Ballpoint Pen Guide

The Ballpoint Pen Guide

At Gentleman’s Gazette, we have a deep appreciation for all fine accessories. From the neck and bow ties we sell in our online shop, to pocket squares, cufflinks and business card cases; there really is no limit to our love for well crafted, sartorially-savvy products.

One accessory that is dear to our hearts are fine writing instruments, and with that said, we are proud to introduce you to our new series on pens. In the past, we’ve discussed fountain pens on occasion, even publishing a very in-depth and comprehensive guide on Pelikan fountain pens.

To kick off this new series, we’re going to begin by focusing on ballpoint pens. Something, that many pen aficionados often dismiss as being subpar to that of the other styles including fountain pens and even rollerball.

However, I am inclined to disagree with the majority of these critics. While ballpoint pens are certainly not as special as fountain pens, they do have their merits which I’ll discuss in this segment.


I remember as a child thinking to myself that ballpoint pens must be a relatively recent invention. I’m not sure why I thought this, but I’d like to guess it was due to their increased popularity in the Canadian grade school system. While fountain pens continue to be used in parts of Europe; they haven’t been in the North American school system for many, many years. In fact, I recently had a heated discussion with the administrators at my son’s school because cursive writing was removed from the curriculum. As a writer, I’m sure you can appreciate how upsetting that is to someone like me.

Nevertheless, thinking that ballpoints were a recent discovery was wildly incorrect. In fact, they’ve been around since the nineteenth century, and really haven’t changed all that much since they were first created.

The first patent for ballpoint pens was issued on October 30th, 1888, to a gentleman by the name of John Loud, a leather tanner, who was working feverishly to create a pen that was capable of writing on leather hides. Using a very small steel ball, held together by a socket, he tried, unsuccessfully, to create such a writing device. Unfortunately, his efforts failed miserably and without being able to foresee a commercial use for his invention, he let the patent lapse.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s, that the re-development of the ballpoint pen was attempted. Surprisingly, the idea caught on rather quickly, and soon patents were being filed the world over. Despite these many failed attempts to perfect such an instrument, the amount of patents filed proved just how commercially viable the idea was capable of being. The initial problem that inventors had was they seemed incapable of being able to successfully deliver the ink evenly and both clogging and overflow were the two most common problems associated with the first ballpoint pens. If the sockets were too tight, not tight enough or the ink wasn’t the perfect consistency, it was rare that the ink would reach the paper without soaking through it. It wasn’t until inventors began to understand the use of pistons, capillary action and springs that solutions would begin to form. Of course, another aspect that required some learning were the laws of gravity and how the pen was affected when moved from vertical to horizontal positions.

Lazlo Biro with his invention that he never profited from

Lazlo Biro with his invention that he never profited from

In fact, it wasn’t until a Hungarian newspaper editor by the name of László Bíró became so frustrated with his fountain pen, that ballpoints took a successful turn. Bíró noticed that the ink used in his newspaper dried very quickly which left the paper smudge free unlike the ink in his fountain pens. He decided that he would try to make a pen that used the same type of ink that they used in the printing of the newspaper. With the help of his brother, a chemist, he developed a viscous ink that he placed in a ballpoint pen.

It was this radical idea that successfully paired a well-suited ink to a ballpoint mechanism that not only prevented the ink from drying inside the ink reservoir, but also allowed an evenly controlled ink flow onto the paper. Bíró filed his patent in 1938 and history was made.

Patent Scatches from László Bíró which he sold to BIC

Patent Scatches from László Bíró which he sold to BIC

By the early 1940s, Bíró and his brother left their jobs and along with a friend named Juan Meyne, left Germany for Argentina to form a ballpoint pen company. They filed new patents in ’43 and created a pen called the Birome – a name still used today in lieu of the “ballpoint” in many countries including Argentina. The design was so flawless and simple to use that the British forces licensed them and began issuing ballpoint pens they called a “Biro” to the Royal Air Force pilots.

Seemingly overnight, the success of the more versatile ballpoint pen was imminent. Not only was it useful for people on the ground, but aircrews from around the world adopted them as standards since they didn’t leak in the same way fountain pens did at high altitude.

As more and more pilots began using ballpoint pens, word spread throughout all the forces battling in World War II, causing the new style of pen to become globally popular. By the end of the war, companies lined up around the world in an effort to produce their own designs of this innovative pen. By 1945, Eversharp, a mechanical pencil designer, teamed with Eberhart Faber to license the Birome pen rights for sale in the United States.

Eversharp Pen for $1

Eversharp Pen for $1

At the same time, a man named Milton Reynolds was traveling in Buenos Aires and came across the Birome pens. Realizing how lucrative the opportunity could be back in America, he purchased a number of them and returned home. Rather than seeking permission and licensing the rights for the Birome, he instead altered the design enough that he could bypass any legislation. He founded a new company called Reynolds International Pen Company and beat Eversharp to the market, debuting this new, innovative pen at Gimbels department store in the heart of New York City. Called the Reynolds Rocket, he sold the pen for a whopping $9.75 and was immediately successful selling out his inventory in rapid fashion. Unfortunately, Reynolds had competition by the name of Marcel Bich, a gentleman who also introduced a ballpoint to the market in the 1950s. This pen, licensed from the Argentina design, was called Bic, and although initially unsuccessful, they managed to overtake the market when they launched an ad campaign with the tagline “Writes The First Time, Every Time!”.

Reynolds Rocket Ball Pen Ad

Reynolds Rocket Ball Pen Ad


As quickly as Reynolds ballpoints became popular, the sales peaked within two years due to Bic’s heavy market saturation. Within the same year, Reynolds company folded as the interest in ballpoint pens subsided.

Understanding that there was still a potential market for the pens, a company called Paper Mate capitalized on Reynolds failure and bought the rights to make ballpoint pens which they began to sell in Canada. Wanting to lower the cost, they created new inks and began advertising the pens to banks in order to call them “banker approved” in their commercial advertisements. In 1954, another company by the name of Parker Pens released what they called a ‘technologically advanced’ pen that featured a tungsten-carbide ball bearing in the pen. Priced between $3-$9, they sold millions of pens over the next decade. As Eversharp began to fail due to these advancements, Parker purchased their pen division in a rather hostile takeover.

Today, ballpoint pens haven’t changed much and are available in both the standard disposable, as well as refillable models. While you can easily procure a Paper Mate, Parker or Bic ballpoint pen for just a few dollars, other fine writing companies such as Montblanc and Pelikan have began introducing luxury ballpoint pens, handcrafted from semiprecious materials.

Benefits of Ballpoint Pens

There are a number of intrinsic benefits to using a ballpoint pen in lieu of a fountain, fineliner or rollerball pen. While I personally prefer fountain pens due to their artistry, history and personalization; ballpoints have become my daily carry in the breast pocket or my briefcase. Of course, I still keep a fountain pen for use at home and the office.

One of the biggest benefits of using a ballpoint pen is that you don’t have to worry about unreliable ink. They rarely leak in comparison to their counterparts, they don’t smear like other styles and they dry very quickly. For someone on the go, they are ideal since you can write easily and painlessly in virtually any environment. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they rarely ghost or bleed through the paper.

Another big benefit is that, with a ballpoint, you don’t have to hesitate when handing it to another person. Fountain pen nibs are very specific to the user and must be worked-in. Lending your fountain pen to another person can cause the nib to deviate making it more difficult for you to use afterwards. Ballpoints on the other hand can be handed back and forth between you, your associates, or just your spouse or children. It makes them ideal when you’re on the go with other people or even at home and in the office. I’ll never hand my fountain pens over to another person, but I have no qualms with lending out a ballpoint.

If those benefits weren’t enough, one that’s really important to me is that ballpoints are ideal for people who are left-handed. If you’re left-handed like me, you know all too well how upsetting it is to end up with a black palm from smeared ink. Unlike fountain, rollerball and fineliner pens, ballpoints dry very quickly making them far less likely to end up on your hand or smeared on the paper.

Ballpoints are also very useful to artists and people wanting to achieve interesting effects one wouldn’t normally associate with a ballpoint pen. The ability to stipple and cross-hatch can be used with a ballpoint to create half-tones. Artists especially love ballpoint pens for the ability to create the illusion of form and volume. The pen can be used to create very sharp lines that can’t easily be achieved with a brush, and when finely applied to the paper or canvas, an artist can even create airbrush-styled artwork or even art that has been mistaken for photography. Many famous artists have used ballpoint pens in their work, most notably Andy Warhol and Lennie Mace.

Limitations of Ballpoint Pens

Of course any fountain or rollerball pen user will argue that the flow of the ink isn’t as smooth with a ballpoint pen. That is, for the most part the biggest limitation next to the ability of the user to shade which causes certain parts the letter to be thicker than other sections. This is a technique that can only be done with fountain pens and not with ballpoints or rollerballs.

Another limitation is the ballpoint’s reliance on gravity to coat the ball of the pen with ink. Due to the gravity factor, most ballpoint pens can’t be used to write upside-down. However, a company called Fisher pens in the United States did develop technology which resulted in what’s commonly referred to as the “space pen”. Space pens used a more viscous ink with a pressurized reservoir which allows the user to write in zero gravity and in some cases, underwater. These pens have been adopted by NASA and other space agencies for use by astronauts while in outer space. Unlike the standard ballpoint pens, the reservoir of a space pen is sealed which eliminates leakage and evaporation.

Another major limitation of ballpoint pens is their lack of consistency. This isn’t typically an issue with the more expensive ballpoint pens, but moreso with the cheap, bargain bin brands. Often it’s difficult to get the ink to start flowing or to maintain the flow. This incredible inconsistency can cause significant issues for people who rely on their pens for professional, time-sensitive use. I remember working as a waiter in my teenage years and hating when my pen just wouldn’t write the order down. Often it would skip, fade or simply not work. Of course, with the less expensive pens another issue is the quality of plastic used in the casing. Often the clips will snap, caps will change shape or the shaft itself will fall apart. These limitations can be avoided by investing in a high quality pen however.

Types of Ballpoint Pens

There are two categories of ballpoint pens and two types within those categories.

The first category is of course the basic, inexpensive ballpoint pens that you can find at any grocery store or gas station. The second category is a much more refined and elegant fine writing instrument made of precious metals and other rare materials. Within these two categories the two types of ballpoints you’ll find are disposable and refillable, as previously mentioned.

Refillable pens allow the entire ink reservoir to be replaced when empty. Unlike the ink cartridges/converters for fountain pens, these reservoirs also contain the ballpoint itself and the socket. Generally you won’t find the refillable option in the cheapest, bargain pen ballpoints, but more-so in the mid-range and fine writing range of pens.

Basic Ballpoint Pens

Usually made of an inexpensive plastic, these pens often have a separate cap and clip that covers the tip when the pen isn’t in use. They’re often sold in packs of multiples, usually starting at five or ten pens, all the way upwards of hundreds or thousands per package. Many companies like hotels and car rental services will use this style of pen for branded giveaways with their logo or contact information on the shaft of the pen. They come in various colors and some differ in materials or type of oil-based ink, but for the most part they are relatively all the same. They will typically retail for just a few dollars per pack and can even be found easily at any dollar store.

Mid Range Ball Points

These pens are made of slightly higher quality materials. Still often made of plastic, you can also find them in metal. Just like the less expensive variety, they often come in packs with the only difference being that they are usually sold in smaller quantities of two to four pens per package. Of course, you can also find them in larger quantities. Just like the less expensive pen, these are often used for marketing by companies and are branded with their logo or trademark. In most cases the companies giving these away will be a professional service as opposed to a larger organization. Many Realtors, accountants, law firms and banks brand these pens as giveaways for clients and prospective customers. Years ago when I worked as a trader, we often gave these pens away to our clients at meetings or included them in new-client gift baskets. Just like the cheaper pens, they too come with caps, but also come in a retractable style that employs a spring or screw mechanism for retracting the tip. The cost of these pens range slightly more than that of the standard ballpoints. They can be found for just a few dollars each, upwards of twenty dollars.

Fine Writing Instruments

This is my favorite style of ballpoint pens. Call me a snob, but I like my pens to match my other accessories and pulling out a plastic Bic at a meeting next to my Fort Belvedere business card case just doesn’t look right. Sure, I use the less expensive variants, but when I go out, I always carry a fine writing ballpoint either in my pocket or my bag. Not only are they smoother and easier to write with, but they match my other accessories.

Typically these pens are made of very high quality materials such as precious resin, platinum, rhodium, silver or even gold. They are most often made by hand or in small batches by heavily regulated machines. Usually imported from Germany or other parts of Europe, there are also some that can be found from parts of Asia as well as the United States. These pens offer a much smoother writing experience and generally contain a higher quality ink. Just like their less expensive counterparts, they sometimes come with a cap, but usually offer a retractable nib in the majority of cases. They range heavily in price but usually start at around the $30 mark and go upwards of a few hundred or even thousand for limited editions.

How to Purchase a Ballpoint Pen

For those interested in acquiring a ballpoint pen they can be proud to carry and not just a disposable plastic piece of junk, there are few things that one should take into consideration.

I had the opportunity to interview Armen Darakjian, owner of the renowned Darakjian Jewelers in Michigan. Of course, I took the opportunity to pick his brain about what people should look for when buying their first fine writing instrument.

Of course, the first thing you’ll want to consider is price. If you can’t afford or justify spending $500 on a pen there’s really no point in even considering one at that price point.

However, Darakjian and I both agreed that sometimes, you really get what you pay for.

An authorized Montblanc retailer, Darakjian said “price doesn’t matter per se, but you may consider this: Montblanc has a team of craftsmen that have been designing pens for decades. Hundreds of craftsmen at Montblanc conduct a 15-point test before any pen goes to public. It’s important to look into unique designs, fine details and life of a writing instrument when questioning price”.

Of course, that’s not to suggest that you can’t find many well-crafted ballpoints at a far more reasonable price. There are many ballpoint pens produced by companies like Sheaffer, Parker, Lamy, Pilot, Waterman and Cross that will last a lifetime, look resplendent and work flawlessly.

“For your first fine writing instrument make sure it’s something you will use, and use often”, says Darakjian. “That way you can assess what factors you like and what you don’t and in what direction you want to go”.

According to Darakjian, some of those factors worthy of consideration are whether you want a bold statement of success, a creative non-conventional impact, or something that’s understated elegance. By determining what look you’re trying to achieve you can then narrow down the pens you want to consider purchasing.

Of course, despite being one of those people who spends a small fortune on pens, I had to ask Darakjian how one can really justify spending a significant amount of money on a pen. After all, the Bic pens from Walmart writes too.

“They absolutely both write”, says Darakjian, “but your feet can take you the same place a Ferrari does. It just depends in what style you want to get there.”

Recommended Pens

Ballpoint PenBrandPrice
Mont Blanc Starwalker Full Carbon Ballpoint (109367) Montblanc$$$
Montblanc StarWalker Ballpoint Pen, Midnight Black (M105657) Montblanc$$
Classic Anello Ebony Ballpoint Pen Graf Von Faber-Castell$$
Ballpoint Pen Souverän K300Pelikan$$
Bamboo Ballpoint Pen SetIdeaPool$
300 Black with Gold Trim Ballpoint (9325-2) Sheaffer$
S0808730 Parker$
2000 Ball Point Pen Stainless Steel Clip - Black/Brushed Lamy$
Pilot retractable pens Pilot$
xpert Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point, Black Lacquer with Gold Trim (S0951700) Waterman$
Classic Century, 10 Karat Gold Filled/Rolled Gold, Ballpoint Pen (4502)Cross$

I’ve personally had the ability to try many different ballpoint pens from the hotel-branded ballpoints found in the rooms of Holiday Inn and Best Western chains to fine writing pens from some of the companies listed above.

For those with higher budgets, I highly recommend the ballpoint pens by Montblanc. I was recently sent a Montblanc Starwalker by  Darakjian Jewelers. The Starwalker range of ballpoints, like most fine writing instruments by Montblanc vary in price based on the pen and the materials used. After taxes were in, the one I was sent totaled just over $750, although Starwalkers can be found as low as $200 on eBay and Amazon.

The pen itself is immaculate. It’s the smoothest ballpoint pen I’ve ever used and offers clarity like no other with its replaceable Montblanc ink reservoir. It’s a sturdy and well built pen made of black precious resin (a fancy word for plastic) and ruthenium. There’s no plastic on the pen and its floating Montblanc emblem makes for a superlative finish to an otherwise already perfect pen.

For a slightly smaller budget, I recommend the Classic Anello ballpoint pen by Graf Von Faber-Castell. I was sent the black version of this pen by well regarded retailer Paradise Pens. Anello, which means ‘rings’ in Italian is an Ebony wood and platinum ballpoint pen that retails for a modest $375.

An exceptionally well made pen, it’s smooth to write with and flawless in its consistency. It’s a rather unique pen, but is absolutely my second favorite ballpoint pen that I tested, or really have ever tried. I especially like the spring-loaded clip which makes it easy to secure to a pocket or a pen slot in my briefcase. Unlike my other pens, it doesn’t have the limitation of having to be forced over the holding fabric since it opens wide and then clips on. Another feature that I really like with this pen is that, unlike the Montblanc and many other ballpoints, it clicks when the pen is fully opened and retracted. While this doesn’t sound like much to the average pen user, it’s a nice feature to know that your pen won’t retract as you write or that an extra turn won’t unscrew a section of the shaft. It’s a really wonderful ballpoint and I’ve received many compliments on its appearance.

One company I always recommend is Pelikan. I especially like their fountain pens because they’re as well made as many Montblanc pens and yet less expensive in most cases. In addition to their fountain pens, they also offer a selection of ballpoints and all of them are exemplary. This is a great way to get a high quality fine writing instrument at around the $200 mark.

Souveran K300 Ballpoint Pen by Pelikan

Souveran K300 Ballpoint Pen by Pelikan

For the $50 – $100 range, I really recommend looking at any of the pens by Waterman, Shaeffer, Pilot, Cross, Lamy or Parker. Professional writers are very particular about their pens and I know many writers who swear by these brands. I have personally owned pens by all but Waterman.

For anything less than $30, my first inclination is to recommend Faber-Castell. Don’t be confused by the name. The $375 pen by Graf Von Faber-Castell is not the same brand. Faber-Castell, although the same company, is the basic pen manufacturer, whereas Graf Von Faber-Castell makes their fine writing instruments. Many pen companies have two separate brands, a perfect example being Pelikan which even makes basic highlighters. The benefit of buying a Faber-Castell ballpoint is that although it’s not the same brand as the more expensive variant, it is still well made. This won’t be a pen that you’ll hand down to your children, but it will last you at least a few months to a couple of years. I stock my desk at the office with these pens and they haven’t let me down yet. My father, an artist, has often commented on how smooth they write. You simply can’t go wrong.


We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to our series on pens. A good pen is an accessory that will write the story of your life. It will sign your name on some of the most important documents of your life. From wills and testaments to mortgages and bills of sale, there is no tool or weapon stronger than the pen. Stay tuned for our upcoming fountain pen and rollerball guides.

What’s your favorite pen?

Article Name
The Ballpoint Pen Guide
Learn all about ballpoint pens: how to buy, reviews, history & differences.
29 replies
  1. Nicholas di mambro says:

    Surely the only good reason to carry a ballpoint pen is that you can lend it to someone without risking your fountain pen.
    Perhaps I’m being cynical?

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Fountain pens are preferable to ballpoints because they create a unique look. When you travel a lot by place, fountain pens will leak, which can be messy. Also, you don’t want other to write with your fountain pen because it will change the characterisitics of the nib…
      Always bear in mind, this is a series about writing instruments, and we will cover all the others going foreward.
      Last but not least, a gentleman is tolerant and keeps an open mind always trying to learn something new.

    • Armen Darakjian says:

      Nicholas actually those both pose a unique lending risk. LOL The fountain pen has the risk of changing the characteristics and the ballpoint (as usually) a one piece item has the risk of a casual habit of the writer putting it in his pocket. A great solution to these is, if you find yourself lending your writing instrument out a lot, use a rollerball. most rollerballs have a cap. The cap you keep in your hand while you loan out the writing piece. You wont forget they have it and they wont put it in their pocket without the cap. Enjoy writing

  2. Robert M. Strippy says:

    Sorry, but I can’t tolerate a ballpoint. I use a fountain pen at home or in my study, and a gel rollerball when away from home. My two best rollerballs are both made by Cross and use the flawless 0.7mm # 1013 insert. It not only produces a consistent line far superior to any ballpoint, but the ease of writing is incomparable. Ballpoints have much more friction, while my Cross rollerball glides effortlessly across any paper. I notice that you compared the advantages and disadvantages of the fountain pen and the ballpoint, but didn’t draw any comparison with a rollerball. That is, in my opinion, because there is no comparison to be made.

    • Armen Darakjian says:

      The rollerball is going to be the closest writing to a fountain pen. Some times called the lazy man’s fountain pen. In any event rollerball’s has an effortless writing. If you’re one who does a lot of writing the rollerball will run out fast that a ballpoint refill. So just make sure you have refills in a variety of places so you’re never without that ease of writing

  3. Mike P says:

    I never used ballpoint pens. I find them terribly vulgar. I only use fountain pens . And I find my Krone collection just perfect!

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      I prefer fountain pens as well, but there are times when a fountain pen is either not available or not practical. On certain government forms I have seen that black ballpoint pen was requested. Let’s say you have a fountain pen with blue ink, it would be a hassle just to change the ink to use your pen…

    • Armen Darakjian says:

      Krone and may other writing instrument makers do a fantastic job or options for us, who like to write. Most of it comes down also to the aesthetics of the instrument itself. They are an expression of our individuality. So pick wisely and have fun

  4. Al R. says:

    Many, many years ago, when on the search for choosing & using a nice writing instrument, the over riding concern, was the writing smoothness on paper. Styling, the look, was the other consideration. The brand was the other, with the idea of pride of ownership, having the knowledge of owning a pen brand considered by those in the know, a brand to own or collect. Having found a Montblanc fountain pen, at an affordable, well below retail price was a concern.
    It was shown to me, the merits of a roller ball vs a ballpoint pen. Hands down, the roller ball won out. I don’t consider a ballpoint ‘vulgar.’ Just not as much ‘fun’ as a roller ball or a fountain pen. … the article was a fun and informative read.

  5. Derek says:

    I am another that elects to use only fountain pens; however, a roller ball can be used for lending or when making carbon copies when pressure is needed. The one comment I have to add is that Montblanc is not usually favorably viewed, simply because of the outrageous price of new pens from them (their inks are good). Used Montblanc pens are a better deal if you insist on getting a pen. Companies like Visconti, Parker, Pilot, Edison, et cetera can give pens of similar or better quality for a tenth of the price (this is not an exaggeration). Whereas pens in a similar price range, like Sailor LB5, the Nakaya Lines, or custom/limited edition pens from the previous brands are, in my opinion, much more personal, stylish, and also of a higher quality. Often times when you pay for a Montblac you pay because it is Montblanc… no other reason.

  6. Jonne van der Drift says:

    I can only agree with the conclusion. Montblanc ballpoint pens are reliable and comfortable. I use a Montblanc ballpoint from the Meisterstuck Collection already for decades to take notes during meetings. Official documents like contracts and wills I am using a large fountain pen from the same collection. I do not like the fancy models though. Too posh for me…

  7. Joseph says:

    Luxury pens are so stylish that they are a wonderful accessory to a man’s overall look. The only problem is that the standard way of thinking indicates pens should be carried inside the suit or sport coat or hidden in general, but never is the pen to be carried in the shirt pocket. Thus, no one ever sees the luxury pen unless you take it out. Does Mr. Shirpira have an opinion on carrying a luxury pen in the shirt pocket? While a luxury pen in the shirt pocket with a suit would definitely not be appropriate, would it be appropriate with more causal attire such as jeans and a sport coat? I’m emphasizing luxury pens and not a cheap plastic pens.

    • J.A. Shapira says:

      Excellent question Joseph. I am inclined to say that there is no place for a pen in the shirt pocket. I typically don’t carry any fine writing instruments with me when I’m wearing casual attire, but instead carry a Kaweco Sport fountain pen in my pant pocket. It’s small enough that it isn’t uncomfortable and when posted, it’s a comfortable size for my hand. They’re very inexpensive as well which is nice. I’d highly recommend you consider one. I should also mention in the interest of full disclosure that I also usually carry a small messenger bag with me which affords me the space to keep a few pens among other possessions. In the messenger bag, I have two ballpoints (a Montblanc and a Graf Von Faber-Castell) and one Pelikan fountain pen. On the days where I don’t carry a bag; that’s when the Kaweco Sport gets utilized.

    • Jonne says:

      A subtle way to show off your goodctaste is to carry the Montblanc instrument in the little elastic band on the side of the inner content of your medium sized organizer. Even when closed a connaisseur will recognize the pen on the little white mountain top logo.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Trying to impress people with brand logos is very common, but often a sign of insecurity. A gentleman knows who he is and he doesn’t need to be admired for his choice of pen, because he knows what he likes.
      Personally, I do not wear a pen in a shirt pocket, because most of my shirts don’t have pockets and even if they do, they are never used. Carrying then pen in your jacket or a pen pouch is the way to go.

    • Armen Darakjian says:

      I personally love carrying mine in the exterior pocket square pocket. it adds for great conversation. Not the most traditional way of carrying it but especially with a Montblanc or any other instrument with a more decorative top past the clip, it shows well.

  8. Joe Frances says:

    The only problem I have with good pens is that I lose them quicker than you can say”Jack Robinson”. I have had Cross pens; a couple of Montblancs and others that were elegant and carried pride of ownership, and now I have nary a one. I never lose the cheap-o writers, thought.

  9. sam. bacco says:

    This was a great story. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.
    I been a pen crazy guy all my life. Foutain , rollerball.and Ball point. I care 1 of each every day.

  10. Junior says:

    I enjoyed your article. I work in shipping and receiving dept. at my job so a pen is a daily necessity. It puzzles me how difficult it is for people to keep track of their pens. I can make one pen last until it runs out of ink. My left shirt pocket is always lined with my primary pen, a “loaner” pen, a highlighter, and a sharpie. As for the loaner pen it can be any cheap pen but for my primary pen I have what I would consider the “BMW” in the pen industry. It is an 18K solid gold Cross Century ballpoint pen. The price was a whopping $1,400 but I couldn’t resist owning a one of a kind item. Too me its pocket “panache” similar to owning a cool hip flask or custom Zippo lighter or even a pocket watch and cigarette case. I was tempted to buy the Rolls Royce of pens a solid 18K gold Waterman ballpoint but I found the $7000 price tag a little hard to swallow. Of course when people I don’t trust ask me if its real gold I say its just electroplated. I don’t loan this pen to anyone as you can imagine, even if I don’t have my loaner which isn’t likely. At my job were not allowed to wear jewelry at all so I always poke fun at my workmates and my supervisor on how I beat the system. Some people call me crazy for spending that much on a “pen”. I simply say that since I’m single with no kids that I can afford it. I also stress to them that it’s not only gold but 18K gold therefore I can always barter with it if I’m ever in a desperate situation. Sometimes I do feel a little snobby but that wears off quick. I don’t like fountain pens all that much although I have seen some superb and luxurious collectors items with precious stones and platinum that caught my eye but if I did purchase one it would be just for show.

  11. Mike Jacobazzi says:

    While I do like a good fountain pen a ballpoint pen is what I normally use. Thanks for a great article. I like how you include the history in your articles.

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