March 28, 2004

Grey sky.

Whining and fountain pens. There is nothing today but darkness and a weirdly humid heat for March. I have the air conditioning on, actually. It is a good day to stay inside, send spring cards to friends and family, and do some online shopping for pens and inks. I ordered my second fountain pen today, a Waterman Hemisphere in the stainless steel finish. I also ordered two bottles of Waterman ink: one blue and one green. I'm going to put the green in the steel Hemisphere in celebration of spring. The blue is for my Phileas; since it is itself blue, I can't bring myself to put anything but blue ink in it. I received a very attractive Levenger True Writer on Thursday. I didn't bother to research it or anything before I ordered it, and I read lots of negative "don't buy this pen!" reviews only after the order was placed. Issues involved ink flow, cap posting, weight, etc. Well, I opened my True Writer with a big smile on my face. The cap posted nicely. The finish was nothing short of beautiful. I went to put in the converter, and CRACK. The damned pen just broke apart right in my hands. Off we went to the local shop to get another fountain pen -- and to the post office to send Levenger back their piece of junk. Sitting at a red light, I thought it was funny that the nice FedEx man was still on his route while the Levenger pen and ink he just brought me were already on their way back to Levenger, in Florida. My nice blue Waterman Phileas (fine point, of course) came home with me straight away, and I took it with me to a colloquium on Scheler which one my favorite professors was giving that afternoon, to take notes. More importantly, though, I learned four lessons that day. One, never buy any of the over-priced crap from Levenger. Two, always research fountain pens at least a little before you invest in them. Three, I really like Waterman pens. Four, I have far too much free time these days.


Anonymous said...


Levenger catalog is great eye candy, and requisite reading for Lotto winners. Past that, you have to be careful. I can't get past the love affair I have with my Namiki/Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen (fine nib, of course) to work with any other pens. Have to see if I can lose that bad habit in the months ahead so I can expand my pen horizons. If one is good, then many are better. ;-)

Pragmatik said...


I just received the Levenger catalogue today and was looking at it before I went online. You just saved me a lot of money!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Craig Miles

There is something to be said about buying fountain pens without physically seeing and trying them.

The mail-order pen purchases I've made have been with Classic Pen (a small company), who've been excellent with all the Pelikan's I've purchased.

Still, the best is the local fountain pen shop -- if you are lucky enough to have one in your community -- another business that's seen its better days.

Great post! Thanks!