I think there’ll always be pens – at least for a great many years beyond today. I can’t imagine a world without pens – and pencils.
At one point in the past, even after computers had shown us, they intended to take over everything and rule forever, pens sort’ve become surgically attached to us – and we all have various pens and pencils. We’d all used all of them if we had to, but only one of them would be ‘our favorite.’
When it all started, there were quills (calligraphy); and later, there were nibs on sticks of wood to dip into inkwells. There was also stenciling; there were reeds and eventually the early style of a ballpoint pen – does anyone remember the Biro? Humankind has this atavistic need to communicate, and in this, we will always succeed.
Imagine this; you’re on the phone, and without looking, you reach out your right hand in the general direction of your pen holder (where they all hoard waiting to be chosen), and for a second your hand hovers – waiting for the right pen to jump into your hand. You glance down and see where it is and scoop it up in a matter of seconds.
It’s just that kind of pen that fits well in your hand, and you feel you could write for days with it.
To your eye, it’s a fine-looking piece of equipment, comfortable to the touch, settling into the palm and responding well to the fingers.
That‘s the one, and you call it your pen – despite all the others you own, this is the one you insist on identifying as yours, and you seek it out whenever there’s the smallest amount of writing to be done – a signature perhaps, but it has to be done with that pen.
Many of us are in that situation on a current basis but also a constant basis. The sad story is that you find your pen, and you express your gratitude and pleasure and display the pen to a few people.
Then one day(week, or month), but shortly thereafter, horror upon horror, that pen will disappear because someone near to you is jealous and steals it, or, more acceptably, someone borrows it and neglects to return it.
After singing little funereal dirges in requiem for it, - well more for the vast amount of money you spent on it; you go out and try to replace it. This might take you days at least, because, once again, you have to find ‘the one.’ Further, on this particular quest, you might not even look for someone of the same make. Still, perhaps another one of a completely different nature, so you look at other manufacturers’ products.
That film star Kirsten Stewart was a pen collector while she was filming the Twilight movies; and that her co-star Robert Pattinson bought for her a $46,000 limited edition Tibaldi Bentley Crewe fountain pen.
This was from a limited edition of 40; the pen has a two-tone 18-carat yellow gold nib covered in rhodium and ruthenium. This thoughtful and kind gift was for her birthday – lucky girl!
Quite recently, David Dimbleby (British Journalist & Presenter of Current Affairs) treated himself at a Regent Street store in London to a Parker Sonnet Black Lacquer Gold Trim Fountain Pen, which he used on BBC Question Time.
Author Stephen King wrote his famous novel ‘Dreamcatcher’ with a Waterman Fountain Pen. He also used it to write his Author’s Note: “One final note. This book was written with the world’s finest word processor, a Waterman cartridge fountain pen”.
He went on to say, “To write the first draft of such a long book by hand put me in touch with the language as I haven’t been in years. I even wrote one night (during a power outage) by candlelight. One rarely finds such opportunities in the twenty-first century, and they are to be savored.”- Stephen King
The Sherlock Novels were authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who used a Parker Duofold Fountain Pen to write them.
It is said that the new BBC Sherlock series pays homage to this, when Holmes, when he was looked at a letter, felt the need to comment that it was written by a Parker pen.
When the little 13-year-old dutch girl - Anne Frank - (in 1942) was given a blank diary by her mother, in it Anne wrote a full commentary of what she saw and learned about, while her family was in hiding in the house in Amsterdam; throughout the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam (the Nazis also occupied many other places in the world) during World War II.
She kept updating this Diary and well hidden from the Nazis. Then, in 1947 – five years later, when the war ended, and the troops upped sticks and returned home, and the Nazis finally withdrew; her Diary was published and became internationally famous.
She wrote her Diary, with a Montblanc Fountain Pen – her favorite of all pens. Alas, she one day, accidentally threw her best-loved of pens – the Montblanc - into the fireplace.
Can you believe that she was so distraught, so utterly consumed with the feeling of mourning, that she wrote an ‘ode’ (an elaborately structured poem full of emotions of joy and sadness) to her deceased pen!
Let’s not forget our stately sovereign Queen Elizabeth II, who has used a Parker 51 for her personal use since 1959 and both Her Majesty the Queen, and The Prince of Wales have given Royal Warrants to Parker.
Interesting that the Queen and I favor a Parker! Although I favor the Parker Sonnet Medium Nib with rose gold trim and I also like the Parker Sonnet Medium Stainless-Steel Nib Fountain Pen (Red with Gold Trim).
Filmmaker and founder of Disney – Walt Disney himself - was often seen in pictures with Schaeffer pens. A well-used Schaeffer Balance Fountain Pen was found in Walt Disney’s desk in 1970 when his office was being inventoried.
You’d never guess that Sylvester Stallone adores Montegrappa pens so much, that he is now the Brands Ambassador. He then teamed up with the company to produce the Chaos pen range.
He used this pen during his movie The Expendables II so that the Montegrappa pen could be seen. The real Chaos pen, because Sylvester had it fashioned from precious materials, could only be produced in limited numbers.
Author Neil Gaiman is a very enthusiastic Fountain Pen collector, who told the BBC: ‘My current favorite is a Visconti because it has a magnet in the lid which goes clunk when I put the top on – I am easily satisfied”.
He continued by saying, “I probably have between 40 and 60 fountain pens, which is a bit silly, but once people are aware that you like them, they like to give them as gifts.”
Dragons’ Den regular Peter Jones is thought to favor a Yard-O-Led Viceroy, which is hand made from English Hallmarked Sterling Silver.
Albert Einstein used both a Pelikan 100 N and a Waterman Taper-cap Fountain Pen, which he used to develop the Theory of Relativity. The Waterman pen is on display at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden.
Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar’s adviser in the BBC series The Apprentice, is often seen chewing on the end of his Lamy pen with which he uses to take notes on the misfortunes of the various contenders in the show.
In an interview with the Daily Express, he said: “I’m not one for pretentious treaty-signing type pens, but I do think in business making an effort with the little things sends out a signal that you are serious about what you are doing.
This article should be all about Lawyers and their pens. Unfortunately, I can’t resist occasionally digressing when I dig up information that’s relevant and exciting. Also, who knew that Queen Elizabeth II and I, share the same pen preference -
Bull wrote about The Pilot Metropolitan Fountain pen. From what he wrote, I gathered that it is a most inexpensive pen of around $11, so it begs no ode if you drop this one into the fireplace, as you can just go and buy another one or even another ten - they are trendy and cheap.
However, this Pilot Metropolitan has gained such a following that it’s virtually become the go-to pen for many writing enthusiasts.
Why? Because it’s a good pen. It isn’t expensive or flashy, and there are no problematic processes to fill it, but the best thing is it works every time, it’s an absolute pleasure to use to the last drop of ink, and it gives that indescribable sensation of writing with a fountain pen!
With a ballpoint or a rollerball, the ink is forced out of the pen by friction. There are no moving parts in the Fountain pen. Waiting right there in the nib is the ink.
Pick up the pen and place the nib on paper with the slightest pressure, and the ink is released, and the words appear. There’s nothing forced about it – even your penmanship could improve. It’s been called an elegant workhorse. The fact that it’s so popular speaks to its look and feel and performance. Looking at the shape
The following is a list of what seems to be lawyers’ favorite fountain pens, which are: Mont Blanc; Parker; Delta Lex; Cross; Schaeffer; Waterman; and Faber Castell. Their favorite Ball Points are: precisely as above except with the addition of Pilot, and Dryden.
So, we’ve established that lawyers need a pen that feels comfortable in one’s hand, provides grip for the fingers, isn’t awkward, and doesn’t have bits and pieces that one has to fiddle with to make it work properly.
This pen must be pleasing to look at, i.e., sedate, not flashy, and ostentatious. A pen that sits in a container on your desk with other pens. Strange then, that when you look for a pen, that one always springs into your hand like a dog to its master.
At the same time, this pen that is your pen – the pen – is one that shouldn’t shout out to other Lawyers because one has developed a feeling of ownership and has consequently become possessive about the pen. You might not notice, but you momentarily hold your breath when it looks like a colleague might reach out for it, touch it, covet it.
Over the years, one has so many of these pens because of loss, theft, breakage, and many other reasons. On such occasions, you might purchase a pen that’s cheap as chips because it feels right in your hand.
No matter, in fact, that’s even better because this is not a spitting competition, it just needs to feel right, to feel part of you, an extension of your hand.
You can’t do anything wrong when you choose a pen that will be your companion for long periods of time. It’s going to be your workhorse, your ever-available friend because, after all, it’s the pen you have chosen to use for your self-expression.
The pen with which you will make your mark – without putting too fine a point on it (puns intended); the pen that helps you glide through the reports; perfect Pleadings; slide into a signature; and in general assist you to say what you mean.
A Lawyer’s perfect pen will give you a pleasing performance for years until something happens, and you have to get another ideal pen. It’s a very private and personal thing. We don’t talk about it; we just go out and make a selection. Yet it’s not something we can leave and do later; it’s not something we don’t have to think about, and, what’s more, it’s not something we can send someone else to do.
With that pen, good work gets done; the owner expresses themselves in a superior manner and perfects the way in which they practice. Our Lawyer can have all the most hi-tech equipment available but, without that perfect pen, they keep hitting a speed bump; something’s not right. Something is missing – it the perfect pen.
I suppose now we’ve finished discussing that perfect pen, you’re going to ask me what it really is and I’ll be delighted to tell you; the secret is, it’s the pen the Lawyer chooses, the one that feels right in their hand. You can stop looking surprised because I agree with you - it’s a mystery and its magic, but it works every time!