These pens have been sold.
Holy Cow! It’s been nearly three years since I update my Favorite 5 Modern Fountain Pens list. It’s time to update the list. There are really only two qualifications for a pen to be eligible for the list. First, it must have been manufactured since I was born (my definition of modern. Second, it must have been used since in the last year. Typically, rule #2 is that it must have been used since the list was last updated, but that was too long in this case. “Favorite” is totally subjective and does not equate to “best” or “best value.”
The first three pens on the list were easy choices. The last two were picked from numerous contenders.
The Aspen returns to the list and at the top. The only reason it dropped off was the “must have used” rule. Its fragility keeps it from being used more often. It’s siblings, the Jade Green and the Crimson Glow could also be on this list, but I decided to limit myself to just one. The Aspen is my personal favorite among the three. I recently did a long term review of the Balance IIs.
The Eastman is a custom pen so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it made the list. It fits my hand perfectly and can use any of my Esterbrook nibs. I tend to pick bright inks because I like the look in the clear body. The pen is typically desk-bound. All that ink in the barrel tends to splatter ink in the cap when it’s bounced around. (Review)
This pen has been inked 14 times in 2 1/2 years, which is a lot for me. I shouldn’t even have this pen (and wouldn’t if I didn’t handle it at a pen show). The pen is too expensive, and the nib is wider than my personal preference. Yet, I wouldn’t touch the nib, and the pen is constantly inked up and used.
Another custom pen. It was actually my first custom pen. It’s huge which means it’s desk-bound. I recently re-arranged my desk to make it more analog friendly. This means that my two desk pens on this list are getting more use.
It took me a while to realize that this pen belonged on the list. When it went dry, I immediately inked it up. I sold off another metal Sport simply because I realized I’d never pick it over this pen. (Review). While I do love the look of this pen and it’s an excellent writer, it makes this list mainly because of its utility. It may not get used a lot, but it’s inked up far more than any other pen, and I would regret its loss.
Notably absent from this list are my Visconti Homo Sapien, Pelikan M805 Stresemann, and Montblanc Ultra Black LeGrand. All three are “favorites” and met the requirements for inclusion. Yet, I decided that in the final analysis they just didn’t quite make it. I am fickle so they may be on a future list. Maybe I’ve become bored with them? They certainly aren’t among the pens that will be sold off as I trim my accumulation.
Whenever I go through my pens for an article like this, I always stumble upon a pen where I shocked at how long it’s been unused. It was no different this time. The Pilot Custom 823 seemed to be an obvious choice for inclusion, but it was last used in 2017, so it didn’t qualify, I put it aside to be inked as soon as possible.
I’m also a little conflicted in that only two of these pens are currently available for retail purchase and, one of those has a hefty price tag (Nearly equal to the combined cost of the other four pens.). But this is an entirely subjective favorites list, so it reflects what my current pen tastes are. I’m also delighted with my current accumulation, which is reflected in an empty pen “want list” and the lack of any new pens in the last year and a half. (Except a couple TWSBI Go’s)
During the past week, I made my desk more analog friendly. It used to have my laptop computer, wired to a large monitor, external keyboard and an external drive. Plus, my iPad was there too, on a stand. All that remains is the iPad on the stand and the keyboard which is now attached to the iPad. That leaves plenty of room for writing and spreading out. Assuming I can keep the clutter off my desk. It’s only been a few days, yet my desk pens are getting a lot more use.
I wrote the Kaweco Brass Sport dry this past week but immediately reloaded it with another cartridge of Montblanc Petite Prince Red Fox. Another pen went dry this past week, the Platinum 3776 Ribbed, with its UEF nib. I can’t say I wrote it dry because it seemed to go dry more through evaporation than use. I immediately returned it to active use, but this time with a Platinum Black ink cartridge this time.
On Wednesdays in March I’ve been posting Goodbye articles about pens that I sold off the week before. Usually, it’s been a pen that I felt I should like, or did like at one time, but its history of non-use made it evident that it wouldn’t find a place in my regular rotation. I had to force the logical side of my brain to take control and let the pen go..
No such problem with the four pens sold last week. The three Franklin-Christophs were long-unused, but unlike some other Franklin-Christophe I didn’t feel the slightest urge to ink them up. The same with the Kaweco Sport, although that was more because it was one of three Sports, and I liked the other two more.
The three F-C pens had a combined 16 1/2 years in my accumulation, yet had only been used a total of 8 times. It’s no surprise that most of those uses were when the pens were new(ish).
I had two Model 20 pens and decided to keep one. But that was mainly because it has a history of some leaking, I didn’t want to troubleshoot the leaks, or use the pen enough to confirm it no longer leaked, so it stayed, and the other one went. I certainly don’t need both pens.
The Model 19 (my review)was another failed attempt at exploring nibs outside my comfort zone. The nib was too wide to get any regular use by me. While a new nib or a nib grind was certainly an option, the pen didn’t excite me.
The Model 29 had the distinction of kicking off what became a F-C addiction. Unfortunately, the newer Franklin-Christoph pens pushed it far out of the rotation.
While it was easy to say goodbye to these three Franklin-Christoph pens, I have a bunch of Model 02 and Model 03 pens (they are similar). I inked one up to test it, before selling, and decided I didn’t want to sell it. Eventually I sell one or two of them, but for now, I can’t decide which pens or nibs to keep. For now, I’ll put off the decision until I’ve further reduced my fountain pens and figure out which on fits into the reduced accumulation.
This week it’s a couple long unused Platinum 3776 fountain pens up for sale. The photos in this post and the writing samples are all current. Feel free to contact me with any questions, although the first firm “I want it” gets the pen.
If you’re interested, reach me using [ray [@] fpquest.com] or contact form here.
U.S. shipping is $7,
although free if you buy both pens at the same time. International shipping is available but very expensive. You can contact me for the cost, but even the low cost countries start above $27.
Click any image for full-size photo. All writing samples and photos in this post are recent.
Excellent condition. No box or paperwork. Includes a converter.
Excellent condition. This is a thin Japanese extra fine nib that I find to be a little dry. Includes a converter.
Both pens are being sold because I haven’t used them in years.
If you’re interested you can reach me using [ray [@] fpquest.com] or the contact form here.