Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The pen is mightier

I'm the kind of person that exhaustively researches when I get interested in something, which should explain why I've spent a considerable portion of my day learning about fountain pens.

The inception of this latest fleeting obsession is rather roundabout. Matt Eich, recent winner of the College Photographer of the Year, has a tattoo on his inner arm of the rule of thirds. That got me thinking about what tattoo would adequately commemorate my proposed profession. I thought perhaps a fountain pen might be appropriate (or, just as intriguing but noticeably more geeky: an Ethernet port.)

I had no idea that there was such a market for luxury writing instruments. And by luxury, I mean prices that skyrocket into the thousands. The pen on the right, the Cartier Santos, is so expensive that the doesn't even volunteer the price. Don't worry; I e-mailed them to find out:

It costs a cool $3,460.

The pen at the top is the Lamy Safari. At $25, it's about the cheapest you can expect to spend on one, but as long as you don't lose it, you recoup the cost quickly with the cheapness of ink versus the expense of frequently replacing lost Pilot G2-07s.

The fountain pens employ a nib that relies on gravity and capillary action to transfer the ink to the paper. The nib allows perfect control of the intensity of your scrawl. Owners and aficionados swear that words written with a fountain pen look more alive than the tacky ballpoint. Many people also believe that handwriting improves with the use of a fountain pen.

Classiness is the other reason I would be inclined to buy a fountain pen. I suppose it's a symbolically apt possession to have, given my desired career path. Also, they are very European--students are encouraged to purchase them, and ASDA, Walmart's arm in the British isles, sells disposables at a very reasonable price.

Therefore, having a fountain pen automatically boosts my pretentiousness points.

This is the Cartier Panthére, and there were only 500 made, so I don't even want to guess how much it costs.


heather said...

for the record: i would LOVE IT if you got a tattoo of an ethernet port. just sayin...

Gail Rhea said...

Heh. When I was compiling the list of "Best Fountain Pens for Everyday Use" for the pen pages on my website, I learned that the Guinness Book of Records listed the most expensive fountain pen as being the "La Modernista Diamonds" by Caran d'Ache. It sold in 1999 for $265,000.

Israel said...

HAW! The PEN IS Mightier!