Currently Inked – September 18, 2014

It hasn’t seemed like I used my fountain pens a lot in September. I did write four of them dry but I re-inked one and also added one to the rotation. I flushed another pen before its time so I started September with 15 inked pens and I’m down to 12.

Three pens with a bright red ink was at least one too many, so I did flush the Pelikan Edelstein Ruby before its time. The ink was in there since late June but it never had a problem. There wasn’t even the hint of staining when I cleaned out the pen.

I also find it interesting that even though I have two pens with the Sheaffer Red ink, one is noticeably darker than the other. The Sheaffer Red in the Esterbrook inkwell, used by the Dip-less, has become noticeably darker as it’s been exposed to air. Although evaporation hasn’t been a noticeable issue. So it’s not like all the water is evaporating leaving a higher concentration of dye.

The Sheaffer 300 with Sheaffer Grey hasn’t been a perfect combination. The ink is clinging to the converter which is a first for this particular pen. I’ve had to prime the feed a couple times. It’s already low on ink and will probably be written dry the next day it’s my primary writer so I won’t flush it.

Evaporation noticeably lowered the ink level in my Omas 360 after a week of non-use, but there’s still ink in the pen. Considering the way this pen consumes ink it won’t last a full day the next time I pick it as my daily writer.

As usual, the writing samples are in the same order as they’re in the tray, except for the Esterbrook Dip-Less which isn’t in the photo.

My currently inked fountain pensWriting samples of my currently inked fountain pens

Esterbrook Dip-less (#7555 firm extra fine) – Sheaffer Red // Franklin-Christoph Model 66 (extra fine)R&K Blau-Schwarz LE  // Kaweco AL Sport Raw Aluminum (extra fine) – J. Herbin Vert Empire cartridge // Kaweco AL Sport Black Stonewashed (extra fine) – J. Herbin Gris Nuage cartridge // Sheaffer Crest (extra fine)Sheaffer Red // Sheaffer Targa (fine)- Montblanc Daniel Defoe // Edison Menlo (extra fine) – Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown // Lamy 2000 (fine)GvFC Carbon Black // Pilot Custom 823 (fine)Montblanc Bordeaux // Sheaffer 300 (fine) – Sheaffer Grey // Omas 360 Vintage (fine) – Omas Turquoise // Pelikan M620 Piazza Navone (broad stub) – Graf von Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown

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Review: Sheaffer Crest (Modern)

Sheaffer CrestI picked up this Nova Red Sheaffer Crest in late June from Anderson Pens. It’s always dangerous watching (or listening to) their podcast and following them on twitter. I forget which hooked me, podcast or twitter, but they announced some new-old-stock (NOS) Sheaffers so I went to their site to take a look. The Crest was one of two pens that caught my eye and were traded for a reasonable amount of money. The pen was even more beautiful than the photos led me to believe. I’ve had this pen inked up ever since I got it.

Why I Got It

The pen looked great in the picture. Add to that the fact that it’s a Sheaffer with a 18K gold triumph style extra fine nib.

What I Got

A NOS pen that came in the original box with a couple black Sheaffer cartridges. No converter was included. The pen takes the Sheaffer vacuum converter, not the piston converter [Updated: Carlos added in the comments that he uses the piston converter with his Crests]. I already had a couple vacuum converters but I ordered a couple more in case I want to ink up all four of my vacuum only Sheaffers at once.

The Crest name dates back to the 1930’s but this pen is Sheaffer’s reboot of the name done in the 90’s. The Nova Red pens were produced between 1996 and 1998. The Laque finish is composed of 23 layers of laque over hand decoration. All this is over a brass cap and barrel. The pen is absolutely gorgeous and the finish has a nice depth to it. The clip is 23 kt. gold plated and has the iconic Sheaffer white dot. The iconic conical Triumph style nib is 18 kt. gold and it’s a two tone nib with palladium plating. The nib does not have the upturned bend at the end of the nib which the vintage Triumph nibs have.

The cap is a screw on cap that takes just over one full revolution to loosen or tighten. The gold trim works in this case and complements the red/black finish of the pen. I generally don’t like gold trim but it often works with red and brown pens. My grip does touch the threads a bit but they aren’t sharp and they don’t bother me. But the threads are metal so if you tend to grip the pen further from the nib and are sensitive to threads they may bother you.

The cap does post securely although I don’t use this pen posted.

There’s a metal collar around the spike that the converter slides over. This gives me a nice feeling of security by preventing snapping off the spike if I’m careless.

The Numbers

  • Length Capped: 5.6110″ (142.52 mm)
  • Length Uncapped: 4.9275″ (125.16 mm)
  • Length Posted: 6.5″ (165.1 mm)
  • Section Length: 0.6590″ (16.73 mm)
  • Section Diameter (near nib): 0.3340″ (8.48 mm)
  • Section Diameter (below threads): 0.3785″ (9.61 mm)
  • Section Diameter (mid-section): 0.3620″ (9.19 mm)
  • Cap Diameter: 0.4485″ (11.38 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter: 0.4485″ (11.38 mm)
  • Weight (w/vacuum converter): 0.9 oz. (26 g)
  • Weight (body only – w/vacuum converter): 0.6 oz. (18 g)

Writing With The Pen

Sheaffer Crest uncapped on a pen standThe pen uses either Sheaffer cartridges or a vacuum converter. I’ve only used the pen with a vacuum converter. Filling the pen is easy enough. Dip the nib in ink then press and release the metal bar on the vacuum converter. Leave the pen in the ink for an additional 10 to 20 seconds to give the sac time the fill. The sac is visible behind the pressure bar so you can see how much ink is in there. The sac itself is translucent enough to be able the see the ink level. Although it’s not visible the entire length of the converter, when the ink is low you can invert the pen to check the level.

Thanks to the brass barrel the pen is heavy for its size, especially when compared to the plastic Snorkels.

The pen is thinner than I would normally buy these days but that wasn’t enough to keep me from buying the pen. That’s the only negative about the pen and it’s a subjective one. Maybe it’s because I love the pen so much, but the thinness hasn’t bothered me. The nib is very smooth and the ink flows easily with a light touch. I don’t find myself subconsciously gripping the pen tightly as I do other thin pen. It helps that the weight of the pen gives it a substantial feel without being heavy enough to make my hand tired.

The pen holds a surprising amount of ink in the nib and feed. Even when the converter appeared empty the pen wrote for a couple days which included more than 3 full pages of writing.

The nib is everything I like about Sheaffer nibs. Aesthetically I usually don’t like two-tone nibs but I make an exception for Sheaffer. I always admire the nib just a bit when I uncap the pen. But this nib has more than looks going for it. The extra fine nib wrote great out of the box. It puts down a consistent, thin line. While it depends on the ink of course, I’d consider the nib flow to be about a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. There’s never any hint of skipping and the line never begins to thin out. I haven’t had any problems with the thin nib catching on the fibers of the paper. Despite being 18 kt gold the nib is very firm thanks to the conical shape.

As I’ve already mentioned, the slimness of the pen hasn’t bothered me and I’ve written contuously for over an hour without feeling fatigued. I’ve also used the pen all day, with several extended sessions during the day, without getting fatigued.

Inks Used

Sheaffer Red bottleI’ve only used two inks and I’ve kept it in the family.

Sheaffer Red seems to be the perfect ink for this pen so it was the ink that got used the most. The bright red ink color is well suited for the pen. The only downside to the ink is that red is not a color that can be used in many cases. I’m lucky in that I can use any color I want for most of my writing so I can use this for some long form writing. The ink was problem free.

Sheaffer Peacock Blue was another ink that seemed like it should be used with this pen. The ink was probably made about the same time as the pen, although maybe a couple years later. Again, flow was excellent with no false starts or signs of skipping.

Cleaning The Pen

I always wrote the pen dry so there was never any excess ink to flush out. I removed the vacuum converter and gave feed a couple flushes with the bulb syringe followed by a couple “thermometer shakes” (mercury thermometer, not digital) into a tissue and the pen was good to go. I was always re-inking the pen so there was never a need for me to remove every last trace of ink. But I did one time and that took a bit longer before there was no trace of ink in the tissue.

I cleaned the vacuum converter separately which was relatively easy when I planned to refill. But it’s a bit more tedious to remove all traces of ink. I use a syringe to gently squirt water into the sac and then shake it to make sure the ink is off the sac in all the places I can’t see. I’m probably a bit more paranoid than I need to be when I put the converters into storage.

Wrapping Up

Not only is this Sheaffer Crest a keeper, it’s been inked up since I got it. It’s become one of my favorite fountain pens. I’ve noticed several Nova Red Sheaffer Crests on eBay for over twice what I paid. If I was to loose this pen I’d probably be willing to pay that to replace it, if I had to. I like it that much.

Additional Reading

Modern Sheaffer Crest discussion on FPN article about the modern Sheaffer Crest. This article provided most of the historical information I included in this review. has a brief history and a Sheaffer Crest reference list.

Carlos Cal Brandão commented below and added a link to his Sheaffer Crest post. There’s some beautiful photos of the various models there so I added the link here.

Despite all the writing I did with the pen I never grabbed a writing sample photo so I included the recent Sheaffer Red writing sample photo which included this pen.

Sunday Notes and Links

Pilot Custom 823 with Montblanc Bordeaux

Pilot Custom 823 with Montblanc Bordeaux

My favorite fountain pen/ink combo this week was my Pilot Custom 823 filled with Montblanc Bordeaux. When I looked at the available pens it’s the one I instinctively reached for.

Some links of interest…

I Challenge You To Write More Letters! – My Pen Needs Ink // A cool idea

Tomoe River Paper Master Post – THE PENVENTORY // I have a couple different Tomoe River notebooks and pads. I really like the paper. This is a nice list of various ways it’s available.

Waterman Charleston – // This reminded me I have too many pens because I do have a yellow Charleston. It didn’t make an impression and I haven’t used it in years. It’s time to pull it out and ink it up.

FABER CASTELL – canetas e coisas // Not what I envision when I think of Faber-Castell.

Liking Pens: Hobby or Obsession? — The Clicky Post // I think I’m a little on the obsession side, but with a ever changing focus. I use fountain pens every day, for just about all types of writing. Brand-wise I’m currently a bit obsessed with Sheaffer.

Ink Reviews

Review: Mont Blanc Daniel DeFoe – The Well-Appointed Desk // My bottle of this ink arrived this week but I’ve yet to open it. I still can’t decide from any reviews if I like the color or not. I’ve got to ink it up.

Ink Review – Maruzen Athena Sepia – Fountain Pen Physicist // Another ink I have a bottle of. I’ve used a dip pen and also swabbed the ink but have yet to ink up a fountain pen. I’ve been debating the best pen for this ink. At it’s price I want to pick carefully.

Caran d’Ache Vibrant Green – Inkdependence!

J. Herbin Vert Pre Review – The Pen Enthusiast

Sunshine Yellow – Diamine Ink Review – Ink of Me Fondly

Ink Review: Diamine Red Dragon – The Gentleman Stationer

Diamine Red Dragon ink review – Peninkcillin

Rohrer&Klingner Verdigris Ink Review – Write to Me Often

Ink Notes: Sheaffer Red

Sheaffer Red bottleFor some reason I had two bottles of Sheaffer Red ink. I’d like to think that meant I liked the ink enough to get a second bottle but the reality is I probably forgot I had the first bottle and decided to try the color a second time. Both were at the back of my ink drawer, full and long ignored. That changed recently when I decided to match the brand and the color with my newly acquired Sheaffer Crest in Nova Red. I liked the ink enough that one bottle was poured into the inkwell for the newly acquired Esterbrook Dip-less which now sits on my desk. This is the modern Sheaffer ink made in Slovenia.

Sheaffer is a straight-on, no apologies red ink. While fewer and fewer fire engines are red these days I’d call the color fire engine red. Even a thin red lines stands out on the page. It’s appropriate for grading papers or marking up documents.

The ink is mostly well behaved. The only blemish was with my very wet Retro 51 Lincoln medium nib which had heavy show-through and some minor bleed-through with the 20lb. Staples copy paper. My wider 1.1 mm nib with a more normal flow didn’t bleed-through but there was medium show-through on the Staples paper. There wasn’t any bleed or show-through with any pens on the other paper.

The ink isn’t waterproof. The ink spread a lot and left stains underneath the paper after about a 15 second soak and sponging the water off. It was actually legible for a short time but as the water dried the ink continued to spread and become unreadable.

There’s no shading or line variation, just a bold red line.

The ink has cleaned easily from my pens. It cleaned easily from the Crest after being in there for a couple of weeks between cleaning. While the vacuum converter could hide stains the visible areas were stain free and the ink cleaned easily from the pen and converter. The test pens were only inked for a day but the ink flushed out easily. The Waterman Red in the Edison Pearl took a little longer to get the last traces of ink out, although it didn’t need anything beyond water. Different pens, so not a perfect test, but the Sheaffer Red was slightly easier to clean.

I did include a comparison with Waterman Red and Pelikan Edelstein Ruby in the writing samples. It was so close to Waterman Red that I had to ink a pen up with it. The Pelikan Ruby was already inked so I did the comparison.

Pens Used

Except for a brief dalliance with Sheaffer Peacock Blue, Sheaffer Red has been the standard ink in my Nova Red Sheaffer Crest. They seem made for each other. The ink has never failed to start, even after being forced to stand nib up for five days. It has also been skip free.

I poured one bottle into an inkwell for my Esterbrook Dip-less pen. The ink performs well in this setup. While I typically only use it for short notes, I can get nearly a page of writing from on dip. Being red, it starts to stain the collar of the pen that seals the pen in the inkwell hole, but it has been easy to clean off so far.

Wrapping Up

It’s been a long time since I used a straight-up red. The slot used to be filled by Waterman Red. Sheaffer Red is a near perfect color match for Waterman Red and it’s over a buck cheaper for a 50 ml. bottle. Add to that the early indication that Sheaffer Red is easier to flush from a pen (not that Waterman is hard to flush) and Sheaffer Red is my new “go to” red.

Additional Reading

Sheaffer Skrip Red – Ink Reviews – The Fountain Pen Network


Nib Notes: Esterbrook #9556 Firm Fine

Esterbrook 9556 Firm Fine nib Next on my Esterbrook nib parade is the Esterbrook #9556 Firm Fine nib. It’s very similar to last week’s #9555 shorthand nib. The #9556 feels just slightly less smooth, although it is still very smooth. I really have to use the nibs together to notice. The difference is so minor it could be a manufacturing variation or age and the nibs could be intended to be duplicates. Although, logically the Gregg certified shorthand nib would be expected to be smoother out of the box since it’s intended to be used for shorthand. (Both nibs came to me as mint.)

The nib has “Esterbrook 9556” engraved the length of the nib on two lines which is a clean design that I like a lot. The ink flow from the nib is very good. Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun can be hard to read if the ink is thin plus it’s a fairly dry writing ink. The nib puts down a nice consistent, dark, even line even when writing fast.

Like all 9xxx nibs it’s Osmiridium tipped. So, in all likelihood the nib will outlast me.

My particular nib was an eBay purchase of a half dozen nibs giving it a nice low price. A recent search shows single nibs on eBay for $23 (BIN). It’s out of stock at Anderson Pens but they list it for $15.00.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – any nib called “Firm Fine” is OK in my book. Esterbrook also labelled this nib for “general writing” and “fine writing.” But whatever it’s called, I like the Esterbrook #9556 Firm Fine a lot and will keep the pen inked up so I can continue to enjoy the nib.

Additional Reading

Esterbrook A101 w/9556 Nib – Fountain Pen Reviews – The Fountain Pen Network

Sunday Notes and Links

Edison Menlo - my favorite pen of the week

Edison Menlo with Pelikan Brilliant Brown and a Doane Paper notebook

It was difficult to pick a favorite pen/ink combo this week. I didn’t do much writing and most pens got only a little use. The Omas 360 Vintage LE wrote the most, thanks to the draft of its review. But it was with the two turquoise inks which are less than perfect on the Doane paper I was using. I decided to pick the Edison Menlo with Pelikan Brilliant Brown. It was most suitable to the writing I was doing (note taking) and both the ink and pen made the writing more enjoyable.

Some links of interest…

Backpocket Journal Tomoe River Edition Review — Modern Stationer

Pen Review: Edison Herald in Crushed Shell Acrylic — The Gentleman Stationer

Making of the Edison Double Ended Pearl – Penucopia

The Mystery of the Vanishing Point – The Passionate Penman

Rhodia DotPad Number 38 Review – THE UNROYAL WARRANT

Review: Delta Horsepower – Fine Harmonic Steel – Gourmet Pens

Jinhao X750 revisited – Peninkcillin

The Wonderful Lamy Safari Fountain Pen — The Finer Point

Review: Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter – literambivalence

What’s Your Opinion Of Pen Brands – An Inkophile’s Blog

Review: Noodler’s Ahab Flexible Nib Fountain Pen – The Well-Appointed Desk

Not Soaking Again! – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Skyline Redux – And All Other Tasks

Pen Review: Sailor 1911 Large – The Pen Habit

Bexley Collaboration (Centennial) –

Currently Inked Pens – September 1st, 2014 – The Pen Enthusiast

ME Journal from Quo Vadis – Pens Paper Inks…Whatever!

Write More Letters in September – My Pen Needs InkMy Pen Needs Ink

Sometimes There’s A Pen: The Ohto Dude + Noodler’s Red-Black – THE PENVENTORY

Ink Reviews

Graf von Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown – Inkdependence!

J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage Ink Review – The Pen Addict

Diamine Cult Pens Deep Dark Orange ink review – Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Review: Omas 360 Vintage LE Turquoise

Omas 360 Vintage LE uncapped on a mirrorIt has taken me a long time to write this review and it’s been a frustrating process. But eight different inks later and I think I’m ready to review the Omas 360 Vintage LE Turquoise.

If I was to list the thing’s I don’t want in a fountain pen they would include:
1. Blue
2. A colored demonstrator (I do like clear)
3. A flex nib (I don’t actually dislike flex, but its benefits are lost on me.)
4. A Wet Writer

So how would I describe the Omas 360 Vintage LE? It’s a blue demonstrator with a semi-flex nib that’s a wet writer. Four for four, yet it came home with me from the 2013 Washington D.C. Pen Show.

While there should be a rule against including the word “Vintage” in a pen name, in this case it makes some sense. The Omas 360 Vintage LE is based upon an older (although not really vintage) Omas pen design.

Why I Got It

Every time I walked past the Fountain Pen Hospital table at the show this pen yelled out my name and called me over. Each time I stopped to look at it, it won me over a little more. Finally, after not seeing the red version of the pen and getting a price nearly 50% off list I made it my last pen purchase of the show.

It was a medium nib and I was 99.9% sure I’d have to grind the nib down to at least a fine. A medium nib was the only choice so I considered getting it ground to a fine on Sunday. I decided against that because this pen has personality and I wanted to get to know it before I made changes.

The pen is gorgeous, even if it is blue. The piston is clearly visible but with a pattern that makes it look very cool. The piston travels smoothly and the piston knob’s triangular shape makes it easy to turn. The silver trim complements the color nicely and the silver 18K nib is huge.

I never would have bought this pen without seeing it. No picture I’ve seen does it justice.

What I Got

Omas 360 Vintage LE box contents

The pen came in a beautiful presentation box. The box is lined with a microfiber material and includes a bottle of Omas Turquoise ink. The pen is in a pen sleeve that’s the same material as the box lining. It gives the impression of elegance and quality. This is a limited edition and my pen is number 190 out of 360.

The pen itself is a large triangular shaped piston filler with a 18K gold nib. The material is blue cotton resin. Usually I consider these “… resin” names as fancy name intended to make plastic sound classy. This is not plastic (well, maybe technically on the chemical level it is, I’m no chemist). The material has beautiful depth and translucence. The pen feels rock solid and the material does not feel like plastic. The build quality is top notch.

The piston is smooth but the travel distance seems to be longer than it needs to be, reducing the ink capacity. I read elsewhere that it holds 1.2 ml. of ink. I didn’t measure, but it seems about right. The piston filling system makes it easy to get a full load of ink.

The pen has a solid black inner cap with prongs that extend down to grip the pen when it’s capped. This is downright annoying and borderline ugly. It hides that beautiful nib when it’s capped which is a crime. This is the biggest negative for the pen.

The triangular section could be a problem for some, but it fits my grip perfectly. My fingers all rest against the flat sides. It’s also a big pen, which I find more comfortable.

The medium nib was far to wet for me, and being a medium it put down far too much ink for my tastes. I decided to have Mike Masuyama grind it to a fine but left it as a wet writer with flex. This review is based upon the fine nib.

The Numbers

  • Length Capped: 5.9090″ (150.09 mm)
  • Length Uncapped: 5.2090″ (132.31 mm)
  • Length Posted: 7″ (177.8 mm)
  • Section Length: 1.0480″ (26.61 mm)
  • Section Diameter (near nib): 0.4655″ (11.82 mm)
  • Section Diameter (below step): 0.5320″ (13.51 mm)
  • Section Diameter (mid-section): 0.5115″ (12.99 mm)
  • Cap Diameter: 0.6620″ (16.82 mm)
  • Barrel Diameter: 0.5955″ (15.12 mm)
  • Weight: 0.9 oz. (26 g) (with ink)
  • Weight (body only): 0.6 oz. (16 g) (with ink)

Writing with the Pen

Closeup of the inked Omas 360 Vintage LE nibThis section is based entirely on using the Omas 360 Vintage LE after Mike Masuyama ground the nib to a fine. The medium was just to much ink for my tastes.

This is a very frustrating pen to use unless it has the right ink and paper combination. I’ve used eight different inks in the pen. A couple were great on all the paper I use while a few preferred fountain pen friendly paper such as Rhodia. A couple inks were flushed since they were universally annoying. (See the section about ink used.)

The pen is light, even when posted. It’s a large pen so I don’t even consider posting. But the cap does post securely. The clip slides easily over shirt pockets or other materials. The pen is a little big for me to carry in a shirt pocket. Even if it is secure I find it annoyingly big for my shirt pocket.

As I said, ink varies greatly in this pen. The best inks are quickly emptied when writing with this pen. A full load of Pelikan Blue-Black was used up with less than two days of writing which is unheard of for me.

Because the nib is so wet I’ve found that ink splatters in cap are inevitable, especially when I carry the pen in my bag. They’re small, but they are there. Also, because of the inner cap I have to be a little careful capping the pen, if I try to cap it at an angle the nib may catch on the inner cap or the prongs that extend down to grip the pen.

One way to avoid splatters was to store the pen nib up overnight. Almost every nib would be dry the next morning, the other inks wouldn’t last another night. So there was no ink to splatter when the pen bounced around. The ink quickly reaches the nib when the pen is put nib down for writing, but it is bone dry at first and the delay is noticeable. If I store it flat on my desk the nib stays ready for 5 days, longer with some inks. (Then there are some inks which were so bad I flushed them, but the previous applies to most inks.)

Omas 360 Vintage LE uncapped on a mirorFlex nibs are lost on me so I can’t compare it to other flex nibs. I had a Namiki Falcon at one time but eventually sold it because I didn’t like the flex nib. Other reviewers call it semi-flex but say it doesn’t compare to vintage flex. For me, its a very nice springy 18K nib that’s a joy to use as long as the ink and paper are chosen well.

Because the pen is both wet and finicky I can’t use it as my daily driver even though it’s a fine nib. I do a lot of notes and document markups which just doesn’t suit this pen. The nib also dries out quickly during uncapped pauses in writing.

The big triangle section is very comfortable for me and I can write all day without any fatigue.

I found smooth paper, such as Rhodia, to be best suited for the widest variety of inks with this pen. Most (but not all) inks had minor skipping issues on Doane Paper writing pads and Doane Jotters, both of which I frequently use. These same inks also provided too much feedback for my tastes on these papers. Some inks wrote just fine on the Doane Paper and any other paper I used.

Inks Used

Omas 360 Vintage LE uncapped on a pen standOf all the inks I used, Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black was the only one that was perfect for this fountain pen. I used it on a wide variety of paper without a problem. Even though Pelikan inks are considered dry inks I found the ink to have a wet flow from the pen and put down a consistent line. I typically prefer a dry writing ink but I put that bias aside for this pen because it writes so much better with a wettish ink. So it’s not that Pelikan Blue-Black is a dry writer that makes be like it. It’s that it puts down a wet line but keeps the ink under control.

De Atramentis Sherlock Holmes (Night Blue) and Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue were both as good as the Pelikan Blue-Black. I just didn’t use them on enough paper to call them perfect, but I expect them to both perform well. They were the second and third inks that wrote smoothly on Doane Paper and any other paper I tried. The list stopped at three.)

The above three inks also had the best (longest) evaporation times, both when the pen was stored and when there was an uncapped pause in writing.

The remaining inks were all less than perfect with the pen. Some further from perfect than others.

Omas Turquoise, which came with the pen, and Sheaffer Peacock Blue wrote fine on smooth papers such as Rhodia but had minor skipping and some heavy feedback on Doane Paper (heavy = more than I would like). As I felt the feedback increasing I knew a skip was in the near future. It was surprising how closely these inks performed to each other. It must be a turquoise thing. Neither was bad or annoying enough to be flushed before I wrote the pen dry.

My favorite ink, R & K Blau-Schwarz LE didn’t fair so well with this pen. It frequently had trouble keeping the ink wet, even when stored for only a couple hours. Plus it was harder to get going once the nib became dry. This was so annoying that I flushed the ink before it was used up.

R & K Scabiosa, an iron gall ink, performed the same as R & K Blau-Schwarz and it was also flushed.

I loaded up Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite but never got to use it. When I pulled the pen out a couple days later all the ink had evaporated. Since I had a run of temperamental inks I only gave the pen half a fill. I was so shocked by this that when I notice the empty pen I jumped up to look for where the ink had leaked. Still, this does seem bizarre to me and I’ll try the ink again when I get a chance.

Cleaning the Pen

It’s a piston filler so cleaning can be a bit tedious but so far all the inks were quickly flushed from the pen. I haven’t tried, but it doesn’t appear that either the nib or piston can be easily removed for cleaning.

Wrapping Up

Despite the four reasons I should hate the Omas 360 Vintage LE, and despite its finicky taste in ink, this pen is a keeper. Not only does it look stunning, but it’s also damn comfortable to write with. It’s not a pen I can use in every situation, but even after this review I’m keeping it inked up and I’ll be writing with it frequently.

Some people may not find the triangle section comfortable. That, and the price, are the only reasons not to get this pen. The black inner cap is a negative, but not a reason to skip this pen. I was lucky and saw the Omas 360 Vintage LE Turquoise in person and discounted enough to be within my pen show budget.

Additional Reading