State of the collection: July 2020

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.

What’s in

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…

What’s out

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.

What’s incoming

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.

9 thoughts on “State of the collection: July 2020

  1. That’s definitely a return and refund. You’re never going to like that pen. 1. the spot is gonna bother the crap out of you, 2. the nib isn’t what you ordered, and 3. all these issues and the buying experience will just bother you until you sell it off. What’s sad is this isn’t just a “bad luck” issue, but a consistent issue with Visconti (and for some reason, the people that sell Visconti pens).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you — I fear you’ve completely nailed it. I’m exactly the sort of person that will be bothered by that spot until I sell it and lose a ton of money on it, because I’d have to price it low so I didn’t feel I was ripping somebody off. Thanks for the reply and wise words!


  2. I’d agree with the comment above, return the pen, that resin pattern is pretty unattractive and it would just always bother me, especially given the price the fancy Homo Sapiens models go for.

    Will you be doing a review of the Cleo Classic? I’ve had my eye on them since Rupert did a review. If you are right and it’s not a keeper then I’d happily buy it from you when the time comes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Martin, and hjyoo92! I have just emailed LCDC to ask for a refund. I feel bad about it because I do have a working pen now and the resin pattern varies from pen to pen, but you’re right — it’s always going to bother me, and I didn’t get the pen I ordered. I am sure they’ll honour this refund with good grace — while they have been somewhat slow throughout the process, they have been professional and polite at every step.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh and yes, I will do a review of the Cleo Classic soon! If I don’t end up selling it, I can of course highly recommend Write Here. Support your local pen shop etc 🙂


  3. Oh, Anthony, send the Visconti back. You know (and we know) it will drive you mad. I look at the HS series from time to time (and Write Here is my local pen shop, so I’ve had many a chance). But I’ve never been sure.

    I’m really glad you sold the Sheaffer; I thought I didn’t like inlaid nibs (it’s a prejudice that goes back over thirty years but I’m not telling you why), but that Palladium kept luring me. Every time I looked at it, I was hoping it would be gone before I did something silly. I don’t really like metal pens anyway (although a newly acquired Diplomat Aero seems to be changing that, too). In any case, I am supposed to be saving up for an Onoto Magna. Maybe.

    This reply seems to full of things I don’t like, which is absurd. To compensate for my negativity, I have donated a little bit. Keep up the good work – lefties unite and all that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the past I’d have said go for the Visconti. But I confess this episode has turned me off a little. Anyway, I sent an email to LCDC asking for a refund this morning — they’ve not replied yet.

      Thank you for the donation — I really appreciate it, and doubly so from a lefty 😊


  4. I recently bought the Dutch sky limited edition Ian Schon Pocket 6. I never thought I would buy a cartridge only aluminum pen, especially at this price point, but Ian’s pens are so interesting I fear it won’t be the last. Both the petrol and the brass prototype look really attractive.

    Regarding the Visconti, as anyone said, I would also ask for a refound. You will never be satisfied by it. I know because I would feel the same.


  5. Pingback: Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – July 19, 2020 | Fountain Pen Quest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s