The Kaweco Eco Wild Raw Leather Pen Pouch is a Cult Pens exclusive, according to their website. I typically order from them once or twice a year, concentrating on products not available in the US (they’re in the UK) and added this case to my last order. There’s not much to the cases, their a simple sleeve. There is a one pen case and a two pen case for the Sport line of pens. There’s also a one pens case and a two pen case for the Lilliput line of pens. Based on the pictures on Cult Pens’ website it looks like the the two pen versions don’t have a divider so the pens touch.
I ordered the one pen case for the Kaweco Sport. I have a red Kaweco AC Sport and unlike the AL Raw Aluminum or my new Black Stonewashed I don’t want it to get scratched up being carried in my pocket. The case is £22.99 inc VAT or £19.16 ex VAT. US foreigners don’t pay VAT.
The case is nice soft calf-skin leather. Initially the AL Sport was a tight fit but after a day or two of use it stretched out nicely and the pen is now easy to remove. It’s still sits securely in the case with no chance of slipping out. The case seems well built and durable but only time will tell. The stitching is a little rough where it ends. There’s a stiff piece of thread extending about 1/20th of an inch from the case. The leather will attract nicks, cuts and scuffs over time which will give it character.
My Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket also fits in the pouch but it’s a much tighter fit. I imagine the pouch could expand a little more but in that case it might be too loose for the Kaweco Sport. I won’t be using the Model 40 in this sleeve while I still use it for the Sport, but If I wanted a case dedicated to the Model 40 I would consider this pouch.
The case is also light so it doesn’t add much weight to the pen. My case is 0.4 oz (12 g) so with my currently inked AL Sport Stonewashed the total weight is 1.3 oz (36 g).
The pictures below show the case slightly lighter in color than mine really is thanks to the lighting. My case has more brown to it. But I couldn’t get the color right so decided to go with these. The photos on the Cult Pens site are a bit darker than my case.
Except for the first photo, the pictures all show the case with a pen in it. The pen is listed in the caption since it’s not obvious from the picture.
Empty Kaweco Leather Pen Pouch
Kaweco Leather Pen Pouch with AL Sport in it
Kaweco Leather Pen Pouch with AL Sport in it
Kaweco Leather Pen Pouch with Franklin-Christoph Pocket 40 in it
Kaweco Leather Pen Pouch with Franklin-Christoph Pocket 40 in it
I’m a fan of Franklin-Christoph fountain pens proven by my accumulated six F-C pens. I added this Franklin Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic in Emerald Green to my accumulation in late 2012. I love the Franklin-Christoph design aesthetic which is simple, clean and classy. I liked the look of this pen so much that it’s picture became one of the rotating header images for this website. Franklin-Christoph changed the design of the Model 02 in late 2013 so this is a review of the original design. I did recently get one of the new Model 02s and will review that pen next week for a comparison. Franklin-Christoph describes the changes as …
In comparison to the original 02, this pen is very slightly thicker and longer, has a subtle taper in the cap, and a larger grip section. Our well known block threads are also placed at the end of the grip section for writing comfort.
Why I Got It
The Emerald Green pen caught my eye immediately. Green is my favorite color and the tapered Model 02 wears the color well. I also got it with a Mike Masuyama nib grind which is hard to resist with any F-C pen, although I ended up replacing the original nib with a different grind.
What I Got
When ordering a Franklin-Christoph fountain pen it’s tough to skip the Mike Masuyama nib option since the price bump is barely noticeable. So I ordered my pen with the medium cursive italic Mike Masuyama nib which was a new nib type for me. The medium italic wasn’t suitable for my everyday writing which is how I used the pen. So I picked up a medium stub (also a Mike Masuyama grind) at the 2013 Washington DC pen show. This review is based on that stub nib. Like every Franklin-Christoph nib, both nibs were smooth and aligned right out of the box. I use the pen unposted but the cap does post deeply so it’s secure without adding much length to the pen. The pen is light, posted or not, and is still well balanced when posted. The silver clip isn’t spring loaded but slips easily over the cloth of my pocket or pen case. The clip has the Franklin-Christoph four diamonds engraved into it but is an otherwise plain clip. The steel nib is silver with the Franklin-Christoph “F” logo engraved on it. I prefer silver nibs over gold or two-tone so it’s perfect. 18K nib are available for an extra $90. “Franklin-Christoph 02” is engraved around the cap and the cap finial has the Franklin-Christoph “F” logo engraved into it. Usually this much branding turns me off but the engravings are done into the acrylic so they are the same color and don’t draw attention to themselves. The emerald green acrylic is slightly translucent. I don’t like seeing the converter or cartridge in the pen but unless I shine a bright light through the pen the converter is unnoticed. The acrylic is darker where the pen is wider which helps mask the converter. If I open the pen and shine a light into the barrel there’s no shading, but since I don’t use the pen that way I instead see some nice shading. The pen could be used as an eye drop filler but I haven’t tried that with this pen. The ink level should be noticeable but the ink color wouldn’t be noticeable and would probably ruin the shading. My new Model 02 is being used as a eye dropper so I’ll discuss it in next week’s review. As an added bonus the pen fits in the smaller 1/2″ holes of my Dudek Groove pen holder without actually having to be a thin pen.
Barrel Diameter: 0.5320″ (13.51 mm) after taper: 0.4155″ (10.56 mm)
Weight: 0.6 oz (18 g)
Weight (body only): 0.4 oz (12 g)
Writing With The Pen
The cap comes off with just under one complete turn of the cap, I’ve stuck with bottled ink in the converter but international cartridges can be used. The threads are above the section (unlike the newer revised version). My thumb does lay across the threads when I’m griping the pen but they aren’t sharp and don’t bother me at all when I’m writing. The pen is plenty log enough for me to use unposted which is my preference. The medium stub nib is a Mike Masuyama grind so it’s no surprise that it’s a smooth nib. While thin nibs are my preference I’ve grown fond of stub nibs. I prefer my stubs on the thin side and this one is about as good as it gets for me. The nib has some nice line variation to give my writing a little character. A light touch is all that’s needed to get a nice, consistent flow. I haven’t had any skipping or hard starts with the nib. The pen is comfortable for long writing sessions. Most of the time. If I had to find something to complain about it would be that the section is just a tad too thin for me. I find myself subconsciously griping the section tighter than I need to. It’s a bad habit I fall into with thinner pens. Once I notice I loosen my grip and it’s fine. The section isn’t really too thin but it’s thin enough and the pen is light enough that I subconsciously grip the pen tighter than I need to.
Cleaning The Pen
Like most cartridge/converter pens the F-C Model 02 is easy to clean. A few flushes with water removes all traces of ink.
The most recent inks, meaning the ones I can remember, include Iroshizuku Syo-ro, Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun and Diamine Oxblood. All worked well and cleaned easily from the pen. The Syo-ro is the ink currently in the pen and my favorite in this pen.
The Franklin-Christoph Model 02 didn’t make my top five modern pens but it’s close. This pen is definitely a keeper. As a precursor to next week’s review I’ll say the revisions make it a better pen, but I’ll save the details until next week.
While I did find some reviews of the newer Model 02, I couldn’t find any of the older version. If you know of any, or have one yourself and want to comment, please add a comment. Thanks!
Diamine Registrar’s turns my current iron gall ink obsession into a hat trick. According to the internet the ink’s name comes from it’s formula being mandated for use at Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the UK. I assume the permanence provided by the iron gall is the reason for the mandate. Iron gall inks bond to the paper as they dry giving them an archival quality. At least until the iron gall eats away the paper in a few centuries. Like other modern iron gall inks I don’t consider these inks dangerous for my pens. My rule of thumb is that I keep the ink in the pen as long as it’s used regularly or to flush the pen after two weeks if it’s not used regularly. The ink comes in two bottle sizes, a 30 ml bottle and a 100 ml bottle. The 30 ml bottle puts the ink at a rather expensive $0.52/ml. The 100 ml bottle is a more reasonable $0.30/ml but it’s still more expensive than the R & K iron gall inks which are $0.24/ml. The 100 ml bottle is plastic and intended as a refill. Filling directly from it would be a huge pain and probably result in spilled ink. I poured mine into a TWSBI bottle as shown in the photos. While I like the R & K Scabiosa color more, the Diamine Registrar’s has a certain charm to it and the ink is extremely well behaved. It goes onto the paper with a true blue color (although that depends a bit on the paper) which I’m not particularly fond of. But as it dries it darkens to a nice blue-black, or a greyish-black with some nibs and paper. The ink goes onto the paper with a true blue color which has some nice shading if wider nibs are used. Wide nib or thin nib the ink quickly darkens as it dries and the shading is less pronounced or vanishes completely. The change is quick which is some of the attraction. When I start writing a new line I like the pronounced color difference from the line above. If I write quickly I can see color differences between each of the last three or for lines. Very cool. Additional time results in even more darkening. The ink seems to darken completely overnight, at least as far as my eye can detect. To be honest, changes aren’t noticeable to my eye after about an hour unless I do side by side comparisons. The dry time with my preferred thin nibs is very good and much better than the R&K iron gall inks. Accidental smudges were non-existent. The ink does dry slower on smoother papers such as Rhodia but the dry time is still acceptable. The dry time does increase significantly with any nib above a medium. I like my nibs and inks on the dry side and Diamine Registrar’s fits that bill. I didn’t have any flow problems, skipping or hard starts. This ink is very well behaved. Feathering was non-existent on any paper I used and there wasn’t any bleed-through. There was some show through with nibs and paper prone to such things. But my typical pads and papers didn’t have any problems. Notebooks and paper with which I routinely write on both sides were just fine with this ink. There wasn’t any show-through to bother me on that second side. The ink is very water poof. I let the ink dry 24 hours and there was even a trace of the ink dye in the water when I poured water on the paper and wiped it off. Cleaning this ink was easily accomplished by just flushing water through the pen. To be fair, none on my pens had the ink more than a week which isn’t long enough to dry out or stain.
My TWSBI Vac 700 was the test pen for this ink. Fine, extra fine, medium, broad, and 1.1 mm stub italic nibs were used. There’s not much to say here. All wrote well and cleaned easily. The extra fine nib was the one used as my daily writer for a couple of days.
There’s something about Diamine Registrar’s that makes attracts me to it more so than the R & K inks. By drying faster it’s more suitable for note taking and I like the color it has when it dries (the original color – not so much). I’m also intrigued by the final color being different depending on the paper. I’ll use this ink more than R & K Salix. Diamine Registrar’s tops my list of iron gall inks and takes the slot as my permanent/waterproof ink of choice.
The Esterbrook #9128 nib is one of my favorite Esterbrook nibs. The box calls the nib a “Flexible Extra Fine” and that it’s for “Flexible Writing.” The Paul Hoban book has a pamphlet reproduction from 1955 that lists the nib as a “Extra Fine Flexible.” It’s a steel nib and it’s not so flexible it will do gymnastics when it writes. But that’s OK since flexible nibs are wasted on my writing abilities. I love the nib because it’s nice and thin and also has just a bit of spring to it. Sometimes I like writing with a nail, sometimes I like a little spring. This nib is perfect when I want the latter. Like other 9xxx series nibs the Esterbrook #9128 has iridium tipping and was called a “Master DuraCrome” nib by Esterbrook. My particular nib has a nice smooth extra fine point that’s smooth even without allowing for its age. I was especially surprised such a thin nib, and one that’s probably 50 years old, would be so smooth. Smooth is relative because like most nibs this thin it does require a light touch since the thin nib can easily stab the paper. Course or textured paper, such a linen or cotton paper, also gets stabbed by the nib, even with a light touch.
FPN Review that shows off some flex writing Inkophile compares 9128 nibs. Mine has 9128 written across the nib, and while I can’t compare to the other style, I would say mine is one of the ones with less flex. It is also certainly the finest Esterbrook nib that I have so it seems consistent with Inkophile’s findings.
Change your eBay password. Personal information and passwords were stolen from them from as far back as February. eBay has taken a beating on their response to this, or lack of response. Using myself as a data point I first read about it on a tech news site so changed my password earlier in the week but I didn’t get a notice on the eBay site until Friday and have yet to receive an email notification. Here’s how to change your eBay password and a NY Times article about the breach. The Franklin-Christoph 40 Pocket is the pen I want to love but it’s unrequited love. Possibly my Needlepoint nib choice is to blame. Two extremely hard starts while being carried around in my pocket. So a new Kaweco AL Sport has taken its place. The now reviewed Taccia Staccato went dry so it’s back in the case. I’m down to six inked pens