Para Alberto, marino estilófilo, maestro de plumas españolas.
(A Spanish version of this text can be seen on forum Grafopasión-Foro de relojes.)
The technological development of fountain pens, we can now see, has followed a clear line in the last sixty years or so regarding filling systems, and its last stage is that of cartridges and converters. And let us be real—this system is great. Cartridges are clean, friendly, reliable, and users do not become inked when filling the pen from those poorly designed inkwells. We can also carry several cartridges in our pockets whereas few of us carry an inkwell with ourselves—not even one of those fancy and beautiful traveling inkwells designed for that purpose. And, finally, we can always romantically ink the pen from an inkwell by using a converter.
The Queen, an American eyedropper in hard rubber.
But we have also to understand that fountain pens, nowadays, have totally lost their raison d´être. Now, we use touch screens and keyboards, and when there is no other option, a pencil or a ball pen does the job smartly. Therefore, we use our beloved fountain pens out of a sense of romanticism, out of an added feeling to the act of writing. Settled in this romantic realm, away from utilitarian considerations, anything goes. Anything goes in the search of old filling mechanisms and of ancient materials for bodies and nibs. Once our insanity is understood and assumed only our preferences counted no matter how exotic or even irrational they might be. No matter, in fact, how dirty they were.
This Kaweco is, in principle, a cartridge/converter pen, but it is more fun as an eyedropper.
That is why I, and many others, love eyedropper pens. And friendly to fill they are not.