Ever since I was in high school I have used fountain pens. As you can probably imagine, I have gone through quite an arsenal of them over the past three plus decades. And you might have guessed that I have come to have strong opinions about my favorites.
Montblanc’s Meisterstuck fountain pens are beautifully handcrafted (meisterstuck is the German word for masterpiece). They are made of black precious resin with gold trim and the finest, smoothest nibs available anywhere. Over the years I have owned a Diplomat (I still have it but hardly ever use it), a LeGrand (my favorite “good” pen), and a Chopin (alas, lost one dreary afternoon on the London Tube).
I have an interesting Montblanc LaBoheme also. Given to me in the exotic city of Jakarta, I always think of the East when I write with it.
When I want to write elegantly, I almost always reach for a Montblanc. But of course, I don't always want to write elegantly. Sometimes I am just dashing out ideas, scribbling notes, sketching furious impressions, or just making lists. For such pedestrian fare, I typically use a cheap, but fabulously well-designed, Lamy Safari (I have three or four of them).
Or sometimes, I will reach for the "best everyday pen ever made," the Waterman Philias (I have two).
The pen that I most miss using (I gave it away on a trip years ago) is the Cross Townsend. I have often thought about replacing it, but honestly, I have a hard time justifying actually buying these kinds of things.
I prefer a fine nib, though I tend to apply a good bit of pressure when I am first breaking in a pen to give it some "leading and kerning" depth. When I have to do a lot of correspondence or book signings though, I really enjoy the heft and breadth of a medium nib.
I know, I know, all this sounds terribly persnickety and peculiar. But, my pen is my "axe," my "tool box," my "instrument." And having a sharp axe or the right tool or a tuned instrument can make all the difference.