For many of us guys, the pen we use around the office is the ultimate symbol of success and, like the car we drive, it says a lot about who we are. This has made buying a fine pen as a gift an increasingly popular choice over the past few years. But buying gifts for guys isn't easy, and pens are no different. You have to decide fountain pen vs. rollerball vs. ballpoint, and then there are so many brands out there from which to choose. I hope that this article helps to provide some answers to these questions and results in you buying a pen that your man will adore and keep forever.
Select a type: Fountain Pen, Ballpoint Pen or Rollerball Pen
This is the first decision to make. The situation in which he will be using the pen will decide the answer.
- Select a Fountain Pen if: he will predominantly be using the pen as a "signature" pen (i.e. for signing important documents). Day-to-day writing with fountain pens is not too common these days, however bringing out a great fountain pen at the end of negotiations to sign the final paperwork is very impressive! Fountain pen ink is water-based.
- Select a Ballpoint Pen if: he will be using the pen for his day-to-day writing. Ballpoints are very smooth and easy to write with, and hence they are good for prolonged use. The oil-based ink also generally lasts longer than the fast-flowing water-based fountain pen ink, meaning he won't have to refill the pen as frequently.
- Select a Rollerball Pen if: he enjoys the look of fountain pen ink on the page, but with the convenience of a ballpoint. Rollerballs reside between ballpoints and fountain pens. They use water-based ink, which gives the smooth look of fountain pen ink on the page, but they have a tip like a ballpoint, which means he can write all day with it.
Select a brand and design
This next decision is obviously very subjective, and you will really be the best judge of what brand and design will suit him best. There are a great many pen brands out there. Below are some ideas about which pen brand will suit your man's image.
- Mont Blanc. Made in Germany and probably the most well known and prestigious of all the pen brands, the Mont Blanc exudes confidence with its white star sticking out of his top pocket. This man takes pleasure in the fine things in life. While not particularly flashy, he communicates his success in more subtle ways. A fountain pen is popular in this brand, with the Mont Blanc Meisterstück 149 being one of the most famous and recognised writing instruments.
Similar image brands: Mercedes-Benz, Ralph Lauren.
- ST Dupont. Also made in France, ST Dupont's focus on using novel and innovative materials in its pens, combined with the elaborate designs will appeal to his sense of fashion and uniqueness. For this man, design and style is important. He always likes to look his best and the way he presents himself is important to him.
Similar image brands: Alfa Romeo, Bang&Olufsen.
- Caran d'Ache. Crafted since 1924 in Switzerland and famous for its fine watchmaking and jewellery, Caran d'Ache gives their pens a very traditional-style look while still employing very novel and innovative materials and techniques. This has earned a reputation for products of exceptional quality and beauty. The Caran d'Ache Varius Metwood Fountain Pen is a perfect example, crafted using rosewood and strengthened by a brass insert.
Tradition and craftsmanship are important considerations for this man. The history behind a brand is critical and he loves the certain "old-style" glamour of things such as a 1960's Jaguar sports car or classic movies.
Similar image brands: Jaguar, Rolex.
- Waterman. Made in France, the brand is well known but it also has a quite confidence about it. And since this man favours functionality just as much as style, a long-lasting and easy to use ballpoint may suit him best. This man is not flamboyant, but he appreciates good quality things and enjoys them in a more subtle, understated manner.
Similar image brands: Lexus, Sony.
I hope this article helps you in your decision-making. I'm sure after following these guidelines that he will love it!
About the Author: Nick has built his expertise in writing instruments by collecting pens for over 20 years, and he also runs a small store specialising in Mont Blanc Pens.