I'm a professional writer by background, and I've learned over the years that writing anything is an exercise in choosing not just what to say, but what to leave out. When I write a review, I tend to approach it by focusing on the experience of examining the pen for the first time: what it's like to … Continue reading What I leave out of reviews
Whenever I buy a new pen recently, I'm finding there's a smaller and smaller chance that it will stick in my collection. Even though I'm learning more about my tastes, and making (hopefully) better and better purchases, the new pens have a huge task scaling the heights of my current collection, which I have been … Continue reading My pen “capsule wardrobe” (cheating at a top ten of fountain pens)
To the untrained eye, most fountain pens are basically the same. There's the pointy bit, the holdy bit, the screwy on bit, the clippy bit. Ink goes in, words come out. But look a little closer and there's so much diversity, so many innovations, so many great features to celebrate. Here are nine that I've … Continue reading 9 genius pen features
I'm not sure when it started to feel OK for me to spend £500+ on a pen, or when I started to think of a £100 pen as "cheap". I definitely remember agonising about buying a £70 pen, not that long ago. But somehow my brain has gradually acclimatised to higher and higher prices, just … Continue reading Boiling a frog
I can't help it. No matter how many pens I sell, or how recently I've bought wondrous pens like the Visconti Medici and Onoto Magna... there's always something else. Here's what I've got my eye on today. Aurora 888 Nettuno Aurora releases a million special editions, particularly in this, its centenary year. I normally don't … Continue reading What’s on my wishlist?
Before I begin, let me say this first: I believe any attempt at objectively scoring reviews of aesthetic objects like fountain pens is doomed to failure. After all, everyone's opinions are different (see my post about pen compatibility for why). But I think there is value, and interest, in comparing a bunch of reviews against … Continue reading A grand new methodology: scoring my pen collection
When you're reading a review about a pen you're considering buying, it helps to know whether the reviewer shares your perspectives and values, and whether they use pens the same way you do. (This is one of the reasons why I like Hand Over That Pen — you get three very different takes in one).That's … Continue reading Are we pen-compatible?
I mentioned Oldwin nearly a year ago in my roundup of small European pen makers. This small French manufacturer, the in-house brand of Paris-based store Mora Stylos, has been on my radar for a while, but in recent months it's been all over my Instagram feed. I gave up on getting one of its torpedo-shaped … Continue reading Oldwin? Beautiful pens, frustrating experience
I try to avoid using this blog as a diary for all the stationery-related goings on in my life. But it's been a pretty big week, and I have some stuff I want to share. Monday: start your engines I spent the day admiring my new BMW 146, and couldn't resist posting about what a … Continue reading Snippets: the week in stationery
A few years ago I had a friend who always wrote with a 146 and a Starwalker, and drove a BMW Z4. One year, for his birthday, I found the perfect gift: the newly launched Montblanc BMW Blue ink. Except he only ever wrote with black ink. Oh well, nice idea. Roll on to more … Continue reading Who’d have thought BMW would be the cheapest place to buy a Montblanc 146?