Hi all. It’s been a month since my last SotC and I have a lot to report. First up, thanks to so many of you for following me on Instagram. I blasted past 2,000 followers at the weekend.
If you’re new to the blog, reading through my backlog of reviews and getting some value from my work, I’d really appreciate it if you’d click the ‘donate’ button and PayPal me the equivalent of a coffee or two to pay the WordPress bills and recoup just a little of my postage and other costs.
To put it into perspective, more than 60,000 people visited this blog just last month. A grand total of three people have donated this year.
Since my last SotC post my doormat has been busy. Here’s a whistlestop tour.
Two Pocket Sixes from the wonderful Ian Schon landed. One is a dark petrol colour of blues and teals, and it’s gorgeous. But the one I’m showing off is a geometric-cut brass prototype, which has shades of my Montblanc Geometry. I took the opportunity to get a trio of colourful extended sections with JoWo nib fittings, so I can swap new combinations with my original Bock-fit concave sections. I can also tease: expect big things from Ian in the months to come. So excited.
Visconti Midnight in Florence. In case you missed the saga so far, I bought a Visconti from La Couronne du Comte, which came with one of Visconti’s new 18k nibs, in Fine designation. It wrote badly. I sent it back to be fixed. It took ages but a new one finally arrived with me. Instead of an F 18k gold nib the new one has an M palladium nib. It writes beautifully, but for crying out loud, they did a full writing test — did anybody think to actually look at the nib, or the box, before they did the test?!
More depressingly, the replacement pen has a huge silver splodge in the pattern right where I hold the pen, with a straight line of clear plastic that leaps out at you. I’m trying to think of it as a beauty spot or an ink window, but honestly I’m just pissed off that I had to send back a beautiful pen and got this one in return, when all I needed was a new screw-in nib unit posting to me and I’d have been on my way.
La Couronne du Comte were cordial throughout (if not particularly responsive — I had to ask for a refund at one point to get things moving), and their wrapping paper is beautiful, but I have learned my lesson now. And what’s more, this will for sure be the last Visconti I buy.
Your opinion please: I’m still within my cooling off period for this new pen. Should I ask for a refund or learn to love it?
Galen Leather Kaweco Sport Cognac. Yeah, I’m through with my Kaweco Sport phase — especially the base model — but I got one of these anyway. I love what Galen is doing and the colour of this pen is fabulous. I ditched the included nib and friction-fitted an FPnibs architect nib that I had previously. It doesn’t match the gold trim but it writes like a dream. Definitely a fun little pen.
Cleo Skribent Classic Burgundy piston gold nib. Cleo Skribent has been on my mind lately. I re-read my old review of the ‘Skribent’, and remembered what a great pen it was. The Classic, in piston form and with a gold nib, is a bargain £125 from Write Here, so I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is and buy one. It feels like nothing from the house of Pelikan, Lamy or Montblanc: it’s super long, thin, and one of the lightest pens I’ve used. But it has a true piston filler with ink window, blind cap, and a proper gold nib. The burgundy plastic is rather nice, too. Probably not a keeper for me because I like a heavier and thicker pen, but I applaud what Cleo is doing.
Cleo Skribent Natura. I just posted my review of this today, and I’m secretly hoping that John from Write Here doesn’t ask for this one back. It’s the Classic on steroids, as you would expect for a pen four times the price. Ironically, it’s not a piston filler, but it has the extra heft I like. And the F nib is fabulous.
Tactile Turn Side Click. I don’t often buy non-fountain pens, but when I do, they’ll probably be from Will Hodges. This pen had me at hello with its in-house mechanism, beautifully tactile zirconium body, and neat milled titanium clip. It’s great to see the evolution not just of Tactile Turn’s designs, but the machined pen category as a whole. And I’m excited about what Will has in store for fountain pens in the future…
Karas Ink Pony Express. Since the last SotC post the bronze heavyweight arrived, and I reviewed it on this here site. It is objectively a great pen, but subjectively I wish it was titanium and weighed in at 50g instead of 99g. So it’s up for sale. If you like super rare and robust, refined pens, now is your chance.
Montblanc Rouge et Noir Coral. As long-time readers know, I sell pens like it’s going out of fashion. And while most of the time I look forward, occasionally I regret selling a pen. The Rouge et Noir I had with an amazing EF nib is one such pen. Luckily, I’ve turned that regret into AWESOMENESS. I managed to snag the limited Coral version (which has gemstones on the clip!) with a really, really nice fine nib (which is a pretty two-tone), and I’m in love.
Sailor Cross Concord. My review of this pen got a lot of hits, so I guess there’s interest out there in absolutely bonkers nibs. I have been whipping this out at every chance I get. I just wish it was more photogenic.
I should also mention the absolute boatload of ink that I binged on this month. Huge bottles of Akkerman in yellow and pink and blue.
Absurd Scribo bottles the size and weight of half a house-brick.
Sailor’s confusingly named “Sailor’s Sailor”. A couple of Kobe’s plus a unique in-house blue and odd Abraxas red from Choosing Keeping. Adding to the Tools to Liveby mini-Akkerman iron galls that I got a couple of weeks back.
Oh, and paper. Four notebooks from Musubi. A hand-marbled notebook from Choosing Keeping. I’ll add them to the pile…
The scales haven’t balanced this month.
I passed on two of my Schon Dsgn Pocket Sixes to a pen friend who loved the colours. Good thing too, otherwise I’d have six of them now!
I sold the Pilot Capless LS, which my grip still didn’t get on with perfectly… although I miss it quite a bit already.
The glorious Bungubox Fujiyama Blue 2020 with its EF… it’s gone. I was approached by a true Sailor addict who needed it more than me. I didn’t quite break even, but I feel I did a good deed.
And the Nettuno Terra di Napoli went too. The new nib was fabulous and it was a beautiful pen, but I found the threads a bit sharp for my grip.
Lastly, just today I finally sold the Sheaffer Legacy Heritage Palladium Deepcut. It’s going to a good home.
I have a few pens incoming for review, but only one that I’ve bought. It’s my first Shawn Newton pen, and it’s a large Townsend in Peacock Ripple Ebonite. I asked Shawn to make an additional section to hold my M800 Pelikan Italic Broad nib unit, eyedropper style. The end result is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to receive it.
I’ve also swapped a load of inks around in some of my pens, so my Currently Inked lineup is feeling fresh. I’m happy.