Magnificent seven: Black Friday edition

I swore to myself: no new pens before Christmas. But (predictably) I failed. The Black Friday discounts got the better of me. I’m undecided how I feel about this ultimately consumerist holiday, and what it means for the small retailers and brands that I try to support. But my actions speak louder than my words.

I finally ordered a Karas Ink, first of all. After agonising over the colour I settled on orange, and plumped for a gold nib, too. And because I’d been missing the Starliner since my review, I ordered one of those, too.

I found a fabulous deal on a Graf Guilloche, also in orange — more on that below.

And I finally scratched the itch for the Aurora Talentum Black Ops, buying at full price from Iguanasell — for about the same price as the Black Friday prices in the US. Go figure. I settled for the Italic nib, but I’m wondering if it will be too broad.

One pen arrived today that wasn’t a Black Friday purchase. It had been on back-order: the Visconti Van Gogh Dr Gachet. The pictures online make it look dark and dramatic, with stunning streaks of white and blue looking almost like a nebula. The reality is a lot more “muddy puddle”, with dark greens, blues and greys swirled together.


Not quite the visual “wow” I got from my Room in Arles. But look closely and there are moments of beauty.


But I’m very pleased to report that the new style Visconti steel medium nib writes fabulously straight out of the box.

The same can’t be said of the Graf Guilloche, which also arrived today (very speedy service from Write Here). The nib was incredibly out of alignment, possibly even sprung. I didn’t even attempt to ink it before firing off an email asking for a replacement. Oh well.


But anyway, on to this week’s pen selection. I’m still really enjoying the discipline of picking just seven pens for the week, and it’s helping me understand and appreciate my collection more.


Visconti Dr Gachet

The Visconti Van Gogh shipped without a converter (sigh) so I popped in the black cartridge that came with it. I rarely use pure black, and I quite enjoy it as an occasional refresher. This is pen eight in the list — new pen day is a bonus!

Desiderata Soubriquet

I hope the incoming Talentum’s italic is this kind of width. The Soubriquet remains an eyecatching pen and a beautiful writer, and the Birmingham ink here has become one of my favourites.

Montegrappa Extra

Still loving this deliciously smooth writer. Although perhaps I shouldn’t have chosen so many blue blacks, looking at the list!

Graf Classic

This little pen has wormed its way into my top five for sure. The build quality is just incredible. And I still love looking at this curious green blue-black, no matter how smudgy it is.

Pelikan Ocean Swirl

This has been out of my rotation for far too long. Such a gorgeous pen, and hell, another blue-black!

Visconti London Fog

I’m glad to put the London Fog back in my pen case. It truly lays a wonderful line, and the bright Topaz ink is just what I need on a grey winter’s day. Incidentally, I received a second bottle of Topaz in the post this week from a fellow member of the community, in thanks for advice I’d given. People are great sometimes.

Pilot 823

Still getting there with the 823. It has a lot of competition. But I wanted another bright colour in the mix this week, and orange fit the bill.

Montblanc 1912

Last but not least. With the beautiful moondust inside, this is a classy and beautiful writer.




4 thoughts on “Magnificent seven: Black Friday edition

  1. That is such a pretty line up! I’ve been lurking on your blog for a few weeks but I’ve been reading through your archive the last 3 days. Very amusing seeing your progress from the various styles of pens and brands, I was shocked when you sold the Pilot 912 FA after singing it’s praises for so long.

    I found fountain pens a few months ago while researching notebooks, looking into newly discovered Leuchtturms and Rhodias the reviews inevitably got me looking at the fountain pens they were being tested with. An extra fine platinum preppy wrote so well I got a TWSBI Eco fine and that was me. I’ve now got a Lamy 2000 M, a Kaweco Liliput Brass Wave EF and a 3776 SF Bourgogne coming for Christmas. Going to get an XXF nib for the Liliput from thanks to your reviews since the EF line is huge compared to the Preppy which I loved.

    Too big a wish list now and all expensive pens. 😦 Carry on making me want the shiny things, you do it very well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Martin! I still miss the 912… probably the most of any pen I’ve sold. But (and it may not look like it) I do try to be ruthless and stop my collection ballooning to ridiculous proportions. You’re right though, I have meandered through a lot of styles and brands, from Japanese EF through German black pens to the vibrant Italians. It’s been a fun ride!

      You’ve got an excellent little lineup there. The Eco is my budget pick, the 2000 is perhaps my step-up pick, and the 3776 is fantastic value. But do keep working through that wish list! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • A 3776 SF is definitely next on my wish list. But my rate of purchase is ever so slightly shy of yours 😉 As in – I buy one pen a year by saving up Christmas and birthday money 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The magnificent seven: week four | UK fountain pens

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