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Modern Classics

Evening all,

What would you consider a modern classic of today?

I know many love vintage designs and it may be argued that the heyday of fountain pen design has passed us, but today's pens are indeed tomorrows vintage.

What current design do you think will be closest to a 51, an Esterbrook J or the enduring design of Pelikan's Souveran in say 20 or 30 years time?
Edison would have to be a real contender for that, specially the unique filler types. F-C and some of their unique designs and being a small company probably would be a sought after brand as they would also not be as readily available to be had. Pelikans are a sure bet as well I would say


Stumpy in cold weather
On the one hand, I'd look at inexpensive-yet-quality pens coming out of Germany and, most of all, Japan. Kaweco sports and Pilot 78g's (and similar pens) are workhorses-in-waiting, with great nibs. (When you think back, the 51 wasn't a "luxury" pen but a workhorse and modestly priced.)

At the other end of the spectrum, I think that the Sailor "Nagahara" specialty nibs will be remembered fondly by aficionados and higher-end collectors.
I think the 78G, Metropolitan, Kaweco Sport, and Safari are the new versions of yesteryear's cheaper pens. I agree that the Nagahara nibs will always be sought after and somewhat difficult to find. Pelikans will always be desirable, and the boutique American brands will certainly be highly regarded. Higher end Platinums, Sailors, and Pilots will probably be popular, as well. I doubt much will change in the world of C/C and piston pens, but then, one never knows.

Also, future collectors will be able to hunt down a Namiki Falcon (gold trim) and a Pilot Falcon (rhodium trim).

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There are lots of modern pens that I never have tried, and probably will never get around to. Of those that I have used, I'd say that the Pilot Vanishing Point should be appreciated as long as there are FP users to do the appreciating. The more I use my fine nibbed one, the more I think that I don't need to bother with any other modern pens.

The Esterbrook was a mix of high quality and relative affordability that I don't think you quite get today. There are still good inexpensive pens, of course, but put a Lamy Safari next to a nice celluloid Esterbrook J, and to me, at least, there's just no comparison. People still may like the Safari if they can get usable cartridges or converters. Same for the other cheaper pens Andy mentions above.

Any of Pelikan's piston fillers should be appreciated well into the future, even my plain looking black M205. The pistons will need overhaul at some point, and the vintage pen users of say, 2080 will have to learn to do that for themselves or rely on some future pen restoration specialists.
I think it's quite difficult to predict.

On the one hand as you've mentioned, what I think of as classic pens were yesteryear's workhorses. Perhaps they seem like classics because they were popular enough to be used by many, yet robust enough to last a few decades and still be perfectly usable. This leaves them dear in ones mind, yet still available to obtain.
By this logic, today's users starting out with the pens you've mentioned, Metro, 78g, Kaweco etc, may well regard them as classics in years to come.
But with sales and production certainly lower than it was, say 30 years ago or more, even relatively rare pens might be viewed in the same light.
I may be wrong, but I'd venture to guess that given the fountain pen's move from utensil of the masses to slightly unusual toys of my fellow nibber's, the ratio of luxury pens vs workhorses has probably swung towards high end pens.
30 years down the line you may be just as likely to come across something high end as you are a Parker made in 2014....

So where does that leave my guess?
I'm sticking the Lamy 2000 in there, maybe the TWSBI Vac. Conway Stewart are enjoying some resurgence and whilst the enduring design of the Churchill may have already found it's place in history, I hope for their newer designs follow the likes of the fistral and Blue Laurel.
Lamy 2000, hands down. Even though it came out in the mid-1960s, it is a still-available (and largely unchanged) modern classic.
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