This Just In: Franklin-Christoph Model 25 Eclipse

The Franklin-Christoph Model 25 Eclipse is my third Franklin-Christoph pen. I added this pen to my accumulation for several reasons. I like the F-C pens I already have. They’ve been great writers with unique designs I like at a fair price. This pens unique design continues that tradition. They also have a wide range of nibs for their pens and I want to expand my nib collection. While there are other ways of doing this why not add a pen at the same time?

The pen is made of acrylic and rhodium plated brass. It’s got a small threaded cap that covers the partially hooded nib. The cap is designed to “post” under the clip. I picked a medium (.9mm) stub nib for this pen. The pen is a cartridge/convertor.

The hooded nib on the F-C Model 25 Eclipse
The hooded nib

The pen is designed to be carried nib down, making it unique among the pens in my accumulation. Since ink in the cap is such an obvious concern, I suspect F-C has considered that and cap ink will be no worse than my other pens.

The first fill for this pen was Aurora Black My daily carry lacked a black ink and I like having a black ink in the mix. Aurora Black is also an ink I’m familiar with and I wanted something familiar since this is a new nib style for me. Because of the hooded nib I filled the convertor directly from the bottle then put it in the pen.

I generally prefer bigger pens as daily writers which did make me hesitate on this pen. But after a brief try-out I find it comfortable to write with and don’t expect any problems using it  for longer writing sessions. The stub nib is nice and smooth.

I’m looking forward to using this pen.

This Week’s Ink – Sept. 9, 2012

Photo of this week's daily carry
This week’s daily carry

It’s another Sunday and time to pick some pens and ink for the week ahead.

There’s only 5 pens to start the week. Two of last week’s pens went dry and I decided to rotate them out rather than re-ink them. I’m expecting some new pens in the week ahead so will save the open slots for them.

So from left to right the pens are:

  1. Edison Pearl 2012 LEE is an ebonite pen with a fine steel nib The ink is J. Herbin Lie de The (Tea Brown). Both the pen and ink are the same as last week.
  2. Franklin-Christoph Model 29 Bellus with a fine steel nib. The ink is Rohrer & Klingner Schreibtinte (Blue-Schwarz). Both the pen and ink are holdovers from last week. I expect this will get more use this week and will probably be my daily writer at the office. I like the ink, the pen is taking some time to get used to as it’s  different than my typical pen in ways I didn’t think of when buying it.
  3. Edison Nouveau Premiere LE is another ebonite pen. It’s got a fine steel nib and Diamine Ancient Copper ink. Another holdover from last week. I like the pen and ink but don’t use a red ink for extended writing, just notations. So while it gets daily use, not much ink flows out the nib.
  4. Caran D Ache Ivanhoe is another holdover from last week. It has a fine 18kt gold, rhodium plated nib and is filled with J. Herbin Violette Pensee ink.
  5. Pilot Vanishing Point Charcoal Marble 2012 LE with a fine 18k gold, rhodium plated nib. It’s filled with Mont Blanc Racing Green ink. This replaces my Matte Black Vanishing Point as my pocket pen.

The Pilot Vanishing Point Matte Black got a cleaning and put on the shelf for the first time since I got it in March. Time to give another pen a chance. But I really like the pen and reviewed it last week.

The Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Desk Pen was my daily writer. I refilled it with my remaining sample of Robert Louis Stevenson and it’s almost empty. I haven’t put it on the shelf, but I’ll be keeping it home, in my desk. Appropriate for the name I guess. I like the pen, a lot, but it isn’t the best choice as a pen for me to use at work. I’ll cover that when I review it. Bit first I want to use different inks in it and try it on a variety of paper.

So no additions to this week’s pen carry, at least not until the new pens arrive.

September 2012 Ink Drop

This month’s ink drop from Goulet Pens arrived yesterday. Of the five inks I expect to try out three of them soon.

Diamine Apple Glory – I like green inks and this is a vibrant green ink that seems to match the color of my Lamy Safari Apple Green pen. Here’s a review on the Fountain Pen Network (FPN).

Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium – a vibrant, saturated blue ink. Blue inks don’t excite me very much but this one stood out thanks to the vibrancy in the pictures I’ve seen. Since it’s blue I probably wouldn’t have tried it out, but I’m happy to have a sample. A FPN review is here.

Noodler’s El Lawrence – I’m not sure what color this is, brown or green? or mud? But I like it. It will probably be the first of the batch that I try out. Here’s a FPN review.

The other two inks are scented inks, which doesn’t appeal to me. It depends whether or not I detect the scent when writing. De Atramentis Sandalwood is a green ink and De Atramentis Dianthus is a purple ink. While I oftern use purple ink for margin notations I’m not in the market for a new brand or shade.


Review: Pilot Vanishing Point “Matte Black”

Picture of my Pilot Vanishing Point Matte Black
Pilot Vanishing Point Matte Black

I’ve had the Pilot Vanishing Point Matte Black pen since late March and it’s been in my shirt pocket as a daily carry since then. I’m using a fine nib which is my preference for a every day writer.

Why I Bought It

It’s a Vanishing Point. It’s a deep black which makes it elegant in my book,

Where I Bought It

I purchased it from Richard Binder so the nib would be tested and adjusted (“binderized”) before delivery, ensuring a good writing experience out of the box.

How I Use It

Picture of the Pilot Vanishing Point Black Matte nib
Nib extended on the vanishing point

This pen demands black ink so that’s what I’ve given it. Vanishing Points have a notoriously small ink capacity and this one is no different. This advantage of this is the built in excuse to change inks frequently. But this pen is a daily writer so I wanted capacity, therefore ended up picking Pilot Black Ink cartridges as a standard ink for this pen. The 1 ml. cartridge capacity is larger than the available converters.

The cartridges are easy to store and they make refilling the pen in the office quick, easy, and safe. This has been a good combination, luckily I like the Pilot black ink.

This has become my daily “note taker”. I carry it from meeting to meeting and use it at my desk for quick notes. It’s also the pen most likely to be in my shirt pocket when I head out of the house. Other pens get used only if I want a different ink color or feel like a change of pens.

The Vanishing Point is the most practical pen I have so I always have at least one inked, and frequently more than one. Easy to use with one hand and no cap to worry about.

The Review

This review will be a little different than future reviews. The fountain pen geeks, Dan and Eric, did one of their “awesome reviews” of this pen. I can’t improve on their review and pretty much agree with it, so I’ll just add my own thoughts and comments.

I’m usually torn when it comes to custom packaging. It adds to the pen’s allure when it’s first unboxed.  But since it doesn’t make the pen a better writer I don’t like any cost it may add. The Matte Black’s “picture frame” packaging wins on both counts. It’s original but doesn’t seem like it was expensive to make.

I enjoy the experience of writing with this pen. The finish makes this pen more comfortable for me than the other Vanishing Points that I have. It’s not the same old metallic or acrylic feel. The size is right for me and I have no problem with the clip location.

The ability to swap nib units among Vanishing Points is a bonus, but I’ve stuck with the the “binderized” fine nib I received with the pen. The ability to swap the nib units is not one I’ve taken advantage,

The pen has been extremely durable. I don’t abuse the pen, but I don’t pamper it either. It’s rolled around my desk and my bag and it’s still scratch free and pristine. The nib is also durable. I had a tendency to fiddle with the pen and clicker. I broke that habit when I “clicked” on the extended nib rather than the clicker. The nib was unscathed, unlike my thumb. Although my thumb had recovered the next day. I didn’t actually draw blood.

Cleaning the Pen

I hate cleaning pens, so this is important to me. A complete cleaning of the Vanishing Point takes about 2 minutes and is a simple process. This is one more reason I like this pen.

Cleaning is simple. I remove the nib unit and remove the cartridge or converter. I rinse out the bottom barrel of the pen so any ink that splattered onto the trapdoor can be cleaned out. I give the nib unit a quick rinse under running water then I use a generic drugstore ear syringe to force water through the nib. The tapered syringe seals nicely against the nib unit allowing some nice pressure to force the water through the nib.. The syrings is relatively small so it takes a couple of flushes. Then I shake the nib unit into a paper towel and make sure no ink residue is on the paper towel. The Pilot ink flushes easily, some other inks take a couple more flushes but it’s never a pain.

I read about using car wax on the nub unit to prevent nib creep but the nib creep itself doesn’t bother me. The intent here being to prevent nib from getting on the trapdoor and fouling it. Flushing the pen this way has kept the trapdoor working fine in all my Vanishing Points so far.


Direct on view of the Pilot Vanishing Point with the nib extended
Direct view of the Vanishing Point

The Pilot Vanishing Point Matte Black is a unique combination of convenience, quality and good looks. I don’t think any other pen in my accumulation combines all three of these traits so well.

The best endorsement I can give it is that it’s been inked and used consistently since I received it over 5 months ago. But in the interest of full disclosure – I’ll be giving the pen a couple weeks off so I can give another pen some use.