We understand that your fountain pen experience is a journey and that there are a lot of steps between beginner and avid collector.
Not everyone feels comfortable spending over $100 on a fountain pen, so we’ve already covered our 10 picks for beginner pens and 5 next-level pens that won’t break the bank.
This post highlights 5 fountain pens that you’ll want to explore if you feel you’ve advanced beyond starter pens but still don’t feel ready to commit to your forever piece, limited edition or luxury model fountain pen.
These five options are all beautiful writers with gold nibs that are still affordable enough not to be considered part of the elite collector’s market.
Top 5 Non-Luxury Fountain Pens
Pilot Custom 74 Clear Fountain Pen ~ $160.00
The Pilot 74 offers a smooth, satisfying writing experience, and it’s unique because of its plunger based filling system. Because the barrel of this pen is transparent, you can watch to see exactly how much ink you have left at any time.
You can also use cartridges with this pen, but remember that Pilot cartridges are proprietary. Standard international sizes are not compatible. Available in extra fine, fine, medium, and broad sizes, the Pilot 74 nibs are 14k gold.
Pilot Custom 823 Amber Fountain Pen ~ $288.00
More expensive than the 74, the Pilot 823 is also greater in size and holds a larger volume of ink. Available in fine, medium, or broad, this pen’s nibs are also 14k gold. Reviewer Cindy said, “ I just cannot put it down!” Zachary, another happy customer, added, “ This pen writes fantastically. Great nib feedback and the very fine line width is great.”
Unlike the 74, the 823 is a vacuum filling fountain pen. It’s smokey, amber color, gold hardware, and dark accents give this piece a mysterious and sophisticated feel that is really remarkable. Plus, the semi translucent bottle allows you to keep an eye on your ink level at all times.
LAMY 2000 ~$199.20 & $319.20
Available in Makrolon (black) and stainless steel, the LAMY 2000 has won multiple awards for its sleek aesthetic. It is well known throughout the fountain pen community for its timeless and functional design.
In fact, this pen is so modern and chic that MoMA once featured it in a temporary exhibit! It’s a phenomenal, reliable writer and comes in 14k gold nibs ranging from extra fine to oblique broad.
Sailor Professional Gear Fountain Pens ~ $180.00- $392.00
If you want a pen that offers a huge selection of diverse colors and styles, the Sailor Professional Gear collection is definitely worth your time! These pens are unique, beautiful, and their nibs are 21k gold instead of 14k.
This brand makes some of the best nibs on the market, hands-down. Plus, the Pro. Gear also comes in some luxury limited editions. These pieces have cartridge converter filling systems, and are available in slim models as well as larger sizes.
Sailor 1911 Fountain Pens ~$180.00- ~$880.00
Depending on the materials you choose, this pen could end up being the one with the heaviest price tag; however, it has a lot to offer! Like the Pro. Gear, the Sailor 1911 collection includes large and small sizes. Meaning, you can find a pen that fits your grip and hand size, so it feels balanced and comfortable to write for long periods of time.
The nibs are 21k gold. The ink systems are cartridge converters, and the color variety is awesome. There are so many stunning shades of this classically cigar shaped pen in solid and translucent colors that there is truly a 1911 for everyone! These pieces are a joy to write with and display as reflections of your personal style!
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