It’s day three of a long holiday weekend here in the U.S. (enjoy your Labor Day if you’re in the U.S., unfortunately for the rest of you it’s a typical Monday. But you probably had the comparable holiday in May). Not only that, it’s the beginning of a month and On Sunday I cleaned the empties and loaded up a new batch of pens.
I think it’s time I admit I no longer actively dislike blue inks. I’m not about to start sampling a bunch of blue inks to find the perfect blue, but I’m using them more and not disliking them. I think much of my new found appreciation is because I avoided them for so long that they’re now different. I’ve actually got two pens inked up with turquoise. (I gave Aziza her wish and put turquoise in the Omas 360.) I wouldn’t even have had turquoise except that a bottle came with the Omas 360 and I wanted to try the classic Sheaffer Peacock Blue. They tend to standout in the writing samples.
Rather than always rotating my pens I’ve begun to keep favorite pens in the rotation. The Edison Menlo and Pilot Custom 823 return after a brief rest. The Lamy 2000 also returns After a month long vacation.
The writing samples are on Tomoe River paper with a cream finish. 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.
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 // Esterbrook J (#9555 Firm Extra Fine Gregg Shorthand) – Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun // Esterbrook J (#9556 Firm Fine) – Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun // Edison Menlo (extra fine) – Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown // Sheaffer Crest (extra fine) – Sheaffer Peacock Blue // Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe (fine) – Pelikan Edelstein Ruby cartridge // Pelikan M620 Piazza Navone (broad stub) – Graf von Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown // Pilot Custom 823 (fine) – Montblanc Bordeaux // Sheaffer 300 (fine) – Sheaffer Grey // Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood (medium) // Omas 360 Vintage (fine) – Omas Turquoise
August is half over and there’s been some changes in the ink that’s in my fountain pens, although not to much changed in the pens themselves. Contrary to my typical practice I’ve kept a couple pens in the rotation but changed out the ink.
The Esterbrooks were inked because the nibs are for upcoming reviews, one of which went up yesterday. Three of the pens are still inked with recently reviewed ink – the Ivanhoe, Pelikan and Franklin-Christoph. I like the ink so don’t want to flush any of it, but the pens never seem to get much use due to the competition.
The Edison Menlo and Pilot Custom 823 both went dry late last week. I plan to re-ink them but I’m still debating what ink they get next.
The writing samples are in the same order as the pens, except for the Esterbrook Dip-less which isn’t in the picture. Follow the link if you want to see pictures of it. As usual, links are to my reviews of the pen or ink if they exist.
Esterbrook Dip-less (#7555 firm extra fine) – Sheaffer Red // Franklin-Christoph Model 66 (extra fine) – R&K Blau-Schwarz LE // Omas 360 Vintage (fine) – De Atramentis Sherlock Holmes // Pelikan M101 Lizard (extra fine) – Montblanc 90 Years Permanent Grey // Sheaffer Crest (extra fine) – Sheaffer Peacock Blue // Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe (fine) – Pelikan Edelstein Rub cartridge // Pelikan M620 Piazza Navone (broad stub) – Graf von Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown // Sheaffer Balance Jr (fine stub) – Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock // Franklin-Christoph Model 29 (fine) – Pelikan Edelstein Aventurine cartridge // Esterbrook J (#9550 Firm Extra Fine) – Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun // Esterbrook J (#9555 Firm Extra Fine Gregg Shorthand) – Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun // Esterbrook J (#9556 Firm Fine) – Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun
Well now, I hit the publish button before I was really done. Pulling it back just confuses things. Obviously I planned to publish this on the 31st.
Like July, I’m starting August with 12 pens inked, five are carried over from the beginning of July. I actually hit a high of 20 pens inked in June thanks to some reviews and
My favorite pen and ink of July was the Sheaffer 300 with Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun. It’s not the ink that the pen started the month in, but I liked the pen so much I wrote both the cartridge and converter dry.
My biggest disappointment was my Lamy 2000 with Sailor’s Kiwa-Guro ink which I inked up mid-month. The Kiwa-Guro is a pigment based ink but I’ve never had a problem with the ink, provided I use the pen frequently enough. With the Lamy 2000 the ink just didn’t flow well. It never actually skipped, but both the pen and ink usually provide a much better experience when they aren’t together. So this was one of the few pens to be flushed before being empty.
I usually do my writing samples in a Doane Jotter so I have an easy to find record. But I got some Tomoe River paper and had to give it a try. The paper is so thin that the ink cloth shows through from under the paper in the photo, sorry about that.
I finally used the Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock ink. I have a sample that was provided by FPGeeks forum member cwent2 during a meetup last year. It’s been awhile as I hesitated to use this great ink. I finally decided to use it in one of my favorite pens and one that was made as Hitchcock’s carrier was just getting going.
As usual, links are to my reviews if they exist.
Sheaffer Triumph Lifetime (extra fine) – Montblanc Bordeaux // Edison Menlo Pump Filler (extra fine) – Montblanc Toffee Brown // Pilot Custom 823 (fine) – Pilot Blue-Black // Pelikan M101 Lizard (extra fine) – Montblanc 90 Years Permanent Grey // Sheaffer Balance Jr (fine stub) – Montblanc Alfred Hitchcock // Sheaffer Crest (extra fine) – Sheaffer Red // Franklin-Christoph Model 29 (fine) – Pelikan Edelstein Aventurine cartridge // Omas 360 Vintage (fine) – Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black // Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe (fine) – Pelikan Edelstein Rub cartridge // Franklin-Christoph Model 66 (extra fine) – R&K Blau-Schwarz LE // Pelikan M620 Piazza Navone (broad stub) – Graf von Faber-Castell Hazelnut Brown // Esterbrook J (#9461 Rigid Fine) – Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun
I didn’t do a lot of writing ink June and I ended up flushing a couple pens before they went dry so that only four pens are still inked from a month ago. A few Esterbrooks entered and left the rotation briefly so I could try some nibs.
The Franklin-Christoph Model 03 with Caran d’Ache Infinite Grey was my favorite pen/ink combination of the month and was re-inked for this month.
I was on a definite Sheaffer kick when I picked pens to ink up. Three of the Sheaffer are new (to me) and I picked three others from my accumulation. A Sheaffer also hold the only vintage slot among the pens.
Pens inked for the month ahead…
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Desk Pen (extra fine) – R&K Blau-Schwarz LE // Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed (extra fine) – Black Kaweco cartridge // Franklin-Christoph Model 03 (extra fine) – Caran d’Ache Chromatic Infinite Grey // Pilot Custom 823 (fine) – Pilot Blue-Black // Sheaffer Triumph Lifetime (fine) – Montblanc Bordeaux // Sheaffer Crest (extra fine) – Sheaffer Skrip Red // Sheaffer Targa (fine) – Sheaffer Skrip Blue-Black // Sheaffer Legacy I (stub) – Montblanc Racing Green // Sheaffer Custom Legacy (extra fine) – Caran d’Ache Chromatic Infinite Grey // Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe (fine) – Pelikan Edelstein Ruby cartridge // Sheaffer 300 (fine) – Sheaffer Skrip Black Cartridge
I’m starting the month with 10 fountain pens inked up. That’s three less than I began May with and, in keeping with the number three, only three pens from May 1st are still inked up. My choices for new inks was based upon what I want to review in June. I thought I was doing good with “only” seven pens inked. But this left me heavy on blacks and Blues. So the last three pens were inked up to add some color. Of course, once I post this I’ll be inking up some Esterbrooks to try a few new nibs.
The Pilot 823 and Franklin-Christoph Model 66, two of the May 1st holdovers, are the pens to beat when I’m picking a pen for a writing session. Thanks to their massive capacity neither went dry but if they had they would both be re-inked right away.
The third holdover, the Maplewood Vanishing Point, has also served me well and is almost dry. The medium nib is nice but too wide and wet for my tastes. But being a Vanishing Point I’ll swap in another nib when it goes dry. This pen has been so nice that I started selling off my other VPs since I know I’ll never use them. When I want one VP it will be this one. Others will only get used when I want more than one.
The Waterman Edson is one of the early additions to my accumulation from back in 2003. It’s time to use it for awhile, review it, and decide if it’s a keeper or not. I don’t particularly like blue and I don’t like gold trim. This one has both, although the gold is certainly more than trim, but I don’t hate it. But it is one reason I haven’t inked it up in over a year.
The rest are pens I haven’t used in awhile and called out to me when I was looking for pens to ink up, or are new (Kaweco AL, F-C Model 03). The new Franklin-Christoph Model 03 was unexpected. I saw the material in the section of the Model 02 Smoke & Ice and knew I needed a pen in that material. The Model 03 was it. The pen arrived late Saturday so it hasn’t gotten much use, but the material didn’t disappoint.
The Model 19 nib is too wide to be my daily writer but the others will provide some nice variety from day to day.
Currently inked pens…
The tray and the writing samples have the pens in the same order. Clicking either image will open it full size for more detail. The paper is the Doane Large Flap Jotter.
I started May with 13 fountain pens inked. Even though some had been inked in April and weren’t full, I expected them to last through most, if not all of May. Here we are half-way through the month and only three of those pens are still inked with the same ink. I did flush three of the four Esterbrooks that had iron gall ink but the other pens wrote until dry. So now’s a good time for an update.
I’m happy with the mix of pens I have now. The F-C Model 66 is back on my desk and will be there, at the ready with R&K Blau-Schwarz, for the next year or so.
I swapped pocket pens when the AL Sport went dry and now carry the F-C Model 40. I think I finally found an ink that works well with the needlepoint nib in that pen for the ways I use the pen.
The Taccia is the pen I received in the Pen Addict podcast 100 giveaway and will be my next pen review. The broad nib is outside my comfort zone so it’s making for some interesting use.
The rest of the pens are just really nice writers, with one being new. They also hold lots of ink so will be around for awhile. I am lacking a vintage pen so will replace the Taccia with a still to be decided Sheaffer once the review is done.
The pen/inks with links to the reviews if they exist.
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Desk Pen (extra fine) – R&K Blau-Schwarz LE // Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket (needlepoint) – Caran D’Ache Amazon // Pilot Vanishing Point Maplewood 2013 LE (medium) – Pilot Blue (cartridge) // Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic (emerald green) (m. stub) – Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-ro // Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic (smoke & ice) (extra fine) – Pelikan Edelstein Onyx // Pilot Custom 823 (fine) – Pilot Blue-Black // Taccia Staccato (broad) – Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake
I was down to seven inked pens as April ended so I decided to ink up some more pens. I had an itch to use some Esterbrooks so inked up four of them. All of them got an iron gall based ink and even though R&K inks are mild I did add a reminder to wash them out in two weeks if they haven’t run dry by then. While I don’t fear the iron gall inks I don’t want to forget and leave it sitting in those steel nibs for weeks on end. I tend to set a two week maximum.
The Taccia is my first broad nib in a long time. As you can tell from the smudged writing sample, I’m not used to waiting for so much ink to dry.
I couldn’t take it any longer and re-inked my Franklin-Christoph Model 66 for what will probably be another year-long run.
Here’s the pens and inks. Writing samples are in the same order as the pens are in the tray, left to right. (updated: The Esterbrook #2556 is a firm fine, not a firm medium as listed in the writing sample.)