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Franklin-Christoph Model 25, "eclipse"


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#1 Erasmus

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 20:21

Franklin-Christoph Model 25

Years ago the MontBlanc brand just spoke to me, but the pretension was more than I could take. No emoticon available covers the malaise of that disappointment. By accident I discovered Franklin-Christoph, and they're going to fill that place in my heart. If you're into jewel-encrusted, gold, titanium, and kryptonite-filled, Godzilla-DNA-embedded-into-the-cap ostentation, or something with pink, green, and yellow swirly-swirls, the FC Model 25 isn't going to speak to you. If it does, then read on.

fc1.JPG
Thanks for not cheaping-out on the box, FC!

APPEARANCE & DESIGN (9) - There's a fine line between innovative design and gimmick, and for me the Model 25 nails it. It's hard to re-think the classic capped pen model, isn't it? But clipping the diminutive cap into the clip just works. This pen is all about the lines: capped, it's so very linear; posted, it becomes geometric. The way the spring clip attaches around the body with screws binding it together from either side make it ever so slightly 'industrial,' without making it cold or inelegant. I can't say enough about the design. The branding is understated: stamped logo on the top, name around the band, and four etched diamonds down the length of the clip.

The only part I don't like is the number of turns to take off the cap. I love how quickly the caps come off of my Pelikan and Delta, and for my taste the Model 25 needs one less turn.

fc2.JPG


CONSTRUCTION & QUALITY (9) - The clip is the most solid and secure-feeling that I've seen for a design that focuses on elegance. The pen unscrews about an inch and a half from the bottom of the cap, but it's impossible to see the seam unless you have good light and you know where to look. It can be felt by touch if you run your fingers down the barrel. The creme band has an amazing finish, and has a 'fade' to it rather than being a solid color.

There is, to me, a slight imperfection in the joint of the clip to the barrel, looking from the creme band upward. If I look closely enough I see something, but I don't know exactly what it is; maybe lacquer build-up?

fc3.JPG


WEIGHT AND DIMENSIONS (9) - I write with my pens, I don't want jewelry. So as satisfying as heavy pens feel at first, I don't care for them. At the same time, really light pens feel a little bit 'cheap.' The 25 is perfect. Because of the hefty clip, it's the kind of pen that might be top-heavy posted, but the design puts the clip in the web of the hand when writing, so it's exactly in the right place. I'll copy the dimensions from the FC website.

.47" diameter
5.47" capped length
5.23" posted length


NIB & PERFORMANCE (10) - Steel nib, writes perfectly right out of the box. Like buttah. I expected it to be hard as a nail, like my Rotring, but it's more like my Dolcevita nib, flex-wise.


FILLING SYSTEM & MAINTENANCE (5) - It's a converter, unfortunately, which I suppose makes it automatically a score of 5: it works, but it's no fun. Oh if only the 25 were an eyedropper! At least it's a quiet converter. I had a Bexley that had a slight rattle to it because of the converter, which I could not stand. Because of the half-hooded nib, it's cleaner to fill it by taking the converter out rather than dipping the nib itself in the bottle.

COST & VALUE (10) - Straight from FC, the pen was $125, shipped. I think that's outstanding. I paid about $100 shipped for my ratting Bexley, with a cheezy clip and overall 'discount' feel to it. The FC has even more intrinsic value to me because of the company. From what I can tell, Franklin-Christoph produces pens in small runs rather than mass-producing for wide distribution.

CONCLUSION (Final score: 8.6 - stupid converter!) - The 25 is a winner on design alone. Add to that a quality finish, excellent writing characteristics, and an up-and-coming boutique brand, and you've got something special. Everything from the lovely box the pen came in to the personal communication from FC is classy. I'm definitely a fan.

fc4.JPG

Edited by Erasmus, 30 September 2011 - 18:24.


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#2 jar

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 20:32

Franklin Christoph make some very fine pens, but eye droppers appeal only to an even smaller subset of fountain pen buyers.

I do agree though that Franklin Christoph produce really great pens from a value perspective and that they just keep getting better.

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#3 Lloyd

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 20:33

Congrats on a lovely pen. Why can't it work as an eyedropper?
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#4 Erasmus

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 20:42

Congrats on a lovely pen. Why can't it work as an eyedropper?


Since it's designed as a cartridge/converter, it isn't sealed to be an eyedropper. They do have at least one pen that is, though, with maybe more options in development.

Edited by Erasmus, 29 September 2011 - 21:10.


#5 WillSW

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 21:19

Very nice review. I like the pen a lot, the clip is lovely and the ivory stripe as well. The nib, though, seems half-retracted. Don't think I've seen one like that before.

#6 Uncle Red

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 16:59

Sounds like it's very thin and then there's the step down to the threads, is it comfortable to hold in your fingers?

#7 hari317

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 17:06

I really like the shape of the pen.

When you carry the pen clipped to your pocket, does the nib point down? If yes, is that not risky from a leak point of view?

Thanks!
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#8 Erasmus

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 18:19

Sounds like it's very thin and then there's the step down to the threads, is it comfortable to hold in your fingers?


Yes, there's a step down, but the fingers rest before that step. I find it very comfortable, because the barrel is thicker than the section of most of my other pens (the section typically being more narrow than the rest of the pen). I like that bit of extra girth for grip when writing. It looks thin, but I think it's thicker than the barrels of my Pelikan 205 or Pilot 74.

I really like the shape of the pen.

When you carry the pen clipped to your pocket, does the nib point down? If yes, is that not risky from a leak point of view?

Thanks!
Hari


It does point down, but I can't see that being a problem. If anything, the nib pointing down is supposed to be a good thing, making sure it's ready to write when you first take it out.

#9 raging.dragon

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 23:09

I'm not sure what to think of this design. It is simple and elegant, and I like the extremely short section (which means all users will hold the barrel instead of the section when writing). This and the clip remind me of the Faber-Castell fountain pens. However, I'd prefere a fully exposed nib and the larger cap that'd require, and I'd rather a pen which keeps the nib up when pocketed - I've never had flow problems because a pen was stored or pocketed nib up, and a nib up pen is less likely to leak than a nib down pen (though I've never had a problem with that either).

#10 jameswatts

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 13:51

I have four Franklin Christoph pens, and it's rare that one of their designs does not appeal to me, but this one does nothing for me. It's the downward nib -- while many of my F-C pens are dry writers, I fear that my Model 25 would be the one without any flow problems whatsoever, and I'd end up with a pen cap -- or pocket -- full of ink. Probably just my paranoia being overactive but still.....

Very glad, however, that you are so pleased with the pen. I agree that F-C makes some very solid, high-quality instruments at quite reasonable prices.

#11 myyrkezaan

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 14:09

Glad you enjoyed your M25 purchase, I have enjoyed their M14, M27 and M29, might have to add the M25 looks really nice.

#12 ethernautrix

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 16:52

Ruh roh... I really like the look of that....

How's the nib? What width did you get, and do you think it writes a true whatever it is or thicker or finer?




*Chanting "Nakaya Shield, Nakaya Shield, Nakaya Shield..."*

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#13 jar

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 16:59

Ruh roh... I really like the look of that....

How's the nib? What width did you get, and do you think it writes a true whatever it is or thicker or finer?




*Chanting "Nakaya Shield, Nakaya Shield, Nakaya Shield..."*


Franklin Christoph can also fit most of their pens with nibs that were modified by Mike in stub or cursive italic and in both steel or gold.

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#14 myyrkezaan

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 18:16

Ruh roh... I really like the look of that....

How's the nib? What width did you get, and do you think it writes a true whatever it is or thicker or finer?




*Chanting "Nakaya Shield, Nakaya Shield, Nakaya Shield..."*


Franklin Christoph can also fit most of their pens with nibs that were modified by Mike in stub or cursive italic and in both steel or gold.


I have an EF, MI and BI (all steel) that were done by Mike for FC.

Nib and Mike info on FC's site: http://www.franklin-...cialtyNibs.html

#15 ethernautrix

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 18:36

And how do they write (besides smoothly)? I'm more interested in line width, for sizing consideration.... Please.

Also, thank you!


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#16 jar

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 18:39

And how do they write (besides smoothly)? I'm more interested in line width, for sizing consideration.... Please.

Also, thank you!



I can't really answer that question since I have never sized any of my pen nibs, BUT ... Scott Franklin is great for information and I just bet he could tell you.

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#17 Erasmus

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 18:40

Ruh roh... I really like the look of that....

How's the nib? What width did you get, and do you think it writes a true whatever it is or thicker or finer?




*Chanting "Nakaya Shield, Nakaya Shield, Nakaya Shield..."*


The Fine nib is great. The lines are thicker than my Pelikan 405 Fine, and thinner than my Pilot 74 Medium. I was using 2 different Noodler's inks, though.

#18 ethernautrix

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 19:22

I see that the medium stub is .9mm (from the FC website), so I can compare that to nibs.com's tip chart which shows the Nakaya B as 1.0mm (I tried this one at Pen Posse recently), so I have a vague but clearer idea. Hee.

Thanks for the feedback!

I really like the look of this pen -- it's sleek and clean, and that little cap is... cute! I like it.


Oops, it's the BB that's 1.0mm (Nakaya), and I tried the B which is .6mm. That's a significant difference.

Edited by ethernautrix, 03 October 2011 - 20:56.

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#19 Lloyd

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 19:31

Since the non-standard FrChr nibs go through Mike M., couldn't he customize it to Ether's preferences?
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#20 ethernautrix

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 20:57

Since the non-standard FrChr nibs go through Mike M., couldn't he customize it to Ether's preferences?



I love how FP people just understand these kinds of concerns.... Thanks, Lloyd! This is definitely a consideration.

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