Fountain pens - ostentatious?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Talbot, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Talbot

    Talbot One Too Many

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    At work I was at the recieving end of a presentation from some high powered hyena's, er management consultants, the other day.

    Bespoke pinstripes, siver hair, french cuffs, hard eyes and gold watches. All sharp - the full rag.

    When it came time for them to take notes, out came the Miesterstuck's, the Montegrappa's and the Starwalkers. My much used daily Parker 51 was noted.

    It's clear to me that an expensive pen is part of the uniform for 'Masters of the Management Universe'. An important guy only deals with important issues. An expensive writing instrument is required. A cheap rollerball just won't do.

    How does that place those of us in the office that enjoy the feel of nib on good paper - pretentious?

    Does a fountain pen have a certain element of over dress in the office?

    T
     
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    There will always be those who will think that using anything more than a Bic is pretentious. [huh] What circles you operate in will largely determine how many of those people are around you. Personally, if I wanted to use a fountain pen I wouldn't even think twice.
     
  3. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

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    I use a fountain pen every day. Literally. I see absolutely nothing pretentous about them and would continue to use them, regardless of the situation. I personally have never understood the belief that fountain pens are luxury items that are super-duper-expensive that may only be used by those of the business aristocracy etc. They're PENS.
     
  4. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    It is no one's business what you choose to write with.
    Keep on truckin'.
     
  5. Yeps

    Yeps Call Me a Cab

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    I don't think they are naturally pretentious. Well, any more than nice clothes and a great hat. But then again, I always use a pencil (I need my score markings to be erasable).
     
  6. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

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    Very well-said, Feraud.
     
  7. Miss Neecerie

    Miss Neecerie I'll Lock Up

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    I use a fountain pen daily as well. And I know there is at least one other person in the office who does.


    That said....there are ostentatious and pretentious pens...and then there are pens that really don't draw much attention unless the user makes a giant rigamarole out of the whole process.


    Just a personal opinion, but I find MontBlanc pens the 'ostentatious pen of management and people who want everyone to know how pricey their pen was'.........but thats just me. They tend to be those oversized things that you know the person never actually writes a whole page of notes with, but instead waves around pretending to be productive.

    Use a less 'showy' pen and no one notices.

    D...currently writing with a copper coloured Esterbrook, its small, its discreet.

    P.S. I do have more ostentatious pens I use for my 'signature' and at home...
     
  8. JimWagner

    JimWagner Practically Family

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    I'm not sure that the perceptions about fountain pens would be the same here as in Australia. Or outside of a boardroom here.

    In any case, where I work (a university) I doubt anyone would pay any attention to what you're writing with, let alone recognize an expensive pen over an inexpensive one.
     
  9. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

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    Fountain pens on their OWN are not ostentatious. They are tasteful.

    A fountain pen that is obviously a status symbol, because it has a diamond for tipping-material and it has a platinum nib and it's swathed in gold...is ostentatious.

    A regular, useful, working run-of-the-mill fountain pen is not ostentatious and I would never think of one as such.
     
  10. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    Sort of a managerial cudgel..
     
  11. SGT Rocket

    SGT Rocket Practically Family

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    I concur

    I concur with Miss Neecerie,

    I use a fountain pen daily: at school, at work (when working) and on National Guard Drills. I think a HUGE, super ornate, fountain pen that is expensive or not, may be a little ostentatious if it doesn't go with your outfit/look.

    As an example, you don't want to be a the beach in Speedos/banana hammock (harry back, beer belly and all), talking on your cell phone, and writing poetry in your journal with a super flashy fountain pen. I just don't think that would look right.

    However, if you were in an office and were at the "individual contributor" level or above, you can have a more flashy fountain pen. Or, if you are known to be even a little eclectic, you could probably pull off a more flashy fountain pen.

    However, a regular old fountain pen, kind of like the one I have, you can take that anywhere. But, I have a sort of entry level fountain pen. I love the way it writes and it's a work horse. Mine is a Lamy Studio
    [​IMG]

    It works with my ACU's, bumming around clothes, school clothes, shul clothes and everything else. But, I like most of my stuff understated anyway.
     
  12. Torpedo

    Torpedo One Too Many

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    Hello,

    I use regularly FPs too. For work, normally these are vintage Inoxcrom 77 (Spanish premier manufacturer)

    [​IMG]

    These are pretty unassuming, and being one of those designs with the nib "aerodinamically" integrated in the barrel, go generally unnoticed. In fact, people often just find they are FPs and not normal rollers or ball points when they borrow one from me (curiously, at that point, sometimes people do not want to use them, claiming they are afraid to damage them, or that they do not know how, or like, writing with FPs [huh] )

    This said, the reason I choose these for work because they are not something I would unduly worry about if lost, the "subdued" trait is coincidental.

    Also, these models I favour at work accept cartridges, which is a need for me, because I do a part-office part-field job, and do not want to depend on bottles.

    Sometimes I do carry other more classic design FPs, vintage or modern (Parker 51, Pelikan M215, Inoxcrom Wall Street for instance) and do not worry about it, neither. I use them matter-of-factly, and that's it.

    I do not think just using FPs is ostentatious; but agree that there are ostentatious FPs (and FP users-usually these are not serious about it, they have the pens as objects of luxury, to show off, or because they feel they need to have one as a symbol of office). But there are ostentatious roller or ball point pens, too.

    I keep also a cheap Pilot roller, too, for when the going gets rough... ;)
     
  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Seems to me that ostentation begins with the user more often than the pen.... That said, last week I saw some pens in the window of the Pen Shop on Regent Street that Liberace would probably have considered a bit much - totally encrusted in Swarovski crystal. Struck me as the sort of thing Paris Hilton might buy as a novelty and use once. I'm actually quite a fan of the aesthetics of Mont Blanc pens - to me they are a very simple and classy design, and would only really be ostentatious to the few people likely to know what they were and how much they cost - even then, it's the cost that would be ostentatious really - I don't think they're exactly 'bling' for the most part. Can't see me ever buying a Mont Blanc, however: to be honest, much as I am prepared to pay a bit more for quality, with people starving in the world I struggle with the idea of spending GBP300-600 on something as ephemeral as a pen. That said, neither would I judge those fortunate enough to be in a position where they can do just that.
     
  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    It ain't the size of the pen that counts, it's the size of the ink stain on your fingers.
     
  15. Richard Warren

    Richard Warren Practically Family

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    In my experience, two sorts of people use fountain pens: those who do not have actually to write very much, and those who wish it to appear that they do not have to write very much. In the first case, they are ok; in the second, not.
     
  16. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Interesting... I do, at it happens, spend most of my time typing, handwriting being primarily for myself, but I'm forever scribbling little notes, working things out on paper, and so on. I also used a fountain pen right through school, from the age of 13, by choice.
     
  17. Miss Neecerie

    Miss Neecerie I'll Lock Up

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    *glances down at the orange spots on her fingers*

    Its autumn....I use autumnal ink. :eek:
     
  18. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Or on your shirt pocket, or your coat pocket, or your school bag, etc, etc, etc.......I was one ink stained little kid before my school dropped fountain pens in favor of ball point. :eek:
     
  19. Nick D

    Nick D Call Me a Cab

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    I'm afraid this makes little sense to me. I've been using a fountain pen since high school, and I write with one a lot. On my current pen, I empty the ink sac every two or three days. I wrote my MA dissertation with it before typing it up.

    I also had a professor who did all his marking with a fountain pen, mainly because of a hand injury that left him unable to use a ball-point. Didn't make his handwriting any more legible, though.
     
  20. rlk

    rlk I'll Lock Up

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    Some can be ostentatious or over large(like watches) but not because they are Fountain Pens.
    In defense of Montblanc:
    No. 14 [​IMG]
     

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