I wanted to do a year end wrap of of my post popular posts. Instead of just linking to them, I decided I’d have a little fun and do a quick reshoot of everyone together.
The photos were taken with my Olympus PEN E-P3, M. Zuiko 17mm f1.8 lens, and processed with Aperture 3 using the VSCO Film 02 Kodak Portra 400 VC film emulation. Something a little different than what I usually do on the site. I’ve also included an update blurb / mini review on each item.
So here we go, the Top 10 posts of 2013:
This one was SO close to the Top 10, I had to include it. Nock Co. – created and successfully Kickstarted by Brad Dowdy (The Pen Addict) and his business partner and master seamster Jeffrey Bruckwicki has been protecting my pens for the past few months. They Kickstarter orders are in the process of being fulfilled and they look great. Watch out in 2014 for Nock Co.’s retail site / total pen case domination.
Still one of my favorite inks. Since getting it back in the beginning of the year, it’s seen some heavy rotation. I haven’t had it loaded up as much recently as I used to, but it’s a great ink. Awesome performance and a really nice bluish grey makes Fuyu-Syogun versatile and interesting to write with. If you’re looking for a grey ink, then I highly recommend this one.
This one’s picked up a few stickers since my first review of it. Tomoe River paper took 2013 by storm and for good reason. It’s the thinnest paper I have written on and some of the smoothest and best behaved. I like throwing a sheet of Doane paper behind the sheet I’m writing on for extra organization. The thin paper is very sheer, but ink doesn’t even think about bleeding or feathering. It’s an awesome paper product that every fountain pen enthusiast needs to check out. I now need to have Tomoe Paper on hand, it’s just that good.
The Sailor Sapporo is a great little pen. My specimen has an extra fine nib and writes about as smooth as a nib so fine can. It’s nice and small when capped, but comfortable when posted. I got mine for a steal ($50) off the Fountain Pen Network classifieds. Is it worth the full asking price? Maybe not, but keep an eye out for a used model and you won’t be let down. Usage has dwindled since getting it, but it’s my finest writing pen. I like having a nib that small available when I need it.
Another pen that gained great popularity in 2013 is the Pilot Metropolitan. I still can’t believe that this pen is only $15. It’s buttery smooth, comes with a converter, and is solidly constructed out of metal. It’s a great pen for beginners as well as serious collectors. The nib is also able to swap with the budget-priced Pilot Penmanship and Plumix – adding more options to the pen at a low price. I love my Metropolitan. This pen has undoubtedly given the Lamy Safari a run for it’s money as the best beginner pen. It still holds up from the original review, and no other pen has been able to match the value.
Here’s my favorite blue ink. It’s bright, performs well, and is a pleasure to look at. The bottle is beautiful as well. One sample, and it’s hard to not buy the bottle. I really like this ink in my Montblanc 149′s medium nib – it washes out easily too. It’s a great ink all around, and my favorite of the Iroshizuku line. I still use Kon-Peki all the time, and it’s usually in at least one pen.
Technically the top post was for my review of the Matte Black Vanishing Point. This one was closer and I have a photo post for it coming very soon. The Vanishing Point was my favorite pen for college notes. No fussing with the cap, a SOLID knock, and smooth writing performance. The clip may get in the way for some, but not all. The pen is wonderfully weighted and balanced. I haven’t been using my VPs as much, but while doing this post I re-inked one and it’s been in my carry. There’s always the question of “Pilot Vanishing Point or Lamy 2000?” and it’s a really tough one to answer.
The ultimate pocket pen! Kaweco reached out to a bunch of bloggers in the year 2013 which has been awesome. There are tons of reviews out there of a lot of their product line, but their most popular pen is still the Sport. I got the aluminum version this year, and since getting it, I have yet to ink this one up. The format is great, but it’s even better when it’s entirely made of aluminum. I still like the Sport, especially in burgundy, but in my opinion the aluminum version just knocks it out of the park.
The Lamy Safari was my first fountain pen, and it will always have a special place in my collection. They’re solidly built, reasonably priced, and swappable nibs make them ultra versatile. I have four of them in my collection and 3 Al-Stars if that says anything. They’re great and I always have at least one inked up. Some may not like the triangular grip section, but it’s great at training your hand to write with a fountain pen. The modern industrial look is icing on the cake and I still recommend this pen as a first pen for beginners. It’s totally understandable why this review was the #3 post overall on the site.
The stealthiest pen of all. When this was announced I knew I needed to have one. Don’t feel like spending $400? Do some homework and find a retailer in Japan. I got the pen for much less off of eBay straight from Japan than I would have had I purchased it from the States. Admittedly I don’t use this pen as much as it deserves to be used. Have I fallen out of love with it? I don’t think so. The ruthenium plated metal bits on the matte resin look simply amazing. Sailor’s nib designs are still my favorite out of any pen, and it looks even better in smoky black ruthenium. This is a pretty serious pen, and a very serious purchase. Overall, I still like how the pen looks, but I think the nib needs a smoothing. Totally understandable why people are looking for reviews of this pen.
Not only is the Lamy 2000 my top post, it’s my all time favorite pen. The design has been around nearly 60 years and it’s still amazing. The contoured body, stainless grip, and brushed makrolon body are understated, yet stunning. The simplicity of the Lamy 2000 is what makes it so great. It’s in no way pretentious or gaudy. The pen fills by piston, with a nearly invisible knob. The hooded nib is gold and writes like butter. I could go on about this pen for ages, I love everything about it. If you’re looking to up your fountain pen game, I still highly suggest the Lamy 2000. This pen is ALWAYS inked and always with me. It’s the pen is the litmus test of the fountain pen word, and understandably so. Here’s to another 60 years of the Lamy 2000.
Well, there you have it. The top 10 reviews of 2013. I want to thank everyone for reading, commenting, and supporting the site all year long. There’s been so much growth this year and so much positive feedback. It’s a great community that I’m proud to say I’m a part of. Do yourselves a favor and check out my blog roll for other great pen sites. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, I would be more than happy to help you pick out your next pen, help you get started with a pen blog, or any other pen-related needs.
Have a safe and happy new year!