So, if you want a good retractable fountain pen, you have one good option. And I have only seen one other option, which isn’t that good to be honest.
On one side you have the Pilot Vanishing Point and on the other you have the Lamy Dialog 3.
I have a VP and I love it, even though it has some constraints. The short version is that it is a special pen, where Pilot have made many hard choices in order to get a pen that is as good as it is. But that means that it won’t be a good fit for many people. The biggest problem with it is that the clip is kind of annoying for some people, doesn’t hold enough ink, and that it is a pain in the ass to fill when you ink bottle runs low.
My impression when I was going to get a retractable pen, and spent some(a lot) of time researching is that the Dialog isn’t that great. I might get one at some point, but not now.
Here is the thing: we need more retractable fountain pens. To get some fresh blood and some competition in this market where Pilot and their Vanishing Point dominates. I get the engineering problems with making it. But I want more competition here. Because many people cannot use the only good retractable fountain pen available, because of the clip.
It would be really awesome if someone started to sell the mechanism, and then as a result a lot of different pen designs based on it.