For Sale: Two Platinums

This week it’s a couple long unused Platinum 3776 fountain pens up for sale. The photos in this post and the writing samples are all current. Feel free to contact me with any questions, although the first firm “I want it” gets the pen.

If you’re interested, reach me using [ray [@] fpquest.com] or contact form here.

U.S. shipping is $7, although free if you buy both pens at the same time. International shipping is available but very expensive. You can contact me for the cost, but even the low cost countries start above $27.

Click any image for full-size photo. All writing samples and photos in this post are recent.

Platinum 3776 Century, Bourgogne, 14K Gold Fine Nib – $65 (SOLD)

Platinum 3776 Century, Bourgogne

Excellent condition. No box or paperwork. Includes a converter.

Platinum 3776 Century. Chartres Blue, 14K Gold Extra Fine nib – $65 (SOLD)

Platinum 3776 Century. Chartres Blue

Excellent condition. This is a thin Japanese extra fine nib that I find to be a little dry. Includes a converter.

Both pens are being sold because I haven’t used them in years.

If you’re interested you can reach me using [ray [@] fpquest.com] or the contact form here.

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Long Term Review: Sheaffer Balance II (x3)

 

Three Balance IIs and some Sheaffer old-stock ink

My first Sheaffer Balance II was the limited edition Aspen. I fell in love, despite some early problems. It joined my accumulation over 5 years ago, and it’s been filled at least 10 times since then. I say “at least” because I’m not consistent in recording when I refill a pen with the same ink. I liked it so much that I added two more Balance IIs within four months, the Jade Green and the Crimson Glow. All three pens have the same 18K gold two-tone Feather Touch nib.

The Aspen was released in 1999, while both the Crimson Glow and the Jade Green were part of the original regular product launch in 1998. There were some earlier limited editions in 1997.

The Aspen was know to have some flow issues when it was new, and mine had those issues when it arrived. It would write for about a page, then stop completely until the feed was primed. I sent it off to Mike Masuyama for adjustment and it’s been perfect since then. The Jade Green and Crimson Glow have both been fine from the start.

Officially, the nibs are all mediums, but they are much closer to a medium/fine. I’ve had western fine nibs that are wider (as was a Pelikan extra fine). I’m not typically a fan of two-tone nibs but I adore these nibs. Their look reminds me of vintage nibs, and there’s a lot of detail in the engraving.

The acrylic used for all three of these pens has a reputation of easily, and spontaneously, cracking. Mine are all in great shape (knock on wood). From what I read, it’s compressed acrylic with a lot of fractures that can cause cracking for no apparent reason. I buy my pens to use, and these are no different. I do handle them carefully. I don’t post the caps, which isn’t a problem since I don’t typically post my pens. I carry and store them in a slotted, cushioned, fully enclosed Visconti case. I never use the clips. I try to avoid my usual habit of fiddling with the cap in my left hand while I write.

The solid color versions of the Balance IIs don’t share the reputation for cracking, but they aren’t nearly as beautiful.

Based simply on the number of pens in my accumulation, Sheaffer is my favorite brand and these are among my favorite Sheaffer. The Aspen topped my favorite pen list in November 2015, although it dropped off a year later since I hadn’t used the pen that entire year. If I was to redo the list today (and it’s long overdue) I would put all three Balance IIs on the list, to share one of the top 5 slots.

I tend to use brown or gray inks in the Aspen. Although a couple other colors have found their way into the pen. Montblanc Permanent Grey is the ink I’ve used the most in this pen. All the inks have worked great. I don’t experiment with this pen, so it only gets ink I already know have good behavior.

A expected, the Crimson Glow often gets red ink, although the most used ink was Sheaffer Peacock Blue, from the days of inkwell bottles and maroon boxes. While I don’t usually like blue inks, I like the idea of using a classic Sheaffer ink in these pens. The turquoise ink has grown on me and the contrast with the red pen is nice.

The Jade Green Balance II has been used exclusively with green inks. Sheaffer Emerald Green is the most used ink while Montblanc Irish Green is the only other ink to be used more than once.

The Aspen is my clear favorite among the three pens. It has been pulled from the pen case and filled far more often than either of the other two.

In difference to their brittle nature, the Sheaffer Balance II fountain pens are not used for note taking, but only when I sit down for the sole purpose of writing. This is to limit the the number of times I uncap and cap the pens. Plus, when taking work notes I can be somewhat absent minded and be a little rougher with the pens, such as laying them on top of the ring binders in a notebook,being a little rough when putting it on my desk, or absently knocking it out of my way. Because of this, they can go a long time without being used. Occasionally I may need to hold the pen nib down to get the ink flowing, or even prime the nib, but they mostly start writing without any hesitation.

The Sheaffer Balance II Aspen, Jade green and Crimson Glow are among my favorite fountain pens. They look great and are terrific writers. What’s not to like? Well, their fragility mainly. It’s what keeps me from using them more. Even though I’m working to trim the accumulation these pens will be staying with me, despite breaking the rule to avoid keeping pens that are similar in every way, except the acrylic.

Links

My Aspen Review

My Jade green and Crimson Glow This Just In post

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – March 24, 2019

I was less consistent in using my pens this past week. I only journaled 4 out of the 7 days, and those were short half-page entries. The drafts of the articles that will post this week used more ink than those journal entries. A little note taking rounded out my pen usage.

I did finally write a pen dry, two actually. The Fisher of Pens Hermes and Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze both went dry yesterday. While my impulse is to simply refill them, I have a lot of pens inked and I want to work through some others. So, they’ll go back into the pen case once they’re cleaned.

With the good weather coming (hopefully), I stopped carrying the Fodderstack XL in my shirt pocket. Winter shirts have bigger pockets and thicker material to hold it in place. I still carry the notebook, but now my Kaweco pocket pen will get more use. It will often be the only pen I have on me. This also comes with me finishing off the Nock Co. Pocket notebook that I carried in it. The notebook went into the shredder. New new notebook will be in my pocket, sans-case.

Links

My (restrained) haul from the London Pen Show, Spring 2019 | Fountain pen blog

Sailor Shikiori Hisakata – Stardust Fountain Pen Review. — The Finer Point

Traveler’s Notebook as a Travel Journal: San Francisco – Wonder Pens – Life Behind a Stationery Shop

Crónicas Estilográficas: Katana or Fude

Arkansas Pen Show Recap: What’s New at Vanness Pens and The Nibsmith — The Gentleman Stationer

How To Differentiate The Pelikan 400 From The M400:  A Guide « The Pelikan’s Perch

Ink Permanence: Or is everything just going to fade away? – Pen Thoughts

Sailor Ink Studio Swatch Tests coming soon! – FOUNTAIN PEN INK ART // I’d never heard of Sailor Ink Studio. I’m not that into inks, but the ink line and Nick’s swatch plans are delightful.

Old but New to Me: The Waterman Edson Sapphire — The Pen Addict // Sure, make me regret selling my Edson! (FYI – this isn’t the actual pen that I sold)

Crónicas Estilográficas: The Case of Naginata. III. The Brand

canetas e coisas: UNIQUE

Saying Goodbye: Waterman Edson

Waterman Edson on standI sold off three of my Waterman fountain pens last week, including my Waterman Edson which I reviewed here. The Edson was my first “executive” pen, and one of my first expensive fountain pens, along with the Caran d’Ache Ivanhoe that I got about the same time. It’s very gold and very blue. I did use the pen a lot when I first got it, and I considered it worth the price. By the time I started keeping track of my pen & ink usage, 10 years later, my usage was nearly non-existent. I used it once in 2014 and once again in 2018.

The Edson wrote as well as it did when new, but my aesthetics tastes had turned against both gold and blue. Plus, I now had many more options to choose from. The pen is a nice size, and I can use it for long writing sessions without any fatigue. Usability was not a factor in my decision to sell.

The non-aesthetic negatives were relatively minor. The Edson was tedious to clean. It took forever to flush all traces of ink out of the feed. I also had to take extra care when filling the pen with bottled ink. The ink would stain my fingers from the breather hole unless I dripped out a couple drops after the fill, and wiped the breather hole clean of ink. Early on I used cartridges, and this wasn’t a problem.

I kept passing over the pen because I no longer loved the look, so that was the main reason I decided to sell. There’s too much gold. I never really like blue, although the sapphire barrel on this pen has a nice depth to it. Back in 2003, I’m not sure I even knew other colors were available, although only the sapphire and a more expensive limited edition model was being made in 2003.

While I don’t keep track, I think the Waterman Edson is the first pen I bought new, used it, and then sold it for more than I paid (ignoring inflation).

The Waterman Edson is a fountain pen that I enjoyed and used when I got it, but then my tastes changed, and I moved on.

For Sale: Franklin-Christoph and Kaweco

Three F-C and a KawecoIt’s time to thin out my Franklin-Christoph accumulation along with a long unused Kaweco Sport. The photos in this post and the writing samples are all current. Feel free to contact me with any questions, although the first firm “I want it” gets the pen.

If you’re interested reach me using [ray [@] fpquest.com] or contact form here.

U.S. shipping is $7 and will require a signature for delivery unless requested otherwise. Shipping is via USPS insured priority mail. International shipping is at cost, very expensive, and will require tracking and insurance.

Click any image for full-size photo. All writing samples and photos in this post are recent.

Franklin-Christoph Model 29 Bellus, Black/Red, Fine steel nib – $60 (SOLD)

Excellent condition. The magnetic cap can be removed quickly but is secure. Out of production, or “retired” as F-C says. Includes a converter. No box, case or paperwork.My first impressions are here.

 

Franklin-Christoph Model 19 “1901”, Black w/King’s Gold Band, Broad Stub (1.1mm) steel nib- $95 (SOLD)

Franklin-Christoph Model 19I reviewed this pen here. The nib is one of Mike Masuyama nibs available from F-C. The pen is in excellent condition. Includes a converter. No box or paperwork. Selling it because the wide nib isn’t for me and the pen has been in a pen case, unused, for nearly 4 years.

 

Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Marietta, Tiger Red, Medium Steel nib – $95 (SOLD)

Franklin-Christoph Model 20

The pen is in excellent condition and writes perfectly. Includes a converter. No box or paperwork. Selling it because I’m not a fan of the slip cap, and I have two of these, keeping the other one.

 

Kaweco AL Sport, Black Stonewashed, Extra Fine Steel nib – $65 (SOLD)

Kaweco AL Sport Black Stonewashed

The pen is in excellent cosmetic and writing condition. (My review) No converter or paperwork. I will include a Kaweco tin, although it’s unlikely to be the original for this pen. Does not include the box that was pictured in the review, Selling it because the pen hasn’t been used in nearly four years. I always pass it over for the Brass Sport (reviewed earlier today).

 

If you’re interested you can reach me using [ray [@] fpquest.com] or the contact form here.