OK so you’re not the sort of person who faints at the idea of paying more than £20 ($30) for a pen. Good, that means that there is a whole world of pens out there waiting for your perusal and eventual purchase. Today I’m going to talk for a short while about those in the £20-£75 ($30-$100) bracket. This is a large category that only really exists for the purpose of discussion but in it we are zoning in on a range of pens beyond which you may not ever need or wish to progress. A great deal of writing pleasure is delivered regularly across the world with pens well within this price range and pen snobbery aside that is what using a fountain pen is all about.
In this category we are getting into some major pen manufacturers mid range inventory. Pens that should be designed to work well and last a lifetime, no I’m not joking… at this price point they shouldn’t be merely throwaway items. The materials used in these pens may not be too exotic but should be good quality. The variety of nibs provided within this price range will be almost exclusively steel unless you’re using your cash to purchase something with a little bit of a vintage pedigree but again there is nothing wrong with steel nibs. If you haven’t read the article by Brian Gray from Edison pens in praise of modern steel nibs this is well worth a read.
So to some examples, this will not be an exhaustive list and you will probably be able to argue for the inclusion of many pens I have omitted or even ones I don’t even know exist. Rather treat this as pointer or two, if you need it, to highlight certain brands and editions of pen that might pique your interest.
One of the most popular pens in the lower part of this range has to be the Lamy AL-star, the aluminium version of the Safari and Vista. this pen comes with a wide range of nibs including options from EF up to 1.9mm stub, which is pretty great. It comes in a variety of colours and has something of a cult following. To be honest the styling has never really grabbed me but credit where its due Lamy have carved a significant niche for this pen in the fountain pen market.
Other pens that for me score heavily in this area come from the American manufacturer Monteverde. I have a couple of their pens like the Impressa and the Invincia and am really liking the look of the re-released Regatta Sport in black and red and black and yellow. So check them out.
Another of my favourite brands is the German manufacturer Kaweco. With its higher class Sport editions such as the AL Sport (one of my all time favourites) as well as the Student, the All-Rounder and the Special FP there are plenty to keep you going in this bracket.
There are so many makes and models that excel within this price range that could make this post endless. Rather than that its over to you… What are your favourites?