Dryden Designs Modern Classic Fountain Pen Review

The Modern Classic Fountain Pen by Dryden Designs is a trusted favorite of many, serving as a reliable writing utensil for everyday use. Hobbyists and business persons alike have named this one of their favorites, and it serves as a testament to the Dryden legacy.

This family-owned business began when calligraphy artist and fountain pen lover Michael Dryden grew tired of the lack of high-quality fountain pens at a moderate price point. The disparity seemed to sit between spending an arm and a leg on a reliable writing instrument or spending a few dollars on something that would not last a week.

The Modern Classic Fountain Pen is exactly what Michael Dryden sought after. This pen is an example of all the company’s values, showcasing a balance between aesthetic and function and proving that considering the customer while designing and pricing your product will pay off in the end.

Is the Modern Classic Fountain Pen for You?

If you want a quality fountain pen experience on a budget, the Modern Classic Fountain Pen will work great for you. This pen fits right in that niche of offering high levels of performance at a lower price.

This makes it a fantastic choice for anyone wanting to learn how to use a fountain pen without making a major financial investment or ending up with a cheaper fountain pen with poor quality.

The Modern Classic Fountain Pen works best with daily use, so this is not a pen you should purchase to set and forget. If you aren’t using it every day, it is likely to dry up, leading to issues down the line.

Luckily, Dryden Designs constructed the pen with versatility in mind. You can choose between fine and medium nibs to meet your needs. The fountain pen works with compatible cartridges, but you can use the included piston converter to use the bottled ink of your choice.

This pen may not match the performance of competitors 20 times its price, but its solid construction makes it a great gift for colleagues, relatives, graduations, and even “just because” gifts.

What I Like About the Modern Classic Fountain Pen

The first thing you notice about this pen is how well-crafted it is. Regardless of which color you choose, the sleek, stainless steel casing holds well for both right- and left-handed individuals. It’s not overly heavy but ensures proper balance during use.

This heaviness may feel foreign to anyone new to using fountain pens, but the execution of this design facilitates exceptional writing performance. You won’t need to worry about pressing down to get the ink flowing.

Example of writing with the Pen

This fountain pen from Dryden Designs glides across the page like a dream. Your marks feed out naturally under the weight of the pen, and there is little risk of skipping. This pen is one of the most reliable options out there for daily use, and it can easily become your go-to writing companion.

What I Don’t Like About the Modern Classic Fountain Pen

The Modern Classic Fountain Pen might be properly balanced, but the cap can easily throw that off. You’ll need to be comfortable writing with the pen with the cap off or learn how to handle that weight.

These Dryden ink cartridges seem to be drier than competitors, and this can exacerbate the pen’s tendency to dry out without consistent use. This is not the pen to set aside for special occasions, and you should prepare to do a test run to get the ink flowing after storage.

Combined with the firmer-than-usual tines, the Modern Classic Fountain Pen falls short when creating variance between thin and thick lines.

Many people have pointed out that this pen is essentially a repackaged Jinhao pen. Jinhao is a Chinese pen manufacturer that builds great pens at some of the cheapest price points. You could get a Jinhao 450 for more than a third of the price of Dryden Designs price. Because of this, I think there are way better fountain pens at Dryden’s price point.

Also, I will say, If you’re willing to spend around $30 more you can pick up the Scriveiner Fountain pen, which I think is an upgrade to the Modern Classic Fountain Pen. you can read our review of the Scriveiner pen by clicking here.

Dryden Designs Modern Classic Pros and Cons

Great priceCap heavy
Solid constructionDries out easily without daily use
Writes smoothly with few interruptionsIncluded cartridges are naturally dry
Unlikely to leakFirmer tines
Greater variety of colors
Comes with a piston converter kit

What’s Included

  • Modern Classic Fountain Pen
  • Medium nib
  • 12 black ink cartridges
  • 12 blue ink cartridges
  • Piston converter
  • Velvet gift pouch
  • Complimentary fountain pen PDF guide
What came with the Dryden Designs Fountain Pen

You can’t ask for much more from a fountain pen, and the included piston converter is not something that many competitors will match.

I think it’s pretty crazy that you get 24 ink cartridges! Usually, manufacturers will only include up to 2 ink cartrdiges.

The velvet pouch is a nice touch, even when buying this pen for personal use, and anyone new to fountain pens will appreciate the complimentary guide.


  • 7 color options to fit various styles
  • Sleek yet sturdy stainless steel casing
  • Well-balanced body that bears down perfectly for writing
  • Snap on cap for quick and easy transportation
  • Versatile ink options with cartridges and ink bottles
  • Consistent flow to create smooth lines and improve efficiency
  • Zero-leak design to preserve attire, bags, and documents

The Modern Classic Fountain Pen has a lot to offer, and most of these features outweigh any of the disadvantages listed previously. While the pen falls short in a few areas, these are easy workarounds that are well worth the price point.

Final Breakdown

This fountain pen by Dryden Designs is a great example of finding a quality product at a fraction of the competitor’s price. I’m pleasantly impressed at its ability to hold ink securely and write without skipping or faltering.

The Modern Classic Fountain Pen performs in a way that boosts your spirit, and its striking visual appeal is almost guaranteed to boost your confidence.

Everyone needs an elegant and reliable pen for daily use, and the Modern Classic Fountain Pen meets this need.

You can conveniently purchase this pen on Amazon here.

Dryden Designs Fountain Pen - Medium Nib | Includes 24 Ink Cartridges (12 Black 12 Blue) and Ink Refill Converter | Calligraphy Pen, Consistent Writing, Smooth Flow - Blue.
  • Writes Like A Dream - Designed to be well balanced, you do not have to press down hard to begin to write. Ink flows...

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