This Just In: Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic Gemstone

Franklin Christoph Model 02 fountain pen in Gemstone acrylic
Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Intrinsic Gemstone

The Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic, in Gemstone acrylic came to my attention in a recent Franklin-Christoph email blast. I usually either just delete these marketing emails, or save them for when I want to catch up on what’s happening. I happened to open this one soon after it arrived. The photo was gorgeous and immediately caught my attention. I didn’t really read the email, just clicked through to the website and the pen. I knew I liked F-C pens and the Model 02 specifically, so I decided quickly, and didn’t take a day or two to consider it. It’s probably good that I didn’t wait since the pen is now sold out. I don’t pay too much attention to Franklin-Christoph these days, but my impression is that a lot of their pens are short runs of unique acrylics, which may or may not repeat. This is one reason I don’t pay too much attention to them, it’s exhausting trying to keep up.

It’s the green and red in the gemstone material that caught my eye. I’m not a fan of blue. While there are blue specks, it’s the least visible color. Or, my brain reflexively suppresses it. In any case, I wasn’t too concerned about the blue. I ordered the pen late Monday afternoon, and it was in my hands on Friday.

Unboxing and First Impressions

When I unboxed the fountain pen and opened the zipper pouch I was a little disappointed. The gemstone material didn’t “pop” like it did in the photos. I was in very subdued, indirect lighting. Under good photography lighting the material certainly does pop, so there was no misdirection. The acrylic also looks much brighter under my normal desk lighting. I’ve gotten past my initial disappointment and the first impression has worn off.

First Ink

Franklin Christoph Model 02 Gemstone fountain pen with pouch

The Model 02 comes with a pen pouch rather than the traditional clamshell or presentation box. While I probably won’t use the pouch a lot, it’s certainly more practical packaging than a box I’ll never use. It is all in a small cardboard box that provides protection and structure for shipping, so it’s not just the pouch. A converter is provided, along with one blue and one black cartridge.

So I removed the cartridge and flushed out the section with a bulb syringe. I returned the cartridge and left the pen in my Penwell while I cooked, ate, and cleaned up after supper. So, well over an hour. Still no ink could reach paper. The ink cartridge went into the garbage. The pen got another quick flush and I shook out the water into a cloth. Then the converter went on and I filled the pen with Waterman Intense Black. If the pen has any issue with Waterman ink it’s going back.

My disappointment grew as I tried to ink the pen. I like to avoid waste and use the included cartridge as the first ink. I picked the black cartridge as the first ink and popped it into the pen. I tried a couple Franklin-Christoph inks when they first introduced their own ink line, and I didn’t like them. Because of that I almost skipped the cartridges, and I should have. Even though the pen spent several hours nib down in my Penwell, and got some help from me, the ink never reached the business end of the nib.

I was very pleased when the Model 20 wrote perfectly with the first stroke. The extra-fine nib is nice and smooth, with a line that’s true to the nib size. The pen wouldn’t be going back.

Using the Model 20 Intrinsic

Franklin Christoph Model 02 Gemstone in a Penwell Traveller.

The pen can be capped/uncapped in less than one rotation, about 3/4 of a turn. The threads are at the bottom of the section, just above the nib. They are thick threads. At one time F-C called them block threads although I haven’t seen that term recently. They are a bit of a pain when I bottle fill with the converter attached. The ink gets into the threads and needs to be aggressively wiped off with a soft towel. My impression is more ink is wasted than in other pens, since the ink can’t be easily swiped back into the bottle, and the threads collect more ink than a flat section. With a typical section I usually “scrape” it along the bottle top to get some ink back into the bottle. I may be overestimating the lost ink (I’m not about to figure out a way to measure it), and in any case, it’s a small amount.

I still have the original Model 02 (rev 1) which has the traditional higher, and smaller threads. I prefer it’s design over this one, but I can see where the original’s threads would bother some people. The current Model 02 (rev 2) is slightly thicker, which is a point in its favor. Although, I don’t notice a difference when using the pens. Both versions are comfortable. My longest writing session with the new pen has been three 8.25″ x 11.75″ pages, and it was fatigue free. I expect to easily duplicate the 2+ hours sessions I have with the original Model 02.

The Model 02 can be eyedropper filled, although I don’t plan to do that. I don’t need a large capacity these days, and I like changing up my inks.

My only real complaint is the clip. It’s extremely tight. I can’t slip it over any of my pen case material. That’s not a huge issue since the clip fits inside the pen slot, and stays secure. I can slip it over a thin shirt pocket, but it’s a two-handed operation. The tight grip makes it extremely secure.

Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Intrinsic Gemstone

Wrapping Up

Franklin-Christoph says they tune and test the nibs on all the pens they sell. I can believe it. The extra-fine steel nib is a smooth and consistent writer. The Gemstone material, while subdued in indirect lighting, really sparkles when there’s any direct light hitting it. It doesn’t have the depth of my Kanilea Kona Cherry, but it is less than half the price. I can get lost staring into the Kona Cherry. That doesn’t happen with the Gemstone Model 20, but the Gemstone acrylic still makes me smile.

Despite the initial disappointments, I’m extremely happy with the Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Intrinsic with Gemstone material and an extra-fine nib. My Lamy Aion Dark Green has been my daily workhorse for a few weeks. Once the Aion goes dry (very soon) the Model 20 will take over and it will have a chance to show me what it can do. I’m looking forward to it.

Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Intrinsic Gemstone (EF)
Franklin-Christoph Model 20 Intrinsic Gemstone (EF)

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 25, 2021

Lamy Aion Dark Green with EF nib
The current favorite

My fountain pen usage was up a little this past week. A couple pens are actually almost empty. I’ve been journalling more consistently, about one A5 page every weekday, and another one for the weekend days. Plus drafts for a couple articles, along with copious notes.

Despite having a new fountain pen for the last week, my Lamy Aion remained the pen I picked up most often. The new F-C Model 20 may have put more ink on paper since I used it for several longer sessions.

Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic (EF) in Gemstone.
The wannabe favorite.

In a switch from past practice which had me using a different fountain pen in my journal each day. My Kanilea Kona Cherry has become my Journal Pen and lives in the journal. It has my favorite ink, Montblanc Bordeaux. This all combines as a great incentive to use the pen and to write in my journal.

I’ve been preparing for another pen sale, probably my last significant one for a while. I’m handling pen selection for this one differently than I have in the past. While targeting pens that have gone two years without use has worked in the past, there are limits to this method. Such as many pens being under 2 years old. I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt and frustration lately about not using my “favorites” or “expensive” pens enough. Two Friday’s ago I spread out all my fountain pens. I did miss a few, and I ignored vintage completely, but it was most of them. Then I started picking my favorites and figuring out how they fit into my typical usage. My informal goal was to reduce my accumulation by 50%.

Pens on review

I’m at the point now where if I pick up a pen to decide whether or not to keep it, I’m going to keep it. When I consider only that one pen I can find plenty of reasons to keep it, and very few reasons to sell it. Case in point: I inked up the Sailor Pro Gear Racing Green to do some writing samples, and to test it for the planned sale. I had already decided that the physical aspect of the pen didn’t suit me. By the time I was done I had talked myself into keeping the pen, ignoring the fact that the thin(ish) and light pen became uncomfortable after 10 or 15 minutes of writing. I really liked the nib and loved the color. But once I saw I had the exact same nib on a Realo, and the same model in a version with metal (making it heavier), it was easier to let go of the Racing Green Pro Gear.

To forestall any questions: While I’ve now selected all the pens for sale, I still need to do the photos and get things organized. These things always take me longer than I expect so I don’t want to give an eta. In the scope of life, selling the pens is a low priority. Plus, as a friend said, I’m putting it off because I really don’t want to sell them.

Housekeeping: I’ve changed this blog to lock comments after a post has been out for 6 months. While 99.9% of spam comments get blocked automatically, there’s hundreds of spam comments every week and it annoys me. I’ll shorten the lockout if the spam comments don’t drop to my satisfaction. The About page has a form that can always be used to contact me if you feel compelled to comment on a locked post.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Hail Mary by Andy Weir. So much better than his previous book; Artemis. A solid 5 out of 5 stars. If you like technology/science heavy Sci-fi you’ll like it. Like the Martian, man vs. science and an environment that wants to kill him, but it’s even better. Even the slightest detail could be a spoiler, so I’ll say no more.
Watched: Leverage:Redemption on IMDBtv. IMDBtv is Amazon’s “other” streaming service and this is their first original. All characters, except Timothy Hutton’s, return. Although, Aldis Hodge (Hardison) is just a recurring character due to a scheduling conflict with his other show. A couple new characters join the mix. Eight episodes are up now, with a total of 16 planned. It’s free, but with commercials in the stream. Maybe because the show was specific for IMDBtv, but the commercial breaks come at appropriate times, and not mid-sentence. Other annoyances remain; lots of repeated commercials which is annoying, and their commercial server sucks, a lot of problems when the commercials played (or didn’t play). The show itself streamed just fine. Recommended.

New Arrivals

  1. Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic Gemstone (EF). This just arrived, I’ll have my first impressions up later this week.


  1. Esterbrook (Kenro) OS Estie – Seaglass w/ Palladium trim. It’s backordered and not due until September.



Out of Rotation

  1. Sailor King of Pen, Black/Rhodium (M) ran low on Montblanc Psychedelic Purple and I decided to flush it it out. It’s under serious consideration for a sale since I’ve become even less enamored with bright ink on basic medium nibs. I pick the Oblique nib of the Royal Tangerine KOP over this one every time.
  2. Lamy Aion, Red (F) couldn’t hold a candle to its dark green sibling, so it was flushed to be put in the sale queue.
  3. Lamy Safari, USA Independence Day (Needlepoint) will also go on sale (with a different nib) so it was flushed out.

Into Rotation



I’m back to limiting myself to one link per site, so be sure to browse around these sites. Several had additional articles I enjoyed and would have been listed if this arbitrary rule didn’t exist.

My Ideal Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

July Greys — Mountain of Ink

What’s in the Bag; Back 2 the Office – The Poor Penman

Trash Print Making: Coffee Bags | Comfortable Shoes Studio

canetas e coisas: OPUS 88

Summer and I’m not dead yet | UK fountain pens

Inviting ink samples to the party — mnmlscholar

Mini Collections, Part II: All the Red Inks — The Gentleman Stationer

Fountain Pen Nib Options For Beginners – How To Choose Your New Nib – Fountain Pen Love

Pen and ink of the Week – July 18, 2021 -Conklin Nozac — Write Experience

Where I Write | From the Pen Cup

Fountain Pen Quest Sunday Links – July 18, 2021

Your Pen of Choice – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

State of the Art: Recycling in Printmaking | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Deck the page – Pam Alison Knits

Customizing Stationery: If Your Ideal Product Doesn’t Exist, Make It Yourself! — The Gentleman Stationer

A Brand New Swan SF1 – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Getting my own Planner Pad produced | All Things Stationery

The scholar is back … from stumbling onto stationery in San Diego — mnmlscholar

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 11, 2021

Photo of my current favorite fountain pen - Lamy Dark Green Aion (XF)
Lamy Dark Green Aion XF Nib uncapped

My fountain pen usage continues to be relatively low, mostly lists and notes. My journaling is also low, although I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing in it every night. So far I’ve succeeded in doing it one night in a row.

The Lamy Aion was easily my favorite pen of the past two weeks. The more I use it, the more I love it. The color has a lot to do with it, green being my favorite. Everything else is just right, the weight, the size, and the nib. The red Aion doesn’t even come close to evoking the same reaction from me. Part of that is the slightly wider fine nib, but it’s mostly the color. I do like the bright red, but it isn’t green. My main complaint is that I feel guilty for liking a sub $100 (sub $75 actually) so much more than other more expensive pens. It gives my Kanilea Kona Cherry a run for the money. Since I use the Aion so much more than the Kona Cherry I’d probably have to place the Aion above the Kona Cherry in my favorites list. Although, my tastes can change on a daily basis.

I’ve decided that to resolve the guilt I need to sell off some of the pricier pens, rather than not using the green Aion as much. So I’ve started going through my pens and trying to put together another batch for sale. My goal is to have a batch ready to go in two weeks. To be honest, I rarely meet these goals. I already reduced my unused pens a lot, so I’m really having to fight myself when deciding on the remaining pens.

Current Reads, Watches & Listens

Reading: Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard. I’m Elmore’d out, so it was a struggle getting through this book. I’ll give 3 out of 5 stars.

It was a struggle to get through that last book, and none of my library holds became available. Rather than pick a book I’m not already eager to read, I took a break from reading and hit up my video library for entertainment.

Watched: I watched the Ocean’s movies, starting with the Rat Pack version from 1960 and moving on to the three Steven Soderbergh directed movies. I’m a sucker for old movies, so the 1960 version is my favorite. While none will ever top my list of favorites, I find them all enjoyable, even after multiple re-watches.

Out of Rotation

  1. The Sheaffer 300 Matted Green (F) ran out of ink. Near the end a not insignificant amount of ink splashed into the inner cap. It’s still sitting in my cleaning queue. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why, but I found the pen just a little less enjoyable before. I used the same Sheaffer black ink, but it was just a little bit finickier. I didn’t feel as comfortable in my hand. In it’s defense, I used it more than any other of the pens I inked up in May. It’s the first one of that batch to run dry.


If you’re planning on buying a Nakaya with a music nib from you should listen to the Tokyo Inklings podcast first. Overcast website or app – link jumps to section in podcast. You may want to follow up with before placing an order.

Pen and Ink of the Week – July 4, 2021 – Platinum Kanazawa-Haku – The Moon and A Rabbit — Write Experience

Updating my top three pens for 2021 | UK fountain pens

Reddit r/fountainpens // Oddly satisfying. I really like the pen storage trays. (Product on Amazon) If my storage needs weren’t already met these would be under consideration.

Crónicas Estilográficas: Madrid vs. Tokyo (2021) // Pen shows are coming back. I found this comparison between Madrid and Tokyo shows interesting, and not what I would have guessed.

The Miami Pen Show is next weekend (July 16-18).

State of the Art: Return of the Mini Press | Comfortable Shoes Studio

Gourmet Pens: Handwriting with a Sailor Fountain Pen Concord Nib

Profolio Oasis Summit Notebook Review – Fountain Pen Love

canetas e coisas: LAMBITU

Considerations in Choosing a Store-Exclusive Pen — The Gentleman Stationer

England v Italy | dapprman

SGFA Centenary Exhibition Unlocked – Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Cross Bailey Light fountain pen: an update. | Fountain pen blog

Sunday Links – July 4, 2021

Two Retro 51 pens themed for summer

As mentioned last week, I switched to a summer schedule where it will be a links-only post every other week. This week it’s links-only.

And happy 4th of July to US readers.

Travelling with ink: Blackwood Forest | Fountain pen blog

Travels with pens (and some new arrivals) | UK fountain pens

Pat Perry’s Sketchbooks – Notebook Stories

Gravitas Skittle Polished | dapprman

Crónicas Estilográficas: On Ban-ei Nibs (II). 50, 60 & GK

Goodwriterspens’s Blog – Fountain Pen Obsession

Haiku and Aurora Black | Peaceable Writer

Another Black Pen – Goodwriterspens’s Blog

Pen and ink of the Week – June 28, 2021 – Sheaffer Taranis — Write Experience

A currently inked for poolside journaling — mnmlscholar

Creeping in – Pam Alison Knits

Big Week! – Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Early thoughts on the Diplomat Traveller fountain pen. | Fountain pen blog

Crónicas Estilográficas: On Ban-ei Nibs (III). Family Portrait

canetas e coisas: MOONMAN

Inside Stationery (Pt. 04): Beate Mangrig – Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter – Scrively – note taking & writing

Discord At The Factory: All Is Not Well At Pelikan’s Peine-Vöhrum Plant « The Pelikan’s Perch