Fountain pens are an investment. By the nature of owning a luxury item, you’re putting a certain amount of money into an item with the idea to own it for quite a long time. But for many who are starting out, or not exactly sure what they want or what they prefer to write with, investing anything over a couple hundred dollars can seem daunting.
One example of this is the Montblanc 146 with a Calligraphy nib. By name recognition alone, we know this is going to be a beautiful pen that would last a lifetime. The Calligraphy nib on this pen, too, is a unique offering from the German company. With its exceptional detail, the nib is 18-karat gold and flexible, creating line variation and a fun writing experience, depending on the amount of pressure one uses. This, of course, explains the “Calligraphy” name.
Of course, not everyone’s budget can afford a Montblanc or one is unsure if this is the right pen for them. That is why we would recommend perhaps the Pilot Custom Heritage 912 with a FA nib as a serious contender for an alternative.
The 912 with a Falcon (“FA”) nib has many of the features of the above Montblanc but for about a third of the price. Made from a black resin body, one can see visual similarities between the two and could be a good pen to substitute a Montblanc. But it’s really the nib which compares well against the Calligraphy nib.
Looking at the nib up close, one can see notches out of the nib’s sides, giving the Falcon its “wings”. This design helps in terms of releasing surface tension on the nib and giving it additional flex. This nib has a bit more spring than the softer bend of the Montblanc, but when writing with it, the experience is just as enjoyable.
Pen collecting and enjoyment should not be cost prohibitive, but the reality of the industry means that it often is. Because of this, if you’re looking for a good pen with an understated design and a fun nib to play with, the PIlot Custom Heritage 912 with FA nib might just be your best bet.