Pen Views

Pen Views

Pen Repairs - The Painful Part of Pen Ownership


Recently someone asked me why one would need more than one pen? I replied: So you always have something to use when one of your pens is sent back for repairs!

Sad to say, it is the painful part of owning a pen. When they need a repair, it is a lengthy process.

Over the course of visiting some of the largest of the pen companies that would include Aurora, Montgegrappa, OMAS, Stipula, Visconti and Waterman each of the pen companies demonstrated their attention to quality control. Sophisticated equipment is used, and when a faulty part is found, many of the companies had processes in place so they could track right back to the production lot of similar parts and do further checks.

Nibs of high end pens are hand checked. Even the smallest flaw would result in the pen being rejected. Quality always came across as a high priority for the companies.

2009/2010 were banner years for me in terms of problems I had with pens. I know representatives at the local service centre by their first names! And I have waited and waited for pens to be returned. Time frames that are frankly unacceptable despite the travel time to get back to the factory.

The repairs not only cause inconvenience to the owner, but they are costly. For me, living in Canada, it means I have to send the pen to the service centre by courier. Postal service and getting the pens through customers seems to add yet more time to the process. But I have found when you send that pen back, you are look at months before it is returned.

Waterman EdsonAs I have looked back over the many years of owning fountain pens, and listed out the pens that I have had to have repaired, I note Waterman as one of the top pen in terms of quality.

There are pens I have had, many over 25 years old now (my kind of vintage pen), pens that are used on a regular basis, and pens of which I have had next to nothing in terms of problems.

The Man 100 series I have a couple of these and they are very heavily ussed. I must use one of my Waterman Edson fountain pens every week. Never a problem.

Next to the Watermans, the Pelikan M800 series is one of the most used pens that I have. By use, that is both everyday in the office and taken on trips.

Pelikan M800My Pelikan M800 and M1000 series are the nest highest ranking pens in terms of regular use, and low maintenance issues.

I have had one piston mechanism break. The other two repairs, well, closing a car door on the pen, or dropping the pen nib first to the floor, well those are just user errors!

I have some Lamy fountain pens, the Lamy 2000, the ever popular Safari and a few others. They may get somewhat less use than my Waterman and Pelikan pens, but here again is a brand that I never had to send one for repair.

Visconti DavinaI have a number of Visconti, and in terms of years of owning one, I acquired by first Visconti after my visit with Visconti in 2008. So three years later, and giving those pens lots of use, I am pleased to say no problem here!

My OMAS pens have been pretty good. I have been use the OMAS Art Italiana line for a many years.

The OMAS Wild in Celluloid that I purchased last year had to be sent back as the body was twisting, making the piston mechanism ineffective. Other than that, the only OMAS repair has been a nib that I tried to grind down to learn that is not a repair one should take on without proper training.

I have had a number of problems with my Montegrappa pens in terms of the celluloid breaking where it joins to the pen body or the body itself breaking when the pen fell on a carpeted floor. The latter not being a situation I would expect.

I have been using Aurora pens for just a few years. One had a faulty nib and was sent back. Other than that, no problems either.

The issue of repairs seem to be an ongoing part of pen ownership. From my factory visits I can say it is not because of lack of attention. Quality of workmanship is high on the priorities of the pen companies.

When I have asked company owners about their service on repairs, consistently I hear that it is an issue of concern. They say they are trying to work to improve service turn around. Keep trying


Your pen, an expression of you.