All posts by Ed Jelley

Pilot 74 Edited 5

[Guest Post] Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen Review

Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen
Handwritten Review

This is the first guest post by Blake S. You can find Blake on Twitter and Instagram by the name @penjonesing. I love his photography and review style and want to thank him for answering my call for guest posters. I had the pleasure of meeting Blake at the Miami Pen show and was excited when he offered to do some guest posting. Let Blake know how he did in the comments!

Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai
Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Dot Pad

Pilot 74 Edited 1

Handwritten Review Scans:


My first real fountain pen purchase was from Goulet Pens. I also watched hours of Brian Goulet’s videos. He always praised, and still does, the Pilot Custom 74 with medium nib. I purchased this pen about 2 years ago along with a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai. They’ve been inseparable ever since.

Pilot 74 Edited 3

Appearance and Packaging:

The Custom 74 comes in a decent, matte black, Pilot branded clamshell box. The inside is really fake velvet lined and has a “Secret” compartment that houses a CON-70 converter and the pen’s paperwork. I opted for the clear smoke color with rhodium trim. It’s definitely a looker and strikes a nice balance between professional and fun. The pen boasts several rhodium trim rings, including a Mont Blanc-ish cap band that reads “Pilot Custom 74 – Made in Japan”. The clip is also rhodium and reads Pilot vertically. The clip has a ball at the end, which is a little different, but I like it. It’s a pretty firm, tight clip. I wear my pens horizontally on my shirt placket, under a tie, so it works well for me, especially on thin shirts.

Pilot 74 Edited 8

Nib Performance:

My smoothest nib, bar none. I’ve owned a couple (German) $1,000 MSRP fountain pens and neither of them came close to this pen. It glides across even cheap paper and is my perfect round nib width. It has a beautiful spring to it which I don’t experience much with other 14K nibs.

Pilot 74 Edited 6

Filling Mechanism:

The Custom 74 is a cartridge/converter filled pen. The included CON-70 converter is high quality and decent capacity. It fills by push button vs. twist/screw mechanism, which is also cool.

Pilot 74 Edited 5


This pen is pretty light, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While its length makes it comfortable to hold posted or unposted, I prefer posted for the added weight. I could stand for the grip section to be a bit larger as I have larger hands, but that’s personal preference.


  • Classic, but fun design
  • The nib smoothness
  • Cool converter type


  • Could be a bit wider

Pilot 74 Edited 7


My first gold-nibbed Pilot and a great one. The 74 has me considering a Fermo and Custom 912. I’m also looking to pick up a Sailor pen to settle the best Japanese nib debate!


About these ads
DC Pen Show 2014 2

I’ll be at the DC Pen Show this Friday – Sunday!

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to throw it out there that I will be at the DC Pen Show this Friday through Sunday at the Sheraton Premiere in Tyson’s Corner. For more information about the show, check out their website here:

The Washington DC Pen Show

I’ll be working at the Kenro table all weekend, as well as walking the show. Please make sure to come by, introduce yourself and say hello! I look forward to seeing more familiar faces out there and meeting new ones.

See you there!

DC Pen Show 2014 1
**bonus picture of Fahrney’s in downtown DC**
Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain Pen

Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain Pen Review

Monteverde Invincia Stealth
Black / Black Fountain Pen

- Handwritten Review -

Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain Pen


  • Description: A stealthy, all-black fountain pen with a great weight and balance.
  • Nib: Broad, steel, black plated
  • Filling Mechanism: Cartridge / Converter
  • Weight: ~40g filled (30g body, 10g cap)
  • Measurements: 6.1″ closed, 6.35″ posted
  • Color Options: Tons – see them here!

Handwritten Review Scans:


Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain PenHuge thanks to Ron at Pen Chalet for sending me a Monteverde Invincia Stealth over for review. I have been eyeing this pen for quite some time now. The Invincia is a larger, heavier pen with some great qualities about it. I’m happy to finally have one in my collection, read on to see how the Invincia Stealth held up!


Appearance & Packaging:

Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain PenThe Invincia comes in a basic green box. No frills, but it makes for a nice gift presentation. The pen itself is sleek and nicely tapered to fit comfortably in hand. The pen is high gloss, and all black making for a really sharp looking pen. The clip design is a bit funky and doesn’t quite match the overall design of the pen. The one thing I really dislike about the Invincia is the branding on the pen. The logo fonts are very corny and the white screening makes them very apparent. It stands out way too much and definitely detracts from the overall stealthiness of the pen. The pen itself is nice looking, with ribbed accents on the tail and cap. The nib has a cool design and it really stands out. The nib is very large and doesn’t leave anyone guessing whether it is a fountain pen or not. It’s definitely different from the other offerings out there.

Nib Performance & Filling System:

Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain PenOut of the box, the broad nib was admittedly not great. It was dry and scratchy and overall unpleasant to write with. I opened up the tines a bit to increase ink flow, made sure everything was aligned and hit the tipping with some micro mesh and everything was writing nice, wet and smooth – like a broad nib should be. It definitely writes much better now, but with the beginner price point it may turn off people who are new to fountain pens. There’s always the possibility that I got a bum nib as well. I don’t think the factory broad nib being less-than-great is unique to Monteverde though. I’ve had less than pleasurable experiences with Kaweco B and BB nibs as well.

Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain PenI mentioned earlier in the review how the nib design was unique. The mountain design is stamped into the pen and the branding on the nib is significantly more classy than that on the cap band. The feed has no trouble keeping up with the broad nib, making the converter empty rather quickly. I’m curious to see how the other Monteverde nibs perform as well. For it’s $68 price tag, the pen performs well, but keep in mind the broad nib I received needed some tweaking.


Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain PenThe Invincia is a large, heavy pen. 6.35″ posted and 40g gives it a very substantial feel in hand. The grip is a bit slim for a pen of its size and doesn’t quite hold up to the rest of the pen. I’d prefer a fatter grip, but that may be personal preference. The pen isn’t uncomfortable to write with at all though. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of fatigue while writing the handwritten portion of the review (which I did straight through, no breaks). The step from the barrel to grip is substantial. It doesn’t affect my grip, but those who choke up on the pen may find the threads intrusive.

Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain PenLonger writing sessions are great and I’m especially happy with how secure and deep the cap posts. I prefer to write with a posted pen and the Invincia has one of the better posting caps I’ve seen. The fit and finish on the pen are great as well. The clip seems to be secure and sturdy. I can definitely see clipping it onto the pocket of my jeans and not having any worries of it disappearing.


  • Great balance
  • Cap posts well
  • Good price point


  • Logo design
  • Broad nib was finicky out of the box


Monteverde Invincia Stealth Fountain PenThe Invincia Stealth is a solid feeling pen that definitely stands out in the $65 price range. Fit and finish are on point, but I’m not 100% keen on some design points (clip shape and logo color/font). The grip may be a bit too thin for some, but overall I’m quite happy with the pen.

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!


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!

Tactile Turn Shoot 2

Tactile Turn “Mover” and “Shaker” New Materials Review and Kickstarter Launch

Tactile Turn
“Mover” and “Shaker”

Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 6

  • Description: A precision machined pen with a unique lay pattern grip from the people that brought you the orginal aluminum Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker.
  • Point: Variable – The Mover takes G2 style refills, the Shaker takes Parker Style refills.
  • Materials: Brass, Bronze, Titanium and Copper
  • Refillable: Yes
  • Measurements: The Mover: 5.55″L x .46″D The Shaker: 5.05″L x .46″D
  • Mover Weights: Titanium: 42g, Bronze: 61.5g, Copper: 71.2g, Brass: 67.7g, Aluminum: 31.6g
  • Shaker Weights: Titanium: 40.9g, Bronze: 59.0g, Copper: 67.8g, Brass: 63.9g, Aluminum: 31.0g

Tactile Turn on Kickstarter


Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 5It’s no secret that I was a huge fan of the original Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker in aluminum. I was a backer of the project, and I had three in my possession until Will got in touch and told me he was making them in new materials. Well, here they are! My favorite alternative to a fountain pen has been either the Mover or Shaker since I had got my hands on the original prototypes. I didn’t think it was possible, but they’ve gotten better. Tactile Turn is launching a new Kickstarter campaign for the new materials – brass, bronze, titanium and copper – make sure you head over and check it out if you like what you see!

Also be sure to check out my original review of the Mover and Shaker here.


Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 3Fit and finish are still great. I showed a brass Shaker to my coworker and he didn’t know how to take it apart. The seam in the middle of the pen is virtually invisible until you need to unscrew the barrel to change out refills. Both the Mover and Shaker feel great in hand, but I prefer the slightly longer Mover. The clips are smooth and have some nice grip without being too stiff. The custom lay pattern grip is what really makes the pen shine though. More on that in the feel section.


Tactile Turn Kickstarter Pen Launch 2The grip is the same across all the new materials, but it really works great. It does an awesome job of keeping the pen under your control, making precise writing effortless. The new materials really complete the whole experience. While the original aluminum was great, I happen to like these new ones better. The added heft and great looks put this one over the edge. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the materials feel:

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Brass: My favorite. It looks beautiful and has a great substantial feel in hand. There’s no need to press down whatsoever to get the G2 or Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 working. It’s the second heaviest material but still feels great. The lay pattern isn’t as sharp as the titanium, but it still provides great grip.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Copper: The heaviest of the bunch, this raw copper pen takes on a life of it’s own. After a few weeks of use, the copper will darken and patina – giving a great vintage look and feel. I happen to like how it looks, but those who always need something clean and shiny may want to check out the other materials.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Bronze: The bronze is similar to the brass, but has a reddish undertone to it. It looks and feels similar to the brass, but it will not patina. According to the Kickstarter page, it will maintain it’s brilliance and shine for a long time without polishing. I’m excited to carry this one around and see how it compares to the aging brass.

Tactile Turn Shoot 2Titanium: Not only does it sound badass – it kind of is. People love titanium for its signature dull grey hue and amazing strength to weight ratio. The grip on this material has a bit more “bite” than the others. It’s lighter weight and looks great. I prefer the brass and bronze, but this one is by no means a dud.

Writing Performance: 

Tactile Turn Shoot 2The original prototype came with a Fisher Space Pen refill, but thanks to Mike Dudek over at, the Tactile Turn Shaker is now shipping with the buttery smooth Schmidt EasyFlow 9000. It really makes me want to keep writing with a ballpoint…it’s that good.

The Mover takes a standard Pilot G2 refill which also works quite well. I like the clean precise lines, but the 0.38 is a tad bit scratchy. There are tons of different Parker-style refills out there and others can be hacked to fit a G2. If you’re not a fan of the refills that ship with the pen, I’m sure you can find something out there you like!


  • New materials look and feel amazing
  • Lay pattern grip is still great
  • Pricing is very reasonable


  • Pen refills STILL confuse me – be sure to do your homework before buying refills if you don’t like the ones that are included.


Tactile Turn Shoot 2I’ve been using the Tactile Turn Mover and Shaker since I received my backing, and I really do love it. There’s a really good chance I have one in my pocket at all times. These new materials only make me want more of them. Backer rewards start at $45 for the classic aluminum and have tons of options and packages for all of the other materials.

Head on over to the Tactile Turn Kickstarter to pick one up today.


Disclaimer: These pens were given to me by Tactile Turn for review. I also shot the photos for the Kickstarter campaign. They were used with permission on both ends. All opinions are my own!

Seven Seas Writer Tomoe River Journal Review

Announcements / Guest Posts / Upcoming Reviews!

Hey everyone!

First, I’d like to thank everyone for visiting the site, reading the reviews, leaving comments and being a part of the community that revolves around our favorite writing instruments. Your continued support makes it fun to write the site.


Admittedly, there’s been a lack of posts around here and I feel as though I owe a bit of an explanation. I’ve been trying to post at least once a week, but it hasn’t always worked out. Part of this is due to me starting a new job in the pen industry. I’ve been working for Kenro Industries for the past month and a half – we are the US distributor for Aurora, Omas, Montegrappa and Sheaffer pens. My new career is completely separate from, they didn’t buy the site and they don’t pay me to write reviews. However this may lead to some more pens being reviewed that I may not have otherwise been able to get my hands on, but like any of the reviews where the pen is provided, all opinions are my own. It’s been a great few weeks so far and I can’t wait to go to the DC Pen Show. If you’re going, make sure to stop by the Kenro table and say hello!

Guest posts?

I’ve been writing reviews for this site since November of 2012 with little to no break in posting, and this past month or so is the least frequent posting schedule I’ve had so far. I’ve been throwing the idea around for a while and think it could be cool to see if anyone wanted to do any guest posts. Not only would it add some reviews to the site of products I don’t have, but could be a fun way for guest writers to promote their site (if they write for one) or even to just give pen reviewing a shot. If you are interested, please send me an email –

Upcoming Reviews:

I have a pretty long review queue at the moment. I’m working on finishing up the photography on them and wanted to give you an idea of what reviews to expect in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for Tactile Turn’s new materials for the Mover / Shaker, the Karas Kustoms Bolt, the Monteverde Invincia Stealth, the Aurora Ipsilon, the TWSBI 580AL, Field Notes Arts and Sciences, Doane Paper Large Idea Journal, some Kaweco inks, the BigiDesign Ti Post Pen + Stylus, and more! In the mean time, check out my review archive page – The List – to read the back catalog of reivews!

Social Media:

I’ve been much more active on social media than I have been on the site. If you’re looking to get a pen picture fix – follow me!

Instagram – @edjelley
Twitter – @edjelleydotcom
Facebook –