This Just In: Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Amber-Orange & Cinnamaroon with a Needlepoint Nib

Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Amber-Orange & Cinnamaroon

The Franklin-Christoph Amber-Orange & Cinnamaroon Model 02 was an impulse purchase while I was browsing the site. I ordered it at the same time as the Tiger Red Model 20 but it shipped a few days later as the needlepoint nib was out of stock. I already had two pens in my cart so I was in a buying mood. I already have two Model 02s, both a 1st gen and a 2nd gen) but the orange kept catching my eye. Anything orange usually catches my eye although it often ends up disappointing me. But in a moment of weakness I added it to my cart with the optional Mike Masuyama needlepoint nib.

I did feel some buyers remorse when the pen arrived. First off, the acrylic is translucent, heavily frosted but translucent. I’m not a fan of translucent pens, although there are exceptions. In many cases I think they look like cheap plastic. In this case that’s not an issue, the Model 02 looks like a quality build. Second, I don’t like seeing converters or ink cartridges in the pen. This pen isn’t too bad, I know it’s there so I can’t not see the chrome converter in the pen. At a distance or angle, and not knowing it’s a converter, it probably just looks like a more heavily frosted area. This can be avoided completely by converting it to a eye drop filler. The frosted look comes from a rough interior so this could be harder to clean since there’s more area for the ink to cling to. I have a clear “ice” F-C pen that was a pain to clean after I used it as an eye dropper and there was some staining (of course this does depend on the ink). I want to use several different inks relatively quickly so I’m avoiding the eye drop fill option for now. A full body with the needlepoint nib would last me well over a month or I’d waste a lot of ink if I flushed it early.

Despite my buyer’s remorse I do like the look of the pen so I inked it up. For the first ink I picked a nice dark, and well-behaved, Pilot Black ink. As the “This Just In” title suggests, I haven’t used the pen long enough to review it, it’s just my first impression.

I was shocked with how smooth the nib was. It’s a Mike Masuyama nib so I did expect it to be good, but being a thin needlepoint there’s not a lot of surface area to be lubricated with ink and to ride above the rough areas of paper. It’s even smoother than the needlepoint in my Pocket 40 which did cause me to hesitate before ordering it with this pen. My use so far has been on various Doane papers (Jotter & writing pads) and it’s been very smooth.

My buyer’s remorse has vanished and now I’m happy to have the pen, even though it is my third Model 02. I’ve already reviewed both my first generation Model 02 and my second generation Model 02. I liked the second gen model a little more and I expect this to be about the same. The nib is the only wildcard. I didn’t really like it in my Pocket 40, but so far I’m liking this copy of the nib a lot more.

Sunday Notes and Links

Franklin-Christoph Model 20 medium nib with GvFC Garnet Red Botle

This week’s favorite fountain pen and ink combination is also my newest, which does give it an edge. It’s the Franklin-Christoph Model 20 with a medium nib and Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red. I was surprised I like the medium nib so much. I bought it with the intention of having it modified. I’ll probably still have it turned into a left oblique, but I’m in no rush.

Some links of interest…

Field Coates by RichWorks Gear – Inktronics // A cool pocket notebook cover.

EXB Pen Wrap Review — The Pen Addict // Pen wraps never appealled to me, but this does seem nice.

Pen Review: Stipula Etruria Alter Ego — The Gentleman Stationer // A very nice looking fountain pen.

There was a Nakaya event in Singapore. Covered by How to buy a Nakaya in 4 simple steps — Alt. Haven and Nakaya Pen Clinic, 25–27 August 2015 – On Fountain Pens.

Aussie Fountain Pen Friends on Facebook – Pete Denison // There are a few reasons for Facebook, this is a new one if you’re in Australia.

Check out all of this week’s links at Fountain Pen Links. If you’re looking for information about a specific pen or ink be sure to visit Pennquod.

Seeing Red

I’m down to six inked fountain pen, that’s a little low for me but not unprecedented. What shocked me was that when I reached for a pen this morning I didn’t have one “business” ink in the bunch. I had four pens inked with red ink, one with orange and one with green. I’ve never thought of any ink as business or non-business since any ink is appropriate for any situation if I want to use it. Still, the lack of a basic black or blue-black ink for me was a problem. I like to use three colors for note taking, one for the bulk of the writing, usually an black or brown ink, something on the darker side. Then I use a couple other brighter colors, such as red or green, when I want something to stand out or when a topic has changed. Red, green and orange were not really a suitable trio for my note taking since it would make for a lot of bright ink on the page.

So how did I get to see so much red?

  • Montblanc Bordeaux is my favorite ink, I don’t really think of it as a red ink. It’s just an ink I use a lot. So it’s no surprise that it’s in my Pelikan Stresemann. I actually do think of it as a dignified business ink.
  • The Montblanc Corn Poppy Red is in my Esterbrook inkwell. Ironically, picked because I never seemed to have a red pen handy at my desk. Now all I have is red.
  • I’m not sure why I picked red for the Kaweco Brass, but it seemed right at the time.
  • My new Franklin-Christoph Model 20 screamed for red ink as it’s first ink. It’s the one most likely to run dry soon so I’ll have the option to pick a non-red ink for it’s next fill.
  • I hadn’t inked a vintage pen in a long time and the Marine Green Sheaffer Balance Oversize was picked. A vivid green pen needs a vivid green ink.
  • The Akkerman Oranje Boven is a new ink for me. My experience with orange inks is that they aren’t suitable for thin nibs, so when it came time to ink up the left oblique nib again I picked it.

I’ll be inking up a couple new pens as September begins. I won’t flush any of the red ink early, although if I had realized it, I wouldn’t have flushed the Kaweco AL Sport early just because I was cleaning another pen and it was convenient. I do keep track of what ink is in what pen, now I just have to pay attention.

Pens inked on August 28, 2015

This Just In: Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Marietta in Tiger Red

Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Tiger Red

The stockroom section of the Franklin-Christoph website always provides fountain pens of interest. This time the new(ish) Model 20 in a new Tiger Red acrylic caught my attention so I added it to my accumulation. The listing implies that Tiger Red will be a production choice but this was the first (test?) batch. I don’t really understand why it wouldn’t just be added to the regular product page since the price is the same, so I have doubts about my interpretation that the eventual “real” version will be exactly the same.

As the “This Just In” title suggests, this pen is newly arrived and barely used. I’ve had it a couple of days and probably written with it about three or four hours in total. So this is just an initial impression. I’ll be interested to see how things change when I review the pen in a few months.

The black/red acrylic doesn’t photograph easily. The black and red are very dark in most indoor lighting, at least my indoor lighting. But on close inspection, or in good lighting there is a lot of depth to the acrylic. Even though I really like the black and red combinations I was a little hesitant based on the photographs on the Franklin-Christoph website. The Tiger Red just didn’t “pop” in the photos. I worried for nothing, I love the design. No, it’s not bright and in most lighting both the red and the black are dark. But they do stand out and there’s a lot of depth.

I ended up picking a plain old medium nib for this pen. It’s hard to pass up a Mike Masuyama nib, but the ones that were available weren’t suitable for me. I went with the medium nib with the intent to get it ground to a left oblique sometime in the future. Naturally I had to use the medium nib before getting it ground. Holy cow! I really like it. It’s very smooth with great ink flow. Yes, it’s thicker than I typically prefer so I can’t use it when I want to write small or for marking up documents.

I went with the clip-less version which does have its drawbacks, such as easily rolling off a desk. But this does make the pen very light.

The signature feature of the Model 20 (a.k.a. Marietta) is the slip cap. It slides on/off and is held in place with friction. I’m still not used to the cap yet and I’m paranoid that I will crack it. The cap acrylic seems really thin when viewed through my paranoia. Cracking is a potential problem so I uncap the pen by pushing up at the base of the cap using the same hand that’s holding the pen. Since there’s no “click” when the cap is secure I do find myself not pressing the cap down enough due to fear that I’ll push down too hard. I am getting comfortable with it.

I’ve been carrying the pen in my Fodderstack XL for a couple of days. Since there’s no clip the pen does slip out if I turn the case upside down, but this hasn’t been a problem. Pulling up by the cap has removed the cap, probably due to my hesitation in recapping the pen, so I’ve begun to push the bottom of the pen up (through the material) and then grabbing it. This makes the pen ready to write faster than removing a clipped pen.

There’s no threads to interfere with the grip so the Model 20 is comfortable to hold. The pen is also very light. It’s one of the few pens that is as comfortable (to me) whether posted or unposted. Since there’s no clip the posted cap feels like an extension to the barrel. I have posted the pen a couple if times when I couldn’t hold the cap and it would roll away if I put it down.

The Model 20 is a mid-sized pen compared to other Franklin-Christoph fountain pens. It just enters the size of what I find big enough to be comfortable, but it is comfortable. I haven’t used it for any long writing sessions yet, the longest was about 20 minutes. There was no fatigue. I was initially a little concerned that the pen is too small & light for my tastes and it would be a pen I subconsciously grip too tightly, but so far that hasn’t been a problem.

My first ink for the pen is Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red, it seemed like this pen should have a red ink. I’ve got no complaints so far, they are working well together. My initial impression of the Franklin-Christoph Model 20 “Marietta” is very positive.

As I mentioned in the article, the vibrancy of the color varies with the light. These photos were taken in natural, indirect sunlight (near a window).

Ink & Pen Notes: Kaweco AL Sport with Kaweco Black ink

Kaweco AL Sport extra fine nib

The Kaweco AL Sport (Raw Aluminum) is showing the effects of being in my pocket with keys and other metal objects. I like it. That’s one reason it’s been inked up for nearly three months. I like carrying it, but it got very little use. I end up using it more at home than actually pulling it from my pocket when I’m out an about. So rather than go into the fourth month I decided to flush it out with about a quarter of the ink still in the cartridge.

I don’t have much to say. It’s a work horse pen and ink combination that work well. It’s just I find myself needing a pocket pen less and less these days. Plus, I recently added the Kaweco Brass Sport and I’ve been carrying that around. I don’t need two sports inked up.

The ink was easy to flush out. It was immensely easier to flush this pen, inked for nearly three months, than it was to clean the Akkerman IG ink of two weeks.

For now the Kaweco AL Sport goes back into the pen case.