Sunday Notes and Links

Pilot Custom 823 with Montblanc Boardeaux ink

It’s back!

Even though I’m down to eight inked pens (two of which are desk-bound) I’ve still resisted the urge to ink up any more pens. My usage was light this past week so even though the Pilot Custom 823 with Montblanc Bordeaux was my most used, and therefore favorite pen again this week, it still has plenty of ink.

Some links of interest…

Serious Nibbage Part 12: Lamy 2000 Stainless Steel – Hey there! SBREBrown // This pen keeps showing up lately and I’m finding it hard to resist adding one to my accumulation.

How-To: Safely Remove & Replace a Pelikan Nib – The Pelikan’s Perch // The easily swappable Pelikan nibs was an early attraction when I added my first Pelikans. Yet I rarely swap nibs, but it’s nice to know I can.

Guest post: Comparison of 3 Parker Vectors – On Fountain Pens // I don’t particularly like the pen, but I find the manufacturing differences interesting.

Three Questions With Bruno From Cronicas Estilograficas — The Pen Addict // Cronicas Estilograficas has been in my RSS feed for as long as I can remember. A great site.

Pelikan M600 Fountain Pen Review – THE UNROYAL WARRANT // It’s all about the nib.

A short list of links this week since I was pressed for time and only read the ones that seemed the most interesting (at least to me). You can check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links. I’ve yet to read them all myself, but I’ll be reading them over Sunday morning coffee.

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Sunday Notes and Links


I’m still using pens I inked up back in October. A few have gone dry so they were cleaned out and put on the shelf. The Model 66 was used enough to go dry but it was refilled and it stayed in the rotation. A Vanishing Point (the Maple Wood) did get inked up because I needed it’s unique (clicky) characteristics. I’m down to nine inked pens. This is a long way of getting to my favorite pen/ink of the week which is the Pilot Custom 823 with Montblanc Bordeaux.

Some links of interest from the past week…

Rosetta – ESA on Flickr // Starting things off-topic but these photos are amazing. Sure, the landing wasn’t perfect and it’s not getting enough sun. But the thing was launched 10 years ago and hit a moving comet so a slight miss seems inevitable. There’s still hope it will revive itself when the comet gets closer to the sun.

Montblanc Meisterstück 90 Years Skeleton (2014) – KMPN // I haven’t decided if I like the looks of this pen or not. At them moment I’m on the side of liking it.

Récife Fountain Pen Quick Review – THE UNROYAL WARRANT // It’s always nice to uncover a forgotten fountain pen.

One Week With: The Noodler’s Ebonite Konrad — The Gentleman Stationer // A rarely reviewed pen.

Levenger True Writer Select Fountain Pen Review — The Pen Addict // I’ve never been a fan of Levenger, but I appear to be in the minority.

Review: Parker 51 — Alt. Haven // Despite being a classic I could never get into hooded nibs

Why Analog? – The Cramped

First Impression: Field Notes ‘Ambition’ Edition — Modern Stationer // This will be my last subscription shipment and I don’t plan to renew. This edition seems cool but I don’t think I’ll end up using them.

Writing in the trenches – Palimpsest // Some nice advertising history.

Six pens to rule them all? – these beautiful pens // I’m down to 9 inked pens. I’m not sure I can get to six and I’m 99.9% sure I couldn’t stay with six for a whole month.

Guide Sheets Updated: Graph Paper Added! – The Well-Appointed Desk // * A nice resource.*

Great Pen Stores: Kinokuniya Books — The Gentleman Stationer // My local stationary store is closing, but stores like this may make a NYC trip worth it.

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links.

Sunday Notes and Links

I may have to give back my FP Geeks pen. I barely touched my fountain pens this past week. When I did reach for pen it was a fountain pen, it’s just that I didn’t reach very often. So no favorite pen this week since I used whichever was handy at the time.

Some links of interest from the past week…

Sailor Nioi-sumire Update – An Inkophile’s Blog // Words to live by – “Keep the ink flowing…”

Sealing the Deal, with a Chop – Penucopia // A type of seal I’d never heard of, until now.

NaNoWriMo – My Analogue Tools – Pete Denison // Pete shares his NaNoWriMo tools. And thanks for the link Pete.

Iroshizuku Yama-Budo Review – The Passionate Penman

Distressing News! – The Frugal Fountain Pen // I love the link of distressed leather.

Noodler’s Habanero ink review – Pens! Paper! Pencils! // Among the inks I never use this has to be my favorite. Every time I read a review of it I make a mental note to ink it up but I rarely do.

Brad Dowdy’s sweet setup – The Sweet Setup

Review: A Trio of M101N’s – The Pelikan’s Perch

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links.

Fountain Pen Day and Pens For Kid

That headline makes it sound like both of these items are related, but they’re not. Well, they both deserve some publicity and are pen related, but that’s about where the similarities stop.

Fountain Pen Day

Fountain Pen Day is Thursday Friday Nov 7th. (It’s the first Friday of November every year.) You can read all about it at Fountain Pen Day. There’s a lot of pen discounts including Pen Chalet which has coupons, discounts and giveaways. You can find a list of participating retailers at the Fountain Pen Day website.

Pens For Kids

Cult Pens is running their Pens for Kids Christmas Appeal again this year. Last year they sent 21,000 pens to kids that need them. They’ve lowered the cost this year by getting some help with the shipping.

The way it works is you buy a 10 pack of Staedtler Stick pens for £1.00 (£0.83 ex VAT) and Cult Pens throws in another 10 pack. All 20 pens go to children in Ghana who need them for their education.

If you order only the donation shipping will still be added during checkout. If you pay by debit or credit card they will remove the shipping before charging your card. Unfortunately PayPal fees prevent them from removing shipping if you use PayPal. Your credit/debit card may include foreign exchange fees  but that’s not from Cult Pens. Just as an FYI – the charge shows the full amount, including shipping, when it’s authorized but it will come through with the lower amount. The charge hasn’t hit my account yet but I did this last year and it worked perfectly.

Pens for Kids Donation 2014 | Cult Pens

Sunday Notes and Links

Pilot Vanishing Point Maple Wood 2013 Limited EditionI didn’t have a clear favorite fountain pen and ink combo this week. I seemed to pick a different pen each time I reached for one. I did ink up a new pen this week since I needed the benefits of an easily uncapped fountain pen to take notes during a class. I know clicking isn’t exactly uncapping but it accomplishes the same thing. So my Pilot Vanishing Point Maple Wood got a extra fine nib swap and then a Pilot Black ink cartridge. Currently I prefer cartridges in my Vanishing Points. For one, I have them and I hate to waste ink. But it’s mainly because they not only hold more ink but it’s easier to check the ink level. I do like Pilot ink so I’ve never had the motivation to save the empty cartridges for bottled ink.

Some links of interest from the past week:

OMAS OGIVA – canetas e coisas // I love the color of this pen.

EPIC Goulet Announcement – Ink Nouveau // Goulet Pens is changing but ink drop is delayed another month. As compensation we can all get ink samples on sale.

Karas Kustoms Ink Review — Modern Stationer // The Ink was my first Karas Kustoms pen and I do like mine. I quickly wrote through the first converter fill. It’s not currently inked because I have so many pens already inked. But it’s waiting.

Fountain Pen Day Giveaway: Pilot Metropolitan (Fine Nib) — The Gentleman Stationer // Fountain Pen Day is November 7th. There’s a lot of sales and giveaways going on, this is just one.

Swan’s Big Red – Crónicas Estilográficas // It’s not the Swan pen company I think of when I hear the name. Until I read this I never knew there was a Japanese Swan pen company.

NOODLER’S INK NEPONSET FOUNTAIN PEN – Noodler’s Ink // The long awaited Noodler’s Neponset pen is official and will arrive any day now. While I find the pen interesting I won’t be in the queue to get one. The music nib isn’t for me. But I do look forward to reading the reviews

Rotring Inventory V Unknown / Rotring Dolmakalem Envanteri V Bilinmeyenler – Write to Me Often // Four pens I wouldn’t have guessed are Rotrings

Montblanc Meisterstuck 90 years Permanent Grey – Inkdependence! // I like this ink so much I bought a second bottle, even though it’s on the expensive side of the scale.

Parker IM Premium Fountain Pen: Emerald Pearl M Nib – The Well-Appointed Desk // Every time my eye catches a photo of this pen I think “Vacumatic” because of the etched lines although as the review points out, and a closer look at any photo shows, this is not a Vacumatic. It does sound like a solid fountain pen in its own right.

Epic Ink Test, R2M3 – Fountain Pen Physicist

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links.

Favorite 5: Vintage Fountain Pens

It’s been over a year since my Favorite 5 Vintage Fountain Pens list changed. I revisited the list six months ago but decided there weren’t any changes. In the last six months I’ve been almost all modern. Because of this, picking a favorite 5 was a bit easier since by definition (at least my definition) a favorite pen should be one that is used. So I didn’t have to decide from among my entire vintage accumulation. A vintage pen is any pen manufactured before I was born. Here’s my current list.

1. Esterbrook J (any of them)

Esterbrook J with 8440 nibI moved the Esterbrook J to the top spot since it was easily the most used vintage pen these past six months. Maybe it’s a cheat since I used several barrels and many different nibs, but that’s what makes the Estie J a favorite. Now that I’ve run through all my nibs (although there are many I don’t have) maybe I can narrow it down to a favorite nib or two (or six) for the next update. No real review of the pen but the nibs are indexed here with links to their reviews.

2. Sheaffer Balance Lifetime Oversize c1935

Sheaffer Balance Oversize - Marine GreenThis pen gets used so often because of it’s looks. The custom stub nib is a smooth writer. While the stub is far wider than my typical fine or extra fine preference my horizons are expanding and I’ve grown to love this nib. It was a coin toss between this and the Esterbrooks for the top slot. The Esterbrooks won on volume. I was surprised to see I haven’t reviewed this pen. At the very least I need to do a photo post.

3. Sheaffer PFM I

Photo of a Sheaffer PFM I on a mirrorThis is borderline vintage. Since most were sold before my birth I choose to believe mine were manufactured before I was born. This is the low end trim for the PFM line but it works well for me. The photo and the review are of my first PFM which was blue. I bought a second PFM I in green which is my color preference. Review

4. Sheaffer Balance Junior c1931 with custom stub nib

Sheaffer Balance Junior c1931This ugly pen used to top my Fav 5 list. It’s still a smooth stub nib that I love, but I’ve used it less over the last six months. Review.

5. Parker Vacumatic Maxima (1942) Silver Pearl with Nickel Trim

Parker Vacumatic Maxima (1942) Pearl GreyThis was second vintage pen (an Esterbrook $1 was my first) and it’s still a favorite. I love the vintage Vacumatic finishes and this one is in pretty good shape. I haven’t used it recently but since this article jogged my memory I’ll be inking it up.

Wrapping Up

The Parker Duofold Senior c1928 (Big Red) is a sentimental favorite but it was reluctantly dropped from the list in favor of the Sheaffer PFM I. Big Red leaks a bit around the nib which has kept me from using it. But I have to admit, sentiment aside I’d have to pick the PFM over Big Red even if it didn’t leak. The other four pens were on my first Fav 5 list although they’ve swapped positions around. What’s your favorite vintage pen?

Favorite 5: Modern Fountain Pens

It’s been over six months since my last Fav 5 modern fountain pen list so nows a good time for an update. I’ve been almost exclusively modern for the last six months so this is where I have the most change. For the record, my definition of modern is and pen that’s not vintage. In other words, any pen manufactured after I was born.

1. Sheaffer Balance Aspen LE

Sheaffer Balance II AspenThis one came out of nowhere and took the crown. The pen is beautiful and I just smile as I use it. While its medium nib wouldn’t be my normal choice my horizons are expanding. The nib and flow were tuned by Mike Masuyama so it writes as good as it looks. I’m glad I resisted the urge to have him grind it to an extra fine. Review

2. Lamy 2000

Capped Lamy 2000 on marblesAnother new addition to the list and another Mike Masuyama tuned nib. I love holding the pen and writing with it. The material has a unique look and feel. Myke voiced his opinion on this pen on a recent Pen Addict podcast and I couldn’t agree more. Every last detail of this pen contributes to a great experience. Review

3. Franklin-Christoph Model 66

Franklin-Christoph Model 66My nib on a stick and the only fountain pen to be on this list since the beginning. This fountain pen just writes and it does it well. The simple design is so comfortable. There’s a new Ice version but for me this pen must be black. The Model 66, along with R&K Blau-Schwarz ink, gives the lie to the statement that inks can’t stay in a pen for a year. This pen has gone over a year with regular use, but no cleaning and has never failed to perform. Review

4. Pilot Custom 823

Pilot Custom 823 not postedThe Pilot Custom 823 drops from the top of the list but it’s just as good as it ever was. It’s been inked often but I just haven’t reached for it as much as the top 3 pens. Review

5. Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood

Pilot Vanishing Point Maple Wood 2013 Limited EditionThis has all the benefits if the Vanishing Point but the wood barrel is so much more comfortable. Plus, it’s just a tad bigger. The interchangeable nib units are a nice bonus. Review

Wrapping Up

Trimming this list to five fountain pens wasn’t easy. I ended up picking the pens I’ve been reaching for lately. If they’re favorites they should be the pens I use most. Right? I feel I should pick honorable mentions but that would defeat the purpose of the list, so add your favorites to the comments.