Dryden Designs ‘Modern Classic’ (Mysterious Blue)
So why would a fountain pen enthusiast buy a pen like this? Answer: sheer curiosity. Dryden Designs is one of maybe two or three pen suppliers who promote and sell either through Amazon or their own shopify-based websites. They claim to produce ‘hand assembled and hand tested’ ‘luxury’ pens. They describe themselves as ‘quintessentially English’, though there is no doubt that their pens are made in China, probably by Jinhao. The nibs are claimed to be German, but having the word ‘Germany’ on the nib doesn’t mean they are German. Some have described this pen as something designed for the corporate gift market, but I suspect that their target market are those new to fountain pens. So are these pens just a bit of a con, given that you can buy some Chinese pens at lower prices? Not necessarily. Beginners may be looking for something a little different from the entry level pens sold in supermarkets and might even be suspicious of something sold at rock bottom prices or that takes weeks to deliver. They might well be seen as good value gifts.
The pen itself is quite pleasant. Whatever the nib may be made of, it is as they promote, very smooth and always starts first time. The design may appear bland and unremarkable to some, but many leading brands also have simple uncomplicated designs.
It seems that Dryden Designs is actually a US corporation, based in Flushing, NY; the British company Dryden Designs Ltd is perhaps just a shell company.
Note: aside from the first image, all the photos are taken from their website.