How Much Do Fountain Pens Cost

By Samantha Di Nardo

Fountain Pens Cost

How Much Do Fountain Pens Cost

By Samantha Di Nardo

If you’re new to the world of fountain pens, you’re probably sifting through the different types of pens, researching how to use them, and learning as much as you can before buying your first one. One important question that affects your eventual choice of pen is, how much do fountain pens cost?

Cost of a Fountain Pen Infographic

I will address this in depth by covering aspects such as:

  • Popular fountain pen brands and their price ranges
  • Affordable fountain pen options
  • What affects the price of cheap vs expensive fountain pens
  • The value of investing in a luxury fountain pen

Let’s begin by looking at some popular brands of fountain pens and how much you’re likely to spend when purchasing one of these.

Popular Fountain Pen Brands and Their Price Ranges

I am going to discuss some of the pens offered by:

These fountain pens range from affordable pens for daily use to more pricey options, so whatever your preference, you’ll find one that suits your needs.


A.T. Cross has a long history of producing high-quality writing instruments since being founded in 1846.

One of Cross’s most successful early models was an art deco fountain pen made from gold and chrome with black detailing. It outdid its pencil counterpart as the more favored instrument in the set:

“The pen was supposed to play second fiddle to a co-released pencil, but instead it was the star of the set.” -

As America’s oldest manufacturer of writing instruments with a history of more than 170 years, A.T. Cross knows their stuff when it comes to fountain pens. Constant innovation in their manufacturing and high workmanship standards are responsible for the high quality fountain pens we know today.

One example is the Bailey Medalist fountain pen. It features a polished chrome body and 23K gold-plated appointments.

This pen isn’t just pretty—it’s a workhorse built to last. The stainless steel nib and metal body are sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of daily use.

Cross Bailey Fountain Pen demo

This fountain pen combines a sleek and sophisticated look with excellent performance. The elegant matte black Art Deco aesthetic with chrome accents compliments the stainless steel medium nib which produces clear lines while writing.

Lightweight yet sturdy, the Cross Calais is an excellent fountain pen for daily use.

writing with a Cross Calais Fountain Pen

The high gloss black lacquer finish coupled with 23K gold appointments give the Townsend a powerful aesthetic perfect for captains of industry.

Cross Townsend Black Lacquer Fountain Pen

The handcrafted stainless steel, gold-plated medium point nib produces smooth results with every stroke, making writing a real pleasure.

Dayspring Pens

Dayspring Pens’ specialty is in crafting luxury pens and adorning them with custom engraving. Be it a single fountain pen you’re giving to a friend as a gift or buying in bulk for your employees, each order is treated with care no matter how small.

From the initial hand-lathed wooden pens made in the founder’s house in 1994, they now ship more than 70,000 orders globally every year.


The Alexandria fountain pen is a favorite among customers—and for good reasons.

It’s got a bit of weight to it yet is easy to maneuver, providing a delightful writing experience. This sturdy pen handles the pressure of everyday writing excellently so you can be sure it will serve you well for years.

“Lovely pen with great quality! It has a really nice weight and you can feel the quality put into them. Great gift for someone and fast shipping.” Nanette G

What’s more, your elegant hand-polished fountain pen arrives in a stylish Dayspring Pens gift box, handy for storing the pen when not in use.

Alexandria Fountain Pen with gift box


Waterman boasts a long brand heritage for over 130 years. Starting from the days of Lewis Edson Waterman founding the company in 1884 up to the present day, they have set themselves apart as expert makers of fountain pens.

The world over, Waterman fountain pens are a symbol of luxury fine writing and embody rich Parisian culture. If you see someone with one of these pens, it’s highly likely that they have great taste.

What’s more, Waterman’s constant innovation in fountain pen technology means that their products stay ahead of the needs of customers while adhering to the highest manufacturing standards.

Here are two fountain pens from Waterman that I really like:

For those searching for a fountain pen that exudes intentionality and elegance to reflect their refined taste, the Hemisphere is the answer.

Its gold-coated stainless steel nib with the signature Waterman engraving goes beyond aesthetics—it also provides reliable use for years on end.

In addition, this pen is light in the hand, thus eliminating fatigue and turning writing into a pleasurable experience.

Waterman Hemisphere Fountain Pen demo

If you view fountain pens as more than just writing instruments that get the job done, then the Waterman Expert is for you.

This pen showcases signature Parisian style with gold trim adorning its generous cigar-shaped silhouette, and the 23K gold stainless steel nib looks stunning with the iconic looped Waterman W.

Waterman Expert Black Gold Trim Fountain Pen

I recommend this fountain pen for business executives who want a pen that communicates their sophistication.

The table below compares the features of different fountain pens and their price ranges:

Fountain Pen Price Range Materials Nib Size Options
Cross Bailey Medalist $76-$85 Nib: Stainless steel Body: Chrome Medium
Cross Calais $48.99 - $50.99 Nib: Stainless steel Body: Lacquer Medium
Cross Townsend $341-$492 Nib: Stainless steel Body: Lacquer Medium
Dayspring Alexandria $30.99 Nib: Stainless steel Body: Lacquer Medium
Waterman Hemisphere $123-$132 Nib: 23K gold stainless steel Body: Lacquer Fine, medium
Waterman Expert $169-$200 Nib: 23K gold stainless steel Body: Lacquer Fine, medium

What is the Best Fountain Pen under $50?

There are several options for budget-friendly pens that don’t compromise on quality and performance from brands like Pilot, TWSBI, and Noodlers, but I am going to focus in on Dayspring Pens.

Take the early mentioned Alexandria Fountain Pen for instance. Leaving nothing to chance, this pen features high-quality all-metal construction that makes it sturdy to withstand daily use.

In addition, the adaptive stainless steel nib compliments every stroke according to your unique writing style.

Alexandria Fountain Pen

With each Alexandria pen, you also receive four universal black ink cartridges and a free line engraving customization.

If you’re wondering what to engrave, how about a name or inspirational quote? These work well to really personalize the pen

Coming in at less than $50, the Alexandria pen is a fantastic option either for yourself or to show your appreciation to a loved one.

This fountain pen is available in red, blue, and black.

“ …. These pens are absolutely beautiful and make a wonderful gift! A great affordable price for this beautiful pen and personalized message! …. ” Christina C.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Fountain Pens

How much fountain pens cost varies across a wide spectrum. Starting from those going for less than $5 such as Jinhao’s 993 Shark Fountain Pen Line, to ultra luxury pens with price tags in the hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars, there’s something to fit every budget.

So, what causes this variation in the cost of fountain pens?

Material and Design

Material Selection

Several parts make up fountain pens, and the materials used for each have a direct bearing on the cost of the pen.

Nibs can be made of materials like stainless steel, gold, and titanium. The more premium the nib material, the pricier a fountain pen is.

While some solid gold nib fountain pens cost thousands of dollars, for example, those with stainless steel nibs are available for dollars.

Did You Know? The world's most expensive fountain pen, the Fulgor Nocturnus, sold for a staggering $8 million at a charity auction in Shanghai. It’s adorned with 945 black diamonds, along with 123 rubies, and features a solid gold nib.

Manufacturers also use various materials for the pen barrel and cap. These include plastic, resin, metal, wood, or even precious materials such as sterling silver or celluloid.

Ornamental components such as clips, rings, and decorative trims. These are often made of precious metals or adorned with gemstones, contributing to lofty price tags.

Design Complexity

When it comes to how fountain pens are made, the process involves either mass production or handcrafting. The latter often involves intricate design and detail work, which increases the cost significantly because of the time and skill that go into it.

Another factor is the limited-edition fountain pens offered by some brands. These exclusive pens, often featuring rare materials, unique designs, or special engravings, are highly sought after by collectors and fetch premium prices.

Montblanc’s Great Characters Collector Line, for instance, acknowledges exceptional individuals who left a remarkable positive mark on the world. Fountain pens in this collection have solid gold nibs and intricate designs.

For these exquisite pens, expect to spend thousands of dollars, up to $4,000 on pieces like the Muhammad Ali Limited Edition Fountain Pen.

Montegrappa is another brand renowned for their special edition fountain pens. If you’re a James Bond diehard fan, the 007 Spymaster Duo with its stainless steel body, sleek construction and 18K gold nib can be yours for about $5,000.

Fountain Pen Performance

Two factors matter in the cost and the performance of fountain pens: the nib and the filling system.

Discover More: How Do Fountain Pens Work

Fountain Pen Nib

Fountain pen nibs differ in performance depending on how they move while you write.

Your standard stainless steel stub nib will be relatively cheap and interchangeable - putting out a similar ink line to your classic rollerball since the nib is relatively stiff.

Nibs with greater flexibility or more detailed tips offer greater line variation and character which also means they are typically more expensive due to the precision required when making them.

Fouantain pen nibs

It takes delicate adjustments to achieve the right balance between flexibility and durability which means more time which means greater cost.

…In my opinion this is actually completely worth it. I experienced my first hand-ground italic nib this past year and it's really hard to write with anything else now…

What’s more, the demand for fountain pens with flexible nibs is often higher among fountain pen enthusiasts, especially those who do calligraphy.

Fountain Pen Filling Systems

Fountain pens also have different filling systems (the way ink gets into the pen). Piston-fillers, vacuum-fillers, and other intricate mechanisms are more costly to produce as compared to simple cartridge/converter systems.

Piston Filler Fountain PenBuilt-in Piston Filler Fountain Pen; TWSBI Eco Twist

But that’s not all. High-end pens often feature advanced ink flow control systems. For a higher price point, you avoid problems such as skipping and uneven ink distribution.

Such pens are engineered to regulate the amount of ink moving from the reservoir onto the nib, ensuring a steady flow.

Bonus: Check out the insanely intricate but cool filling system in the Pineider Mystery Filler

Brand Reputation and Heritage

It is the age-old truth that, sometimes, you are buying the name.

Often, the greater the heritage of a brand, the more people associate it with superior craftsmanship and excellent quality.

I have to say that this is not always necessarily the case. To see some legacy brands that I found underwhelming check out my article on the Best Ballpoint Brands.

This perceived quality drives up the cost of fountain pens made by these brands. For example, the cheapest Montblanc fountain pens begin around the $500 mark. They are expensive because of the legacy behind the company name.

Montblanc Meisterstuck

Fountain pens from well-known brands with a rich history are also more likely to become collectible items. As such, this can increase their long-term value and the secondary market that inevitably pops up around luxury brands and limited editions.

Customization Options

In some cases, customers have the option to choose different finishes for their fountain pens, such as matte, gloss, or textured. Specialized finishes, such as precious metal plating or layered lacquering, increase the price of customized pens significantly.

Some manufacturers offer custom grind options for fountain pen nibs, allowing customers to choose specific nib styles like fine, medium, broad, italic, and flex.

Since custom-ground nibs often require specialized handiwork, custom-made pens are quite pricey.

Customization isn’t limited to the fountain pens themselves. It extends to the packaging and accompanying accessories such as ink refills.

High-quality packaging adds to the aesthetic appeal of the pens, meaning that customers pay more for the exquisite look.

stylish fountain pen carry cases from Tailored Pen Company

Another form of customization is personal engraving. This process involves etching your name, initials, or a special quote on the fountain pen using laser technology. Depending on the manufacturer, engraving could come at an extra cost.

Infographic Banner of the engraving process at Dayspring Pens featuring a Bailey Medalist Fountain pen

So whether you’re looking to get an affordable luxury personalized fountain pen as a treat for yourself, a loved one, or your coworkers, let Dayspring Pens help you create a unique gift.

Why Invest in a Luxury Fountain Pen?

First, high-end fountain pens offer a smoother and more pleasurable writing experience compared to ordinary pens. Your hand glides over the paper easily, meaning you don’t feel fatigue as you write.

These pens are more pleasant to use for extended periods of writing thanks to the precision-engineered nibs and ink flow systems. Skipping, hard starts, and other issues become a thing of the past once you switch to a luxury pen.

Next, high-end pens are crafted with careful attention to detail. The craftsmanship involved results in pens that are not only functional but also beautiful pieces of art.

Take Namiki Fountain Pens, for instance. Each pen features, among other details:

  • An 18k solid gold nib
  • Each part is handmade
  • Traditional Maki-e art along the lacquer barrel
  • Each pen is completely unique

When you look at these pens, the diligent Japanese craftsmanship that went into producing them is easy to see. The maker goes further than producing ordinary writing instruments and instead turns them into exquisite works of art.

Using such pens appeals not only to how the pen feels in your hands but also gives you visual satisfaction.

Thirdly, the high quality construction of luxury fountain pens makes them long lasting. You’ll hardly need to replace your pen for years to come, especially if you take good care of it.

Fourth, since they’re incredibly durable, you can even pass down high-end pens from generation to generation as treasured heirlooms.

Last, their longevity makes them environmentally friendly. Buying luxury pens helps reduce plastic waste because you’re not frequently replacing worn out pens.

The Value of Personalization

There’s no better way to make a premium fountain pen truly yours than to have it engraved. This allows you to express your individuality and style. You can have the pen marked with your name or a saying you love in a font that lets your personality shine through.

Perhaps you're giving someone a fountain pen as a gift? Engraving is perfect for adding sentimentality to the gift. It shows that you’ve put extra thought into preparing a meaningful present.

Plus, whenever the recipient looks at their pen, they will be reminded of your kind gesture. Let’s say you buy your dad a luxury fountain pen for Father’s Day. Instead of just giving him a plain pen, you have the cap engraved with his signature.

fountain pen engraved with a man’s name

This custom engraved handwriting makes the pen truly special, customized to your dad and a keepsake that he will treasure for years.

Customized pens are also fantastic as corporate gifts. They are appropriate for different situations such as:

Engraved fountain pens are excellent for boosting morale and promoting a good professional relationship amongst coworkers. And if you choose Dayspring Pens for your corporate gifting, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for the service.

In addition, a customized fountain pen conveys a sense of you valuing the recipient’s position. Gifting your doctor, lawyer, or architect friend a personalized pen with their name or title helps to boost their professional image.


Fountain pens are available in a wide range of prices, determined by their construction, brand reputation, and customization options.

You can find some really solid low-budget fountain pens that will write great and be a fun experience. But if you want something more intangible, high quality materials and exceptional workmanship make such pens durable and worth the price.

So now you have a better understanding of what affects the cost of cheap vs expensive fountain pens. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section and I’ll be glad to answer!

Sam Di Nardo

Sam Di Nardo is an author for Dayspring Pens, where she has honed her expertise in ballpoint, rollerball, gel and fountain pens since joining the team in 2018.

From her initial role as an Engraver to becoming the Production Manager, Sam's journey has been marked by her passion for the history, manufacturing, and the unique value of gifted writing instruments.

A graduate of Regent University with a degree in English Literature and a special interest in Old Norse literature, dive deeper into Sam's world and discover why she's your trusted guide in the realm of gift pens.

Follow Sam on LinkedIn.

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