Pen Classics, my Pen Reviews
If you are looking for a specific pen review, it will probably be easiest to look under the pen maker/brand at the top of the page. The list of categories at the bottom of the page shows how many reviews I’ve done for each maker. Fountain Pens New Zealand
Member: Pen Collectors of America
NEW!!!! Private Reserve Ink and Fountain Pens by TWSBI and Nemosine now available, NZD3-95 Shipping by Courier
Read the latest Articles about the Sailor Reglus and the Sailor Somiko
ALSO NEW REVIEW of NEW NOODLERS AHAB FLEX PEN
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If you’ve found your way here, chances are you love pens like me. Not only do I like using my pens, I enjoy writing about them. This is my Visconti Midnight Voyager, a pretty impressive pen, a version of this pen was used to sign the agreement of the Nato-Russia Council in 2002, ending the Cold War. Visconti is the worlds biggest maufacturer of celluloid pens, despite only being founded in 1988, but also uses ebony, ivory, lucite and acrylic. Celluloid of course is much sought after by collectors.
I’m currently doing a bit of a write up of my experience with this pen.
I’ve often wondered is it about a pen that attracts us, particularly a Fountain Pen? Why am I a penaholic? Having said that, I also enjoy writing with my dip pens because they have such a wide variety of nibs and I find them really are good for line variation. They are not only interesting articles in their own right, but the fact that you can actually use them, what could be better than that? I suppose that it’s a minority interest, but a growing one nevertheless. Perhaps, it’s because linking our thought processes to the practical world. There is something real and tangible about writing, particularly with ink. That’s not to decry the ball point pen, and I’ve used plenty of those….but….ink pens seem to be something of an expression of your personality and who you are. Probably also a feeling of nostalgia for the times when a pen was an important item and so was the standard of your handwriting; job applications could hinge on how you wrote, plus of course your spelling and general grammar, no spellcheck in those days! I’ve had a fascination with Pens from an early age, can’t remember exactly, but it was the old wooden kind with steel nibs that had to be dipped in an inkwell. It must have been quite messy and needed lots of blotting paper, and I seem to remember that the ink powder had to be mixed with water, sounds like an even messier job!
My collection of Fountain Pens has built up over the years in a sort of ad hoc way, in fact I never thought of it as a collection, just lots of boxes full of pens, some regularly used and others gathering dust until I suddenly had a flash of memory and decided to dig one out and try it again. Favourites came and went (just as they still do), patiently waiting for the next call to action, often a very long wait. I’ve always used Fountain Pens as I wandered through the corporate world, much to the amusement and even disdain from some of my colleagues, but collecting as such never seemed to feature on my radar
. I’ve also gathered together a small collection of mechanical pencils, most of them vintage-ish, some antique and a few what I would call modern classics. My interest in these tends to come and go a bit; usually ‘the coming’ is when I buy another one! I’ve followed various pen websites and forums over the years so when I retired I decided to start a website of my own, initially to review and discuss my collection of pens, including any new ones that I buy. This meant a bit of a technological leap for me as I wanted to learn to do it all myself and all that it involved. Oh such naivety and innocence! Anyway I’m now learning HTML would you believe! I’m also trying to improve my photography.
Recently I’ve been buying vintage (?) pens from the 1930s and 40s, I just love those flexible nibs. Latest aquisition a lovely black Conway Stewart 93 with a broad nib..now filled with traditional blue black Quink, .it’s the most gorgeous writer…….
We all know that Waterman are not he company that they were, but the Waterman Carene is one of the most beautifully stylish pens available, a handsome pen.
I have quite a few Sailor and Pilot pens, some with specialist nibs, which add a lot of interest and variety to handwriting, but it’s quite a challenge to get the best out of them.
However, I do have more time these days…. and the Naginata Togi nib from Sailor is maybe the smoothest nib that I’ve ever used.
All the reviews I write are based upon my personal use, and naturally reflect upon my likes and dislikes although I do endeavour to be as objective as possible. It’s as well that we are all different in our tastes otherwise it would be a boring world. The different writing characteristics of the pens and nibs fascinate me, that’s also the case with my dip pens. I love to dip (pun) in to my pen cases at random and just try one of the pens by doing a bit of writing, that does mean however that I seem to do a lot of time cleaning and flushing, but there doesn’t seem to be any way around that.
Nib sizes and widths seem to have changed over the years and it was interesting to read that nearly half the nibs sold in the pre-war years were fine tips, lots of accountants and book-keepers using ledgers those days! I sometimes find that fine nibs on old pens are a bit scratchy, although more flexible, maybe that’s because the pens are old, or maybe that I’ve been unlucky, or it may be that a lot of them were scratchy, I guess that I’ll have to keep investigating. I do find that the fine nibs on Pilots and Sailors are very smooth and my current fad is using the flexible nibs, this is an interesting subject in its own right….Noodlers also do a couple of flexible pens. I aim to write an article on this shortly.
Of my real vintage pens, I like my old Conklin Endura Symetrik, but haven’t researched their model range yet and another more recent one that I’m pretty fond of is my Sheaffer PFM. I’m also doing quite a bit of research on the Parker Duofold, which has an interesting history, both in the USA and the UK, the very good book on the subject by David Shepherd and Dan Zazove is extremely interesting and an invaluable source of information. I have a number of other good books about collecting and repairing pens and also the subject of penmanship, again, fascinating when you get in to it.
The Ultimate Book of Pens by HF Ullmann is also a good read and contains a lot of interesting information.
- Ultimate Book of Pens by HF Ullmann
A good book that is helping me is FW Tamblyn’s Home Instructor in Penmanship, quite heavy but good! Using Dip Pens and Calligraphy is my flavour of the month! Actually, it’s flowing script that I’m learning, using flex nibs. This is quite an involved subject in it’s own right, so investigating the different flex nibs is interesting.
- This has to be the best book about Fountain Pens ever……..quite amazing research and photography
This subject also interests me and I’m doing the usual research prior to writing about although I have written a brief article which you can find if you look at the headings at the top of this page
The Writing Equipment Society