Top 8 Pens of 2018

Today is August 8th, 2018 - the eighth day of the eighth month in the year 2018. We're aligning the 8 planets to provide you an auspicious list of the top 8 pens to debut on in 2018.

8. Aurora Optima Limited Edition Flex Nib Fountain Pens

What's New? Following up the success of Aurora's "88" collection in 2017, the Italian pen manufacturer introduces a series of limited editions in the Optima design with silver trims to match a rhodium, 14kt gold flex nib.

Why does it make the list? As with all great fountain pens, the proof is in the nib quality. Aurora delivers on their hand-made nibs and feeds that are crafted directly in their factory. The flex nib that is installed on the Optima limited edition is a pleasure to write with, providing line variation that is rare among modern pen manufacturers.

How much? $650 Retail, Starting at $585 on Sale. Buy Here.

7. Lamy Safari 2018 Special Edition All Black

What's New? Each year, Lamy releases a new special edition Safari color. They are an inexpensive treat to collect that often have a huge upside in value once they become rare. The last few years have seen the popular editions called "Dark Lilac" and "Petrol" which are darker colors featuring a matte finish to the ABS plastic, decorated with black trims. This year, the "All Black" takes on a stealthy appearance with a richer black than the "Charcoal" version that is an everyday staple within the Safari line.

Why does it make the list? Despite the collective moans and groans from Lamy fans over the unimaginative color choice, the "All Black" is still a sharp-looking pen that brings in both collectors and new writers with its universal appeal.

How much? Starting at $20. Buy Here.

6. Caran d'Ache 849 Nespresso Ballpoint Pen

What's New? In collaboration with Nespresso, Caran d'Ache recycles the aluminum from spent Nespresso coffee pods to build the bodies of their classic, hexagonal faceted 849 ballpoint pen. The Dharkan Blue color is the first edition of this series and is a limited production.

Why does it make the list? The ecologically conscious collaboration combines two popular indulgences: coffee and pens.

How much? $54 Retail, $45.90 on Sale. Buy Here.

5. Opus 88 Koloro Eyedropper Fountain Pen

What's New? Although the company behind Opus 88 has been manufacturing pens for decades, the Koloro design is their first foray into establishing their own brand name. These eyedropper fill fountain pens are inspired by vintage Japanese fountain pen designs.

Why does it make the list? In an effort to maximize ink capacity, many fountain pen enthusiasts choose to convert their pens to eyedropper-fill. One of the hazards of filling a barrel full of fountain pen ink is the possibility of the pen burping the ink while writing. Opus designed the Koloro with a shut-off valve to regulate ink flow and prevent any unpleasant ink burping.

How much? Starting at $93. Buy Here.

4. Pelikan Souveran 600 Turquoise White

What's New? In the last several years, Pelikan has delighted fans and fountain pen enthusiasts with a deep resume of special editions in the various model sizes of the Souveran collection. Burnt Orange, Stresemann, Ocean Swirl, Brown Tortoise, and Vibrant Blue, to name a few. The Turquoise White in the 600 size represents a daring color approach, pairing a white cap, section, and blind cap with a turquoise striped barrel and gold appointments.

Why does it make the list? The color design choice shows the range that Pelikan is capable of. With such conservative models as the Stresemann, one would think that Pelikan isn't capable of a pen that would attract both masculine and feminine tastes. It is this writer's opinion that the Turquoise White reaches both ends of the aesthetic spectrum, being "OMG pretty" for some and "strikingly elegant" for others.

How much? $500 Retail, Starting at $291.95. Buy Here.

3. Platinum #3776 Century "Kumpoo" Fountain Pen

What's New? Platinum expands on its flagship #3776 Century line of limited editions inspired by the natural beauty of Mt. Fuji. The "Kumpoo" translates to "Balmy Breeze," representing the gentle winds that blow through the fresh greenery and up toward the sky. Much like the other limited edition models, this one is a translucent demonstrator fountain pen with a 14kt gold nib.

Why does it make the list? Platinum went all out on the body and cap design for this limited edition. Instead of just making the same pen model in a different color of translucent resin, they added a twisting swirl pattern that catches the light as a blow of wind would catch a weathervane. The edition number was small, some would say too small, at 2,500 pieces worldwide. They also offered Kumpoo in a soft medium 14kt gold nib, which isn't considered to be a standard nib choice within this line.

How much? $325 Retail, SOLD OUT.

2. Retro 51 Tornado "Paris Skyline" Limited Edition Rollerball Pen

What's New? The second limited edition in Goldspot Pens' collaboration with Retro 1951, the Paris Skyline follows up New York City with a glow-in-the-dark rollerball pen that features many of the monumental highlights of the "City of Light," including the Eiffel Tower.

Why does it make the list? Beyond the obvious bias for products that Goldspot has an exclusive on, every piece of the 537 numbered pens sold out within 2 months during the summer, which is typically considered to be an off-peak time of the year. The "Skyline" designs are heavily thought over and designed by both Goldspot Pens and Retro 51 to produce artwork that pays homage to the city and visually delights the writer.

How much? $47 Retail, SOLD OUT.

1. Sailor 1911 "Stormy Sea" Fountain Pen

What's New? Sailor is no stranger to producing special editions of their 1911 (Profit) and Pro Gear (Sapporo) fountain pens exclusively for Japanese retailers. Up until a couple of years ago, the North American market, arguably #2 in size to Japan, would only have access to the conservative, everyday offerings of the pen models. Starting with Fresca Blue, Sailor added a splash of color to the palette with each new edition of 1911 exclusive for the North American market. For 2018, Sailor introduced the Royal Tangerine and the Stormy Sea.

Why does it make the list? Stormy Sea isn't just your average resin. The dark blue body has a metallic shimmer and a slight hint of a swirl that resonates throughout the material. This particular style of 1911 has been the fan favorite of all Sailor colors, inspiring some to collect the previous editions.

How much? $360 Retail, Starting at $196. Buy Here.

Score one of 2018's Top 8 Pens by entering in the giveaway using the form below.

Even if you're window shopping, let us know which of these pens is your favorite pick of 2018 so far. While you're at it, enter in our giveaway for one of the most popular editions of 2018 - the Lamy Safari All Black! Use the Gleam form below to enter in a number of different ways. The more entries you have, the better chances for you to win.

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