Quick review: Franklin-Christoph Model 20 in vintage green with Masuyama Needlepoint

This is not my first Franklin-Christoph and I doubt it will be my last.

My favourite model for sheer comfort is the 02, but I thought I’d give the Model 20 a try and I’m glad I did.

The 20 is a simple acrylic pen that takes a #6 JoWo nib. Its standout feature is an ingenious push-pull cap that seats purely with friction. Capping feels remarkably precise and secure and durable, as well as easy and quick. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I do.

The design is super minimal, especially since I opted for no clip, with only a few concentric engraved bands around the ends and the section join to add visual interest.

The ends are bevelled. The overall finish is very polished, literally and figuratively. As usual, the F-C branding is extremely unobtrusive, simple engraving around the cap and logo on the end.

Comfort is outstanding. The cap seats without threads, and there’s no step down from barrel to section. The section itself is concave and I found it great to hold.

All F-C pens are very light, so balance is hardly a factor, but the 20 (while not huge) is a good length and size. Seen below against a Pelikan M1005 and Montegrappa Extra 1930, two large pens. The 20 posts if that matters to you.

Franklin-Christoph offer a range of weird and wonderful materials on rotation, but I had this Vintage Green on my list for years. I love the way it ranges from an almost olive green to deep forest green depending on the thickness of the material. It’s definitely translucent, but not enough to worry about the insides looking messy.

The last thing to talk about is the nib. It’s a #6 but rather recessed into the section, which is aesthetically interesting but does lead to ink getting trapped.

It’s a JoWo unit and I took advantage of a $25 premium to get a Masuyama grind on the nib. His italics are some of my favourites. This time I went with a needlepoint, giving my usual instruction to make it as wet and smooth as possible. It did indeed arrive smooth and gloriously fine, but it would only write with pressure. There was zero tine gap and even my thinnest shim would only fit with effort.

I took the nib and feed out of the unit, shimmed the tines and generally fettled it and now it’s writing really well (although more of an EF than a needlepoint, which I am absolutely fine with).

All F-Cs are reasonably priced. I think this was $175 plus the nib charge, and it whisked its way to me in 48 hours via complementary FedEx, well packaged and stored in a neat fabric zip-up one-pen case. Altogether a fabulous customer service experience.

The Model 20 is very much in my ‘tool’ category of pens: it’s simple to use and clean, and a fuss-free precise note-taker. Sometimes you need a pen that you never have to think about. I can highly recommend it.

4 thoughts on “Quick review: Franklin-Christoph Model 20 in vintage green with Masuyama Needlepoint

  1. Thanks for the review. Funnily enough I have 5 Franklin-Christophs and the only one I *don’t* like is the 20, mostly because of the cap. I was forever either not pushing it hard enough so it would fall off or pushing it too hard so I couldn’t remove it. All my subsequent F-Cs have been screw-top. Their nibs are amazing.


  2. Thanks for a great review. I’ve had this exact same combo on my wish list for a couple of years and not yet pulled the trigger. This was really helpful and the pictures beautiful, I might just have to bump it to the top of my list!


  3. Pingback: A Dozen Distractions From The Pen World And Beyond | An Inkophile's Blog

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