The UKFP holiday gift guide 2018

What do you get for the fountain pen lover who has everything? It can be tricky.

Your first thought might be… well, a pen. But if they’re a hobbyist, they’re probably past the 20-quid Parkers and Lamys from your local Rymans, Smiths or Paperchase. And you probably don’t want to spend 500 quid buying them the pen they actually do want (even if you know what it is).

What about ink? Good idea. Some of them (such as Montblanc or Graf) come in beautiful boxes, and who doesn’t need more ink? But how do you pick from the millions of inks out there when colour is such a personal choice? If you’re lucky enough to live in the US (and what are you doing on UK Fountain Pens?!) perhaps an ink sample subscription would be good… but I don’t know of any in the UK.

Hmmm. A conundrum for sure. Let’s think outside the box.

I suggested a few oft-overlooked essentials in my last gift guide, from glass pens to blotting paper. Everything on that list is most definitely still valid, but here are seven more ideas fresh for the holiday season in 2018.

1. Penwell pen stand

The Penwell by Good Made Better is a simple idea: a grippy home for your pen cap that sticks to your desk with micro-suction and replicates the desk pen of old.

I have one (in walnut), and it doesn’t grip very well to my wooden desk, but the idea is charming. The act of using a fountain pen is inherently ceremonial and archaic, and the Penwell plays to that.

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2. Off-Lines desk pad

I reviewed the Off-Lines some time ago and it is still in daily use. I’ve probably gone through about 500 sheets. In walnut it’s the perfect companion for the Penwell.

3. GLP The Author notebook

Would you believe this is my most popular review in 2018? And with good reason. The Author brings Tomoe River paper to Amazon and to your pen friend’s bag in the perfect form factor. You can thank me later.


4. Montblanc nib cleaners

OK, I admit this is pure decadence, especially if you’re used to using a napkin or bit of kitchen roll to wipe off your nibs. But these little beauties make wiping off your nibs after a fill a clean and demure affair. I like the retro typography on the packaging, too.

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5. Esplanade tweed journal cover

I’ve had more questions on Instagram about my journal covers than anything else. Do yourself a favour and get on over to Esplanade London on Etsy and order one for the A5 or A6 lover in your life, in whatever their favourite colour is.

6. Galen Writing Box

It’s back and better than ever. If you have 125 quid to spend on your dearest pen lover, this is the item to have.

7. Nock Sinclair

I remain convinced that the Nock Sinclair is the single best way to carry pens, whether you’re walking to the coffee shop, commuting to work, or heading to the airport. It holds three or five pens in style, along with one or two pocket notebooks in Field Notes size. It slips into a jacket pocket or a bag and it zips all the way round to keep pens safe. I use one every. single. day.

So, there you have it: seven off-the-wall gift ideas for the pen lover in your life. Did I miss anything?

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