Did you know that a high-quality fountain pen can cost anywhere from $100 to $250? Some luxury pens can even reach up to $500!
But why are fountain pens so expensive? Is it because of the nib design and the vintage metallic body? Or is there something unique about the manufacturing process?
There are many questions that pop up about why fountain pens are worth hundreds of dollars, so we’ve dedicated this post to unravel the mystery.
In this article, we’ll dive into the details and explore the reasons that help elevate fountain pens’ prices to such a high point. Read on!
10 Reasons Why Fountain Pens are Expensive
These are no ordinary ballpoint pens. Several factors matter, including the cost of fountain pens. Want to have a look at them? It’s time to spill all the details.
1. It’s the Nib!
The cost can instantly change from one dollar to hundreds of dollars due to the pen’s nib. This is the most vital component of the pen as ink flows from it and it aids in writing as well.
2. Material of the Nib
A 14 karat gold nib will cost much more than a stainless steel one on a fountain pen. There are many gold nibs composed of white and red gold, which contributes to making expensive fountain pens.
A pen having nibs made of precious metals like gold, platinum, titanium, or palladium contributes to a smoother writing experience and easy alterations or even smooth consistency in writing styles. The better the nib, the smoother the writing sessions.
3. Size of the Nib
As it’s pretty obvious, the price of a fountain pen increases with the size of the nib.
Gold-plated nibs of larger size will cost more than smaller ones. The same applies to nibs made of other metals.
Larger nibs provide a different writing style with more ink flow through them. Smaller nibs are given almost the same quality but require less material for production, decreasing their price point.
You can either buy a gold pen with 14- and 18- karat gold nibs, or you can get one with a stainless steel nib. Both will have a different price tag and writing style.
4. Writing Difference
Compared to a normal plastic ball pen, there are several features, ranging from the looks to the writing styles. Ballpoint pens are usually made of inexpensive plastic and don’t have many complex components, and this makes them very affordable.
In fountain pens, every component can alter the writing performance easily. You can change the width of the strokes, their curvature, and the writing pattern by smoothly gliding it on the paper surface.
Any small malfunction in the ink cartridge, piston, or nib can easily damage the entire writing, so every aspect is made of high-quality material and is checked for quality assurance. Due to these factors, the price tags are much higher compared to ordinary pens.
5. Pen Body Materials
Pen bodies also contribute to the added price. With many materials present in the market, you’ll find cheap models with plastic bodies and high-quality, expensive fountain pens with metal or wooden bodies.
Metal bodies not only contribute to the heavyweight of the pen, but they are the work of expert craftsmanship. Engravings and etched designs made of noble metals also increase the cost.
6. Filling Systems of a Fountain Pen
There are two main types of fountain pen filling mechanisms. One is piston filling while the other two are in life vacuum filler and cartridge system. Cartridge fountain pens tend to be cheaper due to the lack of complicated components.
Piston filling fountain pens tend to be expensive, especially when there’s an addition of metal piston rods along with some high-quality parts in it. Many known brands either use piston or vacuum systems in their pens, leading to a much-elevated price.
7. Pen Feed
A pen feed is a part where the ink flows, and it’s situated behind the nib. A fountain must have the best feed for improved writing performance. There are mainly two types of feed present in the market.
The first plastic feed is cheap and workable, while the other is ebonite, which tends to have a smoother, better, and resistance-free flow of the ink in the nib, giving your writing a smoother finish.
Because of these amazing qualities, ebonite feed is also another factor contributing to the massive costs of fountain pens.
8. Labor Costs
To make sure fountain pens are of their best quality, many well-known fountain pen brands like Montblanc manufacture them with lots of labor. Handmade pens require more work and fine detailing for a better finish, leading to another addition in the price of a single fountain pen.
Many members of the fountain pen community prefer handmade pens as they think they provide a better finish and style to their writing than machine-manufactured ones. The handmade manufacturing of a fountain pen consumes more time than machine-manufactured pens, and it’s more labor-intensive.
9. Limited Edition
Not only pens, but every limited-edition object tends to be expensive. Because of their unique design, these items are usually not available for a long time, and when someone loves to collect such limited edition items, they do not always worry about the cost.
The same goes for fountain pens. Many manufacturers release unique and limited edition models for those who are interested. Some of these are glass or have a unique body, gold or any precious metal engagement, or much more. So when they come in the market for a limited time, prices don’t matter.
The same goes for vintage fountain pens. As they get old, their worth increases. Not because of their looks, but for their smooth writing, unique design, and craftsmanship that is not available at the current date.
That’s why many fountain pen enthusiasts have a massive limited edition collection – something they are really proud of!
10. Less Manufacturing
When you buy a ballpoint pen, you’ll see a dozen companies selling the same quality products you wanted. But the situation is not the same when it comes to fountain pens.
Few companies manufacture quality fountain pens in bulk, including Parker, Pelikan, Montegrappa, and fiber castle. A fountain pen gets easily expensive because of bigger demand and minimal supply.
You might also get a fountain pen costing a dollar, but it doesn’t give you a fast writing speed and a smoother experience on paper as one of these brands does.
Are Expensive Fountain Pens Worth It?
There is something unique about a fountain pen, even those with a higher price tag. They bring a timeless vintage style that many collectors are passionate about. So is the price of fountain pens worth their value?
This depends from person to person. A good, designed pen with carved patterns can create beautiful writing and last for many years, so it all depends on the passion you have for the object itself.
The fountain pen community finds high-quality fountain pens a treat, especially when they are beautifully designed, which is why even the most expensive pens are easily sold out.
You can buy an expensive fountain pen if:
1. They Fascinate You
Passion and interest is one of the fundamental reasons why people invest in expensive fountain pens. If you’re someone who enjoys having a fountain pen in your collection, you should definitely buy them.
2. You Enjoy Writing by Hand
Have you ever seen a writer carry a fountain pen wherever they go? Or did you ever notice a professional taking out that one special pen to sign their documents? If so, then let us tell you why.
Fountain pens may slow down your handwriting speed, but they give you more control over the strokes and lines. As a result, you can craft more smoothly and beautifully, and your script becomes a treat for the eye!
So many writers consider fountain pens a brilliant investment. They can use them to write and sign documents nicely, which can make a good impression on any potential readers.
3. You Enjoy the Fountain Pen Community
Over the years, more and more people have started to collect fountain pens. Some consider it a sign of in-depth knowledge and understanding about writing implements, while others enjoy the sense of community that comes from having a shared interest with others.
In any case, a unique and vintage fountain pen is considered a respectable object to own, and, at the very least, it can be a good conversation starter.
All in all, there are three fundamental reasons why people purchase fountain pens. These include passion, performance, and perception. So, if you find any of these reasons interesting and relatable, buying a fountain pen is a must.
Best Expensive Fountain Pen Manufacturers
Montblanc Fountain Pens
Established in 1906, Montblanc is a pioneer in the fountain pen industry. It is a German-based company that prioritizes both performance and looks. You’ll be amazed by their smooth and robust pens that resemble jewels.
Montblanc also produces jewelry, perfumes, and exotic handbags, so it was a matter of time before they implemented their style and design onto fountain pens. Despite their premium prices, Montblanc manufactures some of the best performing fountain pens on the market.
Without a doubt, Parker has been in the world of manufacturing pens since the beginning. It started making fountain pens in the later 1880s, having all the tools necessary to make fountain pens.
Famous creations like vector, even though a bit expensive, have been a great support in writing for college students and office workers. There’s no doubt that they make a reputable gift.
Sheaffer Pens first came into existence in 1907 when Walter Sheaffer invented an ink-loading system for fountain pens. Ever since, the company has focused on producing innovative and precision-based fountain pen models that perform brilliantly.
Similar to Parker Pens, the Carand’Ache company has roots that date back to the early 18th century. The Swiss company produces a huge range of writing supplies, including colored pencils, graphite pencils, fountain pens, ballpoints, and much more.
The company gained popularity for its exceptional fountain pens, which typically feature ebony wood designs and 14k rose gold nibs. They also create platinum-coated and many other luxury metal pens.
There’s no denying that fountain pens are amazing writing tools. Not only do they enhance your writing performance but their premium materials ensure long-term durability.
We hope that this article has answered all of your questions about why fountain pens are so expensive. It’s because they’re worth it!
If you enjoyed it, stay tuned for more amazing articles. Until next time!