The latest thing on my “want” list:
That’s a Pelikan fountain pen, more specifically the M400 in the Special Edition “Brown Tortoise” pattern.
That right there is a writing instrument. (For those curious about price: it’s just north of $200 from most Pelikan dealers.)
Pelikans are typical German engineering: conservatively styled, extremely well designed, and meticulously put together. I have one Pelikan right now, the translucent blue M205, and that brown M400 Torty would look pretty sweet in the pen wrap next to it.
Does a $200 fountain pen write any better than a $30 one, or even a $2 gel pen? Not necessarily. Why, then, would anyone drop two c-notes on that ink stick? To answer that question, you’d have to figure out why people buy BMWs, for example. Does a $50,000 Beamer get you to the grocery store any better than a $20,000 Toyota? Maybe not—but if it was only about the end result, nobody would ever purchase cars with leather seats and real wood on the dash when cloth and plastic are available as alternatives for a third of the price.
Writing with a pen like the one in the picture above may get you the same result as if you had used a $1 throwaway gel ink pen, but you wouldn’t get the tactile experience of that fine gold nib gliding across the paper, or the preparatory act of unscrewing the cap and posting it on the back of the pen (which kind of feels like you’re cracking your knuckles for the work ahead), or the attachment you form with a tool that stays with you through quarts of ink instead of ending up in a landfill once it’s empty.
The truth is that people are willing to pay extra for a superior user experience, and using a fine fountain pen over a throwaway ballpoint is much like driving a BMW instead of a spartan econobox. Both will get you where you need to go, but only one makes you actually want to take it for a spin just for the joy of using it.