Tag Archives: fountain pens

Fountain Pen Loadout – June 2015

June 2015 Monthly Fountain Pen Loadout-3Left to Right:

  • Lamy Safari Griso Grey – Diamine Grey – F Nib
  • Montblanc 149 – Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo – M Nib
  • Pilot Custom 823 – Diamine Asa Blue- Architect Point
  • Nakaya Neo Standard – Diamine Asa Blue – S-M Nib
  • Lamy 2000 Stainless – TOP SECRET – B Nib
  • Lamy 2000 Makrolon– Sailor Kiwa Guro Black – M Nib

Notes: It’s kind of a weird feeling to be completely content with a set of pens. I’ve spent the last four to five years buying, trying, and selling a TON of different pens and I feel like I’ve finally achieved a small collection of writing instruments in which I am completely happy with. Since the last loadout post, I’ve sold off my Pelikan M805 Stresemann – only reason is that I didn’t bond with it. I had the same experience with my M605. They both write wonderfully, look great, and were classic looking pens. The problem is that I found myself reaching for my Lamy 2000 Stainless that I bought at the same time way more than the Pelikan.June 2015 Monthly Fountain Pen Loadout-2 As far as I’m concerned, this set of 6 pens is all I really need. The Safari is great for grab and go, the Montblanc is large and has significant presence, the Pilot 823 with architect point is super fun to write with, the Nakaya just has a feel in hand like no other pen, and I absolutely love my workhorse Lamy 2000s. Not in the pack are my Karas Kustoms Inks – I still have two of them and they’re not going anywhere. They’re just on a little bit of a break. I’ll continue to buy and try new pens, but right now I’m completely content with these and that is a really weird feeling…

June 2015 Monthly Fountain Pen Loadout-1 The inks I’ve been using are a bit different too. Two pens contain Diamine’s Asa Blue (Pilot 823 and Nakaya) – a wonderful medium blue that really pops off the page. It’s like a slightly toned down Kon-Peki and I’m loving it. I picked it up in one of Diamine’s smaller bottles to try out, and I suggest you do the same! The Grey Safari is loaded with Grey ink, also by Diamine. It just makes sense in there. The Tsuki-yo (I think it’s Tsuki-yo…can’t remember!) in the Montblanc is a darker blue that just feels right loaded in there. It looks a bit more serious and it’s a serious pen. The Lamy 2000 is loaded with Sailor Kiwa Guro Nano Black – one of the blackest black inks out there. It’s also pigmented and permanent. I had to sign some really important documents this week, so I loaded that up specifically for that. The last on the list is the broad nibbed Lamy 2000 with a mystery ink. I’m sworn to secrecy on what the ink is, the brand of the ink, and the color of it. Trust me, this one is REALLY exciting. I should be able to uncover it within a few weeks so keep an eye out!June 2015 Monthly Fountain Pen Loadout-7June 2015 Monthly Fountain Pen Loadout-5 June 2015 Monthly Fountain Pen Loadout-6 June 2015 Monthly Fountain Pen Loadout-4

In the mean time, if you need a fountain pen picture fix, check out my Instagram.



Fountain Pen Loadout – March 2015

March 2015 Fountain Pen Loadout-2Left to Right:

  • Karas Kustoms Ink – Kaweco Green Ink – Hero 9018 Fude Nib
  • Lamy 2000 Stainless – J. Herbin Orange Indien – B Nib
  • Pelikan M805 Stresemann – Sailor Miruai Ink – B Nib
  • Pilot Custom 823 – Iroshizuku Momiji – Architect Point
  • TWSBI 580AL – Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron – M Nib
  • Pilot Vanishing Point – J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche – M Nib

Notes: It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and there are a lot of new things here. Also a few things I’ve had for a while but haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet. I just figured out that the Hero 9018 fude nib fits into the Karas Kustoms Ink and I’m having a lot of fun with that. I recently picked up the Lamy 2000 and the Pelikan M805 so those two are being put through their paces for official reviews – expect those soon! The Pilot 823 is almost always inked up, the architect point is so fun to use. I haven’t emptied out the 580AL in a while, no problems with the ink and no visible staining, which is nice. I’m not huge on this pen, but somehow it’s managed to stick around. I filled the Vanishing Point with the JH ink to do a review, it’s just about empty so it will be back in storage soon.

March 2015 Fountain Pen Loadout-1 March 2015 Fountain Pen Loadout-9 March 2015 Fountain Pen Loadout-8 March 2015 Fountain Pen Loadout-6 March 2015 Fountain Pen Loadout-5 March 2015 Fountain Pen Loadout-4

In the mean time, if you need a fountain pen picture fix, check out my Instagram.


Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green Ink Review

 Montblanc Palm Green
2014 Writer’s Edition
Fountain Pen Ink

– Handwritten Review –

PenMontblanc 149, Medium Nib
Ink: Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green
Paper: Kyokuto FOB COOP B5 Dot Grid

Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink


Huge thanks to Pen Boutique for sending the ink over for review! This is the Montblanc 2014 Writer’s Edition, Palm Green. The ink honors writer Daniel Defoe. I like the nicely shading green ink quite a bit. It’s a grassy green with a yellowy base that comes through quite nicely when the ink shades. The 149’s medium nib has a generous flow and does an excellent job of putting the ink down on paper. The ink is a limited edition, like the other Writer’s Series inks so if you like what you see, act fast! The packaging is different from Montblanc’s standard ink packaging (which I prefer), but I still like the presentation of the Palm Green. The ink reminds me of Rohrer & Klingner’s Alt-Goldgrun, but with more green and less gross. Thanks again to Pen Boutique for sending the ink over for review! You can pick up a bottle of your own right here.


Pen Boutique is a retailer of fine writing instruments, inks, refills, and accessories. I had the pleasure of meeting them at the DC Pen Show and checking out their retail locations. They’re a great store, thanks again for the ink!


– Nice Shading
– Great Color
– Limited Editions are always fun


– None!

Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink Montblanc Defoe Writers Edition Palm Green Fountain Pen Ink



[Guest Post] Sailor 1911 Matte Black Full Size with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

[Guest Post] The Sailor 1911 Matte Black Full Size with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

Another awesome guest post by Susan Pigott! You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishess! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Sailor 1911 Large Matte Black Fountain Pen with an incredible Naginata Togi MF nib. Enjoy!


Review Ink: Diamine Ancient Copper


Description:  A Sailor 1911 Full Size in Matte Black with rhodium accents fitted with a Naginata Togi MF Nib

Nib:  21K Gold Naginata Togi MF

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: 23.7 grams

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: Black with gold trim; Black with rhodium trim, Burgundy with gold trim, Black luster, Matte Black with gold trim, Matte Black with rhodium trim and metal section, Naginata-Togi Gin-sensuji with Rhodium Trim, Naginata-Togi Ribbed Black with Gold Trim,Naginata-Togi Ribbed Black with Rhodium Trim, Naginata-Togi Ribbed Burgundy with Rhodium Trim, Black Realo with gold trim, Burgundy Realo with gold trim.

Handwritten Review Scans:





I’ve been eyeing Naginata Togi nibs for quite some time now. I’ve always been fascinated with Sailor specialty nibs, and the Togi is the most basic (and least expensive) of the specialty nibs. I bought this pen from a seller on FPN for about $100 off the price listed at Classic Pens ($416). The seller had bought it from Classic Pens, so the nib was tuned by John Mottishaw. I was thrilled because I almost bought this very pen at the full price.


Ed already reviewed a Sailor Professional Gear 1911, so I’m not going to focus much on the pen itself, though my model is a bit different. This review is all about the nib.

Appearance and Packaging: 

My Sailor 1911 came in a blue, rectangular clamshell box with literature about the pen and Sailor’s specialty nibs. Included were one ink cartridge and a converter.

The matte black version with rhodium trim is subtle and beautiful. I usually like gold-trimmed pens, but the rhodium matches the matte black perfectly. I honestly have too many black, cigar-shaped pens in my collection, but the matte black makes this pen stand out from the crowd. It’s classy, like Bond, James Bond.


Nib Performance and Filling System:

The nib is what truly makes this pen something special.




The Naginata Togi nib allows for a great deal of line variation depending on the angle of the pen to the paper. It is an unusually-shaped nib (see photos), and it has a longer than usual tip. It’s a 21K nib and is pretty rigid. You’re not going to get any flex while writing with this nib. The line variation comes from how you hold the pen. In the written review, I held the nib in my normal writing position, which is about 45 degrees, and I found the nib wrote beautifully. You can see differences in line width when I held the pen at a 90 degree angle, a 45 degree angle, and a super low angle (as close to the paper as I could hold it).


Most of the Sailor specialty nibs are made for Japanese-styles of writing and calligraphy. But I wanted one for writing Hebrew since the horizontal strokes need to be thicker than the vertical strokes. (In real life I’m a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew). Even though I have a Hebrew nib from Richard Binder, it’s got a very narrow width and, unless I write tiny, I can’t see much variation between the horizontal and vertical strokes. The Naginata Togi does quite well, though I still need to practice making the Hebrew look good. I sure wish I could do Hebrew calligraphy.


I admit I was nervous about buying a Sailor specialty nib. When you go the page on Classic Pens, the specialty nibs are almost overwhelming. They are amazingly intricate, and I was afraid I would find the Naginata Togi to be ridiculously broad. I even called and asked about the nibs and was told they are not for everyone. But I am a believer in this nib. I’m amazed at how smoothly it writes. I love the versatility it has depending on the angle you’re writing.

One concern I had is that the Naginata Togi nib puts down lots of ink when you’re writing broad. I was afraid the feed and the converter wouldn’t be able to keep up. So far, everything has been perfect, though I expect to refill this pen more often than most.



The Sailor 1911 full size feels great in the hand. It’s not a heavy pen. It is smooth as silk but not slippery. I don’t post my pens, but I tried writing with it posted and, for me at least, posting ruins the balance. If you want line variation, you have to hold the pen at different angles. Some angles are quite uncomfortable (such as trying to write super fine at 90 degrees). Other angles are easier on the wrist, but the lower you go, the slower you have to write.




  • The 1911 in Matte Black is a gorgeous pen. It is sleek and elegant and the rhodium trim complements it perfectly.
  • The pen feels good in the hand and is neither too heavy nor too light.
  • The Naginata Togi nib is a useful departure from a typical nib. I can see artists using this nib for sketching since you can get such wonderful line variation. For me, it works great as a general writer and it enhances my Hebrew printing.


  • I prefer piston filler pens. The Sailor converter only holds .5ml of ink. You can get the Sailor Realo instead, but it only holds .9ml. Currently the Realo only comes in Black and Burgundy with gold trim. So, if you want the matte black, you have to go with the 1911 or Pro Gear.
  • The pen looks rather ordinary and plain. I like colorful pens. But the matte black makes it stand out from other black, cigar-shaped pens and the rhodium trim is different from my other pens, all of which have gold accents.
  • The Naginata Togi nib may not suit everyone’s tastes. If you can try one before you buy, that’s the best thing to do. I definitely wouldn’t go larger than the MF Togi. I’ve read that the medium and broad versions are like writing with Magic Markers.




All in all, I am very pleased with my Sailor 1911 Naginata Togi. My fears about the nib were unwarranted and, in fact, I am crazy about it. I love how it looks, how it writes, and that it is versatile enough that I can write in my journal or write Hebrew or both (because I totally write in Hebrew in my journal . . . not).




[Guest Post] The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen Review

Today we have another guest post by Susan Pigott. You may know her from her own blog, Scribalishess! Her photography, handwriting, and reviewing skills are top notch. If you like what you see here, make sure to go check out more on her site! Here’s Susan’s review of the The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition Fountain Pen. Enjoy!

Review Ink: Caran d’Ache Delicate Green and Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-Gao




Description:  The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Limited Edition fountain pen is a frosted, translucent, faceted demonstrator pen with a rose gold plated nib and accents.

Nib:  Fine,14K, rose gold plated

Filling Mechanism:  Cartridge/Converter

Weight: .7 oz. (19.9 grams)

Measurements:  5.5 inches in length, capped; 4 and 3/4 inches uncapped; and 6 inches posted

Color Options: None


Handwritten Review Photos:















I am not usually one who is interested in clear demonstrator pens. I’ve always felt they were plasticky-looking and sort of silly. Why get a clear pen (and even pay more for it) when you can get a pretty color? But when I saw pictures of the Platinum 3776 Century Nice, I loved it. Somehow the rose gold plated nib and accents on the pen won me over. So, I ordered one from Classic Pens and it arrived yesterday. My Platinum Nice is one of the first 2,000 produced, so it comes with a limited edition number etched on the cap. Mine is 121 out of 2,000.

Appearance & Packaging:



The packaging is nothing spectacular, but it suits the pen. It comes in a cream-colored oval box with a satin-like interior. It’s understated, like the pen. One cartridge of ink and a Platinum converter are included with the pen, along with a registration form, instruction booklet, and information about the Nice.

I was surprised to discover that the pen isn’t clear. It is faceted and has a frosted appearance. I really love this look. The facets give the pen more character than a smooth-bodied pen has, and they add a wonderful elegant shimmer to what might otherwise be a dull finish. The rose gold is simply gorgeous on the pen. I’ve seen it on other pens, such as the 90th anniversary MB. Personally, I don’t like rose gold with a black pen. It just doesn’t work for me. But because the Nice is a neutral color, the rose gold really stands out.


Nib Performance & Filling Mechanism:




Initially, I was disappointed with my new Platinum fine nib–and that’s a first for a pen bought from Classic Pens. I filled the pen with Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green ink because I knew the green color of the ink would look outstanding with the rose gold (and it did). But when I started writing with the pen, I immediately thought, “I’m going to have to return this and get it tuned again or exchange the fine nib for a medium.” The ink flow was poor, the nib felt dry, and I could barely see the green on the paper. I know Classic Pens tunes their nibs before they ship them, but I thought maybe the nib had some factory oil or something that was making it write poorly. So, I dumped the ink, rinsed the nib, used some pen wash to flush the nib, and rinsed some more. I refilled: same thing–dry, scratchy, stuttering across the paper. I was not happy. This was not at all the experience I’ve had with my other Platinum Century pen. So, I decided to change the ink. I cleaned the pen again and put Iroshizuku Asa-Gao in the Nice. What a difference this made in the performance of the nib! I know that some inks work well with certain nibs and others don’t. Apparently Caran d’ Ache Delicate Green is not good for my Platinum Nice. With Asa-Gao, it writes like a dream. Of course, since a Japanese fine is like a Western extra-fine, the nib has some scratchiness to it. But this is to be expected, and for such a fine line, it writes beautifully. Plus, one thing I love about Platinum nibs is their springiness. They aren’t nails; they don’t flex; but they offer a nice, bouncy feedback as you write.


The filling mechanism on Platinum pens is a cartridge/converter system. I never use cartridges (except on my Kaweco), so I knew I would be using the converter. The converter is tiny, holding only .55 ml. But it has a solid feel to it. I find it easiest to fill the converter directly with ink (rather than trying to fill it through the nib). I get my fingers pretty inky this way, but I always get a better fill. I much prefer piston fillers, but Nakaya and Platinum nibs are so wonderful that I’m willing to put up with the dinky amount of ink the converter holds. One advantage to cartridge/converter pens: they are easy to clean.





The Platinum Nice is a light pen, weighing in at only .7 ounces (19.9 grams) unfilled. I enjoy writing with both light and heavy pens, but I’ve found that my hand tends to last longer with a lighter pen. The Nice writes well unposted, which is how I use my fountain pens. Posting gives it a little more heft, but the weight is on the back of the pen, so it might feel a bit unbalanced. It’s a good length unposted and fits comfortably in my hand. I wrote four pages in my handwritten review without any fatigue at all using this pen. Plus, I have a Platinum 3776 Century in Chartres blue that I’ve been using for a couple of years as my main grading pen (I’m a professor). It’s my main grading pen for a reason: excellent nib and comfortable writing. The Nice will make a nice companion grading pen with a different color of ink. Unfortunately, I won’t be using the Caran d’ Ache as I planned. Guess I’ll just have to get another bottle of Iroshizuku in green!



  • Beautiful, understated, elegant pen. The rose gold complements the frosted body of the pen perfectly.
  • Excellent nib; bouncy, fairly smooth (with the right ink), and gorgeous.
  • Light and comfortable to write with.
  • Special cap with “slip and seal” technology allows you to keep the pen inked for long periods of time.
  • This is a wonderful daily carry pen. It’s pocketable with a clip; the cap is secure and air-tight; it writes beautifully.



  • The converter does not hold much ink, so if you use this pen often, as I do, plan on refilling often. In fact, I now store bottle of inks at work so I always have refills available.
  • Fairly expensive for what amounts to a frosted plastic pen (with 14K accents and nib) ($250 retail; $200 at Classic Pens). Still, this is an affordable limited edition pen, especially if you get one of the first 2,000 that are numbered.
  • Plan on getting a medium or broad if you don’t like super narrow nibs. The Platinum fine nib is pretty smooth for what amounts to a Western EF, but you do get a little scratchiness simply because that’s the nature of EF nibs.






I am thrilled with my Platinum 3776 Century Nice fountain pen. It is more beautiful in person than I expected. I love the facets and frosted look of the pen body. And the rose gold is simply lovely. The pen feels solid in my hand, not plasticky. And, once I got the ink problem figured out, it writes like a charm. I realize some might think me crazy for using expensive fountain pens as grading pens. But fountain pens make me happy, and that makes the horrible chore of grading a little less loathsome. A little.