It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the pen front, again.
First, in case you missed it, I reviewed the Christmas limited edition Benu Mistletoe. I really liked it. How could you not?
And at the risk of Benu overload, I have another model coming in in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
At the small end of the spectrum, Kawco’s new Cyan Collection Sport turned up. The colour is absolutely fantastic, saturated and the perfect shade of deep teal. But every time I buy a ‘standard’ Sport, they feel incredibly cheap. Put them side by side with the Art Sport and the difference is immediate. And put a gold nib in that Art Sport and the writing experience is just as night and day.
Of course by that point you’re £250 deep into a Sport and you’re a certifiable crazyman.
Big bets with the Santini Giant
From the small to the big, the Santini Giant Cherry arrived. This is a pen I’ve anticipated for months, and I was really, really hoping it would be excellent because Santini is doing everything I want penmakers to do. They’ve made a #8 gold nib, fully in-house. They’ve bi-coloured it, made an ebonite feed, enamelled trim rings, massive ebonite body, ratcheting piston filler, sterling silver gold-plated trim, and all for WELL under a grand. This is giantkiller territory.
And the result? In many ways it is a triumph. There is a lot of work on show here, and it is comfortable, well-proportioned, well-finished. The 18k nib is so nearly great, but right now it’s just ‘good’. Most of all, it’s like nothing else in my pen tray. The nib doesn’t feel like a Bock 380. The body doesn’t feel like the old familiar models from bigger brands. I’m glad I bought it.
Pilot Capless Wish has me starry eyed
An impulse purchase of the highest order is the Pilot Capless Wish. I am on the record many times as saying that the Capless / VP is ugly, bulbous, uncomfortable. I have tried the faceted version, the Fermo, the LS, and I’d have put the standard Capless at the bottom of the list. But this Wish version was too beautiful to pass up. It’s an orange to blue ombre at the nib end, representing the first light of dawn, and at the plunger end some silver painted dots for stars. So simple, yet so beautiful.
As always, the 18k Pilot nib unit is sensationally good. Full marks to Pilot for writing experience. And you know what? It must be me, because the Capless doesn’t feel so large or bulbous or heavy as it did. It doesn’t look as graceless. The clip is not so uncomfortable in my lefty grip. I’m not just pleasantly surprised with this pen: I’m in love with it.
Ink deluge? Riding the wave
I’ve been on an ink bender the past few weeks. There were the new pigment inks from Kakimori in their cute wonky bottles.
The new Cult Pens Robert Oster and Sailor exclusives, which I topped up with a couple of other interesting shades.
The really lovely Enzo Ferrari Montblanc ink. And that’s on top of the Dominant Industry and DeAtramentis inks I’ve been trying to work through, plus a few bottles from Taccia, Laban, and Vinta.
I rarely say this, but I clearly don’t have enough pens!
I often feel quite negative about the tsunami of ink hitting the market every month, but I’ve been charmed by some of these. I already mentioned the warm and vivid Ferrari ink, but there have been some subtle loves too: Taccia Umemurasaki, the puce colour of raspberry yoghurt; Laban Artemis navy, literally the perfect match for the Capless Wish; Sailor Momiji, a golden autumnal yellow that matches the few leaves still clinging to the branches outside my window; the sparkly night sky of Herbin Shogun; the indefinable Montblanc Hadrian… I could go on. It’s been joyful experimenting with them.
So, many inks and pens inbound… that means I’m warming up for a sale. Those of you who know my pen tray and review list inside out may have already spotted some pens absent from recent tray pics. Get in touch if there’s anything you fancy.
And one last thought for today: thanks to all of you who follow me on Instagram, where I hit 4,000 followers yesterday. I’m not very active on social media, chasing the likes, so I appreciate the interest even more.