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My First Love
Several years ago, a black version of this pen was sold in the US as the "College Cartridge Pen". I had discovered fountain pens in my freshman year of college with the Sheaffer Reaktor from Walmart. It was night and day compared to the Bics I used up to that point. This was night and day compared to the Reaktor - the nib was buttery smooth, the feed even and reliable, and it was a joy to write with. For more than half a decade and most of a pen worth of replacement parts, it was with me in my pocket nonstop. I put most of a bottle of Sheaffer Turquoise through that thing. When I sat on it and broke it, I was crushed. (Interestingly, the screw-on cap protects it nicely; I had somehow managed to unscrew it in my pocket before I could break the pen) So was it. I spent an inordinate amount of time and money tracking down the last few of these left on the market, and absolutely did NOT regret doing so.
Now I find they're available at Hobby Lobby, for half the price I paid for my first two, and I'm ecstatic. This is probably the best cheap pen on the market.
I highly recommend an ink cartridge converter and buying ink by the bottle - you'll like this thing enough that you'll find any excuse to write with it, and if you do any appreciable amount of writing before, well… Also, there are far more shades and colors of ink available in bottles than cartridges; you're sure to find one that suits you. If you prefer the convenience of cartridges, Waterman long cartridges will fit, one at a time; short international cartridges will fit with room for a spare. Cheap generic ink cartridges are available on eBay in bulk for a price that you won't mind paying; they're not quite as cheap as bottled ink, but the difference is pretty small.
While this can be considered a "gateway" fountain pen, it stands up to the more expensive pens you may be tempted to upgrade to nicely. Because the cap screws on, it does not dry out quickly; it can be left in a desk as an occasional pen. Because it's so cheap, it makes a wonderful gift for those considering trying a fountain pen, or a loaner you won't cry about losing. You want this pen - trust me. Maybe more than one.
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