Guest Post: Patrick’s Picks

6 08 2008

I’ve always enjoyed hearing/reading someone else’s take on a topic that I’ve covered, and from time to time I’ll pick on someone for their opinions. This time, it was Patrick Rhone, a longtime friend, fellow blogger, and mentor of mine. Patrick was kind enough to share his thoughts on individual picks at each price point that I covered in this series. So, without further ado, here’s Patrick!

Inspired by Ryan’s recent posts here, I thought I would chime in. Ryan has done a great job of outlining the variety of good fountain pens available for any budget. Based on my own experience as a newbie/intermediate pen guy, I thought it would be fun and useful to take a stab at narrowing it down a bit. Here are my single picks culled from his list of great pens at each price point.

Ten Dollar (and Under) Level: The Hero 329 & 330 – No one knows how to make a “faithful homage” like the Chinese and these Parker knockoffs are hard to beat. Especially if you are not ready to take the dive and troll the internet for the real thing.

Thirty Dollar (and Under) Level: The Esterbrook J – Speaking of trolling the internet, this pen is worth doing it for. Not only is it an outstanding value for a vintage pen but they are really great writers as well. not to mention the variety of colors and the interchangeable nibs. I recently loaned one to a friend of mine who was here visiting and she loved it so much I could not bear to take it back – so I let her keep it. So now, I am eyeing getting a copper one like Ryan featured for myself.

Fifty Dollar (and Under) Level: The Parker “51” – This would have been a difficult choice had the Parker “51” not been included in the mix. I can’t add more than what Ryan has already said but. If I could only have one pen for the rest of my life, it would be this one.

Eighty Dollar (and Under) Level: The Lamy Studio – Interestingly enough, Ryan has also included the Parker “51” in this class. I suspect because prices can be a bit all over the board for these and one can expect to pay even more for rare models in perfect condition. That being said, for these purposes, I am going to leave this out of the consideration at this class (since I have already mentioned my fondness for it) and go with… The Lamy Studio. If you like clean modern lines, nice weight and a buttery smooth nib. Look no further. In fact, this is the pen I general pick up when I don’t pick up the “51”.

Thanks again, Patrick. Folks, don’t be terribly surprised if you see stuff like this on my blog once in a while. I appreciate a good counterpoint, so if you’d like to provide one, send me a note on the side and let’s talk.

BTW – Patrick has a new place to play…have you been there yet? If not, you need to visit; you’ll be very glad that you did.

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2 responses

6 08 2008
Speedmaster

Good list! I had a Hero P51 knock-off about 5 years ago that was surprisingly good.

6 08 2008
Joe Smith

Good recommendations all, Patrick. I must try a Lamy Studio/Palladium one of these days. WIsh I’d bought that instead of the steel ball point Studio…

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