15 Aug 2018

my fountain pen story: how it all blew out of proportion

Today, I thought I'd share how my love for fountain pens became an obsession...


It all started when I was ten years old and in primary school. My mum bought myself and my sister a basic Parker fountain pen each - a Parker Jotter and a Parker Vector respectively. A few years later, my mum found her vintage Parker 45 with a fine nib and this was my writing tool of choice. The thinner nib was a detail I much preferred to the thicker, medium nib of my Parker Jotter. I also felt more grown up with the Parker 45 and its burgundy colour.

A few years after that, and at the age of 16, I acquired a more up to date version of the Parker 45 in Hong Kong. Though it was a fine nib, it did not write as fine as the vintage Parker 45 my mum had given me. I reverted back to this vintage Parker 45 and despite a crack in its plastic barrel, I persevered with it. Eventually, I had to retire it as it would unscrew every two or three words.

This was when I was enticed by rollerballs (Uniball Signo, I'm looking at you) and those, oh-so-attractively-minimalistic, Muji gel pens.

At the end of my first degree and at the age of 20/21, I decided I wanted to try fountain pens again. And it was then that my first Lamy Safari (in coral pink) was purchased in 2014 after over a year's deliberation.

I realised just how much I missed not having to grip a pen tightly, the relief of no hand cramp despite writing for hours and how enjoyable writing with a fountain pen really is.

And then it snowballed. If I recall correctly, a Kaweco Skyline Sport, Pilot Kakuno and a Pilot Prera were my next acquisitions. Then it got a bit more expensive - I wanted to try a piston-filler and TWSBI were a fairly new name on the block. The price also made it a perfect first piston-filler to try out.

For each major life event after that (e.g. graduation, 25th birthday), I bought myself a fountain pen I had been coveting. These fountain pens are the Pelikan Souveran M400, the Pilot Decimo in Champagne and a Sailor Yukitsubaki.

Since then, I have acquired many more fountain pens and am going to re-evaluate my collection. Some will be sold as they are not used as often as they deserve to be. My obsession has slowed down since and of late, most of the obsession has been about the ink more than the pens.

Who knows what will happen in the next chapter of my fountain pen story :)

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