LPlaying with a fountain pen is a gradual process, and the general rule is to play from shallow to deep, step by step. When you play to a certain stage, you will suddenly find that “play” and “use” are actually two completely different concepts.
Some people buy pens only to take pictures and play with them, which is a very high state; some people buy a pen and can’t wait to ink and write on a few A4 papers, which is also a very high state. The two are focusing on one thing from the levels of “play” and “use”, which is good. But if you are very confused, don’t know what to buy, and don’t know what ink to use after buying, then the pen in your hand will be alienated at this time, and you who are holding the pen at this time have actually become a slave of this object.
As far as I am concerned, after playing around for a while, I finally got back to basics. This article is to talk about the three most commonly used pens in hand.
1. Something about history
This part is excerpted from some chapters of “Fountain Pens of the World” translated by myself, including the author of the original book, the friend who provided the original book, the provider of the loose-leaf paper, and the provider of the pen and ink used for translation. Express thankfulness.
The “Pen Bible” was written at the end of the last century, so many things still need to be supplemented today, and it is right to use it as a historical reference.
In 1988, in order to commemorate the centenary of the company’s founding, Parker reproduced the Duofold series, which adopted the old design of the 1920s, with black, red marble, and blue marble models, and produced fountain pens, ballpoint pens, and push-type ballpoint pens respectively. . Two years later, the decorative ring on the body of the pen was thinner, and the clip was changed to a sturdier design. At the same time, a smaller Duofold International was launched, commonly known as “small tofu”. Subsequent ballpoint pens and pencils were changed to a more retro rotary design.
In the years that followed, the Duofold series was followed by a number of follow-up styles, including green marble, orange, gold-plated, silver-plated, and phantom black. There is also 18C solid gold presidential model as the highest configuration.
By 1951, things were starting to improve in all respects, and a new series could be launched at an opportune time. The clips of almost all fountain pens on the market at that time looked unnatural, as if they were an accessory added to the pen, and the role of the clip was purely functional.
Some pen factories have begun to solve this problem at this time, for example, Parker uses its arrow-shaped pen holder as a symbol. Pelikan’s approach was to design the pen clip in the shape of a pelican’s beak, and this design has been used to this day. Most styles of fountain pens are made of transparent translucent vertically striped plastic. Inside the body, the feed has also been redesigned.
The new styles are still named using the number system, numbering starts from 400, there are brown tortoiseshell pen barrel with brown cap, green striped pen barrel or black barrel with black cap, the corresponding pencil number is 450; No. 500 is tortoiseshell pen barrel with black cap. The cap is covered with gold, and the decorative ring at the end of the pen can be replaced; the No. 600 is basically the same, but it uses a solid gold cap; the No. 700 is all 14C solid gold, and the corresponding pencils are 550 ,650and750.
Pelikan’s innovations in these areas are well received and the 400 pen is very popular. The green-striped barrel was not only very eye-catching among the black pens on the market at that time, but also became one of the symbols of Pelikan.
In 1984, the Pelikan company was acquired by the Swiss company Metro Holdings, and it refocused on fountain pen production. In 1982, a series of new products following the design of the 1950s were launched, including the low-end M100, M150, M200, the mid-range M250 and the famous flagship M400 Sovereign. Also in the Sovereign line is the M600 with a two-tone 18C nib and the larger M800. The M800 is available in black stem and green bar with a two-tone nib.
In 1988, the Toledo series returned to the market with a pen size of 400. It was originally customized for the Ebel Group, with a gold-plated copper tube, but after mass production, the gold-plated silver tube was used again.
Montblanc Meisterstück 146 Collection
The situation in postwar Germany seemed less favorable to fountain pen production, and things improved slightly after the currency reform of June 28, 1948. Demand for pens is increasing, especially as some customers are even willing to pay a little more to get their pens sooner. At this time, the newly designed “Meisterstück” series included 142, 144, 146, and similar fine pens. …In 1952, Montblanc introduced injection molding technology, and the product quality was further improved, with obvious improvements in surface strength, gloss and visual effects.
In 1958, the student pen Monte Rosa was launched. It is divided into 042 with gold-plated nib and 042G with gold nib. It adopts a solid color design and some blue stripes. A year later, the 142, 144, 146 were discontinued to open up the new series.
In the 1980s, the fountain pen industry showed signs of revival, and manufacturers all over the world were producing high-quality fountain pens, some of which used new materials in the original model design. In 1983, Waterman launched the Man100; in 1988, Parker launched the Duofold, both of which are cases like this. The Montblanc family has re-launched the enduring ‘Meisterstück’ series.
2. Classification and some feelings of daily use
Because the deadline for the Pen Bible is the end of the last century, and the three pens have changed slightly in this century, and compared to the current version that most friends can buy, it is still necessary to talk about it. Talk about classification and some feelings of daily use.
It needs to be explained that many pen pals like to use softness and hardness as their standard when talking about writing feeling. There was also a farce about the quantification of softness and hardness in the pen world at the beginning of the year. In the end, it was just a simple coefficient of elasticity. Test, and the elasticity is only one aspect of the softness and hardness of the pen. As far as the overall writing feeling is concerned, it is undoubtedly a glimpse of the leopard. The softness and hardness I express below are only relative terms, and may be completely unreliable to you. Please take it as a strange uncle’s muttering.
Another thing that needs to be explained is that I am a fan of second-hand pens, and even a fan of buying old pens instead of new ones (because of poverty). Therefore, the following comments are limited to second-hand pens, especially second-hand pens of junk quality—maybe we can already see some clues from the pictures.
Duofold and Duofold International series, the difference between the two lies in the size. In a very short few years of the Taoxinjian era, there were also mini models that could only use ink cartridges, including black, blue mosaic, green mosaic, and amber. color mosaic four. From a historical point of view, according to the shape of the nib, it can be roughly divided into three periods: the early arrow point, the mid-term streamer point, and the modern peach heart point. In terms of size, it is very interesting that “soybeans are not big, and adzuki beans are not small”, which is suitable for almost everyone to write.
Fortunately, I have tried all three nibs, but the streamer nib that I like the most is the one that got out. It’s not because of any other reasons, but I didn’t realize how good the Duofold series was when it came out. When I came back to my senses and found out, I didn’t have the heart to look for it anymore. Maybe I’ll buy it again in the future, but not now.
The peach heart nib produced in modern times is a very balanced nib. The overall writing feeling is good, and it will not be particularly individual. However, in the labels above M, it can still reflect the waxy feeling that Duofold should have. This is rarely experienced in other brands. The streamer nib in the mid-term is a tough style, which is quite pleasant to write, and among the three nibs, it is the smoothest and most powerful. The early arrow tips have a very traditional Parker feel. If you upgrade all the way from the vacuum, you will have a better feeling, like an enhanced version of the 75. Although the arrow point is the softest among the three types of points, it is still a very hard point in the entire pen market.
The essence of Duofold is M and above, and I think that there is no need to try the nibs of F and below, and there is no desire to write down. Maybe friends who don’t like Duofold have tried the fine-tipped Duofold, and it’s really just average—of course, this is also a common feature of European and American pens.
In terms of pen holders, the colors of the Duofold series are also divided into generations. Of course, there are some common colors in different eras, such as magic black, but when put together in different eras, there is still a sense of contrast. Red, blue, green, and black are the main colors of the Parker family. Of course, the patterns of different eras are different: the marble pattern of the arrow mark, the gorgeous solid color of the streamer (I really don’t know how to describe it), the small mosaic pattern of the peach heart (different from the A large vertical mosaic pattern in the streamer era).
Of course, the Duofold series also has many limited editions and precious metal versions, which are also very pleasing to the eye if used for daily use.
This is the most tangled series, because it is basically unclear. Whether it is from the visible nib label, the pen barrel decoration ring to the invisible piston structure, there have been many different collocations over the decades of development cycle-but I know that for the nib, friends who are interested You can go through my old articles, there is a not very comprehensive arrangement.
The biggest advantage of this series of Pelikan is that the nibs are basically interchangeable, even up to the new version of the M600 and M200 series; most of the accessories can also be used universally, so there is no need to worry about the lack of spare parts.
For the Pelikan M400 series in the first ten years of this century and a long period of time before, the yield rate of the nib was not high. It needs to be written for a long time, or it needs to be adjusted to reach an ideal writing state; however I am very happy to see that in a series of nibs produced in recent years, the yield rate has been greatly improved, especially the yield rate of fine nibs has really made a qualitative leap. Basically, when you get a new pen, you can write directly. No problem at all.
At the same time, the softness, hardness and thickness of Pelikan’s nibs are the most difficult elements to grasp. On the nibs of the same specification at the same time, there may be two completely different types: softness that cannot be tolerated by life and hardness that will break when a feather is pressed. As for the standard M, it is written in EF thickness, and the standard EF is written as a paper cutter, which is even more commonplace. It is true that these problems basically appear on the old nibs, and the current production of F and above will basically not see such problems-at most, EF does not like to go into the water. However, among these three pens, Pelikan is the representative of the relatively large amount of water. If it is used by students and friends to do homework… I do not recommend the three pens.
The most attractive and most criticized aspect of the Pelikan M400 / old M600 series as a daily pen is the light barrel weight. I believe that many friends who have this series can’t believe the price when they first got this pen, thinking that they got a fake Pelikan M400 / old version M600. However, this is completely unnecessary to worry about, after all, this technology is extremely difficult for counterfeit manufacturers to achieve. And after long-term use, you will find that the original light pen holder can really cooperate with your hand very well, creating a delicate sense of balance, making writing a kind of enjoyment.
It is worth mentioning that Pelikan’s piston technology is very mature after a hundred years of accumulation. Under normal use, the service life of the piston is definitely longer than your life – the vast majority of pistons in the first half of the last century can work normally without maintenance. But don’t be too aggressive about “washing the pen frequently”, or it will be very troublesome when the piston becomes astringent.
Longjia’s 146 is also a very classic pen, but dating is more complicated…
Different from Pelikan, the parts between different generations of 146 are not very interchangeable. Although there are not no interoperable parts, they are far less than the Pelikan that can be used when you grab it. This point needs attention.
Except that Xiao Baihua is a bit high-profile, there is really no reason why people are willing to put down this pen. Compared with Pelikan, the yield rate of Montblanc nibs is a problem that does not need to worry about, especially in this grade of F nibs. The EF point is another problem, it may be thicker than B: because while looking down on the thin, the “thick” iridium allows you to easily write the effect of Song typeface. The 146 nib is about the same soft and hard as the Parker Duofold, so it can be used for comparison. Of course, it does not rule out particularly hard or soft tips in special historical periods, both of which exist. Especially for the version exported to France, you can find 146 with 18C nib, which has a slightly different writing feeling, which of course cannot be expressed in words.
One of the biggest disadvantages of the 146 series compared to the other two is that at the level of “mass-produced basic models”, the only color that can be selected is black. Although there are also various precious metal versions, the prices are very high. There was a wine red 146 in history, but because of the poor sales at that time, it was soon discontinued. It’s also a pity. Of course, the vast majority of pens in the Wenhao series and Art Patron series are designed on the basis of 146, so if you want to know their size, you can basically use 146.
The 146 has an older brother, the 149, which is much larger in size. I personally think that East Asian hands are not very suitable for this pen. Similarly, the M800 does not seem to be very suitable for daily use. 146 There is also a brother 147, a travel pen with an ink cartridge, I personally like it very much. The two ink tanks of the essay can basically guarantee the water consumption for two weeks, which is especially useful for people like me who often fly around.
3. Some problems in use and things that need to be entangled
All three pens are classic and reliable everyday pens, though if you were to nitpick, there are some issues:
The biggest problem with the Duofold is air tightness. From the start of production to the present, this problem has not been resolved. If you have a Duofold in use and put it there overnight, when you write again in the morning, you will find that the ink color of the first written note is obviously much thicker, and it will return to normal after writing, especially if it is filled with colored ink Afterwards this phenomenon became more apparent.
The biggest problem with the M400 is now the pen barrel. Because of the craftsmanship, the text of the pen barrel is often uneven-of course, friends who are not obsessive-compulsive disorder will not think this is a problem. In addition to the problem of appearance, if you want to play with the old M400, you still have certain requirements for hands-on ability. Due to factors such as craftsmanship, the old pen nibs are not as easy to write as the legends say, especially the old and new pens in stock (it does not rule out that many of these stocks are leftovers picked by pen shop customers) . Overall, the old models are far less smooth than the new ones.
The biggest problem with the Taipan 146 is the unseen aspect. There is actually a high chance that the piston will become astringent, especially if you use your own “Midnight Blue” ink. Fortunately, the piston is not difficult to remove, and the related tools are easy to find, so this is not a big problem. Another problem with 146 is the strength of the pen barrel: especially in the process of disassembling the piston, it is very likely to cause cracks in the threaded part of the piston. Once cracked, there seems to be no very good way to remedy it; even if it is repaired, the strength is still great. discounted.