It’s been a tough week this week. Back to work, lots of time trying to look after my newborn, and I’m generally struggling for time and energy. Oh, and I managed to build my birthday present at last…
But plenty going on in the world of stationery as always!
Goodbye to Thomas Blanchard. I follow a little over a thousand people and brands on Instagram, and I’ve met only a handful face to face. Thomas wasn’t one of those people, but I was deeply saddened to see that he’d passed away. When you see someone’s handwriting and drawings every day, they start to feel like part of your life. He’ll be missed.
I have a new email address. Feel free to drop me a note at email@example.com, in addition to using the contact page, Instagram, comments, etc. I’m investigating a PO box for paper mail!
Pelikan hub emails have gone out. The Hubs are on Friday 20th September, and I’ll be joining a small crew in Fleet. It’ll be my first hub — I didn’t make it last year — and I’m excited. I already have a bottle of Star Ruby, but I could do with another!
The Pensharing service seems to be making a pivot that seems incredibly obvious, now that Jon has made it! He’s starting to offer rentals of new pens direct from manufacturers, initially Osprey Pens and Namisu. If you’re intrigued by one of these pens but don’t want to commit to a purchase without trying first, this is your answer. I hope many more brands work with Pensharing to offer potential customers a chance to try pens when they don’t live near a brick and mortar store.
On my doormat
One huge arrival this week: the Montblanc 149 Expression. For once, a modern flex pen that lives up to the hype. I was one of the first to receive this pen, and I feel lucky! I particularly love the little flex sticker in place of the usual M.
I also received the Left-handed Calligraphy book, which I hoped would help me get the most from the flex. Alas it doesn’t look quite what I expected. But it does have incredible 70s illustrations.
And last but not least, this week I have another Montblanc BMW 146 with medium nib back in my pen tray. A wonderful workhorse.
Only one post since Monday: I reviewed the Baron Fig Mastermind Week Pad. Check it out if you missed it.
At last I managed to track down a Pelikan M600 White Tortoise. This limited edition from several years back is the biggest that Pelikan did the beautiful yellow/green stripes in. It’ll be my first M600, and I’m interested to see whether it’s a more usable size for me than the M400/M200.
Remember the Sailor turquoise demo Pro Gear I mentioned in my last post? Well, I succumbed. Partly I was curious to try out WorldShopping, the middleman service integrated with the store’s shopping cart. So far it made buying the pen a doddle.
I’ve had my eye on Santini for a while. Alongside Aurora, they’re the only Italian pen maker than makes its own nibs. I got in touch with them last week and may have a couple of their new designs incoming for review, including the rather handsome Ancora-styled Toscana.
The Tactile Turn Gist was one of the smartest of the first wave of metal fountain pens a few years ago, with block-cut Acme threads and a long section. Will is sending me a white Delrin sample of the updated, slightly longer Gist v2 to review. Look out for a review in the future.
Diamine has launched an ink advent calendar, a product I tried and failed to find last year. I’ve placed my order already! Although do I really need a load of tiny bottles of shimmer ink? Hell no!
On my mind
Last week I moaned about Pelikan’s quality control. Then I ordered a couple of steel M200 nib units, which I’ve previously had a good experience of, and received two utter duds. One had a visibly off-centre slit, the other was scratchy as hell. Pelikan, what is going on?
My analogue addiction may be taking a new turn into typewriters. I’ve had an Olivetti Lettera 22 as a desk ornament for years, but I made the mistake of starting to watch the documentary American Typewriter and oh boy, I’ve fallen hard. Analogue writing plus retro engineering? How can I resist!
Watches. I’ve been hankering for another chrono to replace my Speedie. The Farer Cobb and Lander are top of my list: sapphire crystal, date window, automatic, 100m water resist, colourful designs and sensible dimensions. Any experiences to share?