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Dupe The Expensive Vibes

Posted in Fountain Pens

If you’ve been a fountain pen person for any length of time, you likely know that their prices have a VERY wide range. But, if you aren’t married to a name brand, you can get the feel of more expensive pens for a small fraction of the cost.

Granted, I make no promises on the quality of the various pens and nibs. Some may be great, some may be crap. But, these let you have that expensive look without the dollar outlay. And, if you’re saving enough on the pen, there’s little a good nibmeister can’t fix.

Note: I’m NOT talking about knock-offs today. That will be in a future post.

Laban Skeleton

Let’s start with the pen that inspired this post. I felt the design of the Laban Skeleton has a similar feel to the Visconti Torpedo, at about 15% of the price. With the release of the Laban Formosa, that comparison is even stronger.

Pen comparison. Top to bottom: Laban Skeleton Silver, Visconti Torpedo Black/Silver, Laban Formosa, Visconti Torpedo Cobalt/Rose Gold.

Laban Guilloche

While I’m on Laban, allow me to touch on their Guilloche line in comparison to ST Dupont’s Line D Guilloche pens. While the pattern isn’t identical — and the Laban version only comes in 2 colors — the pens are similar, and the Laban is about 28% of the price of the ST Dupont.

Pen comparison. Top to bottom: ST Dupont Line D Guilloche capped, Laban Guilloche capped, ST Dupont Line D Guilloche posted, and Laban Guilloche posted.

LeBoef Pilgrim

The Pilgrim collection, while it only has two color options, is very similar to the Aurora Caleidoscopio series, and only 15% of the price. The closest match is this Desert Yellow Pearl to the Luce Bianca.

Pen comparison. Top to bottom: LeBoeuf Pilgrim Pearl capped, Aurora Caleidoscopio Luce Bianca capped, LeBoeuf Pilgrim Pearl posted, and Aurora Caleidoscopio Luce Bianca posted.

Taccia Spotlight

This one is a very specific one-to-one. The Taccia Spotlight in Pure Clear perfectly captures the feel of the Platinum #3776 Century Oshino at 29% of the price.

Pen comparison. Top to bottom: Taccia Spotlight, Platinum #3776

Monteverde Ritma

Despite slight differences in color and intricacy, there’s no doubt that the Monteverde Ritma bears a striking resemblance to the Faber-Castell Ambition and Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio. However, it’s only half the price of the Ambition (40% of the OpArt versions) and a mere 16% of the Tamitio.

Pen comparison. Top to bottom: Monteverde Ritma, Faber-Castell Ambition, Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio

Penlux Masterpiece Grande

I’m one of those people that feels there is an upper limit to the worth of a basic pen. And the Sailor King of Pen goes far beyond my limit. If you’re like me, then the Penlux Masterpiece Grande might be for you. It has a similar weight (33g vs 34g for KOP resin and 33g for KOP ebonite), length capped (149mm vs 152mm), and length posted (170.7mm vs 165.2mm). However, it comes in many more colors and runs you between 18.5% to 22% of the price of the KOP.

Pen comparison. Top to bottom: Penlux Masterpiece Grande, Sailor 1911 King of Pen

Otto Hutt 06

For some reason I tend to think of Otto Hutt as an expensive brand. However, while not cheap, it’s also not crazy expensive. The 06 is highly similar to the Caran d’Ache Leman, and, at most, will cost you 36% of the price.

Pen comparison. Top to bottom: Caran d'Ache Leman capped, Otto Hutt 06 capped, Otto Hutt 06 posted, and Caran d'Ache Leman posted.

What do you think of these comparisons? What similar pens have I missed? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. Make sure to subscribe to my blog or follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss any posts. I generally post at least once a week.

One Comment

  1. Jane

    Good idea for a post and now I’m thinking about my first Laban… so mission accomplished!

    June 10, 2023

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