So you started down the rabbit hole of a hobby known as fountain pens. You have got a stainless steel fountain pen or maybe more than a few. You write with them and you are enjoying the writing experience the pen provides you. However, you always read about the fable writing experience that gold nib pens seemed to give. You wonder, then you research but the price have always put you off. There is no way you can spend so much on a pen even if it is a gold nib one you might say but you know in your heart of hearts that is not true. You are afraid, afraid that you might be exposing yourself to the point of no return.
Enough melodrama, all that might be true but you can still find affordable gold nib fountain pens locally or online. Here are a few entry level (entry level only in terms of price) gold nib fountain pens if you are looking to dip your toe into the pool. The prices stated below are the manufacturer's suggested retail price for Singapore. You can get about 20% off if you visit the stores.
Pilot Custom 74 - SGD$160
This is one of the most common starter gold nib pen. Pilot is known for a good writing experience right out of the box. The Custom 74 is one of the more affordable gold nib pen they sell. Its design is one of the few models with a gold nib that has a little pop of colour. The orange, purple and blue models are exclusive to the US market. If I am not wrong, the clear and black barrel are the models available locally.
Platinum 3776 Century - SGD$208
If you are looking an alternative to the Pilot Custom 74, the Platinum 3776 Century is a good bet. Do note that both pens may look really similar but they provide a vastly different writing experience. The Platinum 3776 Century has a stiffer nib with more feedback than the Pilot’s. It have quite a few different colour option available as well. Personally, I lean more towards the Platinum 3776 Century maybe more for aesthetics and the feedback that the nib gives me. Who can say no to a heart shaped breather hole?
Pilot Vanishing Point - SGD$267 and upwards
Now this is the only retractable pen on the list and it is not a pen for everyone thanks to the clip’s position and height. However, the 18k nib that comes with the modern version is nothing to scoff at. Yes, the nib is tiny but it packs a punch. It is a wet and juicy nib that has very slight line variation. Like the other two pens above, the Pilot Vanishing Point has a number of colour options more so than the Pilot Custom 74 and the Platinum 3776 Century.
Lamy 2000 - SGD$305
This is the only non-Japanese fountain pen on the list and clocking in at $305 this is really on the border of affordable. Even so, the sleek and modern design of the Lamy 2000 speaks for itself. The nib is very good and mine wrote well right out of the box. However the nib’s line width can differ greatly even with the same nib size. I’ve seen EF that writes like how you expect it to and EF that writes like a M nib. This is one pen best purchase in store if possible.
This is a made in China fountain pen and possibly the cheapest on the list. I’ve not personally tried the gold nib of a China made fountain pen yet. However for its price on eBay, it might be worth a try. It is cheaper than some stainless steel pens even. However, personally I would rather topping up a little more money and get a pen from a reputable brand.