State of the collection: March 2019

24 pens

It’s been a while. I’ve just sold a few pens, and my collection is feeling trim and tight. Here’s how it stands today. Not included are pens that I’ve cleaned up and put away for sale.

The Italians (and French)

Five Italian pens in my collection. I consider that a decent amount, but I’ve been corresponding with a few folks by email this week who really leave me for dust. It’s not just Penultimate Dave who can’t resist the Italians!


Visconti Van Gogh Wheatfields

I’m looking after this for my daughter. Since my Room in Arles cracked, and I put my Dr Gachet up for sale, this is our remaining Van Gogh. We’re planning a trip to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and this will definitely be coming with us.


Visconti London Fog

I consider the London Fog an old friend at this point, although in the last few weeks — with new arrivals and travel — it’s not been getting much use. I hope to set that straight.


Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel Age

The black beauty is inked with KWZ Azure #5 and it’s seen a decent amount of use as a note-taker. Loving it.


Aurora Optima Flex

Still inked with Montblanc Encre du Desert, which shows how little I’ve been using it. Some micro-cracks have appeared on the cap — I saw someone on Instagram who had the same issue. Since I’ve babied this pen, I am a little annoyed at Aurora. I’m very attracted by the 88 Nettuno, but I don’t think I’ll be buying another Aurora just yet.


Scribo Write Here

I emptied the Scribo out in Washington so I didn’t have to worry about keeping lots of pens upright on my flights back. I haven’t reinked it yet.


Montegrappa Extra The Sea

I ran the Extra dry this week and reinked it with Edelstein Topaz — something bright and breezy. I’ve been contemplating getting another Montegrappa. There’s something about them.


Oldwin Rouge Sang Pareil

I used the Oldwin a fair bit while in Washington, but only a little since I’ve been back. Still inked with Montblanc BMW Blue, which I love — I’ll be sad when I have to reink it with one of my chosen dozen for 2019.


Montblanc and Germany

Missing from this shot are my two other Montblancs, the Geometry LeGrand and Petit Prince LeGrand, both still out with Montblanc for nib replacements. Can’t wait to have them back! That’ll bring my Montblanc total to seven. But, in case you missed it, I’m planning a “catch and release” on this new-to-me Writer’s Edition Shaw. If you’re interested, contact me.


Montblanc Rouge et Noir

Inked with Ink of Witch, the Rouge et Noir is my to-do list pen. I’m still really enjoying it and use it nearly every day.


Montblanc 146 BMW

I’ve got this inked with SBRE Brown, which I’m planning as my first substitute in my 12 inks for 2019. The 146 is a great workhorse pen. I’m working up to gifting it to my brother to accompany his 149. That’s the kind of guy I am.


Montblanc 149 Platinum

The 149, still inked with Homer Greek Blue, has largely sat idle for the last few weeks. I feel bad about that.


Montblanc Shaw

Aha, a new pen. The Shaw is an LE from 2008 and I snagged this from a collector on eBay. It’s beautiful, it has an ink window, the medium nib writes just as well as every other modern Montblanc medium, and aside from a slightly stiff piston it is in perfect condition. And yet something about it leaves me cold. Hence: for sale.


Montblanc 1912

Oh, doing this SotC is making me feel bad. I’ve not given much writing time to the 1912, either. Maybe for next week I’ll have a Montblanc-only loadout?


Lamy 2000

Dear old friend, sat unused. I’m coming to realise that perhaps 24 pens is too many without a formal rotation system…


Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Pernambucco

I gave the Classic a spin this week, and enjoyed its precise feel. I’m hoping to pick up a Macassar with the ruthenium trim for a steal at the pen show next weekend…

I’ve even been regretting selling the Intuition Platino Ebony to londonfountainpens. There’s something about Grafs that I really like.


Kaweco Art Sport Alabaster

After my mistaken purchase of the Coral Art Sport (for sale!), I’m feeling very lucky to have my Alabaster. For some reason I’m seeing more of the old Art Sports pop up for sale new in stores at the moment, and I’m trying to resist starting a little collection. Incidentally, did you see that Kaweco has replaced the Ice Sport with a range of frosted Sports? They look great.


Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl IB

In case you missed my last post, I’m back in love with the Ocean Swirl thanks to the IB nib.


Conid, Sheaffer and the rest

And this is where a lot of my time has been spent in the last couple of weeks!


Conid Regular Bulkfiller

I have a review of this in progress. Since it arrived at the start of this week it’s been in daily use, fitted with a fine gold nib and loaded with Tsuki-Yo. I wasn’t happy with the cursive italic steel nib that shipped with it (mainly because the slit was way off centre — typical Bock QC), and I emailed Conid yesterday to ask for a replacement.


Conid Kingsize

Yep, the good old Kingsize — it’s been getting a lot of use. Perfect pen.


Sheaffer Legacy Heritage brushed gold

I’m quietly coming around to loving these pens. They are solid, well-proportioned, and (now that I’ve fixed the abused nib on this one), wonderful writers. The inlaid nib is visually impressive, and yet there’s a nice easy-clean converter mechanism behind it, and my second-favourite snap cap design. I’ve got this inked with Edelstein Aquamarine and it’s helping me rediscover one of my oldest inks. Green and gold go so well together.


Sheaffer Legacy Heritage deepcut palladium

The one thing I don’t like about the Sheaffer: the nib unit never runs clear when I clean it. So I have it loaded with Montblanc James Dean Rebel Red to test out, but unfortunately it’s writing a little darker than expected because of whatever was in the pen before…


Karas Ink

At least 30% of my writing this week has been with this pen. Partly the novelty factor, partly rediscovering my juicy Ti EF nib and KWZ Azure #5, but I am really finding this fun and practical to write with. Only downsides? Slightly uncomfortable threads, and a cap that unscrews if you look at it the wrong way.


Desiderata Soubriquet cocobolo

I described this pen as a pen for the heart, not the head, and I still think that’s true. This week I’ve written with it a few times, and always enjoyed the experience. Less enjoyable is the untreated wooden section damp with ink every time I try to use it. I wonder if there’s a leak or crack inside?


Nakaya Decapod

Last but not least: my first Nakaya. The cursive italic is incredibly noisy, but writes a beautiful line. It’s inked with Robert Oster Bronze, as my brother had it, and the ink is a perfect match for the pen. I’m loving the design, and it’s much more comfortable in the hand than you would think, looking at it. This is not a quick note-taker by any means, but it’s lovely to journal with.


Saying my goodbyes

This week I was disciplined and said goodbye to a few pens: my Pineider, with its wonderful home-ground stub; the cheap and cheerful Karas Starliner XL; the Leonardo Momento Zero; and the Esterbrook Estie.

I’m at the point in my collection where every pen is a good one, even a great one. I very rarely buy pens that are either objectively bad or  subjectively not a good fit for me, but even though I write every day it’s simply not feasible for me to get a decent amount of use out of 20 pens, let alone 30 or 40.

Every one of the four pens I sold I liked, a lot. They look great, they write beautifully, and they brought something different to my collection. But I was strict, and passed the gift on.


6 thoughts on “State of the collection: March 2019

  1. It is really a pity that some of these resin caps for the Auroras tend to get micro cracks. Mine is an 88 and has cracked again after it has been repaired at the Aurora factory. Now I am a bit torn about sending it to Italy once more to get a repair. I am not sure it’s worth it, even though the Aurora service has been excellent every time so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure I could get it dealt with, but it seems like a problem inherent to manufacturing. With such a huge cap band, it’s certainly not stress from capping and uncapping. How long did the factory repair take with yours?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You might be right. In a strange way, it helps knowing that I am not the only one having this sort of trouble with an Aurora pen. It is one of my most ‘precious’ pens, and yet so fragile. What irks me a bit is that it has already been repaired for this very reason. All in all, including shipping, each repair took about 4 months.

        Liked by 1 person

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