“For where thy treasure is, there also will thy heart be.” Matthew 6:21 (KJV) A wise reminder, no? There is a phrase that many people use with pens in this price bracket. People talk about ‘grail’ pens. In other words pens that people set their hearts upon. Of course that is by no means the end of this category. Many manufacturers produce the majority of their pens within in this range. We can bring to mind brands like Onoto, Montblanc, Conway-Stewart and Nakaya among many others and mention models like the ‘Dorsal Fin’ (my own personal yet to be bought grail pen), ‘Meisterstuck 149’, ‘Homo Sapiens’, and ‘Admiral Nelson’ with hushed tones of admiration. But when discussing pens in this bracket we need to take a couple of things into consideration.
First is to remember the lesson regarding the relationship between price and writing experience. The lesson is that there isn’t necessarily a relationship between the two. That is not to say that the vast majority of these pens do not write well. Of course they do. But writing pleasure can be found in the most inexpensive of writing instruments.
Second is that we often invest too much expectation in pens that are expensive. They will not imbue us with super powers, or transform us into a poet or author, they will not improve our handwriting. They are just pens. beautiful they may be, but that is all they are. I have seen this feeling of anticlimax writ large in the face of people who have saved their money then paid huge amounts for pens that just dont deliver the ecpected dream like experience. How could they, they’re pens…
Third is the fact that in most cases the pens above the £150 mark may not differ all that much mechanically from cheaper pens, ie the extra cash more often than not pays for the brand name and the exotic materials that make up the pen itself. Yes there may be the odd innovation that hasn’t trickled down to cheaper priced pens yet, but that is now rare these days.
Next we must remember that there is almost no limit to this price bracket. Some pens are priced well into the thousands. these may be extremely limited editions with made from rare and exotic materials. The sky is the limit on such things. It is easy to spend beyond your means, caught up in the moment. So take your time, think about it. Act hastily and you will often repent at your leisure.
However, most of these pens are out of the reach of most pen enthusiasts, most of us inhabit the real world where we may rise to one or two, perhaps several pens costing hundreds of pounds, or we may never choose to spend such amounts, considering them to be an unwarranted expense. If so thats OK.
I don’t like snobbery of any kind. If you have the budget for expensive pens, great. don’t look down on others who don’t. If you can’t afford pens in this sort of bracket, don’t fret either, its only a pen…