Thursday, January 6, 2011

X49 High Crown Hooded Fountain Pen

A recent purchase was this X49 High Crown Hooded Fountain Pen from xFountainPens, a Pittsburgh-based retailer that offers lower-priced, high-quality fountain pens and Chesterfield inks. I like browsing this particular website, while not all of the pens are to my taste there are some I am interested in, and the prices are very low with free shipping for orders of $15 and over. This particular pen caught my eye due to the hooded nib, and so I placed an order for this and some of the Chestefield ink.

The X49 has a slim profile, and has a glossy black lacquer over metal barrel with silver accents and a jeweled cap. The nib is a fine point, but to me it seems like an extra fine that's how thin the line width looks. I seem to be applying too much pressure to the pen so it's dragging a bit over the Whitelines paper, which does has a touch of tooth to it as well. When I put nib to paper and gently press down, it writes perfectly. I think I've been writing a bit too much with vintage flex nibs, and will have to work on my grip with this one.

The silver accents are impressive, with a very heavy silver clip and grooved grip area. Uncapped the pen is quite light, but add the cap (and clip) and it's much heavier in the hand. I didn't care for the sparkly cap jewels at first, but now I hardly notice them as they are slightly recessed and seem to become invisible over time.

The X49 pen can take cartridges or a converter, which is included, and the price is an amazingly low $9.99. Add some ink and you've got a sweet deal from xFountainPens. If you like hooded nibs with fine/extra-fine points, or inexpensive pens that write well and look good, then you may want to check this out.


  1. That looks like a good pen for the money. Do you know if it's Made in China?

  2. I didn't check and don't see any markings, but more than likely it is made in China.

  3. This is a Bülow X49, Chinese fountain pens, they're really nice. But unfortunately, they're kind of a hit or miss. I have a couple X450, and the five X750 available, one X450's nib just broke, I had to cut it and sand it to make a whole new broad nib (pretty fine actually), and a very misaligned nib on one X750. But all the others are really incredibly great for the price.
    By the way, one can find these on amazon too (just search for bulow), they're always sold with their matching converter.

  4. Thanks Greg, I figured it had to be. I have an X750 as well, they are actually quite nice. You cut and sanded the nib yourself? Do you do repair work? That is amazing.

  5. Yes, I cut and sanded it myself, but it's really not complicated.
    What's very interesting about those chinese pens is that they are really easy to take apart, even the converters (copper ones, not the plastic ones). Just pull the nib/feed, and you are done.That very nice because one can use India ink without worrying about clogging the feed.
    I'm not sure if the hooded ones are as easy though.

    By the way, how are the sparkling thingy on the cap holding up? I was wondering if it's easy to remove, as I might go for an X30 (and don't really like their jewelry).

    I don't do repair work per se, but as a mechanical engineer, I tend to try to repair everything I can.