Quick Fountain Pen Brand Overview
If you've ever wondered, “what's the deal with that brand?” then this quick brand overview video is for you! We hope this sparks your curiosity to learn more about the brands we carry, or to develop a new connection! Read on to learn a bit more about the top 35 brands we carry!
Aurora is a multigenerational fountain pen company that makes just about all of its beautiful pens on-site in its facility in Torino, Italy. These pens include in-house-made gold nibs and ebonite feeds, which is not common! Check out our tour video to see what we saw when we had the opportunity to visit their factory a few years ago!
Do we need to even talk about BENU? Their pens are literally impossible to overlook! From their headquarters in Armenia, they make fountain pens that are full of energy. They draw their design themes from exciting sources and don't stop looking for ways to innovate. They're a ton of fun to look at and use!
A french paper brand, Clairefontaine paper is super smooth and you can get it in a huge variety of sizes, rulings, and cover designs. You can count on this paper to give you a smooth ride that shows off your ink really well.
Colorverse ink is made in South Korea but its focus is the entire observable universe. You won't find any of these inks without a theme, and more often than not, that theme centers around the beauty of Astronomy. We've even created a Goulet Pens exclusive color with them!
Conklin is a brand that has roots in the earliest days of fountain pen innovation…dare we say…pennovation? Today, Conklin makes pens in that "next-level" range with most of their pens landing in the $60 -$100 mark, all with steel nibs that are made by JoWo in Germany.
Straight out of Germany, De Atramentis makes a ton of great fountain pen ink that performs super well. However, their Document Inks are the A-Team here. That series is your best go-to if you want water resistant fountain pen ink in a variety of colors.
Diamine is 100% an ink-only brand – that's what they do, and they do it really well. Based in the UK, Diamine ink is known for having really great reds, inks that have a sheen, and inks that have shimmer. Right now though, the product they get the most hype around is their holiday "Ink Vent" calendars. In years past, they've even turned some of those inks into full-line regulars, so if you missed out before, you can still get these amazing colors!
Diplomat is a German pen brand that is most known for its Aero and Elox models – which are both reliable and fun (and super satisfying to cap). Also, worth noting is their Magnum model, which is an outstanding starter pen with a fun bouncy nib.
Fountain pens from the Edison Pen Company are machined and polished in Ohio, making them the only US-made fountain pen company on this particular list. The team at Edison produces resin pens with German nibs using a meticulous eye for detail and high production standards. Check out our video from Brian Goulet's visit a few years ago!
Another pen brand steeped in history, Esterbrook has been recently resurrected and has since doubled down on producing well-made fountain pens that are worthy of a prestigious name. They always have an exciting new special edition pen popping up, so keep your eyes open! The "cushion cap" on their Estie model is worth noting as well since it keeps a great airtight seal to help keep your pen from drying out.
Ferris Wheel Press
Proudly made in Canada, Ferris Wheel Press inks are not only impressive on the page, but the presentation of them all is unrivaled. Every single color has its own distinctive box art, they're boxed up securely, and the bottles themselves are in a league of their own. These are great gifts too.
We have our own products too! We have a ton of cleaning supplies, we have spare nibs, and we also have notebooks that are bound with Tomoe River paper – which is the best paper for showing off fun ink properties like shading, sheen, or shimmer.
Herbin & Jacques Herbin
Here you get two quick brand overviews for the price of one! Herbin is an ink brand we've had for a very long time. If you're looking for ink that will always be gentle in your pen, this is a good choice. Jacques Herbin is the premium version of the brand, where you'll find the legendary 1670 ink series, which was instrumental in the popularization of "shimmer" inks. Arguably the most popular is Emerald of Chivor, but you can't go wrong with any ink you pick!
You'd be hard-pressed to find a fountain pen company that has embraced the "pocket pen" more so than Kaweco. This German brand is pretty much synonymous with "everyday carry pens", so you'll want to keep Kaweco in mind if you want something that'll be a great traveler at an accessible price. Also great to convert to an eye dropper, this pen can do it all!
LAMY- they are one of the pillars of the fountain pen industry. They produce one of the most beloved starter pens – the LAMY safari – and one of the most beloved gold-nib pens, the LAMY 2000. LAMY pens are user-friendly, well-made, and most of their fountain pens use the same interchangeable nib; which they also sell separately. LAMY also comes out with annual editions of many of their pens, and that's always pretty exciting! A quick brand overview isn't enough time to talk about how great LAMY is, so make sure to check out LAMY- How it's Made!
Leuchtturm is a paper brand that almost certainly has your favorite color available as a journal or planner. Their notebooks are often considered a go-to for the "bullet journaling" method, and with fountain pens, you can expect Leuchtturm to be a little less smooth than a brand like Clairefontaine, but you'll also see faster dry times.
What can we say about Maruman Mnemosyne? The notebooks have a tiny bit of additional formatting & structure printed on many of their pages, but not so much that it restricts your writing freedom in any way. They also have some unique pocket sizes that are great for on-the-go note-taking.
Another multigenerational Italian pen company, Montegrappa lives in the luxury space, producing high-end writing instruments in lots of different styles. They're probably most known for their outrageous limited editions. Check out this video for a tour of their lovely Italian headquarters in Bassano del Grappa.
Monteverde pens are anything but boring. You've got the confoundingly popular tool pen, along with multiple different fountain pens that show off Monteverde's signature uses of carbon fiber, rainbow metal, and abalone – all at a reasonable price with German steel nibs. They also have a huge selection of vibrant ink colors!
Namiki is the heart and soul of the Pilot brand. These stunning pens differ from Pilot considerably by producing fountain pens that serve as a canvas for the traditional art of Japanese urushi. Months of work often go into each pen, which is hand-lacquered by masters of truly breathtaking techniques. You're buying much more than a fountain pen when you buy one of these.
Noodler's is an American ink brand well known for its value. You can expect bottles of ink at a low price point that are always full to the brim, so open your bottle on a surface! Noodler's also sells super affordable pens with flexible nibs that offer line variation; though the pens are best suited for the hands-on tinkerer.
Pelikan enjoys an excellent reputation around the world for producing pens that stand the test of time. Essentially, these German-made pens have one primary style of fountain pen, but in various sizes and designs. From the small-ish M200 to the massive-ish M1000 these pens are immediately identifiable. The very smooth internal piston filler is definitely worth a try.
You've probably heard of Pilot! They sell a ton of rollerballs – but fountain pens are still their passion. The thing you need to know about Pilot, though is that they make excellent quality fountain pens in the $20 range as well as the $500+ range. If you're looking for across-the-board consistency, this brand is it. Pilot's Iroshizuku line of ink also enjoys that same reputation.
Pineider was only a paper company before pen designer Dante DelVecchio arrived. Dante is constantly innovating and running wild with fountain pen ideas in a way that only he can. Nowadays, Pineider offers Italian-made luxury pens that are visually striking and operationally fascinating.
One of the larger Japanese fountain pen companies, Platinum is most known in the US for its assortment of entry-level pens like the Preppy, and its signature fountain pen, the 3776 Century. Beyond those, Platinum also creates urushi lacquer pens as well and generates a lot of excitement with its 3776 limited edition pens. These pens often have the "slip & seal" cap, which does an amazing job of creating an airtight seal.
Private Reserve is an ink brand that offers a bunch of great colors, but their superpower is that they have well-organized performance-based subsets. They have a collection of pearlescent inks, a collection of fast-dry inks, and a collection of "Infinity inks" that drastically reduce the chance of your pen drying out.
Retro 51 is our only rollerball brand! Yes, they do make a few fountain pens – but they're here because sometimes you might prefer a rollerball – and Retro 51 allows us to get a ton of personality into your "plan B" writing experience. They're great all the time, but also, they introduce limited editions for the collectors out there. You'll find a Retro51 pen that you swear was made just for you.
Rhodia paper is sort of a cousin of Clairefontaine. You'll get a very similar writing experience but with a more minimalistic aesthetic. The covers are usually only available in black and orange, but not always! The paper is smooth and available in multiple rulings, but the dot grid is the most popular. If you're curious about the differences between Rhodia and Clairefontaine, you can check out our blog about Clairefontaine vs Rhodia.
An ink manufacturer out of Australia, Robert Oster's handmade ink is stored in recyclable PET bottles manufactured in Australia's first carbon-neutral plastics plant. We told you this would be a quick brand overview, and when the brand is as consistent as this one, it's we don't have to spend too much time praising it. Just one use and you'll be hooked!
Sailor pens are hugely popular, as you'll see fun new fountain pen colors launching all the time, along with new inks. Both of these are made in Japan with the high standards for quality Sailor is known for. Because Sailor manufactures all different kinds of nibs, it can take a while to find the one you love. You can learn more about all the different kinds of Sailor nibs here. You can count on them to write consistently and write well.
Our only French fountain pen brand, S.T. Dupont makes luxury fountain pens that are substantial in the hand and reliable on the page. Usually utilizing traditional lacquering techniques with metal hardware, S.T. Dupont pens are built to last generations.
Taccia is a fountain pen company that has a huge passion for Japanese urushi. Heirloom pens that showcase masterful craftsmanship and artistry, Taccia always delivers a "wow" factor and for that reason occupies that "grail pen" category much of the time. These are definitely worth a look.
The product that Traveler's Company is most known for is without a doubt their Traveler's Notebook. It's not really a notebook at all, but a modular system that allows you to customize it with different types of notebooks, inserts, and accessories! They also sell a delightful little travel pen!
If there was a crown for the ruler of the under $100 fountain pen category, it would probably be awarded to TWSBI. With around a dozen different pen models all below a hundred dollars, TWSBI is a great option for new users, or any writer looking to get a lot of bang for your buck. You'll see that TWSBI specializes mostly in clear pens with a variety of internal filling mechanisms. Take a look at the TWSBI ECO to see what all the fuss is about!
Finally, we have Visconti. One of the most well-known Italian fountain pen brands, You'll find Visconti features that signature Italian flair in their designs, much of it drawing inspiration from Italian history. Most famously, they have a lava pen – the Homo Sapiens – which indeed contains basaltic lava sourced from Mt. Etna in Sicily. That's a good indication of what you can expect from Visconti!
You can see products from these brands listed (and many more) in our store!