It was a holiday week here in the US which gave me less work-related reasons to use my fountain pens. My leisre writing time was also down this week so no pens were written dry. I did ink up one additional pen. My fountain pen day pen purchase did arrive from the Netherlands on Friday. I inked it up but I didn’t have a chance to really use it yet, although I will later today.
My fountain pens did get used every day, although just not very much most days Usually just one or two pages. No changes among the six fountain pens inked up last Sunday although the Shawn Newton Eastman with a Esterbrook 2314-F nib and Montblanc Irish Green ink got most of the usage and was the clear favorite of the week.
Pen Shows & Clubs
The US pen show season is over, with the next season kicking off in Philadelphia on January 13-15th.
The Madrid Pen Show is nearly over by the time you’re reading this.
The week started with frequent fountain pen usage although things declined rapidly as the week progressed. I’m still hit and miss with my writing each night. I write a few evenings in a row and then skip a few in a row. But it was enough to write several pens dry and only one of the pens I started the month with is still in the rotation, at least with the same ink. After filling a few pens I’m up to six inked fountain pens. This still feels like far too few but I’m trying to show restraint.
Things picked up this week as far as using my fountain pens went. There was more writing during the course of the week in addition to me writing at least two pages every night since Monday. So it feels like I’m back in the habit of nightly writing.
It was a more eventful Fountain Pen Day than I figured. I’ve been trying to find a use my disposable Pilot Varsity Pens. They’re great little pens that never dry out. Friday afternoon usually includes a coffee shop visit to plan the following week. I decided to bring along a Varsity and left it behind on the table, clipped to a Fountain Pen Day bookmark. It probably ended in the trash but I’d like to think it hooked someone.
Then I fell into the shopping abyss. It started with Matt’s latest Currently Inked video. The material of that Visconti Divina is gorgeous (as is the grey version). I’ve seen that celluloid material on several pens and there’s always been something about the specific pen that kept me away. In this case the pen might be a little small for my taste since at it’s price point I’d want something that can bust into my rotation as a regular. If I held the pen in real life I suspect I’d like it, but I decided not to take the risk.
I was already shopping so I looked at other pens on my wish list. Thanks to extremely favorable prices (and conversion rate) in Europe along with a FPD sale I ended up buying one. It’s one I did see and touch at the Washington DC show but I passed at the time, mainly due to its price. I bought the pen in Europe so it will take some time to arrive, but more when the pen arrives.
I also bought a second pen. It’s a pen that’s been on my list for awhile although more to try the brand, since they make their own nibs. This one is from a US retailer so it should arrive in the net day or two.
I did notice that many European brands were cheaper from European retailers than elsewhere. That they’re cheaper isn’t news, even to me, and does make certain sense. But I was shocked to see the magnitude of the difference in some cases. While some of it may be due to the exchange rate a lot had to be generally lower prices (keep in mind most website prices include VAT of 21% which gets deducted for shipments leaving Europe). In the past the shipping cost, my impatience and potential variations in the exchange rate from my bank have made the cost calculations close and l generally only bought from Europe when the item wasn’t available in the US. This time around it was no contest. The Pen Economist touches on this general topic in multiple posts and it’s worth browsing the articles, but Convergence and Distribution is good place to start.
Since I did a lot of writing this week I did write two pens dry, the Pelikan M101N and the Pilot VP XXXF. While cleaning the Pilot nib unit with a bulb syringe the metal nib unit slipped from my fingers and shot into the metal sink below. I expected to see a mangled nib but it survived without any noticeable damage. I added the Newton Eastman with an Esterbrook 2314F nib and Montblanc Irish Green to the rotation. I can’t remember the last time I had only four fountain pens inked.
Today’s mail delivery arrived with three letters that just made it in, and I’ve picked the giveaway winner. Bruce R. from California won the TWSBI and ink samples. Bruce used a Pilot Metropolitan with a medium nib and Pilot Namiki Black ink. Bruce, you didn’t include your email so hopefully you see this, but since I do have your address the pen and ink will go out early next week. Congratulations.
There were 21 entries which I randomly put in a stack and then picked number 11 from random.org.