Vintage pens are, simply put, pens that are very old. Since most of even the modern day ink pen companies have olden day counterparts, there are many older versions of pens by recognized companies today. And since the quality of the pens made by excellent companies do not decrease over time, it is pretty much possible that olden pens can still be usable. Even if not usable, vintage pens are definitely collector’s items that can be treasures for years to come.
Most of the vintage pens are at least fifty to sixty years old, and are called pre-war fountain pens, the war referred to being the second world war. But why do people find them interesting? The fact of the matter is that pre-war fountain pens are very different from modern day pens. They are beautiful and significant in a way that modern day pens, factory made and almost repetitive in their similarity, cannot possess.
Not only do old pens possess a beauty that makes them gorgeous to hold and appreciate with the eye, vintage pens also have a different feel to them when writing. The nibs of vintage pens are a product of craftsmanship in an era that has died out – their writing holds the flavor of the past. In addition to the feel while writing with the pen, the look of the writing also comes out to be different. No serious fountain pen enthusiast would dream of comparing ballpoints to the beatify and elegance of writing with ink. In a similar way, no one who has seen vintage pen writing will dream to compare it with the writing from modern pens.
But what exactly is it about vintage pens that makes them different. Well, most enthusiasts say it is the construction of the nib. Vintage pens have flexible nibs that produce a style of writing that is simply distinctive. Even with the best modern day pen you cannot have the same effect –much less with a ball point, no matter what company made it.
A different way to achieve a similar effect is to use a chisel point nib and pay attention to the writing. While this can work to create the broad down strokes and thin cross strokes, it presents a much more difficult challenge than simply using a vintage pen. Nonetheless it can be used to demonstrate the distinctive character of vintage pens.
At the end of the day, vintage pens are not for the casual collector. They require an appreciation of beauty of the casing, as well as an aesthetic appreciation of writing with the pen and the writing the pen produces.
The most famous vintage pens are produced by the following brands: Parker, Waterman, Aurora, LeBoeuf, Namiki, Montblanc, Thomas de la Rue. Waterman pens from before 1941 are valuable, particularly those before 1915. Parkers up to 1920 are very valuable. Montblanc pens, even modern ones are valuable, but pre-1960s ones are the best. Namiki pens with gold and silver filigree work are the most expensive – the company has been taken over by Pilot, so Pilot pens are not valuable.