The Ultimate Fountain Pen Guide

Unequivocally, the fountain pen is the most elegant and esteemed writing utensil because of its unique ink distribution and timeless feel - the apex of sleekness and performance. Most uniquely, a fountain pen is fitted with a metallic nib that distributes resplendent, delicate ink that glides across pages. Introduced in the late 19th century, fountain pens replaced the classic feather pens which were dipped in pots of ink every few lines. The revamped fountain pen takes that traditional dipping concept to the next level with refillable ink cartridges that provide a continuous supply.

The fountain pen is the most intimate writing instrument you could own. As you write with your fountain, the nib will shape itself according to your specific angle, pressure and handwritten flow - creating a distinct writing performance akin to your style. Therefore, it’s advised that you don’t lend your fountain pen to anyone else, otherwise, the nib may be drastically altered.

 

What makes a fountain pen unique?

There’s a feeling of prestige when writing with a fountain pen - they’re environmentally friendly while offering a personalised, handwritten effect. Unlike rollerball pens which use liquid/gel-based ink, fountain pens utilise a lavish ink that provides the smoothest writing experience. 

 Given their timeless nature, fountain pens are stylish and aesthetically pleasing - many premium brands like Waterman and Parker have a plethora of unique shapes and designs. As a result, many fountain pens are seen as vintage collectables, curated and collected by many hobbyists and pen aficionados. 

Ultimately, the customisation of a fountain pen is endless between the vast range of ink colours to choose between and the extensive amount of different nibs that vary your line styles.

What’s the difference between fountain pen nibs?

Fountain pens have different nibs to suit your ideal writing pattern, each nib ranges in the following sizes: Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and Broad.

Limitations of fountain:

While fountain pens are exquisite and comfortable - apt for elegant writing, they do have a few limitations. Fountain pens require a lot more maintenance than a regular ballpointor rollerball pen, for example, it’s recommended that fountain pens are fully cleaned at least once a month. 

Given their meticulous attributes, fountain pens tend to be quite expensive - more than ballpoint and rollerball pens. 

It’s not common, but if bouncing around your pocket, or exposed to hot weather, a fountain pen is prone to leakage more than any other pen type.

 

Types of fountain pens:

We offer a wide range of designer fountain pens online, stocking major brands such as Cross, Waterman and Parker fountain pens. If you’re looking for a luxury fountain pen gift, we have a wide range of stainless steel and sterling silver fountain pens.

Many more designer fountain pen collections are available from our store, including the exquisite, affordable Waterman Hemisphere fountain pen. One of the higher-end fountain pens is the Otto Hutt Design collection, offering a modern aesthetic. If you’re looking for a luxury fountain pen gift, we have a wide range of stainless steel and sterling silver fountain pens.

Image by Digital Content Writers India

How do I choose the right fountain pen?

Among our ample range of quality, premium fountain pens to choose between, there are many factors to consider to suit your specific utensil needs, whether that be size, weight, colour, material, barrel, comfort, ink etc. Finding the right fountain is a completely personal experience, below is a collection of fountain pens that are top sellers on our market.
Image by Rose Miller

Parker Jotter Originals

First introduced in 1954, typically, when you think of a Parker pen you’ll most likely think of the iconic Parker Jotter. A practical yet affordable, stylish and fun fountain pen with a sleek, stainless steel design - the Jotter is a staple range from Parker that has been known and loved by many a writer and doodler.  This Parker Jotter fountain pen has a stainless steel cap that is paired with a glossy, colourful barrel - the revamped Parker Jotter is perfect for using every day or for giving as a gift on those special moments and occasions. The fountain pen writes in blue ink with a medium nib.
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Parker IM

Highly professional and polished, the Parker IM fountain pen is an ideal partner, utilised with a hard-wearing, stainless steel medium nib. The Parker IM has a tapered silhouette for ergonomic writing, finished with glossy black lacquer and classic brushed metal. The fountain pen is complete with a luxury, redesigned Parker gift box and writes in blue ink.
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Waterman Hemisphere

A deep and sumptuous design with a graceful appeal, the Waterman Hemisphere is a must-have for any pen devotee. The fountain pen is a modern accessory that perfectly matches any time or place. Finished with a rich black lacquer, its slim aesthetic showcases a sophisticated statement of personality and style. Across its body are twenty-three-carat gold plated trims with a gold bevelled end cap. Complete with a luxury gift box and writes in blue ink with a medium nib.
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Otto Hutt Design 2

The Otto Hutt Design 2 range features a curvaceous, cigar-shaped design synonymous with luxury pens and a high polished, striking finish. Crafted with the finest 925 Sterling Silver, each Otto Hutt pen features its own 6 digits serial number, uniquely identifying your specific pen. All Otto Hutt fountain pens are beautifully made with precise German craftsmanship. The Design 2 is presented in a luxury Otto Hutt gift box with a silver cleaning cloth and writes in blue ink, available with a fine, medium or broad nib.

 

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How do I refill my fountain pen?

 As fountain pens require periodic ink refills, you will need to know how to refill them. Fountain pens are unique because they can either be refilled with ink cartridges or retrofitted with a converter and refilled with traditional, potted ink.

Firstly, you needed to acquire the specific ink cartridge refill/inkpot that suits your fountain pen’s size and brand. For example, the Waterman Hemisphere fountain pen uses short Waterman fountain pen cartridges, and Parker fountain pens use a Parker bottled Qunik ink. 

Once you’ve acquired the right ink cartridge/inkpot, hold your fountain pen up horizontally, pull off the cap and screw off the barrel. 

 If you’re using cartridge ink: remove the used cartridge from the grip section and insert the new cartridge into the grip. Screw the barrel back on and hold the pen up vertically for a couple of minutes. 

If you’re using bottled ink: submerge the pen’s converter into the inkpot, squeeze and release the converter until the ink bubbles. Once the converter is filled with ink, twist the converter to lower the piston. Clean any excess ink, screw the barrel back on and hold the pen up vertically for a couple of minutes. 

You can now use your refilled fountain pen like clockwork.

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Cross Classic Century

 Authentic and with a group of passionate fans who remain loyal to this iconic design, the Cross Classic Century has undergone a transformation for 2019 with minimalist colour schemes and intricate engraved patterns. This Cross Classic Century Brushed Chrome fountain pen has a unique engine-turned patterned body that is layered in a satin-brushed PVD coating for an eye-catching finish. With this reliable Classic Century in your hand, no task is too great to overcome, whether it is making your signature on an important deal or jotting down your goals and ideas for the future. Presented in a luxury Cross gift box and writes in black ink with a medium nib.
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Sheaffer VFM

The beloved Sheaffer Vibrant, Fun, and Modern fountain pen has experienced a modern-day makeover with a new polished chrome finish and a stylish tapered silhouette. The effortlessly elegant VFM fountain pen certainly makes a statement, available in a wide range of sophisticated finishes with a fun and modern look appealing to the larger audience. The fountain pen writes with flawless, smooth black ink with a medium nib.
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Visconti

Drawing inspiration from another of the world's most famous artists, the Visconti Rembrandt fountain pen echoes the beautiful finishes of Rembrandt’s painting technique, chiaroscuro, which is characterised by the contrast between light and dark. The fountain’s resin barrel reveals a multitude of beautiful shades which gives the impression of a hand-painted masterpiece worthy of Rembrandt himself, creating a unique finish to each individual pen. Presented in a beautiful gift box, the fountain pen writes in black and has steel nibs available in fine, medium or broad.

 

 

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Kaweco Brass Sport

The Kaweco Brass Sport fountain pen closely follows an original 1935 octagonal design of being small in your pocket, large in your hand. The fountain is crafted from solid, untreated CNC machined brass that will age over time unless polished, otherwise, it will develop its own unique sheen. The stainless steel nib is made by Bock of Heidelberg and nib sizes range from extra fine to extra broad. Packaged in a nostalgic gift tin, the pen writes in black ink with nib sizes ranging from extra fine to extra broad.

 

 

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Monteverde Invincia

A perfect marriage between luxury and style, the Monteverde Invincia fountain pen asserts a combination of colour contrasted with simplicity in a timeless, classic design that complements past, present and future fashion styles. Expertly made using carbon fibre, each facet of the pen has been painstakingly created and rigorously quality checked to ensure the fountain is nothing short of perfect. Presented in a luxury gift box, the pen writes in black ink with a medium steel nib.

 

 

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How do I clean a fountain pen?

As you refill your fountain pen periodically, you’ll need to maintain the cleanliness of your pen, ensuring that it can function accordingly. You should fully clean your fountain pen around four times per year, to do so, follow these simple steps:

 

  • Remove the ink cartridge/converter and put it to one side. Place the frontal part of the pen including the nib under warm water.
     

  • After a couple of minutes, place the fountain pen’s nib in a cup of warm water, let it sit for around two hours. This will help clean any remaining dry ink.
     

  • Gently dry the frontal part of the pen and the nib with a small cloth.
     

  • Wrap the pen and nib up in kitchen roll and leave both to dry overnight.
     

  • Attach the nib back to the pen and continue your writing.

 

 

Image by Kelly Sikkema

Executive Pens Direct offers a bountiful range of luxurious ballpoint, fountain, rollerball and Parker pens, each varied in their size, colour, comfort, shape, and utility. If you’re looking for a more precise, timeless feel that improves your writing flow, we recommend our Parker rollerball collection. If you’d like a more classic, iconic utensil that captures its era, we recommend our fountain collection from many leading brands.  If you’re interested in a listed blog on how to best care for your fountain pen, then check out nanosphere’s piece here.