State of the collection: July 2019


Another month, and it’s all change in the collection.


Sorry for the late-night photo…


Sailor 1911 Black Luster: The 1911 was a huge step up from the Pro Gear I had before. The extra length of the 1911 shape helped, and the metal section of the Black Luster not only looked great, but added valuable weight. But I still found it small, plasticky, and the nib just didn’t work for me. So out it went.

Aurora Optima Flex Grey: to Iguanasell’s credit, after more than 12 weeks waiting for a repair, they sent me a new Optima. I sold it immediately, for a huge loss.

Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel Age: I sold an old friend. I rationalised that I like the London Fog and Medici more, and I can’t justify having THREE Homo Sapiens in a 25-pen collection.

Montblanc 149 Platinum: Same justification here. I strive to make my collection interesting, with unusual nibs, pen designs and finishes. The wonderful 149 didn’t get as much use as it should.

In and out:

Lamy 2000 Stainless Steel: I ordered this to do a back to back comparison with my Makrolon 2000. I feared it would be heavy, and slippery. Actually, it was neither — it was great. And the fine nib I received was superb. But I decided that I had to limit myself to just one 2000, and the warm, light Makrolon version just pipped it.

Parker Duofold Centennial Big Red: The Big Red had gnawed at the back of my mind for ages, so I had to scratch the itch. It’s a very accomplished pen, with a classic design, pretty nib and much nicer writing experience than I feared. But it left me cold, and I’ve learned to recognise the signs.

Pilot 823 FA: In a fit of sanity I cancelled the order for my THIRD 823 before it even dispatched. I recognise the popularity and excellence of the 823 but it doesn’t fit me personally.


Conid Kingsize: It’s back! Oh how I missed it. Immediately reinked with my custom green ink and put back into rotation.

Aurora 88 Nettuno: In case you missed my recent review, the Nettuno has taken up a spot in the Italian section of my collection. It’s a looker, for sure.

Franklin-Christoph Model 02: I sold an 02 some time back, and missed it. I reordered the identical colour scheme. It’s such a comfortable pen, and the Masuyama fine cursive italic is an absolute blinder.

Geha 760 EF: I’m in the process of buying this from a friend. It is TINY, sub Pelikan M200 size, but it’s the second-sweetest EF nib I’ve ever used, and I couldn’t resist.


Montegrappa NeroUno Duetta: Impulse buy. But I like my Montegrappa Extra and I’m interested to broaden my experience.

Kaweco AL Sport Petrol: When I saw the exclusive colour I had to buy it. We’ll see how it looks in person when it arrives later in the year…

Pilot Custom Urushi Vermillion: The rave reviews I’ve seen about the #30 nib, and my positive experience with vermillion urushi on the Namiki Yukari Royale, pushed me over the edge. I’m wondering whether it will be a replacement for the 149.

Pilot Murex: I think this is hung up at customs as I write this. I’m really excited to see if it’s more usable than the Myu.

Esterbrook Estie Blueberry: Kenro are sending me a review sample of the latest Estie colour. Can’t wait to see it in person — the photos make it look great.



8 thoughts on “State of the collection: July 2019

  1. I’ve been wondering and meaning to ask this for a while of someone who reviews regularly:
    When a company sends you a pen for review, do they want it back? Or have you effectively received a complimentary pen?

    Either way, nice work if you can get it. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get the impression that each pen is purchased as part of a collection. The review shared on the site is something extra.


    • I’ve only received three fully complimentary pens: the last Estie, the Esterbrook Phaeton, and the Faber-Castell e-Motion. I’ve had the odd ink and notebook for free (nobody wants used ink or written-on paper back). I do my best to declare all that in the reviews, and I also have an ethics page in the top nav bar to explain what it means to me and whether you should be concerned about my impartiality when reviewing.

      Everything else I’ve reviewed I’ve bought for my own personal use, almost all at full retail price like any normal customer.

      I’ve written more than 250 posts on this blog, and each one has taken between two and six hours to write, photograph, edit and post. So I’d argue with your statement that this is “nice work if you can get it” — I’d earn more per hour stacking shelves at Tesco than I’ve gained in free pens :).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Indeed, your posts are among the most thorough and thoughtful on pens and pen paraphernalia anywhere. The effort that goes into them is obvious and I have no doubt your readers appreciate it. I certainly do.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log -July 14, 2019 | Fountain Pen Quest

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