Here we all are, once again staring Futurity in the elusive face, with many of us preparing for parties the purpose of which seems to be to blot out all memory of the past. What better time to consider the Modern Pens of Desert Island than a day that prepares for a shift in what the word “modern” itself means?
As with yesterday’s list, I am working up in order of increasing attachment. I also want to give an honourable mention to a pen that very nearly got into the list, and was for a long while getting ready to shove off pens which cost at least six times as much– the Pilot Metropolitan. I could just as easily make this list one of six rather than five and give it proper recognition, because it really does punch above its weight… but I value symmetry, and if there’s five yesterday, then it’s five official entries today.
Also good for close combat, if cannibals come ashore
I have a slight qualm about the Parker 50 coming to the island, stemming from the reputation of the clip for flimsiness. Other than that, though, it’s really a splendid pen and one well adapted to life under palm-fronds with it’s stainless-steel everything (except the clip). It’s possible that if I had a chance to try out a Pilot MYU, I’d swap out this one for it, but perhaps not. I definitely like the Falcon over Pilot’s even-more-similar Murex.
“Doesn’t that clip bother your fingers?” No.
Next, a pen which surprised me by bubbling along to the top of this list, because I never find myself casting lingering thoughts in its direction (see yesterday’s runner up for that sort of thing). The VP is a darned good pen, for all I worry about crumbs going in its opening when I carry it around. Not exciting, but smooth and reliable. The fact that there’s no cap to drop into the sand on my island and lose forever doesn’t hurt, either; I’m not a constant booster of convenience, but I won’t actively work against it.
…hm? Sorry, didn’t mean to stare.
Can I truly be stranded on this island if I have a Carène? Perhaps not, if I knew the French words for sail, mast, and compass…. In any event, this is a pen that I was actively trying to convince myself to sell during the really rough financial patch over the summer, because by itself it is actually worth some money and there is evidence on the auction site I decline to name today that people are willing to spend to get a second-hand model. I couldn’t quite get that battle won– I don’t spend quite as much time in idle contemplation of its beauty as I do with the Parker 75, but I will gaze upon it for the simple satisfaction. It might have run a little higher on this list if it weren’t quite so given to nib-creep.
Typical. Try to set up a new society, and someone has to insist on being called “Souverän”.
Do I cheat if I bring a pen which I can swap points on? Possibly. I can settle on just one if so, and I’d still bring this M600– I do not dream of an M800 or M1000, for I like my pens on the light side and the previous two items in this list carry enough heft for all the others. This pen is carrying the flag for a lot of other Pelikans, too, because just about all that I own or have worked on made it through to the penultimate cut; I discover I really like this brand.
Who else can claim five decades of looking totally cool?
Another German pen tops to Moderns list, and apparently I and the invisible-handed Marketplace agree on this as a good choice of pen; the Lamy 2000 has, after all, been in production since 1966 with only marginal changes. Good weight, good size, good writing, good capacity, easy basic maintenance, and as sturdy a pen as I know of– it’s not, depending on your personal preferences, a raving beauty, but it has the sort of rugged handsomeness that a few scars won’t injure.
That’s it for the desert island list. I hope you all have a fine New Year’s Eve, if it hasn’t already swept over your time zone. We’ll see you in the next calendar with more nonsense.
Today’s pen: OMAS Arte Italiana (because I’m partying like it’s 1959!)
Today’s ink: Herbin Lie de Thé (because it will enforce a little bit of consideration of the past in this reckless amble into the World of Tomorrow)