Fountain pens have long been a popular gift item for graduations, retirements, and major milestones in peoples’ lives because of their longevity, functionality, and the fact that whenever they’re going to use that pen they will be thinking of their own achievement as well as you, who helped them along the way.

These are the important factors to consider when shopping for a fountain pen as a graduation gift:

  • Presentation– is your recipient going to be impressed?
  • Longevity/durability– is this a pen they’re going to be using for years, perhaps the rest of their lives?
  • Ease of use (cleaning, writing)- is the pen enjoyable to use?

Here are my top 5 fountain pens for graduation gifts (in no particular order):

These are purely my opinion based on a variety of factors, and I’ll give you my thoughts about the pros and cons of each one:

LAMY Studio ($79.20-183.20)

LAMY Studio (in Imperial Blue)

Pros: – looks really nice – several neutral color options – affordable – uses LAMY cartridges or converter for bottled ink (included) – great nib selection, EF, F, M, B, 1.1-1.9, fine recommended for newbies
Cons: – slick metal grip, not ideal for long writing sessions – box could be more impressive

Edison Fountain Pens ($169)

Edison Nouveau Premiere (in Delphinium)

Pros: – American made – Gorgeous resins – Dependable writers – Great nib selection (EF, F, M, B, italics)
Cons: – a little more expensive – light weight might seem less ‘quality’ to the unaware

LAMY 2000 Black ($175.20)

LAMY 2000 (in Makrolon)

Pros: – 50 year reputation – workhorse pen – great ink capacity – snap cap is perfect for the work environment – hooded nib is great for keeping nib wet – subtle elegance – good nib selection, EF, F, M, B; EF or F recommended to newbies
Cons: – small ‘sweet spot’ can take getting used to – not flashy – doesn’t take cartridges, bottled ink required- box could be more impressive

Monteverde Invincia ($72 – $108)

Monteverde Invincia Deluxe (in Rose Gold)

– very impressive visual appeal – heavy (many equate heaviness with quality) – takes cartridges or converter for bottled ink – good nib selection, F, M, B, italic; fine is recommended for newbies
Cons: – heavy (might be too heavy for some) – large pen, not as ideal for those with smaller hands – flashy pen might draw unwanted attention for some

Platinum #3776 Century ($176 – $240)

Platinum #3776 Century (in Laurel Green)

Pros: – best sealing cap in the market, nib won’t dry out – classic pen design fits in all work environments – takes cartridges or converter (included) – draws a fine line, great for cheap work paper – good nib selection available, EF, F, M, B
Cons: – most expensive of the group – nibs write rather stiff, takes getting used to for some – cartridges are proprietary Platinum brand

Honorable Mention:
Pilot Vanishing Point ($148)

Pilot Vanishing Point (in Black Matte)

Pros: great pen for the active enthusiast – many color options – very practical pen with the click – several nib options, EF, F, M, B
Cons: strange to hold for the first time, makes it a bit of a gamble as a gift

If you’re unsure exactly what pen is best for your graduate or you know they’re pretty particular about what they want, keep in mind that a gift certificate is always an option. It’s worth mentioning that along with fountain pens come ink and paper, and it’s always nice to set up your graduate so they’re good to go. Click here to see my Top 5 Favorite Fountain Pen Inks.

Do you agree with my choices? I’d love to hear! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet