State of the collection: June 2020

Pens!

Fresh off my last post about small but perfectly formed collections, here’s the latest on mine. It’s grown, just a little bit.

What’s in since the last SotC:

Pilot Capless LS. I listed this for sale soon after it arrived, because while it’s by far my favourite Vanishing Point, I didn’t fall in love with it. But I brought it back into my pen tray and I’ve been using it quite a bit. It’s a great little note-taker. Well, not so little.

Scribo Feel Verde Prato. My second Scribo. I went for the 14k EF nib that I love so much on my Scribo 3, so I had to order from Scribe in the Philippines to find it. Alas out of the box this nib was much drier and scratchier, and I had to tune it to get it the way I like it.

Bungubox Fujiyama Blue 2020. This was an expensive indulgence given that it’s basically a Pro Gear, but it’s sentimental to me as a reminder of my visit to Bungubox on my trip to Tokyo a year ago. And it’s so pretty, with my first ever bit of raden! I was kinda hoping not to like it so I could sell it and recoup the huge cost, but actually I love it. The metal section adds weight and agility, and the EF nib is one of the best I’ve used.

Still incoming:

Visconti Midnight in Florence. Oh boy, when will I learn? La Couronne du Comte had a discount code, this Visconti was marked ‘sale, last one!’, so I bought it.

Turns out I’d fallen for LCDC’s usual scam. It was not their last one, in fact they didn’t have it in stock at all. But apparently their distributor has loads of this model, hence the sale. They ordered it, I chased every couple of days, feeling irritated.

So here I am 15 days later and apparently DHL will pick it up Monday and I should have it by the end of next week. Sheesh.

Karas Ink Pony Express. I wasn’t really intending to order this pen. But it piqued my curiosity immensely. I mostly want to know if it, as the first release of the ‘Ink v2’, fixes the things that bothered me about the first version: the cap that comes loose, the sharp threads, the slightly weird section. This upgrade really does sound promising. And although I dislike brass, this version is bronze. I’ve never had a bronze pen. I’m curious.

Tactile Turn Side Click. Yep, it’s not a fountain pen. But I am a big supporter of Tactile Turn and Will’s commitment to innovation and product quality. I love his machining. This new design looks spectacular and I sprung for it in zirconium. Again, my first pen in this material so I’m really curious.

Izods Nettuno. Roy offered me one of the new limited edition Nettunos. It looked great. I said yes. What can I say?

Out:

Omas Milord and Paragon Einaudi. There’s a story here. When I first discovered that Omas did their first and last artist’s edition about Ludovico Einaudi, I started hunting for one, and I specifically looked for the larger Paragon version, which is a piston filler. But I couldn’t find one, and so I bought the only Milord on sale, in Germany. It turned out lovely, actually, and I really enjoyed owning it. The Milord is a comfortable writer and the nib was good.

Then I found a Paragon for sale on eBay, again from Germany. I bought it, and I had planned to try both the Paragon and Milord side by side and see which one spoke to me the most, and sell the other. But it arrived with the cap split in half. I sent it back for a refund.

That left me looking at the Milord and I decided that I was actually happy to sell it too. The sentimental attachment to Einaudi and the great nib weren’t enough to make me love the pen long term. So I sold it too.

Montblanc 1912. You could call this an amicable breakup. The Montblanc 1912 is still one of my all-time favourite pens. I love its style, its engineering, and its comfort and writing ability. I just didn’t use it very much, mainly I think due to the delay the retracting mechanism introduces to the uncapping process. A pen like this deserves to be used, so I sold it.

Platinum 3776 UEF. The Platinum UEF is in my opinion the best needlepoint nib you can buy. But the 3776 is to me a small pen and its threads and barrel step are not that comfortable. With the Model 20 needlepoint and Bungubox EF in my arsenal, I wasn’t sure I needed this pen. So goodbye it was.

Aurora 88 Nettuno. This isn’t sold yet, but it is on loan to a friend. I’m a bit confused about my feelings here. I think the Nettuno is an absolutely stunning pen. It ticks every box on practicality, from ink window to quick cap action. It has a loooong section and exquisite balance, so it’s really comfortable. And mine has a wet, smooth italic that makes my handwriting look as good as it ever does. But perhaps I’m just bored of it, because I rarely write with it and, examining my own feelings, I’m happy to sell it. Go figure.

Delta Dolce Vita. This played out a little like the Aurora. It really is a tremendous pen, comfortable, pretty, and practical. The nib was sublime. But I didn’t much want to use it or get much pleasure from it. So I sold it, at a loss.

I still have a few pens for sale if you’re interested!

And the net result

  • Montblanc Agatha Christie, Kobe #51 Kano-Cho
  • Montblanc 149 GT EF, Bungubox Norwegian Wood
  • Montblanc Homer, Diamine Blood Orange
  • Montblanc Geometry, Montblanc Pierced Sky
  • Montblanc Martele, Montblanc Shakespeare Velvet Red
  • Lamy 2000 Bauhaus Blue, Kobe #73
  • Lamy 2000 Black Amber, Berlin #1 Black Label
  • Pelikan M1005 Stresemann, Montblanc Lavender Purple
  • Visconti London Fog, Sailor Studio 123
  • Scribo 3, Montblanc Lapis Lazuli
  • Scribo Feel Verde Prato, R&K Alt-Goldgrun
  • ASC Gladiatore Medio Arco Bronze, Montblanc Maya Blue
  • Montegrappa Extra 1930 Colori del Mare The Sea, Artisan Pastellier Gris Payne
  • Namiki Yukari Royale Urushi 20 Vermillion, Birmingham Smithfield St Bridge Truss Blue
  • Pilot 823 Smoke FA, KWZ Grey Plum
  • Pilot Capless LS, Anderillium Colossal Squid Dark
  • Pilot Murex, Namiki Blue Black
  • Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black, Vinta La Union
  • Bungubox Fujiyama Blue 2020, Bungubox June Bride Something Blue
  • Nakaya 17mm Cigar Toki-Tamenuri, KWZ Newky Brown
  • Desiderata Soubriquet Cocobolo, Berlin #1 Black Label
  • Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu
  • Carolina Charleston Primary Manipulation, Herbin Bleu Pervenche

Currently inked

Paper

I don’t normally talk about the paper and ink legs of the writing trifecta, but a quick mention this month. I am still buying more paper than I’m using: this month I got the latest Pebble Tomoe River notebooks, the A5 sakura and pocket Midnight, as well as more Glacier.

They’re just so pretty. At work I’m coming to the end of a Stalogy B5 notebook. Who knows what I’ll pick next.

Ink

On the ink front I’m feeling very proud of myself at the moment. I just cut my collection down by a third, selling 35 bottles and leaving me with about 77, plus cartridges. Getting rid of all the boxes means it’ll all just fit in a Really Useful Box. To be honest this is a much more reasonable number of inks for a guy to have, with much less duplication — although I did get rid of some inks I really like, I can’t say I’ll have any less variety in what appears on the page.

I made myself a little ‘ink menu’ on watercolour paper, giving me an at-a-glance view of all the colours I have available. I’ve already used it when picking inks to reink a pen with, and it works really well.

So there you have it. Pens, paper, inks. You’re up to date.

5 thoughts on “State of the collection: June 2020

  1. Nice ink collection and great idea! I did the same also on watercolour paper and it has been very helpful when picking inks (as well as a reminder to slow down) 😀

    Like

  2. Pingback: State of the collection: July 2020 | UK fountain pens

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