Accessories: Fountain Pen

Sunday, January 3, 2010
Men are generally pretty restricted on jewelry and accessories. Generally a signet ring, wedding ring and watch are about as far as you can go. All kinds of bangles and necklaces are becoming more popular, and there's nothing especially wrong with something simple and tasteful, but men will certainly find it harder to justify extra jewelry.

One option is often overlooked, perhaps because it can't easily be put on display all the time, but that is in fact one of it's best features. A well-made fountain pen isn't flash or attention grabbing, it may only come out briefly to sign a receipt or a cheque, or be used discretely at business meetings. However, when the opportunity does come to use a fountain pen, you will be glad to have an appropriately beautiful one to hand, and can be sure that doing so will mark you out as a gentleman with real style.

I have long been a fan of writing in fountain pen, and have been on the lookout for a chance to make the step up from my current range of fairly ordinary Parker steel-nibs to something a bit more special. As related in a previous post, I had my eye on an Aspinals pen but am very glad that I made a much wiser choice and selected a Parker Duofold in black.

I'd hesitate to try and review this pen - I'm not sure I know nearly enough about pens to know the criteria by which to review them and, in any case, choosing a pen is really a personal thing. For anyone who does intend buying a new fountain pen, I'd strongly recommend visiting a good boutique, such as PenFriends in the Burlington Arcade, and picking one with the help of an expert.

As far as the Duofold goes, it's exactly what I wanted. Slightly heavier than similarly priced Mont Blancs, which I found too light and flimsy-feeling, it's got the simple, classic look that I was after (although there are much fancier designs available, if you like that kind of thing). It's trimmed in 23 carat gold, with a gold and platinum nib, and the difference in writing quality between this and one of the cheap parker steel-nibbed pens is incredible. It's made writing my Christmas thank you letters almost a pleasure.

Now, go out and get yourself a decent fountain pen. It'll last you a lifetime and make handwriting really something to be relished.