The gentleman’s guide to choosing a fountain pen

Dear Gentlemen,

With the rise of the long-form email it’s thought that the skill of the handwritten letter is a dying art in the modern world; practiced only by grand relatives, love-sick Petrarchan lovers and ransom noters. However the typical swing of what’s deemed as fashionable in the 21st century means that even the seemingly obsolete typewriter has seen a peak back into the popular market, with this in mind it doesn’t seem long until the handwritten letter becomes the latest vintage craze.

To prepare you for this moment, we bring you the essential guide to rekindling the love of the letter, and finding your ideal fountain pen.



Whether you posses the calligraphic flair of a Victorian gent or a preschool toddler, there is a fountain pen out there to suit your handwriting style. When selecting your fountain pen, it is important to bear in mind how you write. If you have small handwriting, then we suggest looking for a fine nib which will give you precision. For heavy handed writers, we suggest purchasing an iridium-tipped nib, which is more durable and tends to reduce wear and tear.

Our suggestion: Kaweco Allrounder Fountain Pen – £62.00

To purchase click here



The secret to a good fountain pen is in how effortlessly and fluidly it glides over the page. If you want the best of the best, then the pen should start up immediately upon try out, never skip and be smooth on a variety of writing surfaces. We suggest that you try out the pen before purchase to gather an idea on whether or not the feel of the pen particularly suits you.

Our suggestion: Pelikan M200 Fountain Pen – £88.00

To purchase click here



The weight of the barrel can drastically affect your handwriting. If you have big hands or long fingers, you’ll probably prefer a thicker, heavier pen. Similarly if you have particularly small hands, then a smaller and lighter pen would suit you. It’s all down to custom taste.

Our suggestion is a fountain pen that will last generations, the top pick of the bunch: Mont Blanc’s The Meisterstück 149 – £620

To purchase click here



Like Paprika in a Tzatziki, the aesthetic quality is a key ingredient in the overall experience of using and selecting a fountain pen. This again is down to custom taste… after all, it’s your desk that it will sit on.

Our suggestion: Parker Sonnet Stainless Steel Gold Trim Medium Fountain Pen – £56.00

To purchase click here


cross bailey

If you are serious about trialing your eye at calligraphy and want something of a modest price, but more than a throwaway found by the checkout at Wilkinsons, then we suggest you should be spending within the region of £15-£40. This price guarantees you a decent quality, with a long life span. Of course when you become as confident in your handwriting as Douglas Booth is in his style, then we advise you to start looking for a larger investment.

Our suggestion for a trial: Cross Bailey – £30.00

To purchase click here

Yours sincerely,

The Gentleman’s Journal

Further Reading