It’s time for my obligatory year end post and this year I’ll pick my favorite fountain pen and fountain pen ink from among those that arrived in 2016. This is completely subjective and limited to fountain pens and ink that joined my accumulation in the past year.
I added nine pens to my accumulation in 2016. A tenth, the Edison Extended Mina group buy, came and went during the year. While a nice pen, it just didn’t connect with me. The remaining pens eligible for this selection, in the order they arrived:
- Lamy Safari Dark Lilac (M)
- Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen (M)
- Sheaffer Balance Oversize C.1934 (F)
- Ryan Krusac Legend (EF)
- Fisher of Pens Hermes (F)
- Pilot Vanishing Point Guilloche 2016 LE (M)
- Newton Pens Eastman (Esterbrook nibs)
- Aurora Optima Nero Perla (M)
- Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand (O.M.)
One thing I notice in the above list, which I wouldn’t have predicted when the year began, is that less than half the nibs are fine or thinner. I’ve been expanding my horizons.
The selection of my favorite pen really wasn’t any contest, the Newton Pens Eastman wins hands down. It has the twin advantages of being a custom pen built for my hand and aesthetics tastes, while being fitted for my collection of Esterbrook nibs.
You could say the Eastman has a unfair advantage. If I was to limit myself to the off the shelf pens the choice would get harder. The Sailor KOP has been inked nearly constantly since I got it. It’s had six different inks run through it during the last five months. The Montblanc Ultra Black has quickly become a favorite, with it’s oblique nib and an aesthetic I like. But it’s been in my hands barely a month, so I’m still probably affected by it’s new pen distortion field. Then there’s the Aurora Optima which like more than I expected.
Any one of those three pens could be my choice as second favorite of the year. But I have to go with the Sailor KOP since I’ve had it the longest and it’s stood the test of time. Plus, it’s the one I used most recently. I’d probably have picked one of the others if it had been the most recently used rather than the KOP.
The choice of my favorite ink is a bit easier. I didn’t keep good track of all the inks that were new this year, but my favorite does stand out. Paper Plume Burgundy is the clear winner. A I mention in the ink notes – while it’s not a color match to my favorite Montblanc Bordeaux, the ink properties remind do me of it. This is especially true in my fine & extra fine nibs.
I’ve liked two other inks and expect to use them more. But I’ve only recently loaded pens with them. Montblanc Lucky Orange may finally end my search for an orange ink, assuming it does as well in my thin nibs as other Montblanc inks. The second is P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta. It’s a color I really like that’s unique among my ink accumulation.
What were your favorite new fountain pens and ink of 2016?