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Writing Luxury

When I write by hand, I write with a pencil or a pen that costs a fraction of a single dollar. They allow me to get my ideas down on paper, and I judge the worth of the experience by the quality of the words, numbers and images that I’ve recorded.

writing implements of worthFor some people, however, that’s not enough. Some people want a writing implement that suggests greater worth. Some people want a luxury pen. You see four examples of these pens to the right –>

What makes a luxury pen luxurious, though?

There are different levels of luxury. One of the pens shown here is sold for $60,000. Another is sold for $42,000. Another is sold for $13,500. Another is sold for $45.

The practical functions of these pens are the same. They release ink onto a piece of paper. They don’t have have features like audio recording or data storage. For the price of the most expensive pen here, a person could buy 120 laptop computers. But then, for the price of even the least expensive of these pens, a person could buy at least 120 regular ballpoint pens.

For this week’s luxury challenge, identify which of these pens is the most expensive, and which of these pens is the least expensive – and explain what justifies the difference in price.

Previous luxury challenges from last week: Watches and handbags.

8 comments to Writing Luxury

  • My guess is that A is the most expensive because it is the least ostentatious, and that D is the least expensive because it looks plastic.

  • NomNomNom

    Pens! I love pens! A is the cheap one. It has a crappy shape and the nib is some kind of cheap stainless steel: no good! I’ll say B. is the $60,000 pen to judge by the enameling plus it looks like it is made of a gold alloy and the nib is definitely rhodiated silver or gold. I know that C is a Tibaldi Bentley, it’s the $42,000 one, made out of silver; they also have the same pattern in rose gold that is even prettier; and that leaves D as the $13,500. I think that’s likely as it has nice lacquer and by the motif it is made in Japan; it looks authentically Japanese and not like the novelty sort of fake Japanese art that is always lacks that intrinsic Japanese style in it; and Japan makes some really terrific calligraphy pens for all levels.
    I don’t know where you are getting any sort of pen at under $1 unless you are buying by the case. But if you think there is little difference, then you are definitely not an artist. A cheap pen is a cheap pen: it makes a poor line, it does not last. A quality pen can be an heirloom. I am not recommending gold and silver, but a good nib on a calligraphy pen and a good shape for the body are essential. $100 for a professional pen isn’t that high.

  • jeffd

    Doesn’t matter to me. If someone manages their money well and can afford what to me is stupid, more power to them. But I’m personally getting just a tad fed up with the Fed stepping in and rewarding both big corporations and individuals for poor money management. But since the Fed is the poster child for poor money management what can I expect? It’s almost enough to turn me into a Libertarian.

    • You know, Jeff, I’m not for legislation banning people from spending $60,000 on a pen. It shouldn’t be illegal.

      It should, however, be mocked and shamed. That money could go to so many better things. It’s extravagant, crude nonsense.

      “Managing” money “well” these days often means making investments in companies that profit from using child labor, prison labor, sweatshop labor. So no, Jeff, I’m not going to say more power to that, and it’s that kind of abuse for profit that will keep me from ever becoming Libertarian.

      The Fed’s problems compared to corporate ethical problems are small, small potatoes.

      • jeffd

        I’m not ashamed at all and refuse to take on guilt regardless how hard you try so save the effort for a more useful cause. I’m for individual rights and won’t take part in any ridicule concerning how the stinking rich spend their money. It’s their money. Many of the stinking rich also give liberally to worthy causes and have lots left over for things I consider stupid for my budget. Should the stinking rich sell all they have and follow you? I think not.
        No I’m not for companies utilizing child labor, prison labor and sweatshop labor for the sake of anything let alone company profits but of course that wasn’t part of your essay on the pens so shame on you for bringing that into the discussion at this point, foul move.
        Concerning your last statement you inserted ethics while my comment was purely about money management. The federal deficit and lack of fiscal restraint by the federal government is obscene to the point that we need radical changes.
        But the whole point to what I wrote is that I’m stinking tired of bailouts and handouts. It’s so nice that GM and Chrysler paid the gov. back and are now making money. What about all the companies and hard workers that lost money because they were creditors to GM and Chrysler? What about all of us who work hard day in and day out while our tax dollars reward those who make stupid choices and complain that they aren’t getting enough from the government? I’m tired of paying for stupidity. Help someone get on their feet? Sure, but unless there’s fiscal responsibility they continue to want a payout and want more and more. I’m sick of it. I want an occupy movement that targets “get off of the government handout program and stand up for yourself both individually and corporately”. The government is no longer the answer for everything, we the people are broke.

        • Well, I can’t control your feelings, but facts are facts. Libertarian philosophy doesn’t tend to track well with the facts, of course. It’s based upon the idea that people’s wealth and luxury properties simply appear out of nowhere, with no consequences and with no responsibility.

          A political philosophy devoid of responsibility is not something that I’m interested in.

  • jeffd

    Facts are indeed facts and I’m heavy on opinion because of the facts. I’d like to see a lot more responsibility with my tax dollars rather than so much of it servicing debt.

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