The Franklin-Christoph Model 03 Iterum came to my attention thanks to kismet. When I got my F-C Model 02 Smoke & Ice I noticed the beautiful acrylic that was used for the section, so I went looking for an entire pen of that acrylic. That’s when I came across the Model 03 in Smoke Acrylic.
Why I Got It
It was a Franklin-Christoph fountain pen, a proven favorite, and there was no question in my mind that it would be a quality pen. But the smoke acrylic sealed the deal. It’s gorgeous.
What I Got
The Franklin-Christoph Model 03 Iterum with a extra fine nib. According to the F-C website Iterum is Latin for “again” or “once more” and was so named as it’s design queues come from their original Model 01 IPO. It’s tough to order a F-C pen and not take the dirt cheap upgrade to a Mike Masuyama nib but I decided to stick with a factory extra fine for this one. I have other F-C Mike Masuyama nibs I can swap into it.
Like all Franklin-Christoph fountain pens it has a simple design that has a lot of character. The cap and barrel are made of gorgeous Smoke acrylic. The white smoke has a sheen to it that varies based on the light and give the pen the appearance of depth. I find myself getting lost as I stare into the pen. The clip is Rhodium which complements the acrylic nicely. The four Franklin-Christoph diamonds are engraved into the clip.
The cap jewel is maroon and has the Franklin-Christoph logo engraved on it. Personally I’d have preferred the pen without and jewel, just the acrylic with the logo engraved into it. The jewel was also the place where the finish was a bit marred. I had to clean off what looked like glue. The jewel also seems slightly off center to me which is driving me crazy because I can’t unnotice it. The jewel’s photo on the left was heavily lit to show the detail. The jewel is a bit darker, more maroon, than this picture and the white areas on the maroon are emphasized by the lighting and close-up photo and are not nearly as noticeable when not magnified. The white specs between 3 and 6 o’clock on the disk are noticeable and remnants of what I think was leftover glue as that’s where I cleaned it off.
The cap also has “Franklin-Christoph 03” engraved around the cap, in the acrylic, similar to the Model 02.
The pen has the Franklin-Christoph block threads down near the nib so they don’t interfere with the grip. That is they don’t interfere unless you grip the pen right down by the nib. This gives the section the appearance of being long and slick. The threads are deep in the cap so this doesn’t make the pen any longer than normal threads when it’s capped.
I described the looks first since, for me, this pen is all about the appearances. Otherwise, it’s nearly a F-C Model 02 of which I already have two. But if you’re wondering the pen is a cartridge/converter that takes standard international cartridges and converters. The pen arrived in the usual F-C clam shell case. Two ink cartridges were included, one black and one blue. A converter was also included.
The pen can be used as an eye drop filler with a little silicon grease around the section threads. A little around the nib threads might not be a bad idea either.
The clip turns up at the end and is flexible enough to slip into a pocket with one hand.
- Length Capped: 5.5175″ (140.15 mm)
- Length Uncapped: 4.9880″ (126.70 mm)
- Length Posted: 6.875″ (174.625 mm)
- Section Length: 0.8735″ (22.18 mm)
- Section Diameter (near nib): 0.3910″ (9.93 mm)
- Section Diameter (near barrel): 0.4830″ (12.27 mm)
- Section Diameter (mid-section): 0.4055″ (10.30 mm)
- Cap Diameter: 0.5620″ (14.28 mm)
- Barrel Diameter: 0.5400″ (13.71 mm)
- Weight: 0.6 oz (18 g)
- Weight (body only): 0.4 oz (12 g)
Writing With The Pen
The pen is a lot like the F-C Model 02 that I just reviewed, even the same extra fine nib, so I wasn’t expecting any surprises from the Model 03.
The cap takes one full rotation to remove and get the pen ready to write. While I expect the Mike Masuyama grinds to be perfectly aligned I’m amazed that the factory nibs I’ve received have all been perfect. This nib continues the streak.
The pen does post and remains well balanced and doesn’t add much to the weight. The cap posts high enough on the barrel so the seam (where barrel meets cap) doesn’t rub against my hand, making it a pen I could use posted. Despite this I don’t use the pen posted.
The pen is light and the nib is smooth. The size of the pen is also perfect for me making it a pen I can write with for several hours without getting fatigued. There haven’t been any false starts or skipping. I also forced myself to let the pen sit unused for 5 days and it wrote immediately when the nib touched the paper.
Cleaning The Pen
Being a cartridge converter the pen is easy to clean. The nib unit can be removed if needed although I haven’t had to so far.
The only ink I used in the pen is Caran d’ Ache Infinite Grey. It’s a new ink for me so I can’t compare it to any other pens. The ink seems well suited for the pen and it was problem free.
The Franklin-Christoph Model 03 Iterum is another great Franklin-Christoph pen. The pen feels a lot like the Model 02, which is a good thing. The Smoke Acrylic makes it worth the additional purchase and the pen is definitely a keeper.