Welcome Francisco Cribari's personal fountain pen page.

I like fountain pens. Why fountain pens?, you may ask. Because fountain pens are real pens. ("If it doesn't suck ink from a bottle, it's not a real pen"; this quote is from http://www.realpens.com.) On a more serious note, and to quote Richard Binder: "In today’s Internet-DVD-cellphone world where overachievers rule, dot-coms spring up as fast as houseflies on a hot summer day and die off just as fast, and nobody has time even to sneeze, a fountain pen is a wonderful — and useful — diversion, a practical reminder of a time when things were a lot less hectic. (...) It doesn’t take me any longer to write something with a fountain pen than it would to write it with a rollerball or a ballpoint, but it feels different. It feels better somehow." Writing should be as much fun and reading, at least when you have what to say. And that's where fountain pens come in.

The following was posted by Richard Binder on the Pentrace discussion board (September 13, 2005):

The pleasure of using a fountain pen must be experienced to be understood. It is important as part of the experience to understand that fountain pens, unlike all ballpoint-type pens (ballpoints, rollerballs, gel pens), should not be grasped firmly or pressed against the paper. (except in the special circumstances of a flex nib). A fountain pen glides across the paper on a thin lubricating film of liquid, exactly as an ice skate glides across the ice on a thin lubricating film of water melted by the pressure of the skate blade. Cradle a fountain pen in your hand, don't grasp it. When I was taught penmanship in elementary school, the teacher would walk around the classroom while the students were practicing their exercise. The teacher would suddenly lean over a student's shoulder and snatch the student's pen backward. if the pen did not come out of the student's had with no meaningful resistance, the student was grasping the pen too tightly. Using a fountain pen in the proper manner is a sensual experience; you can feel the paper the way a sports car driver feels the road. Ballpoints are like army tanks on the road."

At this point, you are probably saying out loud: "Yeah, I know, Montblanc..." Not so fast. "Montblanc is the brand that most people associate with fine pens, but it is also the brand that many pen enthusiasts love to hate." (The quote is from Richard Conner,  http://www.rickconner.net.) Montblanc is a good brand of pens, but there is a lot more to fountain pens than just this heavily hyped brand.

I am oftentimes asked to recommend fountain pens for beginners. My prime suggestion is to start with a Pelikan M200, which is an extremely nice pen and only costs around US$ 60. And, besides, you can never go wrong with a Pelikan, which is my favorite brand of fountain pens together with Omas.

This page contains pictures of some of the fountain pens I own. It is a small, very small collection of new and vintage pens from different countries.

Lamy Al-Star (made in Germany; fine nib):

Lamy All Star

Lamy Safari
(made in Germany; extra fine nib):

Lamy Safari

Rotring Core (made in Germany; fine nib):

Rotring Core

Parker Vacumatic Jr (this pen was manufactured in 1947; made in Canada; fine nib):

Parker Vacumatic

Esterbrook SJ (this one is also a vintage pen, it was manufactured in 1949; made in the United States; extra fine nib):


Récife Marble Resin Crystal (made in France; fine nib):

Récife Crystal (Gold)
(This pen had its nib and feed fine-tuned by Richard Binder.)

Nakaya Wajima-nuri-Tamenuri-RED, Special Model (made in Japan; this pen was custom made for me; soft medium nib):
Nakaya 1
Nakaya 2

Pelikan M250 (made in Germany; extra fine flex nib):

Pelikan M200
(Flex nib by Richard Binder.)

Pelikan M205 (made in Germany; extra fine nib):

Pelikan M205
(Nib adjusted by Richard Binder.)

Platinum Blue Celluloid (made in Japan; fine nib):

Platinum Blue Celluloid

Platinum Purple Passion (made in Japan; fine nib):

Purple Passion
(This pen had its medium nib reground to fine by Richard Binder.)

Namiki Herringbone (made in Japan; fine nib):

Namiki fountain pen (black)

Omas Ogiva Vision (made in Italy; extra fine nib):

Omas Ogiva Vision
(This is probably my favorite pen; its nib is butter, glass smooth.)

Retro 51 Scriptmaster (made in the U.S.A.; fine nib):

Retro 51 Scriptmaster

Pelikan M1000 (made in Germany; fine nib):

Pelikan M1000
(This is a large pen; it has a very large nib, which has some flex and is very springy.)

Omas 360 Iceberg (made in Italy; fine nib):

Omas 360 Iceberg

Omas 360 Magnum (oversized) (made in Italy; medium stub nib):

Omas 360 Magnum

Parker 100 (made in England; medium nib):

Parker 100

Dani Trio Mikado Raw Ebonite (made in Japan; medium nib):

Dani Trio Mikado

Pilot Custom 74 Demonstrator (made in Japan; fine nib):

Pilot Demonstrator

My wish list (pens I would love to have): Namiki Emperor (they don't call this baby Emperor for nothing!), Aurora 88 demonstrator, Conway Stewart Churchill (lever fill), Delta Dolce Vita Oversized, Namiki Bamboo, Pelikan M800, Pelikan Shanghai, Omas Paragon, Omas Imagination, Sailor King of Pens, Montblanc 149, Montblanc Franz Kafka.

Places where you can buy fountain pens:

  1. A Pen's Lover Paradise
  2. Avalon Pens
  3. Cajun Pen
  4. Capital Pen  (by Keith, pentracer)
  5. Casa das Canetas (Brazil)
  6. Emporium das Canetas (Brazil)
  7. Fountain Pen Hospital
  8. Go Pens
  9. J M Pennifeather Fountain Pens
  10. Joon
  11. Levenger
  12. Nakaya (Japanese handmade pens)
  13. Novelli (a goof place to buy Omas)
  14. Oscar Brown
  15. Passion for Pens
  16. Pelikan and Martini Pens (a good place to buy Pelikans)
  17. Pen Gallery
  18. Pen Perfecto
  19. Pen Plus
  20. Pens in Asia
  21. Penspiration
  22. Platinum Pen Store (includes a complete Platinum catalogue)
  23. Parker (Brazil)
  24. Ravil (Brazil)
  25. Star Fountain Pen (Brazil)
  26. Swisher Pens
  27. Wood'n Dreams

Places where you can have your pens fixed and fine-tuned:

  1. John Mottishaw
  2. Richard Binder

Useful sites:

  1. Fountain Pen Network
  2. Glenn Marcus's Pen Page  (lots of useful information)
  3. Ink Reviews
  4. Ink Sampler (information on inks)
  5. J. Miller's Fountain Pen Centre
  6. Pen Lovers
  7. Pen News
  8. Pentrace  (articles, reviews and message boards)
  9. Stylophiles (magazine)

"So many pens, so little time." --Richard Binder

Last updated: May 2, 2011
2003-2011 © F. Cribari-Neto