Fountain Pen and Mechanical Pencil
When it comes to writing with ink on page, there's nothing quite like a good old fashioned fountain pen. Or with lead on page, likewise a good old fashioned mechanical pencil. Says I, Selective Luddite™ that I am.
I used to use a fountain pen way back when, junior high and high school and on up into my early twenties. The fountain pens I got in those days were some dreadful things picked up for probably 59¢ in a dime store. Still, they were a cut above your typical Bic ballpoint.
Then I drifted away from fountain pens until about ten or twelve years ago, when I ran across this Rotring fountain pen in a Levenger catalogue. Black finish. Machined from a chunk of solid brass.
This pen is so sturdy that you could run over it with your car and it would have nary a scratch on it. (Though, as they say, "Don't try this at home.")
I also got a matching black-coated knurled solid brass mechanical pencil, which takes
Let's face it: ballpoints are cheap, ballpoints are convenient, but the aesthetic quality of something written with a ballpoint can't even begin to compare to the beauty of a page written with a fountain pen. Fountain-penned writing just plain looks better, it has character, and the ink flows onto the page like magic.
Ballpoint pens are serviceable: they represent the triumph of utility over quality. Fountain pens are serviceable and beautiful, and so is their writing— even if you've got electroencephalographic handwriting like mine.
Back in the old days, I'll admit, fountain pens could be messy to fill, and they could leak. Today's fountain pens are another story. I fill this fountain pen every three or four weeks, no problem; and I've never had any problem with it leaking. The only limitation is, it stays on my desk; but that's just because I don't want to deal with the inevitable scenario of "Hey, could you lend me your pen?", and then that's the last you ever see of it. (I can't begin to count the pens I've lost that way over the years.)
You can check out all sorts of fountain pens at Levenger or at Fahrney's Pens. Blows my mind to see how many hundreds or even thousands of dollars some of them fountain pens cost; I got mine cheap, and it'll last me a lifetime.