In search of an everyday fountain pen

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I have a tendency not to use the best pens that I own. I’d like to say it’s because I’m saving them for special cards and occasions, but the truth is, I often forget I even own them when I sit down to write a card, or else I opt for a colored pencil. The one exception is the (ball-point) Cross Pen I got for graduation years ago, which I keep in my purse since it’s so small and handy.

At any rate, that’s probably why it’s taken me until now to play around with the new Waterman Phileas I bought nearly two months ago, as per Beth’s suggestion. I’m new to fountain pens, so there was a bit of apprehension. But the Phileas is widely accepted as a good entry-level option, so really, I needn’t have worried. It writes smoothly, in a solid but not heavy plastic case, and it comes with a converter (which I haven’t tested yet) if you want to use your own ink.

I like the art deco-ish design, though I stuck to basic black rather than buying one of the blue, green, or red marbled models. My nib is medium, and I expected not to like that I’m generally a fine-point fan, but the medium was all I could find but in the end it was a worthwhile departure, something I would never have tried otherwise. My letters felt solid on the page, intentional (though please forgive the fuzzy photo):


Apparently the Phileas was inspired by the character Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. That’s probably just a bunch of marketing fluff, but it still makes me smile.

4 thoughts on “In search of an everyday fountain pen

  1. Yes, and thanks again for the recommendation. Karen and I just made a date to go to the Pen Show in May, which should be a good opportunity to try some new brands and models…

  2. I’m glad you liked the pen and the M nib worked for you. Once you pop the converter in and experience the beautiful colors J Herbin inks have to offer, you’ll never go back to your other pens.

    Many writers find, over time, that fountain pens are the most ergonomic choice. Because a fountain pen requires virtually no pressure to write and a pen the size of the Phileas is more restful for the fingers to hold than a narrow ballpoint or pencil, there is less strain on the hand over time.

    Then there’s the aesthetic pleasure of using something so well engineered to lay down such beautiful colors. Keep going and watch how your handwriting changes.

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