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Awesome store. great service and will go back. Man was juggling several customers and made everyone feel like they were special. Just great if you want to buy classy pens and aren't afraid of high prices. Worth the wait and the purchase was pleasurable.

Alexa B.

Dear Bittner and all the gang,

The pens we got are the very best!
And you certainly surprised me!
I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with my totally personalized “really, really way-cool” retractable fountain pen complete with my signature engraving and signature brown ink!
I truly can’t remember when I have been more surprised and delighted! Your gesture is over the top – but then everything we experienced in your store was equally wonderful Bittner is a rare merchant,
selling a wonderful experience in the world of the mundane – be it shopping or writing experience.
You are the best!

Lynn O’Neil


Great assortment of fine writing pens.  Bittner's has a great following of ardent collectors.  If you treasure esoteric and quality writing instruments check Bittner's out.  Very polite phone service. Go visit the store.  Bob and Detlef have a great assortment of Namiki pens that are very affordable.


Dear Detlef Bittner,

Thanks for making the acquisition of the Visconti a memorable experience.
It was worth the trip to Carmel!


Charles Labun


I have always loved fountain pens and fine writing instruments. But, I certainly didn't need another one when I wandered into Bittner and met the incomparable Bob Leeds. The pens were fantastic but what a joy to see a highly professional, knowledgeable, and engaging guy like Bob. What a pleasure. And, I absolutely love my new Namiki Vanishing Point Fountain Pen. It's a beauty, so easy to use, and writes like a charm. Thanks, Bob! I can't wait to return.

Dennis B.

Dear Bittner Team,

I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate all of you taking the time to find the right pen for me.
We so enjoyed visiting the beautiful Ocean Avenue Showroom. You really made me feel welcome.
As you can see I too enjoy the Pleasure of Writing!



I just returned from Carmel today, and my visit to Bittner's was the same as it's been  all the other times I've stopped by - excellent. The clerk was pleasant, gracious, and knowledgeable about all things fountain pen.
Of course one can probably find a fountain pen online for less money - but one cannot examine said pen or try it out online. Flex nib? Fine nib? Italic nib? Stub nib?
Try asking a webpage which nib suits you best!
Sometimes personal help trumps an online deal - especially one that may or may not be as advertised.

Carol W.



While visiting Carmel from Upstate New York, I found this store to be quite quaint. Detief and Bob were so sincere, spent the time with me to review the pen and the capabilities.  They were the nicest store owners of any store I went into in Carmel.
If you are a pen lover this is the place.  I felt like I found 2 new friends.

Mary Ann D.

Dear Bittner, The Pleasure of Writing,

Thank you so much for showing me the Amygdala pen. I am so happy to have it! I lost the original a few years ago and finally St. Anthony answered the prayer. The Delta Mapuche has joined my cadre of swirly black and white pens with the Parker 750 and Conway Stewart Wellington.
Thank you so much and happy holidays.

Happy Holidays,
Jeanne Rose


I have purchased many pens (over a dozen) from Detlef and Bob over the past 2 years and enjoyed each transaction.   They are knowledgeable and fun to deal with.  They are not pushy and remember my name every time I walk into the store.  

If you are just looking or seriously interested in buying exotic pens, it is worth a visit.

Burton G.


I have visited this store at least once per year for the past six years. It is a great store, and Detlief has been very helpful as have his employees. I live on the other side of the country where we have a pretty good pen store too ( Fahrney's, in Washington DC). Commodities you can buy on line but for an expensive piece of art you have to see it and hold it before you buy it. There is always a place for brick and mortar stores if you want something fine and tangible.

Pat C.

Dear Bittner, The Pleasure of Writing,

Thank you so much for allowing me the choice of my beautiful pen and going the extra effort for sending both.  While I prefer the Omas, the nib on the Pelican is much finer.  My apologies for taking so long to send this.  I put it away safely while I traveled and forgot.  I have not figured out how to put the ink in.  

Thank you!


Ink a brother up!

Seriously, having purchased at least a dozen fountain pens from Detlef and Bob over the years I can honestly say they are knowledgable, trust worthy and sincere. Further, after seeing them at the various shows around the counrty I know they are very well regarded in the world of fine writing instruments. 

Every transaction I've had with Bittner has been pleasant and handled with sincere appreciation for my business. Add in a little banter and laughter with Bob and it's easy to see why this store is so successful. 

Perhaps the gentleman that wrote the scathing review after not being hired should apply at Staples. On second thought, after reading his other reviews he'd probably be wasting his time and more importantly, theirs.

Rick W.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bittner,

It was such a pleasure to meet you both at the LA Pen show.  Your selection of pens is by far the best there and it feels like being kids in a candy store.  I love the Pelikan Sahara pen I got; it is a nice addition to my collection.  Hopefully we will make it to your store in Carmel this year – if not, we will see you again in LA next year.

All the best to you and your family.
Warmest regards from Marianne and David Fossum-Feldman


Just read some previous reviews and thought I'd add my two cents.  I walked away owning the only store sample of the black Pilot retractable fountain pen with the letter "M" engraved on it to mark it.  Bob, the salesman, was compelling and creative.   He was personable and witty.  Initially, I left without having "closed" the deal; then returned and with some price bantering, the pen was sold.  Initially the "M" was for distinquishing the "medium" point of the 18-caret nib; for me it was symbolic for a "miracle" about to happen.  And it did.  I walked away "miraculously" being signed up with a literary agent back east after attending a local writer's conference.   So thank you Bob for being part of my story.  I would recommend him and the store, in spite of what others may say.

Karen B.

Dear Bittner,

Thank you so much for the nib exchange on this Alfred Dunhill Sentryman pen.  
This will be the perfect nib to have ground to a stub nib.  
I really love the design of this pen.  It is quickly becoming one of my favorite pens.
I look forward to seeing you at the DC show.  I’ll probably see you there before you receive this letter.

All the best,
Doug Kroll


I recently went into Bittner looking for a quality pen. I was extremely impressed with their staff. Bob took the time to compare a few pens and didn't pressure me at all. He was infomative and very professional. In fact, I purchased two pens, one for me and one for my wife. I am very surpirsed to read of unpleasant experiences others have had there. Don't expect good service anywhere if you are going to be rude and pushy. Treat sales people right and they will treat you the same. I recommend this shop to anyone who is looking for knowledgable and frendly staff.

Jim R.


Strolling around Carmel for the weekend, I happened upon this shop. I'm a sucker for pen shops in general, but outside of Italy I haven't found one of this quality. Great selection with all of the classics, lots of special editions, and lots of accessories. Soon after walking in I was greeted by one of the two guys working there (realized later it was the owner), and started chatting about some of the new arrivals. He was pleasant and enthusiastic, and showed me a variety of pens in a very low pressure way. I appreciated the time he took, even with a steady stream of people coming in and out of the shop. Ended up with a great new addition to my pen lineup.

Colby C.


Was traveling with friends to Carmel and wandered into this store. I said to my wife she should look at a pen like my new Pilot vanishing point. The fellow (not sure of name) showed her a red one with gold trim. Sharp. She bought it, and I ended up getting another. A new color, white, with a fine point nib. Then some Rhodia paper. Good shopping experience and a good demonstration of the pens.

James C.


I had a very positive experience yesterday purchasing a pen from the owner of this store (Detlef Bittner). Not only was the service amazing but he made certain that his employee Joseph sat down with me and fully explained how to take care of the pen step-by-step. I purchased the new retractable fountain pen made by Pilot. It was by far not the most expensive pen they carried but perhaps I could of ordered it cheaper over the Internet but the good thing about a brick and mortar shop like this store is that I had the opportunity to learn about a new pen by having the chance to hold it in my hand and write with it before I made the purchase. This is not something you can do over the Internet. The other great thing about the store was the conversations between myself and several other "pen enthusiasts". You could tell that everyone who was there really cared about writing and their penmanship. There was a wonderful positive energy going on in the store that day.

Milo D.