Someone approached me on Instagram today asking if I had a Conid for sale.
I didn’t, of course… but I have owned four of them. A special edition Minimalistica, a Regular and TWO Kingsize.
I’ve seen a few comparisons this week between the new Scribo model and the Pelikan Ocean Swirl… well, I’ve owned that too. And from memory, two M1000s, an M600, two M800s and several M200s and M400s. I don’t own any Pelikans right now.
With just these examples, I started realising that I’ve burned and reviewed my way through a huge chunk of grails and popular models that people go all wistful over even today.
Still in German pens, I’m known for my love of the Lamy 2000. Of course I have the Bauhaus Blue, the Brown and the Black Amber still in my collection. But I’ve retired a basic black 2000, sold a stainless steel… and I’ve owned and sold the Imporium and Dialog 3, among others, including various Studios and Al Stars. I haven’t quite stumped up the £6k+ for a urushi Lamy though!
I’m very fond of Montblanc. I have the Martele, Agatha and 149 now, but I’ve also been through the Homer, Shaw, 149 PT, another 149, 149 Calligraphy, Geometry, Petit Prince, a couple of 146s… and a couple of Rouge et Noirs and a 1912. Oh, and the ill-fated M. By my reckoning, I’ve sold 12 Montblancs to keep three.
I’ve bought and sold several Otto Hutts — but at least I’ve only had loans of its two most expensive models, the 8 and the C.
I’ve bought and sold at least four Grafs, including a Pen of the Year. Too many Kawecos to count, including Art Sports. The only Kaweco I own today is the one I just built, and a Perkeo in my ‘toy box’.
France? Well, I’ve owned two Oldwins, one in celluloid, one in unique artist’s lacquerwork — and while I miss them both, I can’t bring myself to buy another. Oh, and ST Dupont certainly fits here. Two of those, too.
Italy? Take a deep breath.
I’ve had the pleasure of owning and selling a Visconti London Fog… and a Midnight in Florence, an Opera Master River Thames, a Homo Sapiens in Steel Age and white, a Medici, and at least a few Van Goghs.
While we’re in Italy… I’ve owned and sold four Scribos, three Montegrappas, a Santini, Tesori, Gioia and a couple of ASCs (if they count). Four Leonardos. And, uh, six Auroras, if I’m counting correctly? Two Maioras, a Delta… the only ones left are my ASC Arco, Leonardo Cuspide, and Venvstas Magna CC.
I’ve owned various Sailors: a King of Pen demo, Bungubox special editions, Black Luster, Imperial Black, Ocean special edition, and a Special Nib. None are with me today.
Nakaya? I’ve owned four, including my current Dorsal 2 and 17mm Cigar. 50% hit-rate… not so bad. Best not think about the half a dozen or more Platinums I’ve bought and sold.
Pilot? Oh, I’ve been around the block. Capless, Capless LS, Capless Fermo, Capless faceted. Silvern. 823 (several, including FA nib). Myu, Murex. 912 FA, PO. 91, 92. The giant Custom Urushi. And does my Namiki count? I hope so — it’s the only one left.
Here in the UK I’ve owned several wonderful Onoto Magnas, several John Garnhams, two Parker Duofolds (plus Sonnets, 51, Jotters et al), a Yard o Led… I’m a bit ashamed to say none of them are with me now.
I’ve not even got to the US yet, and I don’t want to — I can’t even remember how many Franklin-Christophs I’ve owned, or Desideratas. And there are loads more countries and brands from A to Z.
This list started out with a gut-punch observation: how funny, I seem to not only have bought most people’s grail pens, but sold them! Often at a loss, before they got really popular! (I think I sold my two Kingsize Conids for about £700 each).
It’s turned into an eyes-wide ‘oh shit, I have no self-control‘ moment — I have binged my way through the great, the good and the mediocre over the past five years, from £50 to £1,000. I have been so focused, spent all my attention looking at what’s left in my pen tray today after all this buying and selling, but I hardly ever look back at the pens I’ve said goodbye to. Maybe I should?
Writing this post has certainly given me an itch to revisit some of these old flames, which is probably an unwanted and ironic consequence. Conid is probably off the cards for obvious reasons, but I’d like to get another Graf Classic, another Scribo, a Sailor Realo, another Capless LS… and if the right Oldwin comes along…
Oh dear. Oh dear…