Today’s post is dedicated to my current Every Day Carry pen, a Sheaffer Sagaris. More particularly, I was reflecting upon what are the necessary qualities that we require in an EDC. Of course, people’s needs will differ and almost any pen could be carried for use every day although with differing levels of suitability. Here is my list.
Reliable. First and foremost, you will need a pen that will not leak in your bag or pocket whilst in transit, will not let you down and will not hard-start. If you get out your pen to make a quick note, you do not want to wait for two minutes while you coax the ink down to the nib. I was once at a charity event when a well-known TV actress was asked for her autograph and I overheard her reply that she had not got a pen. Standing nearby, I offered her my blue 1990’s Waterman Expert, prompting her to say “This is a posh pen, this must be a posh man!” Thankfully the pen wrote.
Robust. The pen must be tough enough to withstand being carted around in the wild, rather than being cosseted in a plush cabinet or pen cup. It should within reason be able to survive being accidentally dropped or sat upon.
Secure. It must not come apart in your pocket, either coming adrift from its cap or the barrel unscrewing itself from the section.I have had a pen with a screw cap, which lacked bite so that the pen once came loose in my pocket, which can be messy. Note that this does not entirely rule out carrying the pen, as you can of course use a pen pouch or case. Also the pocket clip is important, as it needs to be sufficiently tight to keep the pen in your jacket pocket, in the event that you remove your jacket in a dark theatre and in folding it, turn the pocket upside down. But the clip should not be so aggressive as to chew holes in your clothing.
Expendable. Although too awful for pen-enthusiasts to contemplate, your EDC could, despite your best efforts, be lost or damaged in the call of duty. It is sensible not to carry your most valuable pens around unless you happen to be very careful.
Comfortable. The pen should not be too heavy or bulky. If it is to be carried in a shirt pocket, it will need to be short enough to fit. In a jacket, a slimmer pen has the advantage of not making unsightly bulges in your smart business attire. I was told in a store that the slender Diplomat Traveller was popular with gentlemen for this very reason.
Re-fillable. It is very useful to be able to check the level of ink before you leave your home or work place where your supplies of ink are kept. Cartridges are easy to bring, if you remember. If your pen is filled from a bottle, then you can always refill it beforehand, if it might otherwise run dry while you are out.
Presentable. Depending upon where you plan to use the pen, it will need to strike the right balance of quality and professionalism but without being ostentatious.
Enjoyable. Let’s not forget how much we enjoy using a fountain pen and so bring with you, one that brings you joy and brightens your day.
I think my Sheaffer Sagaris embodies all these attributes. It is a fairly simple, slim metal bodied pen with a laquer finish (I think the colour was called grape) with a steel medium nib which never fails to delight. The cap snaps on firmly to give confidence that it will not come off. I have been using the pen regularly for over a year. I used it a lot as a journal pen with Skrip blue cartridges, one of my favourite blue inks, but currently am using the converter with Caran D’Ache Idyllic Blue. The pen also reminds me fondly of my late mother, who had a Sheaffer Touchdown in a similar colour.