I don’t need to tell you that we live in crazy times, but I’m trying to stay positive and look forward to the rest of the year. In this hobby, there are some really exciting new releases that I plan to buy, and I have a couple of other not-new pens on my wishlist, too.
A post I did last year about Montblanc’s new releases got a load of traffic. I could do the same this year: I’ve seen all the novelties.
Some, like the already-released Burgundy Little Prince, the Heritage Egyptology and even the Moctezuma pens, look interesting or downright pretty. Well done Montblanc.
Unfortunately, most of the rest of this year’s releases — just like Disney and Kipling last year — leave me cold and make me ask ‘what were they thinking?’
In particular, the Elvis pens look HORRIBLE. The pen looks like one of the naff knurled Boss pens, and the clip… well. The less said about that the better. The Hugo Writer’s Editions are… OK. Not my cup of tea. Distinctive, but overdone. The Zodiac is a bit meh.
But: there’s a new blue planet Starwalker range that looks lovely, fresh and cohesive.
My personal highlight though is the pair of new ‘curved nib’ calligraphy pens, the follow-up to last year’s lovely flex nibs. As per last year, there will be a black 149 with the special nib, and a more expensive 146-sized Solitaire.
I am genuinely intrigued to see what a true Montblanc take on an architect nib will be like, and I’m sure both pens will be great. I’m holding out for the Solitaire: in gradated burgundy, it looks incredible.
Lamy Dialog CC
I owned a Lamy Dialog for a while. Its retractable nib mechanism had German efficiency, the design was clean and unique, and of course the Z55 gold nib was incredible. BUT, in the end it was too big and long for me, and I sold it.
Now (well, in September), Lamy will be launching a smaller, or at least shorter, version of the Dialog, called the CC. It has a rollstop instead of a clip, and a flat back end, but in the end it is clearly Dialog DNA.
I am so, so getting one, even if it does look a little like a lipstick.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about Scribo recently. The more I use it, the more the 14k EF nib on my blue Scribo 3 impresses me, and frankly I want to support Scribo by buying another.
I apparently missed out on the Verde Prato, an interesting olive green pen with ruthenium trim (if you know of one in the EU for a decent price, please let me know). The Grigio edition is a little too translucent for me — I don’t want to see the ink in the section — and besides, I can’t find anywhere with the 14k EF listed. The two reds in the latest releases don’t much appeal, and Write Here is going with a purple for the next shop release (if I remember correctly): MOP1475 from the photo below, which I like but don’t love.
So I know I want another Scribo, but right now there’s no date on the Write Here pen and the other editions don’t appeal. What’s a guy to do?
Karas Ink v2
I thought for ages before buying a Karas Ink. It was a lovely pen but the threads were sharp and squeaky, and the cap kept coming unscrewed. I sold it.
Now Karas is ramping up to launch a V2, with apparently much improved closure, a less recessed nib, and new section shape. They’re piloting the design in a special ‘Pony Express’ edition in bronze.
I don’t like the way brass/bronze/copper smell, so I won’t be buying this one — but I’ll definitely be thinking about picking one up in aluminium or another material when it launches. From the photos, the threads look MUCH improved, and I really like the overall proportions. A winner for sure.
Nakaya Dorsal Fin v2
This is not a new pen, nor is it readily available, nor is it in my current price range. But everyone’s gotta have a true grail, right?
I did have a brief mental dalliance with the Aurora 100th anniversary pen, in red lacquer over guilloche, which is similarly pricey — but since I just sold two Auroras, maybe that wouldn’t be such a great idea. Even though it does look beautiful:
So my daydream will remain the Nakaya Dorsal.
My ideal spec I have nicked wholesale from Attila Sultis, whose pen collection and photography I deeply, deeply envy. His Dorsal is in the glorious green-brown Heki-Tamenuri, and unexpectedly he went for a ruthenium nib in EF.
I say unexpected, because I didn’t expect it, but actually it’s the perfect choice. The ruthenium brings an earthy darkness that matches the Urushi, and Platinum’s finer nibs are magical. I would have probably gone for a rhodium or two-tone medium, but his choice is better.
So: that’s my wishlist for the rest of 2020. What’s on yours?