When it comes to pens, most guys settle for a bargain-basement ballpoint without thinking about how it presents them as a man.
Think about it – you wear a nice watch to present yourself as a man of style and class. Do you think people won't notice the horrible contrast between your Rolex and the $1 ink-master-3000 you've got sitting in your jacket pocket?
That's like wearing a $3000 suit with $5 scuffed Oxfords – it'll make you look cheap and ridiculous. Thankfully, it's an easy fix and won't cost you as much as you think.
In today's article, you'll discover the different types of pens a man can buy to boost his style.
We'll be covering:
- Lamy AL-Star Fountain Pen
- Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen
- PARKER IM Premium Rollerball Pen
- Fisher Original Astronaut Space Pen
- Grovemade Brass Pen
- Montblanc Pix Black Ball Point Pen
- Montblanc Meisterstück 149
- Aurora 88 Luxury Fountain Pen
- Montegrappa Cigar Sterling Silver Luxury Fountain Pen
- Timegraph By Caran d'Ache
#1 Lamy AL-Star Pen
The Lamy Al-Star is an excellent entry-level pen.
Is it as professional-looking as other pens on this list? No. However, the Al-Star provides reliability and re-usability for under $25. If you're the guy that wants a pen he can use for years without the need for gold-plating and hand-made craftsmanship, then this could be the pen for you.
It's by no means an ugly pen, and at this price point, it's easily replaceable in the event of loss, theft, or damage. This is the perfect pen for guys who need a reliable tool for everyday use – particularly those that work outside with their hands.
The manufacturer (Lamy) is a German-based company that started as an independent family business in 1966. Since then, they've created many different types of pens and have won the European Design Prize for their efforts.
When all's said and done, I like to think of this as the Ford Focus of pens. It's not that expensive, but it looks okay, and it gets the job done. A worthy starting point on my list of different types of pens.
#2 Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen
Unlike the Lamy Al-Star, Pilot's Metropolitan Fountain Pen has a very professional aesthetic that isn't far off the luxury design of MontBlanc's pen range (mentioned later in this list).
The great thing about that is a MontBlanc will set you back at least $250, whereas a Pilot Metropolitan will cost you around $40.
Sure – you won't get the same reliability and prestige as a higher-end pen, but if you want something that looks professional and timeless, the Pilot Metro should be your go-to pen.
While you can buy this pen in several colors, I would advise going for the black or silver design. These look the most professional and look the most expensive – so for guys who want to present an image of sophistication, avoid vivid and cheap colors at all costs.
The Pilot Pen Company is a Japanese corporation founded just outside Tokyo in 1938. During its history, it has established offices across the globe, pioneered recycled materials in its different types of pens, and even set up a racing team at the 24-hour Le Mans event in 1995.
#3 PARKER IM Rollerball Pen
The Parker Rollerball Pen is about as classic as it gets when it comes to American-made writing tools.
If you're a man who's after a truly timeless, stylish, and sophisticated pen for under the $1000 price point, then I can't recommend this one enough.
Depending on the model you purchase, the Parker IM Rollerball features a metal-trimmed, black body reminiscent of big business deals of days gone by. In all honesty, this is the sort of pen design you'd see in the jacket pocket of Don Draper or Sean Connery's James Bond.
A lot of people call this pen stuffy, old-fashioned, and dated. However, if you want timeless class mixed in with superspy sophistication, then look no further. You can pick one of these up for less than $70!
Parker Pens is an American pen company founded in 1888 by George Safford Parker. Their claim to fame is a pretty big one – their different types of pens were the favorite choice of John F. Kennedy when signing presidential documents! They're also responsible for developing the most widely used pen in history – which has accumulated over $400 million in sales since its creation 30 years ago.
#4 Fisher Original Astronaut Pen
It's not just called the Astronaut Pen so it sounds cool – this pen is designed to be able to writer in zero Gs. IT'S A PEN DESIGNED FOR SPACE!
Without getting too technical, this pen's pressurized casing allows it to work in space AND extreme temperatures. So much so that NASA and various other space programs bought the pen from its creator (Paul C. Fisher) during the 80s.
If NASA thinks it's a good design, you can guarantee quality. Think about the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch – used by NASA and widely considered one of the best watches ever made.
The design of this pen is simple, sleek, and professional. A simply silver casing with black grip engraving and a click-top mechanism. It's elegant, understated, and looks impressive when pulled out of your pocket.
And hey, this pen will work for you as long as you're writing in temperatures between -30F and +250F, underwater, in an office, or in space upside down. Buy it at the bargain price of around $75.
#5 Grovemade Brass Pen
Grovemade has produced a pen made from pure brass – and it's a damn fine pen, to say the least.
The whole body of the pen oozes intentional design choice. The length of the grip is carved out with clean flat surfaces. It's comfortable to hold and doesn't roll away when you place it on your desk… what more could you want?
It's also very unique looking. Grovemade hasn't tried to copy the lux pen manufacturers and create a poorly made duplicate of an already established design. They've gone in their own direction and created a writing tool that's unique, ergonomic, and just plain cool.
Grovemind is a company that creates some pretty stunning office wear. They balance ergonomic design with a clean and crisp presentation, so it's no wonder their brass pen is one of the most stylish pens I've ever held in my hand.
What's more, for a few extra bucks, you can buy a stylish stand for your desk that perfectly compliments the brass pen's minimalistic design. For the two, expect to pay around $130.
#6 Montblanc Pix Black Ball Point Pen
We've reached the halfway point in my list of different types of pens – and what better place than to talk about the legendary pen manufacturer Montblanc.
I've featured Montblanc twice in this list – and for a good reason. They're the Mercedes Benz of the pen world – timeless, sophisticated, status-boosting, and designed by Germans.
In fact, it's traditional to give Montblanc pens as gifts for special occasions in Germany. Parents might buy their kids a Montblanc when they graduate college; you might buy your colleague a Montblanc as a leaving gift after years of service.
The German people are all about efficiency and quality – and the Montblanc Pix is the perfect entry-level pen luxury pen if you want both of those things. In fact, the glossy black design of this pen is something a lot of cheaper pens try and replicate and copy. Chances are, you'll be able to see the similarities between this and the earlier pens on my list – check it out!
In short: if you want an investment pen that will last a lifetime, you can't go wrong with the Montblanc Pix Black Ball Point. Whether you're a CEO or a high school teacher, it's a great $300 entry point into the world of luxury pens.
#7 Montblanc Meisterstück 146 Gold-Coated LeGrand Fountain Pen
I told you I'd included a lot of Montblanc pens on this list of different types of pens!
The Meisterstück (German for ‘Masterpiece') is literally a masterpiece of fine pen manufacturing.
Unlike the Pix Ballpoint, this Montblanc masterpiece is a fountain pen – in fact, many argue that it's THE fountain pen that all others try to be.
I like to describe the Meisterstück as ‘elegantly simple.' It features a black body trimmed with a gold or silver band and pocket clip, topped with the famous Montblanc white star.
Unscrew and detach the lid of this pen, and you'll find a carefully crafted gold and silver engraved nib. Put simply, gents; this is one hell of a classy pen. It's been used by presidents, politicians, and actors across the globe and has been dubbed ‘The Power Pen' as a result.
Technically speaking, this pen is perfectly weighted and made from precious resin. The nib is made from 14-carat gold which adapts for various writing styles through its strong yet bendable construction.
All in all – if you want a fountain pen and have $500 to spend… buy the Meisterstück. It's a no-brainer.
#8 Aurora 88 Stellar Collection Luxury Fountain Pen
I've spoken a lot about black and silver pens on this list. However, those aren't the only color options for high-end luxury pens.
You'll find that expensive pens go one of two ways – they either stick to the classic black design or go crazy with their colors and create that ‘wow factor' only good money can buy.
In the case of the Aurora 88 Stellar Collection Pens, it's the latter of those two options.
As the name would suggest, these pens look like an aurora. Swirls of color coat the body and grip of the pen and make it look as though it's been crafted out of some other-worldly space gem.
Design-wise, the body's shape is very similar to the Montblanc Meisterstück. Rounded edges give the pen a comfortable feel in hand.
However, what makes the pens in this collection interesting is that each design variation is inspired by one of the planets in our solar system.
If you do come across one, you can expect to pay around $700, depending on stock availability at the time of purchase.
#9 Montegrappa Cigar Sterling Silver Luxury Fountain Pen
We're coming to the higher end of the luxury pen price point – which means things get a bit more interesting from here on out.
The Montegrappa Cigar fountain pen is no ordinary-looking pen. Some pens are classic and minimal; some go all out with nebular-like star patterns.
The Montegrappa Cigar? You guessed it – it looks identical to a fine Cuban cigar and measures up almost identically in width and length!
Cigars have been a symbol of status and class for years. If a guy offers up a box of his finest cigars, you know he's got money, power, and a lot of people in his back pocket. So when designing this luxury fountain pen, Montegrappa took a lot of these symbols into account and made a genuinely incredible writing tool.
You have the choice of sterling silver or 18K gold trim when it comes to the nib and detailing around the pen. Either looks great, but I would personally opt for the gold for a truly authentic cigar look.
To get your hands on the Cigar Pen, you'll have to cough up anywhere between $1500-$2300.
#10 Timegraph By Caran d’Ache
I've saved the most expensive and impressive pen for last – the Timegraph manufactured by Caran d'Ache.
I'll cut straight to the chase. This pen is made from the finest materials and features a luxury swiss watch built into the top of the pen! The Swiss-made watch movement features 18 jewels and a 40-hour battery reserve once fully wound. It even features a classic timepiece crown on the side of the pen to make winding and time setting easy as pie.
In short, not only is this a luxury pen, but it's also a luxury watch as well. What more can I say? Caran d'Ache managed to fit a watch and a state-of-the-art ink-filling system into a pen measuring 15mm in diameter and 151 mm in length.
Honest, this is more a work of art than it is a standard office pen. A sentiment that's matched by the asking price – an eye-watering $40,000. That's the price you'll pay for the convenience of writing and telling the time simultaneously.
Don't worry – if your wallet can't quite stretch that far, Caran d'Ache also sell a wide variety of office stationery at very reasonable prices. You can find a standard Caran d'Ache ballpoint pen at most convenience stores for as little as $30.
That brings my list of different types of pens to a close – but are you in the mood for more luxury? Click here to discover my ultimate guide to buying a Rolex.