I just received my TWSBI Classic today and wanted to post my early impressions. Really early, I’ve only had the pen a couple hours.
In the interest of time the photos are from my phone and it’s a picture of my article draft written with the pen. I usually don’t inflict my writing on you, especially since sometimes the words in my head appear differently on paper.
It’s a thinner TWSBI than usual, there’s a comparison photo in the gallery. So here’s the initial impressions and a camera phone gallery (double-click the photos for full size).
For some reason I want to call this the “Mini”, a pen I do not have. Hopefully I caught the only slip.
While I say the ink is Diamine Ancient Copper. It’s not. That was my plan but I picked up Diamine Oxblood instead. Long day, didn’t notice until the post went up and I was proofing it.
Diamine Oxblood ink. Not Diamine Ancient Copper like it claims to be,
L-R: TWSBI 540 – Classic – Vac 700
Last week was a good week for acquisitions, and they arrived this week.
First up is yet another Esterbrook 8440 nib. The base is stained with red ink but the gold is in better condition than the other 8440 nib I have. No doubt the staining kept the price down.
Then my Parker Vacumatic collection grew by one with the addition of a 1944 Parker Blue Diamond Vacumatic Major in Golden Pearl (aka Brown Striped). The transparency is very good and it has an XXF nib.
The bargain of the bunch was a batch of 6 Esterbrook nibs. Three were the common #1550, but the three nibs below are new to me. The first two are the uncommon #1314 flexible fine nibs. One was in the original box and seems either unused or lightly used. The third nib is a 2314-M Relief medium Stub which is new to me although I like my other Relief Stubs. I usually avoid flex nibs since they’re lost on me but I have this need to collect every Esterbrook nib and this deal was too good to pass up..
I haven’t inked any of these up yet, but that’s what weekends are for.
My latest acquisition is another vintage pen and new fountain pen territory for me. The Vacumatics caught my eye at the Long Island pen show, especially the ones I later learned were the “pearl” colors. I didn’t get one in LI because didn’t know much about them (and onsite research was overwhelming) and I didn’t find one that was just right.
I was especially drawn to the wear pattern and the amber tint that some of them had. It was only this week that I learned from the Pen Addict podcast that the amber tinting is shunned by Vacumatic collectors, or if not shunned, it lowers the value to a collector.
I was browsing eBay last Sunday when I came across this pen, a 1942 Parker Vacumatic Maxima. It was perfect. A silver Pearl finish with nickel (not gold) trim and a fine nib. It didn’t seem to have any amber tinting from the pictures or description. While I didn’t know the meaning behind the tinting at the time, I knew I didn’t want it with this particular pen since it would clash with the silver and black.
The downside was that the pen would be pricey (IMO) and I would be buying it sight unseen. The seller had a good rep as a seller and fountain pen restorer so I took a risk.
The pen arrived today and it’s every bit as nice as I hoped it would be. If I look closely, in the right light, I can see some amber tinting in the clear areas. But it doesn’t show in normal light or distance and the view of the ink is excellent. I love the way the silver striping has worn away from use. Too bad it’s not my use that created the wear pattern.
For its first ink I picked Montblanc Bordeaux, which is my favorite. I’ll probably stick with Bordeaux until I run out then decide whether I should switch to Montblanc Burgundy or something completely different. The ink just seems right for the pen. I was a little leery of going with a red ink but Bordeaux has always treated me well.
I’ve only had the pen for a couple hours and I’m still on the “new pen” high (new to me at least) but this pen seems destined to be one of my favorites, if not my favorite.
Actually, this arrived at the end of March but I just inked it up this past weekend. It’s a copper Esterbrook J with a #9461 rigid fine nib.
It’s my second vintage pen and second Esterbrook. It’s a eBay purchase I added to my accumulation because I/m I sucker for copper or bronze and I could add another hard fine nib.
The paperwork (the pen came with the original box & literature) refers to the nib as “rigid, fine” but I’ve also seen it described as a “manifold” nib. It’s designed to be extra strong for uses such as carbon paper. I figure it will also last longer with a light writer or be suitable for a non-fountain pen user to try.
I just received my latest shipment from Goulet Pens, ink and nibs. It may have been rash but I decided that the TWSBI Vac 700 would make a good pen for testing inks. Rash because I’m not sure how much its quirks will annoy me, although those quirks affect it more as a daily carry than a pen that stays home. Plus, I’m just curious on how it will write with different nibs. The pen is comfortable to write with and the nibs are easy to change. Add ease of cleaning to this and it does seem like a good pen for ink testing. So I ordered some nibs giving me the extra fine that came with the pen plus a fine, medium, broad and 1.1 mm stub. The only one I ignored was the 1.5mm stub.
I also ordered a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-ryoku (Forest Green). I went through my sample and decided it was a green I wanted around, and in a pen, all the time.
Since I was ordering I picked a few more samples (why not?) – Sailor Jentle Epinard, Sailor Jentle Grenade and Pelikan Brown.
The first ink for review in the TWSBI Vac 700 won’t be one of the new ones, instead I’ll be doing J. Herbin Lie de The’. An ink I wrote notes on awhile back but I need to revisit since I I think it’s better than I made it out to be.
Time to clean out some nibs and get them ready for ink.