Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log #5: Year End Edition

The earth has completed another rotation around the sun and tradition dictates a recap of what happened during the trip and resolutions for the next trip.

My fountain pen interest was rekindled at the end of 2011. I’d been using them but sticking with the same pens and inks for long periods. I didn’t add any pens in 2007, 2008 or 2009 and only one in 2010. No new ink springs to mind during that time either. In late 2011 I added 4 new pens,

My first new pen of 2012 was a Pilot Vanishing Point in March. It was followed by another 46 pens during 2012. That includes by recent low-cost pen acquisition binge along with a couple that were ordered but have yet to arrive.

My favorite pen of the year was the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Desk Pen.

photo of the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Fountain Pen
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis Fountain Pen

Both Edison and Franklin-Christoph were new brands to me. As I’m apt to do, I binged on their pens. There were 6 Edisons, including a Signature Line pen due in January. There were 5 Franklin-Christoph pens. Eleven pens from two brands I hadn’t heard if before the year began. Yup, a binge. By the end of the year my pen accumulation had exceeded 100 pens.

I  also binged on inks, ading them to my ink drawer faster than I can use them. Much of that is thanks to the Goulet Ink Drop membership. At last count I had 69 ink samples this year, and only a couple of them have been completely used.

I started this blog in August and this will be the 67th post. It’s a bit of circular thinking, but my main goal for this blog was to give me something to write with my pens. And from that point of view it’s succeeded as nearly all posts are initially drafted with pen and paper. This one with my Faber-Castell E-motion, mediam nib, with Diamine Oxblood ink.

According to stats I’ve had approximately 2,900 visitors from 66 countries. About half those visits were from the United States. The big bump came when Brad Dowdy, The Pen Addict, linked to my Stipula Model T post.

All things considered I’ve enjoyed the past year of fountain pens, despite the impact on my wallet.

The Year Ahead

I’m not much for resolutions, but some plans fir 2013 include…

  • Use what I have. I’ve no shortage of pens or inks, time to use them.
  • Try to focus new pen acquisitions for 2013. I’ve developed an interest in desk pens and clip-less pens so will explore those areas. I need to resist wanting every nice fountain pen. Nakaya fountain pens have caught my interest. I love the simple designs of the “Long” and Desk Pen models and they would be ruined with a clip. In addition, Edison will be announcing a new filling system in the new year. I suspect I’ll want it in a pen.
  • Attend a pen show. It will probably be the Washington D.C. show but I may try to get to one of the earlier east coast shows if the weather cooperates enough for driving.
  • Along with the first bullet point – more pen and ink reviews on the site. A weekly ink review should be possible. A pen review every two weeks may be a stretch, but ostly doable.

Happy New Year everyone!

These Just In: A Couple Platinum 3776 Century Pens

Among my year end pen arrivals were two Platinum 3776 Century pens. I’ve been curious about Platinum pens since I learned they still make their own nibs. I also like the style of the pens. So I pulled the trigger when prices seemed to drop a bit at the end of the year. At least they were lower than the last time I checked.

I got the Platinum 3776 Century Bourgogne (Burgundy) with a fine 14kt gold nib and the Platinum 3776 Blue Chartres with a extra fine 14kt gold nib.

Why I Bought the Pens

Mainly to try the Platinum nibs but I also like the translucent nature of the colors and the traditional cigar shape of the pens.

First Impressions

The look of the pens varies depending on the light, especially with the blue pen. Sometime the Chartres Blue appears black, while the Bourgogne has less of a color range. There’s metal inside the barrel so use as an eye dropper is out. These aren’t really see through so the convertor or cartridge doesn’t look bad. But it might be cool to see the translucence with a half full barrel of ink sloshing around in there.

The pen is light, especially since I write without posting the cap. It can be posted although the cap would just be held on by friction and I’d always be concerned about marring the finish.

The Bourgogne didn’t include a convertor, just a black ink cartridge. I did order a convertor, but from a different vendor and it didn’t arrive with the pen.

The Chartres Blue was chock full of goodies, a picture of them is in the gallery. There was a convertor and pigment blue ink cartridge. There was also a card telling me I got pen #74 out of the first 2000. This isn’t a limited edition, but apparently the first 2000 get these serial number cards. There was also a rubber stamp that says “Written Using Platinum Pigment Ink” and a instruction sheet.

First Ink

The Bourgogne arrived first and I used a Platinum Brown ink cartridge that I already had rather than the included back cartridge. There’s a nice wide opening where the catridge meets the feed

The nib is a smooth writer, although I’ve pretty much stuck to Rhodia and other fountain pen friendly paper so far. As expected it’s a very thin fine line. There’s a picture in the gallery that has a writing sample for these two pens plus my latest Edison fine nib.

The Blue Chartres has the extra fine nib. I like thin nibs, but I was afraid this Japanese extra fine would be too thin. I first inked it up with the included pigment blue cartridge. This was a complicated experience. I’m not a fan of blue inks so there is some bias here. I flushed out the pen before using it to get rid of any manufacturing residue. The blue was very thin and very light. At first I thought I had left some water behind but time and more writing didn’t help. Flow was also a bit uneven, no real skipping but the writing was really light at times. Shading? Anyway, since this wasn’t a pleasing experience I popped out the cartridge  flushed the pen again, and put Aurora Black in the convertor.

Things were much better with the dark black of Aurora black. The flow is good despite the thin nib. The line seems as thin as my Pilot VP Needlepoint nib (aka XXXF).


Click any thumbnail to open it in the gallery.


This Just In: Edison Nouveau Encore – Flecked Tortoise

The Edison Nouveau Encore Limited Edition in Flecked Tortoise that I ordered back in November arrived on Saturday. This is one of the special editions that Goulet Pens has done in conjunction with Edison Pens. This was a limited edition of which I received #07 of 70 so it’s no longer available for purchase new.

Why I Bought It

The color, plain and simple. Other contributing factors were that I’m a fan of Edison Pens and this is a model type I don’t currently have. The only negative was the small size of the pen.

I purchased mine with the fine steel nib which has become my preference for Edison pens.

First Impression

The looks of the pen did not disappoint. I especially like the translucent nature of the pen. Right now I’m using a convertor so I can try different inks with relative ease. I look forward to seeing how this pen looks as a eye dropper with the ink in the barrel.

The pen is small, at least for me. But it’s big enough to use without posting, which is my preference. The fine nib has a nice smooth flow so I can use a light touch when writing. This should help avoid fatigue although I’ve only used it for short sessions so far.

First Ink

I picked Diamine Ancient Copper as the first ink for the pen. I like the ink and it seems to get along with the pen quite nicely.


Click any thumbnail to open the photo in the gallery.

This Week’s Ink – December 29, 2012

Nothing dropped off last week’s list, although a couple pens are nearly dry. But the list did expand with some recent arrivals that I wanted inked up right away. So right to it, the currently inked pens are:

Pens inked this week (photo 1 of 2)

Links are to my review if there is one, otherwise the latest post about the pen or ink.

Faber-Castell E-Motion Rhombus White (Medium) – Diamine Oxblood // Franklin-Christoph Model 19 “1901” (Broad Italic) – Waterman Florida Blue // Faber-Castell Basic Black Leather (Medium) – included blue ink cartridge // Edison Collier Antique Marble (X-Fine) – Diamine Ochre // Edison Pearl 2012 LEE (X-Fine) – Private Reserve Ebony Brown // Edison Nouveau Premiere LE (Fine) – Diamine Ochre // Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black (Fine) – Sailor Black Ink Cartridge // Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic (M. Italic) – Waterman Florida Blue // Sailor 1911 Burgundy (Medium)Lierre Sauvage

Then there’s:

Pens inked this week (photo 2 of 2)

Pilot Vanishing Point Gunmetal/Matte Black (Needlepoint XXXF) – Rohrer & Klingner Morinda // Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Stabilis (X-Fine)Rohrer & Klingner Blau-Schwarz // Gate City New Postal (Fine) – Pelikan Brilliant Black // Waterman Edson Blue (Fine) – Waterman Florida Blue // Cross Bailey – included black cartridge // Platinum 3776 Century Bourgogne – Platinum brown cartridge // Platinum 3776 Century Chartres Blue – Aurora Black // Edison Nouveau Encore Flecked TortoiseDiamine Ancient Copper

Writing samples are below, click any image to open them in the gallery.

The Faber-Castell E-motion is about to run dry of Oxblood. I really like the ink and the pen but I want to do a review of this pen so I’ll be giving another ink a try. But I’ll be sure to find another pen for the Diamine Oxblood.

Those last four pens are all new to me this week, although I already reviewed the Cross Bailey. The Platinums arrived a couple days ago and I just inked them up and initial impressions are very good.

The Edison Nouveau just arrived today and I’ve barely written with it but it looks even better than the photos.

The Edison Nouveau Premiere has been the only temperamental pen of the bunch. I last used it on the 26th when it was dry for the first letter. Today when I went to add it to my inked pen list it didn’t write. The nib was dry and almost all of the ink was evaporated. I lowered the converter to get the rest of the ink into the feed. So it will be dry soon.

Pen Review: Cross Bailey “Gift” Fountain Pen

I was at Staples the Friday before Christmas, picking up some last minute stocking stuffers when I saw the Cross gift pen display. There was a lone fountain pen in there so I added it to my low-cost pen collection since it was selling for $20. I later found this model sells for about $40 online, although I’ve seen it at $35 from unknown vendors while other unknown vendors are above $45.

I decided to ignore the embarrassment of my chicken scratch and post the handwritten review below. But the high-points are:

  • I had low-expectations but was wrong. It’s a nice pen.
  • Medium nib
  • Includes 6 black ink cartridges but no converter
  • The screw-in converter from my Cross Verve fits the pen (and screws in) although I haven’t used it.
  • Lacquer coated


Clicking a photo will open them in a gallery. My regular camera isn’t working so please exclude the iPhone photos.

Hand Written Review:

Again, clicking the image will open a larger version in a gallery.