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.
Pen Shows & Clubs
There’s only one U.S. show left this year – Columbus, OH from November 10th through the 13th.
The Madrid Pen is running November 18th through the 20th: Gourmet Pens: Madrid Pen Show 2016
Scriptus 2016 Re-Cap – Wonder Pens // Nice vendor perspective of the Toronto pen show
Fountain Pen Day
As expected, there were a lot of fountain pen day posts: