I’ve had the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Desk Pen since July, although I didn’t ink it up until late August. It was my first Franklin-Christoph pen although I’ve since added 3 other F-C models.
Why I Bought It
It’s a unique pen for my accumulation. It’s my first clip-less pen and my first desk pen (although there’s no actual desk pen holder). I also wanted to try a Franklin-Christoph pen. Finally, I liked the simple design of this large pen.
Where I Bought It
I purchased it directly from Franklin-Christoph. The price was $169.50 for a steel nib. The pen shipped about a week after I ordered it. I assume it had to be prepared since the other pieces of my order (a pen case) shipped the same day. Also, future F-C pen orders shipped quickly.
There are 8 nib sizes available, in either steel or 21kt gold. While this pen has a factory extra fine nib, the specialty nibs are ground by Michael Masuyama. Most extra fine nibs are the specialty nibs but this pen uses a factory extra fine nib. There’s no price difference for specialty nibs, gold nibs do cost more.
How I use It
I mainly use the pen for longer writing sessions, such as the first draft of this review.
I did use if for a little while at the office, where I tend to write short, one or two sentence notes. It wasn’t well suited for this due to its tendency to roll.
I ordered the extra fine steel nib. The line is wider than I expected, more a fine to me. It’s wider than my Pilot fine nibs. Once I got a F-C fine nib and compared it to this nib I found they put down a similar line. Still, I find the line is a good width for how I ended up using this pen.
The nib is extremely smooth. It writes consistently without skipping or startup hesitation. The pen is a pleasure to write with.
In a sense, calling this a big piece of plastic with a nib on the end wouldn’t be wrong. These pens basically started out as tester pens so people could try out the Franklin-Christoph nibs at pen shows. Maybe it’s because these pens were designed to highlight the nibs, but writing with this pen is a joy.
The threads on the barrel are at the end of the grip, near the nib. So my fingers don’t touch the threads while writing. This means the threads are deep inside the cap, rather than at the end. F-C says this limits the air in the cap and prevents dry-out. I haven’t had a dried out nib, but the pen rarely goes a day without use.
The pen is a simple design. The grip is tapered, making it easy to hold. The long pen barrel is also tapered, but with a flat side on the barrel which has “Franklin-Christoph Model 66” engraved on it. Personally, I think the pen is both elegant and cool.
The flat side is intended to prevent the pen from rolling. I didn’t find this to be very effective. Usually when my pen stopped rolling it was on the round not the flat side and it stopped when the momentum ran out. Even when I put it carefully on the flat side it rolled if the desk or pad it was on was just nudged. This was the main reason I stopped using it at work. I typically lay the pen on my pad between uses and I would often nudge the pad when working at the desk. It is a clip-less pen so I can’t really complain since I knew what I was getting.
The pen is a cartridge/convertor and case also be used as an eye dropper fill. It accepts long international cartridges, not just the short international.
Writing With The Pen
Writing with the pen is a joy (did I mention that?). The nib is smooth and despite the large size the pen is light and comfortable to hold. It feels like I could write forever.
I typically don’t post my pens so this is easily the longest pen when I’m writing with it. The pen is postable although I have some concerned in that area, I have this fear that continued posting will mar the finish. On this pen the posted cap is a little loose unless really pushed down. When writing with it posted I did have some cases where the posted cap came off as I was moving things around. Not while writing, but (for example) when reaching for a paper with my pen hand. It’s not a concern for me since I don’t post. When posted the balance wasn’t affected since the cap is small and light.
Odd & Ends
At 6.3″ the pen is long and may be too long for some pouches and cases. It does fit the ones I use, which also happen to be Franklin-Christoph products. Other pouches I have, freebies with other pens, are too short. This really isn’t a pen designed to be carried around.
Franklin-Christoph offers a lifetime warranty on all their pens. The warranty is transferrable and no proof of purchase is required. It doesn’t get much simpler than this. I’ve never had to use Franklin-Christoph’s warranty or customer service myself so I can’t comment on it’s quality. But what few comments I found speak highly of them.
Cleaning The Pen
The pen is easy to clean. I’ve only used it with the convertor.) The ear syringe I have fits well and cleans away all traces of the ink with only a couple flushes. Overall it took about 3 minutes to flush the pen and convertor.
Did I mention I love this pen? I’m considering getting additional nibs to add some variety.
I do think the pen is a good value, unless I think about it too much. Like I say at the beginning, the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 could be described as a piece of plastic with a nib attached. But the subtle touches show the thought and effort that went into the pen. Everything about it seems just right.
My only complaint is it’s tendency to roll, but that’s a side-effect of what makes this pen so nice to use. Any solution to the tendency to roll would ruin the pen.