Executive pens are rather loosely defined. There are those who feel like it is simply a professional pen.
The truth is a little more undefinable. It’s basically a pen that people who are in management positions, such as a manager, administrator, CEO, CPO, or any other kind of authority figure is likely to have on their desk.
In this article, we list 6 great pens for executives, ranging in price from $20 to $500. Click here if you want to skip to the list.
The executive pen is the one that you will find when you walk past the cubicles and into the room with a name placard posted on the door or engraved in the glass window. It’s a professional pen for use by a professional who needs an excellent and dependable pen.
Table of Contents
- 1 What to Look for in a Professional, Executive Pen
- 2 Best Executive Pens
- 2.1 Lamy 2000 Rollerball Pen
- 2.2 Features
- 2.3 Montblanc Meieterstuck Classique Rollerball Pen
- 2.4 Features
- 2.5 Montblanc Pix Black Ballpoint Pen
- 2.6 Features
- 2.7 Parker IM Fountain Pen
- 2.8 Features
- 2.9 Pilot Metropolitan Rollerball
- 2.10 Features
- 2.11 Cross Townsend Black Lacquer Selectip Rollerball Pen
- 2.12 Features
- 3 Final Thoughts
- 4 More Pens Guide Coverage
What to Look for in a Professional, Executive Pen
An executive pen doesn’t have to be a black, sleek-looking pen with gold-colored inlays and removable caps. They can be ballpoints, fountains, clickers, or any other type of variety so far as they meet the criteria of looking and performing efficiently and professionally.
As expensive and incredible as the Aurora 88 Blue Mamba is, it’s not exactly professional, with the snakeskin aesthetic. So, there are a few things that should be highlighted when you’re on the lookout for an executive pen.
- Opening mechanism
- Professional aesthetic
- Refill mechanism
Performance boils down to how these pens perform on paper. The level of ink flow, bumpiness, or breaks in the ink are not the signs of a quality pen. Of course, when you’re dealing with ballpoints and fountain pens, they write very differently and the paper types that go with them are important as well.
Styling should look professional and excel above and beyond industry standards. You’ve got capped and capless pens, gel pens, ballpoint, and fountain. While none of these pens perform exactly alike, they should all look similar in terms of placing them in the class of executive pens.
The refill mechanisms should be easy to use, speedy, and with little to no complication.
Best Executive Pens
The list we put together includes pens of each type, from rollerballs to fountain pens. These pens are professional, efficient, and come with plenty of longevity. They certainly have the look of pens that belong on an executive’s office desk.
- Ramie 2000 Rollerball Pen
- Makrolon Fiberglass Finish
- Stainless Steel Trim
- Medium Black Liquid Ink Roller Ball Refill Included
- Made in Germany
This pen has been around since 1966 and if that tells you one thing, it’s that it is reliable and efficient enough that it has made its case for well over half a century. It comes in rollerball, fountain, and ballpoint and has a very classic look and feel to it.
The pen is well balanced and precise, with a smooth flow over almost any type of paper. The body is made from fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate so you can sling it into a brick wall and it will come away with a little bit of powder coating.
The pen was designed with any hand size in mind. It has a large middle but it’s quite deceptive as the rapid tapering makes it a good fit even for small hands. All of the versions are easy to refill but the rollerball version takes a few extra steps and precautions to do so.
If you go with a really cheap piece of paper, you will notice that the default ink that comes with any of the Lamy pins will feather a bit, so you’ll want to stick with moderate to premium paper for its use.
It’s not an altogether flashy pen, but it is sleek, with a brushed look that lends it some professional credentials based on visuals alone.
- Multiple versions – Gel, Fountain, Rollerball, ballpoint, and porous point
- A very durable body that’s well manufactured
- Rapid tapering from a hefty middle allows for hands of all sizes
- Modest price tag
- Genuine Mont blanc with Floating star on cap
- Rollerball refills with stainless tip are avalible in black, blue, green, red
- Made in Germany
Another old-school classic design, the Classique is a rollerball pen with the black and gold aesthetic that most people envision when they consider a professional, executive pen. It doesn’t do much to separate itself from that visual design but it’s one of the best available executive pens on the planet, nonetheless.
It has a cigar shape to it, as you would expect, however, like the Lamy 2000, there’s a strong enough taper off of the thicker middle section that allows smaller and larger hands alike to grip it with confidence and comfort, without any cramping with long-term use.
Its acrylic body is certainly a lot lighter than the Lamy 2000, which may feel a bit strange as the pen looks like it should be pretty hefty. The ink flow is superb and you’ll find that you can write with a smooth and almost elegant grace on most stationery.
For really smooth paper, the kind that is heavily coated, the rollerball may tend to smear, so you will want to stick with paper that has a medium level of coating or lower. Smooth paper has always been the natural enemy of rollerball pens, so it’s not a matter of the Classique failing so much as its paper versus the pen.
- Hefty looking but lightweight design
- Smooth writing experience
- Designed to fit most hands
- Durable acrylic structure
- Slick, classical look
- Ident Number: 114797
- Ballpoint Pen
- Montblanc ballpoint pen refills: Mystery Black, Pacific Blue, Nightfire Red, Fortune Green, Amethyst Purple, Barbados...
Montblanc makes the list again but this time, it’s an entry-level pen that still retains the look, feel, and style of an executive pen. The body is made entirely of resin and the pen is surprisingly light, so there’s little to worry about when it comes to cramping, especially for those with a tense writing style.
The plexiglass material is highly scratch-resistant and reasonably durable. While the plexiglass material is all black—which encompasses most of the body—the end caps and other metal bands are platinum colored, for an impressive silver on black look.
The refill is extremely simple, pushes right out of the pen at a press, and is replaced just as easily. The pen writes very smoothly and there is no sign of a bumpy ride or skipped sections thanks to an inconsistent feed.
To get the smoothest flow when you write with the Pix, you do have to apply a bit more pressure than is typical for a pen of this time, but the result makes the microscopic effort all the more worth it. The default ink (mystery black) really shines off of the page.
Since the body is a little on the thin side, especially compared to the cigar-shaped Classique, its better suited for smaller hands, as long fingers will have more trouble gripping the pen appropriately, especially considering the fact that you really need to press down a little more to get the best flow.
You don’t have to worry about smear from the Pix, however, only a tad bit of feathering if you choose to right on really cheap paper.
- Slick and classic, platinum and black aesthetic
- Very smooth and heavy writing
- Very easy refill mechanism
- No smearing or bleed-through
- Very lightweight and easy to handle for smaller hands
- Smart, polished and established designs meet a modern, tapered silhouette
- Glossy black lacquer finish complemented with gold trims and the signature PARKER arrow clip
- Durable stainless steel fine nib delivers a writing experience that’s both reliable and personal
- A comfortable and ergonomic shape is paired with superior PARKER craftsmanship to evoke the brand’s rich heritage
- An affordable yet sophisticated gift, your fountain pen is presented in a PARKER gift box with a long blue QUINK ink...
The Parker IM Fountain Pen retains the executive look while going with the fountain pen for choice. It’s a metal-bodied pen constructed of varnished brass that either has a brushed black or brushed purple look.
The rest of the inlays, bands, and endcaps are chrome and the visual juxtaposition of the two is very satisfying. For a fountain pen, the nib is exceedingly small, almost to the point of silliness, though it is constructed of stainless steel and more than durable.
However, the writing is generally smooth and it is certainly a fountain pen that is often overlooked. The ink is slightly on the wet end but flows smoothly and has very little bleed-through that is really only achievable on cheap paper.
It also benefits from the fact that it can handle either cartridges or a converter, so you’re not stuck with anything proprietary and can switch over to your favorite inks once you get rid of the first round.
Unfortunately, the converter doesn’t come with the pen and must be purchased separately. It’s not such a big deal when you realize that the price tag for this nice fountain pen only ranges somewhere between $40 and $60. Picking up the converter is only an additional $5 or so, depending on where you get yours.
- Reasonably Priced
- Brushed brass, durable body construction
- Writes smoothly with little bleed-through on cheap paper
- Cartridges or converter compatible
- Light and balanced
- Pilot's sleek Metropolitan Collection signature pens
- Finest quality at a mid-range price
- Fine point
- Brass barrel with stainless accents
- POWER TO THE PEN: Pilot makes exceptional writing instruments to suit all your needs. We have fountain, ballpoint,...
Pilot Metropolitan is a mainstay when it comes to executive pens and is a very popular brand. The rollerball version seeks to extend the adoration that the original garnered and is largely successful in doing so.
If you didn’t uncap it, you would think that you were holding the original Metropolitan in your hand. Pilot was smart to stick with what works aesthetically. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it mentality” is too often left in the dust in favor of new and glamorous, rarely ever succeeding to the degree of the original.
However Pilot’s rollerball version does incorporate a new grip but since it is as black as the rest of the body, it’s not easy to tell that it’s there until you grip it. Fortunately, this was a needed addition, and you can press down a little more, taking advantage of the smooth-flowing gel with extra pressure.
Pilot’s refill system remains the same as it always has and is relatively easy to do. You can purchase Pilot Juice Refills on their site and although they are abundant and easy to use, Pilot hasn’t come a long way in the color department and you are severely limited on the juice that you can use.
You’re basically relegated to black, blue, and the occasional red here and there. The pen is a very lightweight and easy-to-use instrument and it is very little in the way of ghosting, feathering, or bleedthrough.
However, it is a gel pen so when you are dealing with cheap and thin paper, there’s probably going to be a bit of all of the above.
- Classic style aesthetic
- Durable, lightweight
- A smooth, uninterrupted flow of ink
- Easy to refill and empty old ink
- All Cross products are shipped in boutique-quality gift packaging that you'll be proud to give as a gift.
- Cross offers a range of ball-point refill sizes and colors; Selectip gel rolling balls, porous-points (felt tips),...
- Cross has re-invented writing instruments with jewelry-quality craftsmanship. We were America's first manufacturer of...
- Includes 1 Black Gel Ink Rolling Ball Refill (8523) in pen
Cross manufactures undeniably beautiful pens, and this one is no exception, despite the fact that they largely stick with the classic, executive pen aesthetic. Accented in Rhodium with 23k gold gilded trim and clip, the black on gold really stands out from a crowd of executive pens.
The black lacquer is polished to a high degree of shine and the pen itself is interchangeable between rollerball and marker, making it unique amongst the rest of the pens on this list. This is one of the smoothest flowing ink writing instruments available and you will fall in love with how well it rolls across the page.
It’s almost an effortless transition from the top of the page all the way to the bottom. The incredible smoothness of the writing is thanks to Cross’ Selectip Interchangeable Writing Technology, which allows you to go from one tip to the next as often as you need to.
There’s very little need to worry over bleed-through, ghosting, or feathering as the ink deposits evenly, smoothly, and without too much or too little. Of course, it’s always difficult to say what the end result will be if you’re writing on cheap paper but you’ll likely get some level of bleed-through.
- Exceptional build with 23k gold and Rhodium
- Extensively brushed, black lacquer
- Smooth writing experience
- Selectip Interchangeable Writing Technology
- Easy to grip and lightweight
These executive pens belong on your desk and likely are sitting on many an executive’s desks as of this writing. These are exceptional pens with precision writing and a smooth, uninterrupted flow.
The prices vary on the above-listed pens, however, the quality rarely does, with the exceptions of manufacturing materials. Each pen on this list has something worth appreciating and command your time and attention when looking for the best that executive pens have to offer.