My black Waterman Hemisphere is the most expensive fountain pen I own.
Black Waterman Hemisphere
Our second #FountainPenFriday features my most expensive pen, a black Waterman Hemisphere. As mentioned in first installment of this series, I lose pens. I leave them lying around and forget to pick them up. I’ve been known to walk away from dinner at the bar of a restaurant like Marcella’s in Columbus, Ohio, leaving the pen sitting there. It’s why I regularly carry pens that cost less than twenty dollars.
Keeping a good pen
Refillable cartridges allow the writer a wider selection of ink colors.
I belonged to a chapter of Business Network International (BNI) in the early 2000s. Writing occupied my time, both course development for clients and working on the streetcar book. Since attending BNI meetings became part of my regular routine, looking professional was important. A good pen projects a professional appearance. While the risk of losing a pen always dogged me, attending events around New Orleans made it easier to keep track of them. Hanging on to a fountain pen is actually pretty easy. When asked, “May I borrow your pen?” the answer, “All I have is a fountain pen” facilitated a polite way to decline. So, I splurged and bought a hundred-dollar pen.
Refilling with basic blue Waterman ink.
Stores like Office Depot offered a decent selection of fountain pens, Waterman’s selected provided me with choices within $100-$200. Paranoia about losing pens ruled the moment. I chose one on the lower end of the price range.
My black Waterman Hemisphere is skinny. Hemispheres fit nicely in a shirt pocket. Ink cartridges served me well at first. After a while, however, desire to change it up more nudged me into bottled ink. I bought a couple of refillable cartridges at the store. Now I could alternate between blue and red. As you saw last week, I’ve branched out beyond Waterman ink, thanks to my friend (and next week’s #FountainPenFriday guest blogger, Jeff Rochlin, host of The Relief Valve Podcast.
My black Waterman Hemisphere sits on my desk these days. That’s a good place for it, since most of the work is via remote now. And I still don’t take it with me out of the house much. I might lose it!
An inexpensive Rosewood BMHS pen kicks off our #FountainPenFriday series
Rosewood BMHS Pen
Every year, Brother Martin High School hosts their “Extravaganza,” an evening of food, drink, music, and dancing, wrapped around a huge silent auction. Prior to the Extravaganza itself, the school holds a “patron party” a couple of hours before the main event. Since this party was a gig for the Crusader Jazz Band, we paid up. We didn’t want to miss our now-26yo kiddo (class of 2012) playing a band gig!
Because patron party attendees put up extra for more food, more drink, and the Jazz Band, they receive a party favor. It’s usually some sort of branded memento. A few years ago, that memento was a small desk set, with a rosewood pen and letter opener. Both items were laser-carved with the school’s shield and name. Somewhere along the line, my firstborn (class of 2006) swiped the rosewood BMHS pen that came with the set. One Fall, I mentioned the theft to the family. Wife went out on Amazon and bought me a rosewood fountain pen to once again complete the set.
Inexpensive Fountain Pens
I’ve been in love with fountain pens since my University of New Orleans days. I was pen-less one day, right before a test. So, I went to the UNO Bookstore to pick up an inexpensive pen. I chose a plastic UNO-branded Paper-Mate pen. It was on sale, and when I got to class, I discovered why. It was a fountain pen! While that wasn’t exactly what I wanted, it worked. I hung on to that pen for twenty-five years, losing it in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
When I began traveling extensively, delivering computer training in different cities, I didn’t want to bring an expensive pen with me. So, I bought cheap fountain pens like that UNO pen. Lose one? I’ll survive. Over time, I upgraded a bit, opting for heaver pens of better quality. As eBay grew in popularity, I discovered it was easy to buy cheap, serviceable pens.
Completing the set
I keep the rosewood pen here on my desk at home. Since it was a gift, I’d hate to lose it.