Who Uses Pens Today Anyway? Celebrities and their Pen Addictions

Of course, you don't need to be convinced that people still use writing instruments.

The rest of the world, that's another story.

Have you ever taken out your pen to write in a public place and heard someone comment, "People still write with those things?"

Yes, yes we do. And we enjoy every moment of it.

Besides pen collectors, there are plenty of people who use pens to elevate their thinking, creativity, and expression.

Here are several examples of notable people using their pens.

Neil Gaiman - The Writer

Writers since Mark Twain have enjoyed the smoothness and flow of using a fountain pen to churn out their manuscripts.

Award-winning, bestselling author Neil Gaiman crafts his bestselling, award-winning stories using a fountain pen.

"I will do my first draft in fountain pen, because I actually enjoy the process of writing with a fountain pen. I like the feeling of a fountain pen. I like uncapping it. I like the weight of it in my hand. I like that thing, so I’ll have a notebook, I’ll have a fountain pen, and I’ll write."

In the above picture, Neil is holding a Pilot Falcon with a soft 14kt gold nib. He's also known to regularly use a Pilot Custom 823, and Lamy 2000 fountain pen.

(above photo & quote is from an interview on the Tim Ferriss podcast)

Emma Watson’s 5-Minute Daily Journaling Habit

Emma Watson is well known for her role as Hermoine Granger in the "Harry Potter" movies. While she wrote with a quill in the movie, Emma enjoys journaling daily with a fountain pen.

In a video on Vogue's TikTok page, Emma talks about why she needs to carry a journal on her travels.

"Every single day I write in this [journal]. I write 3 things from the day before that were fun or joyful, 3 things that happened that were kind (either things that I did for someone else or they did for me), and then I write 3 things that I thought I did well from the day before, or that I liked about myself."

"If I had to choose one thing that I went on the plane with my passport, it would probably be this [journal] because doing this has been really important."

In the above picture, Emma is holding a Kaweco Liliput fountain pen. While it's not flashy or super-expensive like most other pens used by celebrities, the Liliput is a trusty, EDC worthy pen that gets the job done, especially for those who are always on the go.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson - Leading Thoughtful Individuals All Across the Galaxy

Even at the forefront of exploring space, time, and the laws of the universe, writing with a fine pen adds depth to our thoughts and the way we express them through the handwritten word.

In his quest to make science accessible to the masses, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson knows the importance of being an effective communicator.

"Look at the flourish and the express elements of communication that went on in the era of the handwritten letter. The words would be written with the flavor of the meaning you're trying to convey."

Neil has plenty of pen brands he enjoys using, including Pelikan. He shares his collection in a video interview with David from Figboot on Pens. Of all the celebrities who use fountain pens, Neil is one of the biggest advocates for handwriting and has quite the impressive collection to back it up.

Peter Draws - Making Art on YouTube

These days, artists have many tools at their fingertips. Many creative professionals have seen success in blending both modern and traditional methods to produce novel works.

Take Peter Draws, for example. He creates art using pen and ink, sharing his process online though a YouTube channel with nearly 1 million subscribers.

"Sometimes all it takes is a change of nibs for me to stumble upon something wonderful and rewarding I may never have found otherwise."

Goldspot collaborated with Peter on multiple pen designs made by Nahavalur. You can find our most recent design, the "Peter Plume," with Peter's artwork engraved around the pen's clear demonstrator barrel body.

Queen Elizabeth II Wrote History

When Queen Elizabeth II started her reign as monarch of the United Kingdom in 1952, handwriting with a pen was the most popular method of putting thoughts on paper.

Her pen of choice was the Parker '51,' although she was also photographed writing with other brands like Pelikan and Montblanc.

She enjoyed her Parker pens so much that she presented a Royal Warrant to the company in 1962, making it the "official stationery provider of the Royal Household." Prince (now King) Charles renewed Parker's Royal Warrant in 1990.

Although the Parker 51 pens we sell on our website aren't the original productions from the 1940s, the new '51 pens renew the spirit of the original.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Represents a new generation of writers

Regardless of which side of the aisle you stand, pen enthusiasts can appreciate the fact that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC for short) uses a fountain pen in her work on Capitol Hill.

Asked for tips on studying, AOC goes on record to say, "Take your notes by hand if you're able. You can always type them up later, but handwritten notes are so much better for memory and integrating knowledge, at least in my experience."

In an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A hosted on social media, AOC shared her favorite pens including the Kaweco Sport fountain pen, the Fisher Space Pen Bullet, and the Pilot Precise V5. As a lefty, she likes pens with extra-fine points to prevent ink smudging.

Honorable Mentions

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the pens used by celebrities, but we do hope to add to this list in the future. If you know of any celebrities, authors, or noteworthy figures who are pen addicts and stationary enthusiasts, please contact us and let us know. Be sure to send some proof - either an image or an article from a reputable website should suffice.

Celebrities Who Use Fountain Pens

Johnny Depp

During the 2022 defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp was spotted toting a couple of famous pens to the courtroom.

People followed the trial like a soap opera drama. Depp’s fans camped outside the Fairfax, Virginia circuit court to glimpse the A-list celebrity. Paparazzi snapped shots of Depp and his famous ink pens. These pictures made their way online where pen fans gave their best guesses as to the identity of his writing instruments.

Lamy Safari White Fountain Pen

Montblanc Hemingway Fountain Pen

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah knows the importance of connecting to ourselves and others through handwriting. Back in the mid-1990s, Oprah put Visconti on the map by raving about its quality writing instruments on her popular television show. A recent issue of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” magazine featured Pilot Varsity fountain pens.

Kristen Stewart

Here's one of the most lavish examples of pens used by celebrities. The star of the Twilight film series was famously gifted a Tibaldi Bentley Crew fountain pen by her then-boyfriend (and co-star of Twilight) Robert Pattinson. Robert had the $46,000 pen engraved so Kristin could add it to her collection, which already consisted of “stylish ones.”

Unfortunately, we do not know the identity of Kristin’s other pens she has in her collection. We could only surmise the level of fanciness and expensiveness are high.

Sylvester Stallone

The action-film movie star might not seem like the type of person who is into pens, but “Sly” Stallone helped design one of the most “Over the Top” writing instruments with famed Italian pen manufacturer, Montegrappa. Skilled artisans crafted snakes, reptiles, skulls, and swords wrapped around the barrel and cap of the oversized, cylindrical pen profile.

Stallone is not only an example of a celebrity who uses fountain pens, but also one that designs them as well!

Albert Einstein

When Einstein worked on the Theory of Relativity, he did the calculations and and designs using a Waterman Taper-cap fountain pen that was gifted to Paul Ehrenfest in 1921 and currently resides at the Boerhaave Museum in Leiden, the Netherlands.

There is also a photograph of Einstein wearing a Pelikan 100N in his suit breast pocket when he became an US citizen in 1940.

Authors Who Use Fountain Pens

Mark Twain

In the late 1800’s, when Mark Twain produced some of his most famous works, fountain pens were still in their infancy. Founded in 1898 the Ohio-based Conklin Pen Company developed a noteworthy reputation for its Crescent-filling fountain pen that can hold its own ink and resist rolling off the table. Mark Twain was so excited by these advancements in writing technology that he became the company’s spokesperson.

Stephen King

The “King” of horror has so many thoughts on the craft of writing, he wrote a memoir about it called “On Writing.” On the back cover of the novel Dreamcatcher, Stephen King acknowledges “the world’s finest word processor, a Waterman cartridge fountain pen.” Particularly, he admitted affection toward the slim and elegant Waterman Hemisphere fountain pen. He was also known to have used pencils to write first drafts.

Ernest Hemingway

During World War I, Hemingway was seriously injured and sent to the town of Bassano del Grappa to recover. There, he would find the inspiration to write one of his most famous novels, “A Farewell to Arms.” Coincidentally, Hemingway was stationed in the same town as Italy’s first fountain pen factory - Montegrappa. His influence is still present in Montegrappa limited editions that bear his name and literary legacy.

Winston Churchill

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill always, to paraphrase a quote of his, “earned his living by his pen.” And those pens would also be made in England. He would write with Conway Stewart, Mabie, Todd & Baird, and Onoto fountain pens.

J.R.R. Tolkien

The imaginative mind behind the fantasy classic Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien approached writing whatever was accessible to him at the time. During the war, he would sometimes write first drafts in pencil, then edit in red ink. He also used a typewriter as they became more readily available. When he wrote in Elvish script or drew maps of Middle Earth, he often used a dip pen fitted with an Esterbrook #314 nib.

H.P. Lovecraft

The influential horror writer known for the “Cthulhu mythos,” spent hours selecting a new fountain pen once his previous pen wore out. According to an anecdote written by his longtime friend Frank Belknap Long, Lovecraft appreciated small stationery objects as things of great beauty. His requirements for a fountain pen concentrated on consistent ink flow and smoothness of the nib. He preferred black Waterman fountain pens with little to no decorative adornment.


As you can see by the above list of famous celebrities who use fountain pens, there isn’t one type of fountain pen used by all. Every example of a successful author, professional, and creative individual pairs with a unique taste in writing instruments. Whether these pens come from storied brands like the Parker Pen Company, Montblanc, Montegrappa, Pelikan, or Pilot, or modern pen manufacturers like Nahvalur, Visconti, and Leonardo, it’s about how you use the pen that creates the legacy.

What story will you write? How will you write it? The choice is yours, and it may live on forever.

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