Sunday Notes and Links

I added a few pen blogs to my resources/links page, check them out.

Some links of interest from the past week:

Gourmet Pens reviews a second Franklin-Christoph ink, this time it’s Dark Denim. I don’t need more ink, but I think I’ll come back from D.C. with a complete set of F-C ink.

Everyday Commentary has a review of the Pilot Vanishing Point. This is interesting because it’s a review from a non-Fountain Pen user. EC typically reviews knives and he uses the same review format for the pen an it scores 20 out of 20.

Last week I though Visconti had the coolest pen ever. I was wrong, they have it this week. Now I just need to win the lottery.

FPGeeks is giving away a Kaweco 3 pen set. Ending June 30th.

Seize the Dave has a review of J. Herbin Rouge Opera.

Rants of the Archer has a review of the Sheaffer Taranis. I haven’t decided if I like this pen or not. The pictures look good, but there’s a lot of chrome which is usually a turn off for me. I’ll have to see one in real life.

Silent Seeing has a review of the Franklin-Christoph Model 33, one of the F-C pens not in my accumulation. (via The Pen Addict)

From the Pen Cup has a review of the gorgeous Bamboo Style pen from Ken Carvers.



This Week’s Ink: June 22, 2013

I’m down to three carry pens this week. They look lonely in my six slot Penvelope case. The Sheaffer Triumph I inked up last Sunday had a severe flow problem. So I cleaned and flushed it again. I’ll take another look at it this week. It was finally time to empty the Sheaffer Balance and clean it out. It didn’t have enough ink left for a day, much less a week and it’s been inked up all month.

I’m really liking these pens so I didn’t see a need to add any others just yet, they wouldn’t get used. The desk pens are still inked and I’ll probably add one of those to the case as a backup.

So the three pens for the week ahead are:

Pens inked for the week ahead

Esterbrook J Double Jewel (#2668) – Iroshizuku Syo-ro // 1945 Parker Vacumatic Duofold (Fine) – Rohrer & Klingner Leipziger Schwarz  // Pilot Vanishing Point Black Marble (Fine) – Diamine Oxblood

Writing Samples

Writing samples for this week's ink


Sunday Notes and Links

I broke my “no pens ’til DC” resolution and added two pens to my accumulation. They arrived today, earlier than expected. So I inked them up to fill the two empty slots in this week’s ink.

Photo of a 1945 Parker Duofold Senior

Parker 1945 Duofold Senior with a fine nib and R&K Leipziger Schwarz

Photo of a Sheaffer Triumph Lifetime

Sheaffer Triumph Lifetime with xf/f nib and R&K Sepia


Inkdependence  has a review of Organic Studios Edgar Allen Poe Ink.

Edjelly is giving away a Pilot Prera to celebrate is 100th post. The giveaway ends June 19th. He also has a review of the Seven Seas Tomoe River Paper Pad.

From the Pen Cup has a review of the Monteverde Invincia Deluxe Nighthawk. It’s hard to resist the pen and this review doesn’t help.

The Pen Addict has a review of the affordable Pilot Metropolitan. He also has a long list of links for reading this weekend.

While way more than I can spend for a pen, the Visconti Pininfarina Carbongrafite Retractable Nib Fountain Pen is one cool pen (via FPGeeks).

A video on Lamy’s design and manufacturing process. (via FPGeeks)

The Clicky Post muses on Doane Paper and Products.

The Good, The Bad, and The Rest at Inkophile.

There’s a new Mabie Todd website.

This Week’s Ink: June 15, 2013

I’m carrying four of the pens forward to the week ahead. I broke my “no new pens until DC” resolution and have two pens due to arrive early next week. So I’m leaving 2 slots open in my Penvelope 6 for them. And of course, the desk pens are always inked.

The Sheaffer and Esterbrook were clearly my pens of choice for most of last week, getting the most use. The Syo-ro ink in the Esterbrook was an accidental order, it’s not an ink I would have picked on purpose since it seems too blue for me. But when it hit the slightly off-white Doane Paper I was impressed. In the right light (actually, more a lack of direct light) the ink looks greenish which I really like. It’s a rather soothing color once it dries.

The Plumix still has ink but it’s moved to my desk drawer for the times I want to practice with an italic nib. The Platinum Plasir has replaced a Lamy in my office desk drawer for those times I forget my pens or want a color I’m not carrying that day. I’m hoping the Slip & Seal cap keeps the ink around longer than the Lamy’s since the pen will get little use.

Picture of pens inked for the week ahead

Sheaffer Balance Full Size (Fine) – Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun  // Esterbrook J Double Jewel (#2668) – Iroshizuku Syo-ro // Pilot Vanishing Point Black Marble (Fine) – Diamine Oxblood // Platinum 3776 Century (Fine) – Platinum Brown cartridge

No writing samples this week since I/m pressed for time and they’re the same inks as last week, just not all of them.


No new pics, but here are the pens and ink being carried this week.

Ink Notes: Platinum Brown

This is the first time I’ve done ink notes for a cartridge only ink. Not only is Platinum Brown only available in cartridges it’s a proprietary cartridge no less. I bought a cartridge two-pack after adding several Platinum fountain pens to my accumulation.

Platinum Brown is a reddish brown, with a emphasis on the “red”. Once I starting using it, as opposed to letting it sit in the pen to test the “slip & seal” cap, I used it to mark up pages or notes where I’d normally use red or another bright ink. I do like the color and it stands out on the page. The ink looks brown in the cartridge and the package says “brown”, but once it’s on the paper I’d call it a red. There is some shading and line variation, even with the thin nibs.

I like the behavior of the ink. It dries quickly and I didn’t experience any bleed through or noticeable feathering. I did use thin nibs, the widest being a medium. The ink flow was great, keeping up even with fast writing in the extra fine nib.

The ink passed the water test with flying colors. I let the ink dry for 24 hours then poured water on it, let it sit a bit, then wiped it up. I could still easily read what was written and much of the color remained.

While the ink was only in the pen for a few hours, it was easy to clean from the pen. (I moved the cartridge to a new pen and flushed the old pen.)

Platinum cartridges have a metal ball that moves around in the ink to help the ink flow. If the pen is quiet, or the pen is near my ear, I can hear the ball moving around in the cartridge.

Even though I prefer bottled ink, I like this ink and might buy another cartridge 2-pack to keep them around. I leave a couple cheap pens (well, relatively cheap) in my office desk and use cartridges in them to avoid the risk of ink bottles in the office. I could see a couple Platinum’s, the Plasir for example, with the slip & seal cap replacing my Lamys. With the Lamys I typically lose more ink through evaporation than I actually use.

Pens Used

Platinum #3776 Century with a 14K fine nib. The ink was great in this pen. It’s the only ink I’ve ever had in the pen, and it’s been there all year as a test of the “slip and seal” cap. It writes as soon as the nib touches paper, every time. I review the pen here.

Platinum Plasir with a steel medium nib. This pen did not write well with the ink. I was able to get the writing sample but I had to press down harder than normal. This did seem to be the pen as another ink had an issue.

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen with a extra fine steel nib. Being a Asian extra fine it’s a needlepoint by some standards.The pen has a wider than usual channel for the ink in order to accommodate Platinum’s Carbon ink which is a waterproof pigment ink. The ink flow was also great in this pen. Despite the thin nib a nicely saturated line was put down.




Review: Platinum #3776 Century Bourgogne

Platinum #3776 Century BourgnoneI’ve had the Platinum #3776 Century Bourgogne since December. It’s had a Platinum Brown ink cartridge in it since then but it’s gotten very little use. This has been a good test of the “slip & seal” cap that prevents ink evaporating from the nib. I can’t say it meets the claim of preventing evaporation for a year, but it was untouched for a full month and wrote immediately when it touched the paper. Since then it’s only been used every week or two when I write the samples and it’s worked first time, every time. Until now that is. I’ve been using it as my primary writer for the past few days.

This is the Burgundy (which is bourgogne in French) version with a Fine nib. The pen is listed as made of resin which sounds better than plastic. Plastic is a resin so the plastic feel of the pen isn’t surprising. It does feel like a better quality plastic than the Sailor Clear Candy I reviewed recently and the color is gorgeous with a depth to it.

I really like the burgundy color which has a nice translucence that adds some depth to the color. The gold trim also works well with the dark burgundy in my opinion. It’s a simple, but classic design which I like.

The pen has a 14K gold nib that’s a smooth writer. There’s no hint of feedback and flow is consistent and smooth. It put down a fairly wet, but thin line. It’s not a gusher, but there’s never a even a hint that the pen can’t keep up.

The pen takes a proprietary cartridge or converter so there’s no swapping with other brands. That is a bit of a downside although if it helps provide better ink flow it’s worth it. The cartridges contain a little metal ball which moves around in the cartridge to mix the ink. I can sometimes hear the metal ball moving inside the pen. I don’t find it annoying and it’s really soft, but it might annoy some people. The converter wouldn’t have this issue of course.

The pen should clean easily with one caveat (so far I’ve only done an initial flush before inking it up for the first time). The cartridge/converter sits fairly deep inside a metal collar when it’s inserted onto the feed. This makes it tough to force water through. My existing bulb syringes don’t form a good seal over the feed. Once I have an empty cartridge I’ll cut the top off and will be able to use it for cleaning. That collar is metal so using the pen as an eye dropper fill isn’t an option.

As for price, they’re currently selling for about $176. When you consider gold nibs typically command a $90-125 premium over a steel nib on the same pen it’s not such a bad price. While the pen is plastic resin, it does feel like a quality pen. Add a great writing nib to that and I think it’s worth the price. If you insist on a gold nib then it’s a great price. I do have steel nib pens that are smooth writers so from that point of view the price is competitive.

The pen feels comfortable while writing. It’s a nice light pen. The ink flows easily from the nib so no pressure is needed. Long writing sessions aren’t tiring at all. They cap can be posted and the pen is still light and well balance. But that’s from someone who doesn’t post pens.

Overall, a nice pen that I’m glad to have in my accumulation.


Sunday Notes & Links

My Retro 51 Collection

Retro 51 Tornados (L – R): Vintage Surf, Black Stealth, Lincoln, Bamboo, Green Lacquer

First off, I updated the Clear Candy review to reflect that flushing the nib resolved the flow issue.

Things that caught my interest this week…

The Well-Appointed Desk reviews the Retro 51 Tornado rollerball and is giving one away. The giveaway ends Monday.My collection of Retro 51’s, shown above, has grown to 5 so I naturally recommend you enter the contest.

Speaking of Retro 51’s, From the Pen Cup has a review of the Retro 51 EXT Tornado White Nickel Fountain Pen. I had a Retro 51 Double Eight fountain pen and was disappointed in the build quality. The cap just wouldn’t stay on. Interesting that the one eissue with the Retro 51 FP was cap related.

For the Retro 51 hat trick, Retro 51 announced their latest Tornado Popper Limited Edition. I prefer less busy designs so will be able to avoid this one.

The Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper on also has a quick comparison of Noodler’s Black inks.

Inkdependence has a couple of posts describing his Raleigh Pen show experience in words and pictures.

Inkophile talks about inks that survive the summer heat.