East vs. West

East vs. West
Aug 25

Choose Your Fountain Pen Style Preference

East vs. West Fountain Pen Styles

There are many fascinating differences between Eastern and Western culture. If you have every traveled abroad, perhaps you have personally experienced culture shock. For example, did you know:

  • Most East Asian countries don’t offer gratuity.
  • In many Asian countries, it is not seen as an expected courtesy to hold a door open for the person following you.
  • Throughout most of Asia, citizens are not likely to smile, or speak to strangers.

Are you surprised then, to learn, that there are even fundamental differences in fountain pen manufacturing in Eastern and Western countries? Consider these primary differences:

  • Typical Japanese fountain pen nibs are finer than European and American nibs, which are typically designed to be thicker.
  • Western pens, especially some European models, are thought to be designed with greater adornments, where Japanese pens reflect a more simplistic style.
  • Japanese pens with gold nibs tend to offer a stiffer writing experience compared to their Western counterparts.
  • While the majority of fountain pen nibs are made of gold, many are often made of steel. In comparison, Western fountain pen nibs are more likely to be made of palladium than steel.

Many fountain pen aficionados today would argue that some of the highest quality fountain pens available on the market have been manufactured by Japan. The country of Japan has a culture steeped in the history and tradition of elegant and refined calligraphy, and an artistic, complex symbolic written language. From this tradition and culture, coupled with modern-day Japan’s appreciation for advanced technology and high quality manufacturing, has evolved into an appreciation for fine, well-assembled writing instruments.

If you are ready to invest in a Japanese fountain pen, consider Pilot, Platinum, or Sailor brands. These manufacturers, often referred to as the “Big Three” of Japanese fountain pen brands, are renowned for their quality and ingenuity.

If you want to further stratify the main differentiators between Western fountain pens, it is important to consider some primary characteristics of pens by country, as each is known for its unique manufacturing style. For example, Germany – like Japan, is known for well-manufactured, high functioning pens with very simple designs, while Italian pens are known for being extremely ornate - seemingly artful.

Which style pen is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • Posted by blog staff

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