One of the coolest features that make a fountain pen stand out is undoubtedly its design, which can sometimes be as simple as it gets: transparent. For ink enthusiasts, this could even be a crucial factor in the decision-making process. Besides the aesthetics, one can always monitor the ink level, but staring at the hue of one’s favorite ink as it flows through the pen’s reservoir can be a truly satisfying and inspiring experience. As with any other product, demonstrators come at varying price points. However, we have compiled a list of five demonstrators that can be purchased within a budget of $250.
SAILOR 1911 Standard Demonstrator Fountain Pen
Sailor’s most popular series, the 1911, is a must-have in every collection. While some prefer the classic, colored versions, which might be a bit too common if you already own a Montblanc, I’d go for the demonstrator as I find it more unique in terms of design. Offered in gold trim, the pen features a transparent casing that allows you to keep an eye on the ink level as well as on the inner parts (something that has always fascinated me). Being the standard version, it weighs 17g, making the pen comfortable during long writing sessions. It features a 14k gold nib available in extra-fine, fine, medium-fine, and medium.
Price: 130.00 USD
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PILOT Custom 74 Clear Demonstrator
Sailor’s Japanese counterpart, the Pilot Custom 74 is another great option to consider under $200. Sharing a similar design, but not as elegant as the Sailor, this pen is for those who appreciate simplicity. The transparent casing is complemented by grey elements (the grip section, the end part of the barrel, and the cap tip) creating a harmonious look along with the 14k gold nib. If you find the Sailor 1911 too short, then perhaps the Custom 74 is for you, as it enjoys an extra 8mm in length. In terms of weight, the pens are similar.
Price: 110.00 USD
PELIKAN Classic M205 Demonstrator Fountain Pen
Pelikan also has excellent offers when it comes to demonstrators. While the most iconic among them remains The Chronoswiss Styloscope, today I introduce you to a version from their classic series, the m205 demonstrator. In addition to the Japanese models, this demonstrator pen comes equipped with a piston-filling mechanism which makes things a little more interesting, allowing the user to see how the piston actually works.
Price: 125.00 USD
PILOT Custom Heritage 92 Clear Fountain Pen
Back to Japan for the Pilot Custom Heritage 92, praised by some enthusiasts for its minimalistic design. The pen also features a piston-filling mechanism that can hold up to 0.7 ml of ink (a fairly generous amount that makes it great for everyday use). Weight should also be taken into consideration (the 20g feels just right in the hand, neither too heavy nor too light). It comes with a 14k rhodium-plated nib available in fine, medium, and broad.
Price: 240.00 USD
PLATINUM Curidas Demonstrator Fountain Pen
Quite controversial in terms of design, but definitely a pen that deserves some attention, the last demonstrator to make our list is the Platinum Curidas. Priced at 70$, it is made of transparent precious resin and features a retractable nib (the nib is operated by pressing the button that extends from the end of the barrel.) Its 153mm length makes it the longest in this series but also the heaviest, weighing 24g. Although it doesn’t excel in design, this pen might win you over with its retractable nib.
Price: 70.00 USD