Buy The Boston Globe or turn to Boston.com on Sunday to see John Guilfoil’s business spending column on executive pens.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been writing — actually writing with my hands, not a keyboard — more than usual. That’s because I’ve been testing out various executive and designer pens for a “Globe Tests” column.
I tested out four writing instruments, including a MontBlanc and a Cross, which you can read about tomorrow when the column runs, but for now, here are a few that didn’t make the cut:
Pierre Cardin Black Pen
Pros: It writes. It comes with a free mechanical pencil and a nifty box to keep them in. They’re shiny and black.
Cons: This is a cheap pen. We had a good laugh at the stack of these on the store shelf, just knowing they’d be thrown into stockings and gift bags this year.
Overall: Pierre Cardin does make some decent pens. We say spend the extra money on something worth holding onto.
Classic Century Lustrous Chrome
$30 – $50
Pros: The recognized, slender shape of the Cross pen means something in the handwriting world. This is the equivalent of an E-class Mercedes, and it’s a way for you to own one without breaking the bank. (Read the Globe to see an example of one that does break the bank)
Cons: The large black tip gives it away as the “cheap” cross. You can get the pure silver model for about double the price
Overall: It’s a good pen. Maybe not great, but good.
Fisher Space Pen X-750
Pros: It writes upside-down! Think of all the Seinfeld references! (Read the Globe to see another Space Pen example)
Cons: The ink is a little blotty.
Overall: The X-750 is a great gift, a perfect conversation piece and the ultimate writing-related novelty.
Cross Townsend Emerald Ballpoint Pen
Pros: It’s a sturdy, solid pen that writes very well. Handsome design makes it a great gift.
Cons: Price may be a bit high, especially if you go for some of the precious metal-plated models.
Overall: The Townsend is Cross’ larger-sized mainstay. It comes in ballpoint, roller-ball and fountain.
Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2008
Pros: You may never find a more stunning looking pen. It’s shell is made of Indian satinwood woven into a parquet pattern that usually requires a flat surface.
Cons: It costs three thousand dollars.
Overall: I mean, seriously, if you can afford this pen, go for it.