away. Just some happy memories. They made room for me to start bringing in new fountain pens for me to enjoy.
The original idea for this article was to include the current pens that I would replace. The answer is “none.” If I was to lose a fountain pen, first I would cry, then I’d look to replace it with something different to bring in some variety.