Brian here, and these are my picks for the 10 hottest pens of 2018, at least from what has come through Goulet Pens. It’s not in any particular order except for my #1 pick at the end. This was so tough to narrow down because there are so many great pens that came out this year, some are gone and some are still with us, but all are noteworthy.

Conklin Duraflex

  • Black with Rose Gold was the first pen with the Omniflex nib
  • This color combination was a limited edition, not available anymore
  • Not without its controversy, par for the course with flex nibs
  • Affordable at $60, looked great, and had legit flexibility to it
  • Despite its challenges, it was overwhelmingly popular and paved the way for other Conklin and Monteverde flex nib pens
  • Shop all Conklin flex pens starting at $52 (plus free Monteverde ink through 12/31/18!)

Jinhao 993 Shark

  • We definitely jumped the shark with these ones!
  • This wasn’t brand new to Jinhao but it was new to us
  • We started with just 5 of the colors and quickly carried all of them because there was such a feeding frenzy
  • Inexpensive, write surprisingly well, and c’mon it’s a shark!
  • Shop all Jinhao 993 Shark pens at $3.95 each

Montegrappa Elmo

  • Montegrappa’s lowest priced fountain pen to date at under $200
  • Rosso Cilegia (red) and Verde Altipiano (green) to start
  • Great shape, deep materials, good weight
  • Beautiful German-made #6 JoWo steel nibs
  • Montegrappa really nailed it with these pens and we will see more exclusive limited-run colors in 2019
  • Shop the Montegrappa Elmo at $175

Diplomat Magnum

  • Diplomat changed US distributorship and their new distributor is doing a lot to get this brand out there
  • This pen was a total sleeper
  • The Magnum has been around for 40 years! But no one had really heard of it
  • $20, steel JoWo nib, nice colors, light weight
  • Where had this pen been all our lives? It was always there, but now it’s here to stay and I think we’ll see more coming from this exciting (not) new model
  • Shop all Diplomat Magnums at $20 (plus free Monteverde ink through 12/31/18!)

TWSBI GO

  • After coming out with the 580 and Eco, you’d think TWSBI would rest on their laurels but they didn’t
  • The GO is an EVEN MORE affordable and simpler to use version of the Eco
  • While it’s tough to unseat these other TWSBIs, the company is working to disrupt themselves, and we’re all getting to benefit with yet another innovative pen in their lineup
  • Shop all TWSBI GOs at $18.99

Opus 88 Demo

  • Opus 88 is a whole new pen company to us, making a name with demonstrator eyedropper pens most of which also include ebonite but this one is all resin
  • While they’ve come out with a number of eye catching pens, the Demonstrator stands out
  • Large pen, beautiful clear and frosted components
  • Ink-sloshing satisfaction
  • #6 JoWo nibs are great writers
  • For the effort involved in making a pen like this the price is fair at around $120, so much so they’ve had a hard time making enough to keep them in stock
  • New translucent colors coming in early 2019!
  • Shop all Opus 88 Demonstrators at $120

LAMY Special Editions

  • LAMY’s been in a good way with their special editions the last several years
  • Following up with pens like the Pacific, Petrol, Dark Lilac, leaves some big shoes to fill
  • VibrantPink Al-Star launched and we were able to show it off with footage of its assembly from the factory, which just upped the cool factor
  • Coupled it with legit supply of matching ink, which was also a great color
  • Safari All Black was a little more stealthy, didn’t make a huge splash at launch but it’s been quietly making its way into a lot of your hands
  • LAMY’s cooking up some great stuff in 2019 too
  • Shop the LAMY Safari All-Black at a closeout price of $19.99 or the LAMY AL-Star VibrantPink at $37.60

Platinum #3776 Century Kumpoo

  • Remember this one? It was gone so fast you might not
  • This was an LE earlier from this summer, and it flew because the color is so stunning
  • Not only was the color amazing but the texture too
  • More of these please Platinum? Please??
  • Shop all Platinum #3776 Century pens starting at $176

Pineider La Grande Bellezza Gemstones

  • Pineider is finding its sea legs with Dante Delvecchio basically building their pen line from scratch
  • Not to rest on his laurels, Dante redesigned his La Grande Bellezza only about 6 months after releasing the first edition
  • The remodel featured a new quill nib which is the star feature of this pen
  • It also had new colors, a new material he designed which includes actual marble in the resin, and a lower price
  • This pen has put Pineider on the radar of the pen world
  • Shop all Pineider La Grande Bellezza pens, currently on sale through 12/31/18 for only $299!

Namiki 7 Gods of Good Fortune Set

  • I’m saving the best for last here, though this one really just stands out on its own
  • This is really 7 pens in one set, that we did a full unboxing video on
  • Pilot wanted to celebrate their 100th anniversary, and boy did they
  • I’ve never seen anything that even comes close to this presentation
  • Artisans worked for about 3 years on 25 of these sets, and 4 made it to the US, one here
  • While it’s not exactly something available to many of us, the devotion to their craft, their passion, their romance about the craft of what founded their company is so felt through this set
  • It’s the kind of pen set that only comes around every 100 years, so it tops my 2018 list!
  • View other Namiki maki-e pens

The 10 Hottest Fountain Pens of 2018

There are so many other fantastic pens that came out in 2018 and I’m sure you have opinions you’d like to share about which were your favorite. Be sure to comment below and let us have it!

Write On,
Brian Goulet