The fountain pen is mightier than emails or texts as the 'luxury item' makes a comeback

In a modern world increasingly dominated by email and social networks, they may be considered by a luxury purchase irrelevant to the younger generation.

But it seems the appeal of the humble fountain pen is timeless, as retailers have reported that sales of the 'luxury' writing tool have more than doubled in the past year.

Online retailer Amazon say fountain pen sales have doubled since January compared with the same period last year, while Parker say there has been a 'resurgence' in the product.

On the up: Experts say the increase in fountain pen sales is due to people wanting traditional items in more difficult times.

Other pen makers have reported increased sales in the past 12 months, and stationary store Ryman said there had been a 10 per cent rise in the past six weeks.

High street retailers have also hailed the traditional ink pen as one which gives the 'personal touch' in correspondence, and is one which people have returned to in more difficult times.

'It is nice for things to be handwritten and not having everything via email.'

Despite the increased sales, it seems fountain pens are not popular across all generations.

In 2010, a head banned fountain pens in his school for fear pupils who use them will be marked down in exams.

Jack Williams said modern computerised marking systems used for GCSEs often miss the pen strokes at £8,250-a-year Hillcrest Grammar and Preparatory School in Stockport.

Mr Williams claimed this could lead, for example, to crucial decimal points being missed in maths exams – and pupils losing out.

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Annemiek van de Velde