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The Pen That Got Away

I’ve written before on this site regarding my obsession with pens. This is the story of my favorite ever pen, the one that got away.

For those who are unfamiliar with the high-end pen world (I know, ludicrous to think there would be such a person, but there’s no accounting for taste), Mont Blanc is a brand of very expensive pens which tend to cost hundreds of dollars. Yes, for a single pen. Of course, they also have pens that aren’t hundreds of dollars.

Some of their pens cost thousands of dollars.

Their pens all write well, as you would of course expect for a pen that costs more than my smartphone, but they’re so expensive because they are status symbols, and because they tend to be made out of gold and encrusted with diamonds. So although the pens themselves cost hundreds, the refills for their pens are comparatively cheap. I say “comparatively” because the refill pack for a Mont Blanc still costs more than a normal pen, but not a lot more.

One of the things I’m always keeping an eye out for as I trial different pens, then, is a pen body which will accept a Mont Blanc ink refill.

Famously, the venerable Pilot G2 (a fantastic pen in its own right) will accept a slightly modified Mont Blanc refill. However, the Pilot G2 is a clicky pen, and I refuse to carry a clicky pen because I have had multiple pairs of pants ruined by a clicky pen that deployed in my pocket. So the search is ever on for a pen which takes a cap and can fit a Mont Blanc refill.

At a previous job, a friend of mine had a company-branded pen he’d gotten some time ago at a fancy event. It was a nice pen — metal-clad, with a nice cap and a fancy clip — but the pen itself was mediocre and had run out of ink some time ago. He gave it to me because he knew how much I liked pens. Lo and behold…it takes a Mont Blanc refill cartridge!

That pen…was divine. It wrote like a dream. It even looked nice. One time I loaned it to somebody, and they wrote with it and then said, “Wow, I’m surprised you’re willing to loan this pen to anyone! You’d better hold on to this one.”

Unfortunately, I do have the tendency to lose things, and I lost this pen one day. I loved that pen so much that the next day I actually went back to where I was pretty sure I’d lost it, but I couldn’t find it.

I had referred to it as the Mont Blancenstein. It will always be the pen that got away!


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