Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a fountain pen that is designed to use primarily as a writing instrument, and one that is an artful representation of a well-heeled, upscale collector’s item that should never be touched, only admired at.
Personally, the drive to show off my fountain pens is nearly as intense as the creative spirit driving me to write with it. It’s a testament to the design and looks of a great fountain pen that it has the power to draw you in.
Fountain pens are becoming increasingly popular writing instruments. When it comes to fountain pens, however, they’re not all created equally.
Like vehicles, there are the v6 Ford Mustang fountain pens and then there are the Ferraris, the luxurious, high-end fountain pens that will put you back a few paychecks. Are they any better than the mid-range fountain pens or is the cost primarily in the name?
Skip ahead to our list below: 6 Best Luxury Fountain Pens
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How to Choose the Best Luxury Fountain Pens
If you’re looking for the best then you want the best, not a knock-off impression or a really good-looking generic fountain pen, even if it does check all of the boxes. The fact of the matter is, many of these pens are costly because of their brand and what they are made from.
Not necessarily because they happen to do things better or have more features than a mid-range fountain pen will. After all, there’s are only so many ways that you can engineer a converter, piston filler, or cartridge.
So many of the things that you want to look for in a luxury, highly-priced fountain pen are going to be things that are attractive to you, personally. Of course, personal preference goes hand-in-hand with your display case as well.
- Exceptional engineering
- The feel of the fountain pen in your hand
- Collections display aesthetics
It’s not so much that the fountain pen can do a thing, it’s how well it can do a thing. Odds are, if you’re looking for the most luxurious fountain pen choices, you’re not getting it to spend a lot of time writing or practicing your calligraphy skills.
Then again, maybe you are and you want something almost magical in how smoothly it flows across the page and how well the colors seem to jump off of the page when you’re all done.
Even when you aren’t using it, you still want a way to display it. You don’t spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for your fountain pen to spend most of its days in a desk drawer with all of the other pens and pencils.
Style and presentation are what it’s all about and that means you should have a way to display your luxury fountain pen collection in all of its glamor and glory. So what are the best and most luxurious fountain pens available? Believe it or not, there are quite a few of them and they are very nice indeed.
If you’re in the market for a luxury fountain pen, several brands should capture your attention right away.
- Cross: Manufactures fountain pens that are astonishingly beautiful instruments of precision and remarkable functionality. They’ve been in the fountain pen business since 1846 when they released their first Cross Fountain Pen
- Montblanc: The name is synonymous with luxury fountain pens and has been a leader in the industry since 1906.
- Sheaffer: Founded over a hundred years ago by Walter Sheaffer, a jeweler who took his knowledge of that trade and infused it into the fountain pen market.
- Smythson: Established in 1887, Smythson produced stationary almost exclusively for Queen Victoria. We don’t know about you, but that’s a heck of a pedigree.
- Parker: Parker has been around for over 130 years and have manufactured some of the most popular pens over that time. The Parker jotter might be of the greatest pens of all time. They manufacture fountain pens but also have an impressive lineup of gel and ballpoint pens.
There are some others but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado let’s check out the best luxury fountain pens.
The 6 Best Luxury Fountain Pens
We’ve chosen 6 pens as the best luxury fountain pen. But this in no way approaches the number of great luxury fountain pens out there. We looked at everything we could get our hands-on in terms of brands, designs, features, and functionality before arriving with these five, luxury fountain pens.
1. Parker 51 Fountain Pen
Before we jump into the pricier luxury fountain pens, we wanted to highlight one of the most popular luxury fountain pens, the Parker 51. This fine pen has been around since the 1940s, and it usually retails for around $100. For that price point, it offers great features and a sleek design.
- Parker 51 is a modern take on the original icon once hailed as the ‘world’s most wanted’ first launched in 1941
- Durable glossy plum precious resin barrel and chiseled gold finish cap and trims and the signature PARKER arrow clip
- Featuring a unique hooded 18k solid gold nib delivering a writing experience that is both reliable and personal
- A comfortable and ergonomic shape is paired with superior PARKER craftsmanship to evoke the brand’s rich heritage
- A unique yet sophisticated gift, your Parker 51 fountain pen is presented in a premium PARKER gift box with a long black...
Because the pen has been around for 80 years, there have been many versions. So be sure to check what type of Parker 51 pen you might like. The vintage pens are very popular with collectors. The newer pens have the same classic Parker 51 look but are designed with modern parts and practices. The newer pens are still a very great pick.
There are many versions in the Parker 51 line, and we wanted to highlight this deluxe version. It has a plum barrel with gold trim. It includes an 18k gold nib.
It is just over six inches in length and about half an inch in width, and feels perfectly suited to any hand, while also being well-balanced, so you don’t feel the need to post the cap to write. The nib is manufactured out of 18k gold, so as a soft metal, there’s no need to apply too much pressure when writing.
The ink flow is superb and, so long as you have a decent paper that is designed for fountain pens, the nib simply flows across the page, regardless of size. Regardless of the opportunity for an extraordinary display aesthetic, you’ll want to write with it immediately.
Now, this is a special edition pen, but as I mentioned you can purchase the standard Parker 51 in a variety of options.
- Plum resin barrel
- It has a unique hooded design for the nib
- Ergonomic shape and comfort
- 18k gold nib
- Parker’s extraordinary craftsmanship
- Superb ink flow
2. Cross 2021 Year of the Ox Special-Edition Fountain Pen
This fountain pen is infused with the Chinese Zodiac, with a deep scarlet body that is inlaid with 23k gold. The lacquer finish brings out the shine and this pen will certainly stand out in a collector’s set.
In terms of using it as a writing instrument, rather than as a display-only item, you can purchase it in three different sizes, so there is going to be an option for everybody’s hand size. The nib is hand-finished in stainless steel and it comes with a cartridge of specially formulated ink.
However, there is also an optional converter that you can purchase if you prefer to refill it from an ink bottle. The cap sports a Swarovski crystal, which is tiny enough that it doesn’t give off a “gaudy” appearance, but rather accentuates the body of the pen.
Since it is part of the Chinese Zodiac, it is especially nice to get one if you fall under the year of the pig. Nib sizes are fine to medium and you will also receive a lifetime mechanical guarantee for any internal malfunctions.
- Unique and vivid, puple, lacquer finish
- 23k gold inlay
- Very smooth ink flow with F and M nibs
- Top is engraved with Chine Character for Ox
- Year of the pig, ox, and rat available
- Cartridge filled but converter compatible
- 18K gold nib
3. Aurora 88 Blue Mamba Fountain Pen
This is hands down the neatest looking pen on the list. The Aurora 88 Blue Mamba has a snakeskin/dragonskin appearance across its entire length, in a bold, medium shade of blue. Its constructed of matte blue resin with “grain of rice.”
There are only 888 of these pens in the entire world so once they are sold out, the price is primed to jump exponentially. Not everything about a fountain pen is aesthetics, however, and the Aurora 88 shines in terms of functionality, every bit as much as it does aesthetically.
The nib is a satin blue trim over 18k gold and there are 6 different widths to choose from. It has a very unique piston filling system that is viewable through a small window on the side of the body. You have to pull out/extend the piston to see it.
It also has a built-in reserve reservoir so if you run out of ink and you don’t have any additional bottles on hand, the reserve will kick in, giving you enough to get through. If you’re concerned about whether this will be a display of a functional pen, you won’t be able to help trying it at least once.
The filling knob is always visible unless you post the cap over it, so you always have a visual reminder that you will have to fill the pen back up at some point.
- Stunning and very attractive aesthetic
- 18k gold covered in blue satin
- Multiple widths to choose from
- The filling knob remains extended
- Unique, piston filling system
- Precision and easy ink flow
4. Montegrappa Age of Discovery
If you’re into period pieces when you’re browsing Netflix, or just enjoy the idea of discovery, adventure, and exploration, you’ll love this fountain pen. It comes with five nib sizes and is completely encapsulated in mahogany and brass, with unique, “exploration” etchings throughout.
The nib is 18k gold with an old-school compass engraved into it. It’s designed to look like a miniature replica of a telescope that would probably have been completely home in Galileo’s study. It even includes a concealed, functional compass.
The filler mechanism is unique and simple, with a press of the “power button” in the barrel. With a simple press, dip, and refill, you’re ready to go. The pen arrives in a wooden box that harkens back to the large, wooden boxes that encapsulated ship compasses.
The length is 151mm with an 18.65mm width. In terms of functionality, everything flows very well. The pen is precise, with no bumps and skips as you go along. The pen feels slightly weighty at 116 grams but is well-balanced, which will reduce any cramping.
- Extraordinary design aesthetics
- 18k gold nib
- Five available nib sizes
- Excellent “Power-Push” refill design
- Awesome packaging
- Concealed but fully functional compass
5. Yard ‘O’ Led Victorian Grand Fountain Pen
This unique style is wrought entirely of solid sterling silver with—as the name implies—entirely Victorian aesthetic designs. These pens are made by hand, not on an assembly line, in the same way that they have been crafted for centuries.
Because of that, whichever one you purchase will be unique, as not even the same hand can craft a mirror image of a previous iteration. It accepts both a cartridge or a converter, whichever floats your boat.
The nib is #6 and manufactured with 18k gold. The writing effect is nearly flawless, with a smooth feeling flow as you scribble across the page. You’re also free to choose from two other nibs for a total set of three.
It is a heavy but balanced pen and extremely long when posted, at 175mm and the filling system is both simple and satisfying.
- Incredibly unique, victorian design
- Completely handcrafted so each pen is unique
- Excellent filler system with option for a cartridge
- 18k gold nib in F, M, and broad
- Balanced weight
- Smooth flow when writing
6. MontBlanc 145-Meisterstuck Classique Gold Fountain Pen
The Meisterstuck is one of Montblanc’s signature pens. It was introduced almost 100 years ago and has been the most popular Montblanc pen ever since.
- Montblanc Hommage a Frederic Chopin Fountain Pen 145 Black with Gold Trims 01518
Each pen comes individually serialized on the gold-coated clip. When you purchase a Meisterstuck from the Montblanc shop they will engrave the pen for free (I’m not sure this option is available if you purchase from Amazon).
The nib is a handcrafted Au 585 and manufactured with 14k gold.
- Expert craftsmanship from MontBlanc
- Gold-coated clip with individual serial number
- 14k gold nib
- Black precious resin barrel
- Cap has the Montblanc emblem
These are some of the most unique, fashionable, and impressive pens in the category of luxury fountain pens. Not only are they incredible in terms of brand name, but their aesthetics are entirely superb. If you’re looking for the most luxurious fountain pens on the market, these five certainly belong on your list.