Massdrop – Lanier Classic Elite Fountain Pen

 Lanier Classic Elite Fountain Pen
via Massdrop.com

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What is Massdrop you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple. Massdrop is a community of people that vote on what products they want to buy. Massdrop contacts the companies, sets the sale up, and the more people that commit, the better the pricing for you. Simple as that. Continuing with their premium writing selections, they are offering up the Lanier Classic Elite Fountain Pen in Yellow Box Elder with gunmetal trim. I’ve been a member of Massdrop for a while now, I’ve purchased a few things and it’s been a great retail experience so far.

MassdropLogo Here’s some more info on how Massdrop works too.

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Specs:

  • Hand-crafted individually by Lanier
  • Yellow box elder barrel
  • Gunmetal plating
  • German made nib with iridium tip
  • Postable cap (threaded, screw-on)
  • Total length: 5.26 in (13.35 cm)
  • Cap length: 2.36 in (6 cm)
  • 1.18 oz (33.45 g)

The Lanier Elite is a great looking fountain pen, being offered at a discount by Massdrop. I really like how the cap screws on both the grip and tail sections – making for a secure post. The medium nib looks to lay down a nice line with some slight variation as shown in Massdrop’s photos. The Box Elder Wood looks great against the gunmetal trim. Unfortunately at the time of posting, I was unable to have a pen in hand because they are being custom made for the drop. I can’t wait to get my hands on one to put it through its paces!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 1.06.05 PMEach pen is being hand made to order, they will ship out weekly in groups of 15. All of the pens will be custom made and shipped out by mid-February 2015. If you like what you see, be sure to check out the drop HERE and snag one for yourself!

 

Photos were provided by Massdrop, this is a sponsored post.

 

Modern Fuel Design Mechanical Pencil – Review and Kickstarter Launch

Modern Fuel Design
Mechanical Pencil
Review and Kickstarter Launch

Modern Fuel Pencil Review Kickstater Launch-1

Andrew over at Modern Fuel Design got in touch a few months back about an exciting new pencil project. I’m not huge on mechanical pencils, but this one sounded interesting and I happily agreed to check out the project. The pencil is machined out of brass or aluminum, made in the United States, and perfectly weighed and balanced. The 0.5mm lead advances through the solid brass conical tip with precision. There is not an ounce of wiggle to be found or felt. I thought it was one of the coolest parts of the design because the tapered tip comes to a nice point and has a very small, 0.5mm hole drilled in the end.

Modern Fuel Pencil Review Kickstater Launch-2The pencil looks a lot like a classic mechanical pencil, and I think that’s why I like it. It’s very simple, no knurling, grips, plastic colored pieces, or crazy lines. It’s a clean, simple pencil that is brass, rubber and steel. I think it looks great, but most importantly, it feels great in hand. The brass adds a nice amount of weight that I am not used to in a pencil. It practically disappears in hand during longer writing sessions, and it’s not so heavy that fatigue sets in. When speaking to Mike Dudek about the pencil, he had mentioned that the internal tube a few other pieces inside are plastic. I was slightly upset at first, but then I realized that the plastic internals are dead silent and do not rattle around like the Kaweco Special mechanical pencil, which I have since retired because of the annoying sound. I’m sure the plastic will hold up to daily use and abuse.

Modern Fuel Pencil Review Kickstater Launch-3What I initially thought could have been a weak point may have actually contributed to why I like the pencil so much. Admittedly, I’m not thrilled with the click mechanism. I like more of a tactile click, and the knock is a bit mushy. The lead extends easily with every click, but it’s just not that satisfying. Perhaps a strong spring in there would make for a more solid “click”? Other than that, I love the pencils slimline design and how it feels in hand.

Modern Fuel Pencil Review Kickstater Launch-6
Can you say “well-balanced”?

If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, head over to Andrew’s Kickstarter project. A $60 pledge scores you an aluminum pencil, and you can add an additional $5 for brass. The project has three weeks to go and has far surpassed its initial goal. Thanks again for sending the pencil over for review!

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Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Custom 74
Fountain Pen Review

- Handwritten Review -

Specs:

  • Description: A nicely balanced demonstrator at a reasonable price with a great 14k gold nib.
  • Nib: Fine, 14k gold, rhodium plated
  • Filling Mechanism: Cartridge / Converter – CON70
  • Weight: ~23 grams
  • Measurements: 5.50″ closed, 6.25″ posted
  • Color Options: Blue, Clear, Orange, Purple, Smoke – See them here!

Handwritten Review Scans:

Intro/About:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-7I’ve been interested in the Custom 74 for quite some time now. The $150(ish) price range has a ton of options, and it’s always good to try out another pen in the range. I feel as though $150 is the middle ground in the fountain pen world and some of the best pens are around that price. I have a Custom 823 with an architect grind that cost around double the 74, so I was very happy to check its little sibling out when Pen Chalet offered one up for review. The Custom 74 is a gold-nibbed demonstrator style fountain pen that fills via Pilot’s high quality pump converter – the CON70. The pen is a great looking work horse, and at $160 it makes a great entry into the mid-level price tier.

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-5

Huge thanks to Ron at Pen Chalet for sending me a Pilot Custom Heritage 74 over for review. I’ve had the Custom 823 for a while now (and love it), and I am happy to report that the Custom 74 is just as great!

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Appearance & Packaging:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-1

The Custom 74’s packaging leaves something to be desired for those who want a really nice presentation. It’s a cheaply-made box with a viewing window in it, displaying the pen. It’s not nearly as ornate as the fabric-lined box that came with my Custom 823, but it gets the job done. Personally, I file away packaging should I want to sell the pen so the smaller, the better. The pen itself looks great. The translucent blue resin has a smoke-colored grip and tail cap. The silver trim nicely compliments the rest of the pen. The clear body allows you to see the premium CON-70 converter inside which has nice chrome accents. The large chrome portion of the converter adds a nice pop to the pen, better showing off the brilliant blue color of the pen. Overall, it’s a classically inspired design that looks great.

Nib Performance & Filling System:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-8I opted for a fine nib on my Custom 74. Being Japanese, the nibs tend to run a size finer than Western Pens. The fine nib on this pen is very, very fine. It has a fair amount of feedback, but it’s not scratchy or annoying. The ink flow is generous and consistent. If you push the gold nib a bit, there’s some nice cushion. It is by no means a flex pen, and line variation is slim-to-none. The pen will put down more ink when pushed slightly harder though. I actually prefer to write with a little more pressure with this pen. Ink flow, as mentioned before is pretty much middle ground. Even though the line it lays down is very fine, you can still see some shading. Overall, I’m happy with how it writes. Especially the fact that the fine nib can be used on cheaper paper due to its fine-ness.

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-3

As for filling, the CON-70 is a pump style converter that holds a fair amount of ink. It feels substantial and adds a nice amount of weight to the pen. Considering it is inside the pen, it adds a great balance. To fill the CON-70, you submerge the nib into the ink, and repeatedly press the button on top of the converter. The ink draws up easily and quickly. It’s reminiscent of how the old Parker Vacumatics fill with a button.

Feel:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74-4The Custom 74 is nicely sized. It’s a perfect medium – nicely weighted and nicely sized. The plastic is high quality and I have no worries of the pen cracking. The injection molding is nicely finished too. There are no visible seams and the construction and fit of the parts are all top-notch. The pen really feels like it is worth the price. I think Pilot consistently nails it in quality and construction of their pens, from the $5 Metropolitan to the near-$400 Custom 823. The 74 fits nicely in the middle. The cap is capable of posting, but it makes the pen a bit too long for my liking. The pen practically disappears in hand. I definitely like how it feels.

Pros:

  • Great 14k nib
  • Solid construction
  • Demonstrator doesn’t look cheap

Cons:

  • None!

Conclusion:

Pilot Custom Heritage 74 Fountain Pen Review-1The Custom 74 is a solid workhorse pen. It’s priced right, at $160. I really like the CON-70 converter – it holds a ton of ink and looks great through the transparent body of the pen. The 14k gold nib lays down a very fine line with a bit of nice feedback. I’ve used the word “middle” a lot in this review, and I feel like it’s been appropriate. The Custom 74 would make a great alternative for those looking at a Lamy 2000 or Vanishing Point, but want something that looks a bit different. In my opinion, it would be just as great of a choice as either pen. You won’t be disappointed if you chose to get one!

Thanks again to Ron over at Pen Chalet for sending this over to review, if you’re interested in buying it, check out the product page here!

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Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by Pen Chalet. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

Pilot Juice 0.7mm Gel Pen Review

Pilot Juice 0.7mm Gel Pen
Dark Red

- Handwritten Review -

 

  • Review Paper: Doane Flap Jotter

Pilot Juice Dark Red 0.7mm Gel Pen Review-2

Notes:

 

I’ve heard so many good things about the Juice and thanks to JetPens, I and finally trying one out. The pen is very similar to the Pilot G2, but with a beefed up, spring-loaded clip. The pen has a similar plastic body and rubber grip, but there is one big difference. The ink in the Pilot Juice line of pens is a pigmented gel ink! This means that once the ink is dry, it will be much more resistant to water and will last longer on the page. If you’ve accidentally spilled something on a page of gel ink writing, you know how messy it gets. This water and fade resistance puts the Juice well ahead of the gel pen pack. It’s very smooth and a pleasure to write with. The plastic body is sturdy and has a nice slightly textured rubber grip. The refill is the same size as a Pilot G2, which means that it will fit in a wide range of machined pens – This is a big plus for me. At $1.65, it won’t break the bank. Head over to JetPens to see the 36 colors and line widths of the Juice line!

JetPens Banner
Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. Stop by!

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Pros:

  • Pigment based ink
  • Many colors
  • Many line widths
  • Great price point

Cons:

  • Nothing!

Thanks again to JetPens for sending this over to review, check out their site for more info on the pen!

Pilot Juice Dark Red 0.7mm Gel Pen Review-1

Disclaimer: This pen was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

Montblanc “Power of Words” Film Premiere – Event Overview

Montblanc Power of Words Event-1On Friday, December 5th I was invited to the Montblanc “Power of Words” film premiere in New York City. The films were made as a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and each film was inspired by one of his quotes. Admittedly, the event didn’t have so much to do with pens as it did the films. While they were all good, I really enjoyed three of the five – “Lift you Up”, “Of the Unknown” and “Truth Booth” were my favorites. You can watch them on the Tribeca Film Institute’s website here. There was a calligrapher present who was writing out holiday cards for attendees.

Montblanc Power of Words Event-11The screening and celebration, co-hosted by Caroline Rupert, was attended by Tribeca Film Institute Co-Founder Jane Rosenthal, Africa Rising Foundation Co-Founder Kweku Mandela, Chrissy Teigen and participating director Nabil Elderkin, members of the Tribeca Film Institute and an intimate selection of international guests.

It was a fun night out, thank you to Montblanc for inviting me!

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A pen blog, focusing on high quality reivews of fountain pens, ink, mechanical pencils, and stationery.

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