There’s a new nib wizard in town — and he’s in the UK.
You’ve seen the Cross Concord and other pricey Sailors. You’ve seen the monsters from Regalia Writing Labs, continents away.
Now meet Jose Munuera, who is building his skills with stacked nibs right here in the UK.
Let me share my experiences with two of Jose’s nibs that he sent to me to try out, then I’ll share how you can get your own.
Jose makes a range of different stacked nib styles, with both two and three layers (or more if you’re up for experimenting), forward and reverse sloped, and with reversible grinds done any way you like, covering needlepoints to triple-broads, italics, zooms and more.
I asked for one like a Naginata Cross Point (BB right way up, EF upside down), and one like a Cross Concord (EF right way up, BB upside down). Both are made from two layers, epoxied together (so they’re glued, not welded or soldered.) They’re steel nibs, made from Jinhao donors.
Jose plans to offer stacked Lamy nibs too, and assembled Bock and JoWo units, but mine were supplied as loose nibs, no feed or unit, with the idea being that you install them into your own #6-suitable pen.
I installed the Cross Point into my John Garnham JG6 Venom, which was fitted with a Bock nib.
I installed the Cross Concord into my Narwhal Original, which had an ‘in house’ nib and a different feed style.
In both cases, installation took literally moments, and I just had to be careful to get everything lined up straight and fully inserted. I checked under a loupe that everything was sorted and properly aligned. The only corrections needed were minor and could be done with my fingertips.
The writing experience is absolutely phenomenal. Each nib really gives you two pens in one.
The Cross Concord style (on the bottom in the pic above) has become one of my favourite nibs. The EF primary side is precise and flow is decent, with moderate feedback.
Flip it over and you get an absolute paintbrush. It’s wet, and very very broad, and silky smooth. It writes wider and at a slightly lower angle than the Sailor equivalent, but the experience is otherwise very similar. It blew me away.
The Cross Point version also works very well. In the primary position it’s broad and wet, but not as crazy broad as the Cross Concord style, so it’s usable on a normal 7mm line or even 5mm dot like in the pic below. Reversed it’s a nice toothy EF/F.
I’ve been running these nibs with regular use for a couple of weeks and I’ve experienced no problems at all. They’re solidly made and the ink is still flowing beautifully. I imagine they’ll be a bit trickier to flush than a normal nib, but that’s the price you pay…
Unlike the Sailor versions, Jose stacks most of the length of the two nibs together (Sailor just keeps the very front portion ahead of the breather hole, cut to a kind of V shape). Jose’s version is actually neater cosmetically, but it does mean that depending on the pen/feed you install it into, the top nib may not fit flush with the body of the pen, creating an unsightly gap — which you can see in some of the photos. If you tell Jose what pen you plan to install it in, he can ensure it’s cut to the correct length for you.
So the Sailor 1911 Cross Concord is sold as a complete pen for about £700, meaning you’re paying something like £450 for the nib alone. For that you get a perfect gold masterpiece by a true Japanese grand master whose name is renowned. I was happy to pay it and I treasure the pen.
Jose charges £50 for a two-layer nib, £75 for a three-layer nib, plus the cost of the base nibs and shipping. You may not get gold, but you get a very similar writing experience to a Naginata, at a fraction of the price — and it’ll come to you from right here in the UK, about a week after you order, made just for you. Honestly, if you’re interested in a stacked nib but can’t justify the cost of the Sailor, this is an absolute no-brainer. A good place to start is emailing [email protected] with some idea of what you’re looking for. You can thank me later.