Hi folks, if you’ve been following me on my social media channels, you’ll know that I went to Cameron Highland last weekend for a wedding.
As much as I like to write about the road trip, I kept getting writer’s block so I give you another post instead.
I’ll be talking about my current obsession (apart from playing Skyrim and improv which I’ll get to these one of these days)–fountain pens. I have these little spurts of obsessions from time to time. I can’t really remember my other obsessions (um, travel?) so I’d better jot this down.
My fountain pen use history
I have been using fountain pens since university. My dad bought me my first Parker and I was in love with it. I dropped it after a year or so and the nib just didn’t write as well.
Fast forward to a month or so ago, I was using two different pens at work. They are decent but nothing to write home about.
One is a Parker that’s probably the same as my first pen so I love it a lot. But, I dropped the cap two years ago and it is now using a cap that doesn’t fit well.
The other pen is an Allan D’Lious. It would be an awesome pen if it weren’t leaking at the sides so much. [Update: I gave the pen a good wash and now it has stopped leaking. It’s now one of my favorite pens.]
I was content with these two pens. But one day, while I was out on the streets, a thought hit me, “I need to get a good fountain pen!”
I went in search of a good pen but balked at the prices. Anything over $50 doesn’t seem worth it to me.
In the end, I did some research and found out that Mustafa Centre sells cheap pens.
Fountain pens from Mustafa Centre
I got four pens from Mustafa. They cost me about $11 in total. The most expensive was the Pilot Non-Self Refill Tank Pen. (The name’s not the correct name.)
The Hero-brand pens were around $1 each. I bought them for fun. But I really do not recommend them because two out of three leaked on me. They’re also pretty scratchy.
But the Pilot Tank Pen writes like a dream. A beautiful dream involving Takeshi Kaneshiro, lots of strawberry shortcake (the Japanese type) and coffee. Mmmm!
It’s called a “tank” pen because the whole barrel is used as an ink reservoir, compared to other pens which might just a tiny tube for ink. The Pilot Tank Pen (below) can fill more ink due to the reservoir.
The awesome, the good and the ugly fountain pen purchases
I won’t go too deep into details but here’s a quick comparison of the pens I bought:
The awesome award goes to the Pilot Tank pen. Quoting a non-fountain pen user, “It feels like a ballpoint pen.” Yup, it’s as easy to write as a regular ballpoint.
The good award goes to the Platinum Preppy. I’m currently using these two Platinum Preppy pens, in hopes of using up all their ink so I can hack them into eyedropper pens. (Woah, look who’s fancy using lingo.) I’ll update you when I finally begin my conversion.
The ugly award goes to the Hero pens. For $1 plus, I guess I can’t expect much. I’m sad to report that the Hero pens don’t write smoothly and have the tendency to leak in the middle.
I’ll continue writing with my pens offline. When I do find the inspiration, we’ll meet again.
PS, there’s actually a Fountain Pen Lovers community in Singapore. How awesome is that? I’ll suppress my social awkwardness and go to one of their meetups.
10 thoughts on “My current obsession: Fountain pens”
I love my fountain pens. I had some cheap ones when I was at school, never got on with them, and then treated myself to an entry-level ‘nice’ one last year and haven’t looked back. It’s one of those things where paying a bit more is really worth it, although you can end up going down the rabbithole and getting carried away.
Uuuh, could you share which is the entry-level nice pen that you got?
I’m now looking at a dupe of Lamy but I’m kind of holding back because the reviews are mixed.
It seems to be discontinued, unfortunately, but I got myself a Kingsley Buckingham and have loved it. Dex, a brand of the same company, make pens that are aimed at first-time buyers, usually school age. They’re quite cheap, have very nice nibs, and come in a few different designs.
Why don’t you look at Kaweco Sport. They are reasonably priced, $30+ and write really well. I am a lefty btw.
Forgot to add, you can get them in shops, or online here, I have no association with them. http://www.cityluxe.sg/Kaweco_s/1847.htm
Thanks for the tip! I’d love to give them a try before buying one.
Where did you purchase the Platinum Preppy from and how much did it cost? Also does Popular bookstore sell the Kokuyo loose leaf paper?
I bought the Platinum Preppy at Kino’s bookstore for $3.80. I realize that Tokyu Hands sells it even cheaper for $3.40 but they only have boring red and black colour with 0.3 nib.
I’m not that sure about loose leaf paper though.