Its all about the money boys: pen pricing, an introduction

Its all about the money boys
Its all about the money boys

My Mother always told me to get things off my chest. Don’t let things fester, she would say, and who am I  to argue… The truth is I’ve been thinking about this series of posts for a while. In fact ever since I decided to start the blog I wanted it at times to deal with some of the less dealt with issues over ad above the normal ‘ooh look what I’ve got’ post, not that I’m against that sort of thing; on the contrary some of my best pen buys have been initiated by someone else showcasing something they already have.. But this series is not that sort of posts.

Wanna buy a pen?
Wanna buy a pen?

What I intend to do is lay down a few fundamentals in terms of what we the pen buying public expect from pens that fall within different price brackets. This I intend to deal with in a somewhat broad brush approach looking at certain categories. These categories are arbitrary based on my gut feelings on where low, mid, and high-priced pens begin. Also you’ll need to factor in your geography as , living in what many call “rip-off Britain” we tend to see some pens sold at unwarranted premiums between countries…

So here are the categories I will be dealing with: First I will chat about sub £20 pens, then pens costing between £20 and £70; then pens costing £75-£150 and finally £150+. I also make the following assumptions:

All pens at whatever price point should be made well enough to work reliably. Yes I know this shouldnt need to be said but I’ve said it. Whether it’s a ‘cheap as chips’ unbranded pen or the latest design-led  bejewelled masterpiece they should all be reliable. I hate unreliable pens. I know we all have them, but they really annoy me. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the fine balance that a fountain pen balances on in terms of engineering and the physical laws of gravity and capillary action. They are truly a marvel, but guys, we sent a man to the moon (or did we ?) so make pens that work…

Writing pleasure is not necessarily tied to the price point of the pen. I ‘ve made this point before but it is worth restating. A cheaper pen may, and often will, deliver the goods just as well as an expensive one. It is true to say that often you do get what you pay for, but after a certain amount (I think in the UK about £100 to £150) we all must admit that we’re not paying for the engineering  as much as we’re paying for the exotic raw materials or adornment. So if you like bejewelled pens that’s fine, but not all of us need follow that route and yet we can still enjoy a smmopth pleasurable writing experience with a fountain pen.

So buckle up as the next few posts might be interesting!

AFWAP

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2 thoughts on “Its all about the money boys: pen pricing, an introduction

  1. Looking forward to the new style critique… shift it up a gear Gary.
    Let’s not get bogged down with precious pens… nor the perfect notebook. Let’s scribble on the first page of every new Rhodia pad we buy… splash it with ink… and allow our kids to use that new £100 pen we just had delivered from the States.
    Let’s take Stationery to a new level. Go for it…

    1. Thanks Malcolm, we’ll see how it takes shape. the one problem about good critique is that it needs to be informed critique rather than just cathartic spleen venting, but getting info on pens from manufactureres is not easy sadly…

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