Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Franklin Christoph 27


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Maer

Maer

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Location:South Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:27

Disclaimer: This pen is a bit dirty and my pictures aren't that good... sorry!
Posted Image

Appearance
This is a very good looking pen in my opinion. It's just modern enough that it stands out from other pens, but classy enough that I can put it in my suit jacket pocket. I also like the FC logo, the four diamonds. It's quite a unique logo and it's very distinct.

Posted Image

Construction
The pen is made of metal and it is the perfect weight for me. It feels very well made. I have the feeling this pen will be in my collection for a long time without any problems. Another thing I really like is that most of the weight is in the cap. That means when you take it off, the body is fairly light and I can write with it very comfortably. It is a bit short though without the cap, and you really don't have the option of putting the cap on the end because the pen becomes very long and quite top heavy when you do.

Posted Image


Filling System
The pen came with a cartridge (of fairly cheap ink) and a converter. Always a plus when the converter comes the pen. It's a fairly nice converter, it holds a decent amount of ink and it's fairly well made.

Posted Image

Nib
Oh, the nib. I do not like this nib. Even considering is a stainless steel nib and this is the cheapest fountain pen that FC makes(I think - $60), I don't like it. It is extremely hard, like a nail. I'm not expecting a flex nib, but I think we all appreciate a springy nib. That being said, it is fairly wet and not very scratchy, but I can't bring myself to like the nib.

Posted Image

Conclusion
I love everything about this pen except for the nib which lets the whole pen down. I have a feeling I would pick up this pen a lot more if the nib were just a bit more springy. Because of that, I can't recommend the pen. Do I regret buying it? I don't think so - I just don't see me buying another if I lost this pen.


Sponsored Content

#2 clickiechick

clickiechick

    I'm just lurking!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:17

Thanks for the review, Maer!

I think a lot of FC designs are innovative and unique, but I really like my pens to post properly and balance out the pen. They seem to have some that do, and others that just don't go there. Their metal pens often seem to belong to the latter category. This one doesn't strike me as much as some of their acrylic or resin designs. I especially like their Model 40 pocket design, but the clip they promised to put on it hasn't materialized since promised almost a year ago. :bawl:


I don't mind nails, but it sounds like this one takes nail to a whole new level...? That's something to consider, since nails can be had for much cheaper.

Edited by clickiechick, 24 January 2012 - 05:17.

Wassup wid that, homes? Looks like you're WANT to feel the hurt. -ethernautrix

#3 Pickwick

Pickwick

    Pickwick

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,888 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:37

There has been discussion on Bulow nibs obtainable from XFountain pens which have been appraised and recommended. Might be worth investigating to see if one is of a similar size to fit since the first part of your review states how much you like the shape and design of your Franklin Christoph.

Regards,

Pickwick

They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick


#4 jar

jar

    A Vintage Pen has to be older than me.

  • Premium - Ruby

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26,055 posts
  • Location:From Deep South Texas
  • Flag:

Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:03

Franklin Christoph also offers their pens with nibs that have been worked by Mike-it-work for a slight additional charge.

My Sister's website :  Rose Hill Studios

My Website


#5 FranklinChristoph

FranklinChristoph

    Franklin-Christoph, Ltd.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 276 posts

Posted 24 January 2012 - 20:53

Hey guys, appreciate all reviews, good, bad or indifferent. Wanted to comment on a couple of things.

The nib is a German made JoWo nib, and of the highest grade. We can't do any better than that for a modern steel nib. Perhaps it will loosen up for you over time.

The 27 wasn't designed with posting in mind, but we have since started producing the 27 with aluminum caps, so even though tall when posting is in pretty good balance. The next iteration of the 27 will have 6 color options - all black chrome, fire engine red, light grey, hunter green, Tennessee orange, and Carolina blue. Production is complete and we'll have online within a week or so.

And on the Pocket 40 clip comment - my apologies. We developed a clip for the P40 that I didn't like, and since have selected a different one that will work better for that size pen. It's in production now, and should be ready by the LA Show (within 25 days or so). So hang in there!

Thanks again,

Scott Franklin
Franklin-Christoph, Ltd.

Edited by FranklinChristoph, 24 January 2012 - 20:53.

F-C on Twitter
F-C on Facebook
Franklin-Christoph.com
F o r t i t u d o....e t....F i d e s

#6 Postscript

Postscript

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 667 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:21

Thanks for your informative response. I recently bought the #25 and have enjoyed using it. When invited to a friend's house for dinner, I ordered him one as a gift because of its unique design.

You would have thought I had bought him the Taj Mahal he was so excited about it. When I see his wife she continually reminds me of how much he appreciated the pen gift.

Thanks for making my day, and his,

Post Script

#7 clickiechick

clickiechick

    I'm just lurking!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:26

Thanks for the update on the Pocket 40 clip, Scott! A clip would make it just that much more easily tracked in a pocket. Hopefully it doesn't add any length to the pen, but my understanding is sometimes that can't be helped.

It really is a wonderful looking pen. I'd love to see more fun finial and body color combinations like on the Panther 40. Regardless, it's a design I look forward to trying out since I'm a sucker for (nice) small pens.

Edited by clickiechick, 25 January 2012 - 02:34.

Wassup wid that, homes? Looks like you're WANT to feel the hurt. -ethernautrix

#8 myyrkezaan

myyrkezaan

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 558 posts
  • Location:Clayton, NC

Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:43

@Scott,

Have you considered offering flex nibs?

Was curious if you had the 25 at DC, if you did, I'm kicking myself for not looking at/getting one.

Are you going to the Raleigh 2012 Show if they have it, would love to get a 40 with a flex nib (hint, hint) :).

#9 FranklinChristoph

FranklinChristoph

    Franklin-Christoph, Ltd.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 276 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 16:43

@postscript - thanks for letting us know, that's what we love to hear.

@clickiechick - it will be the same size. Because it is a longer cap, it can handle even a normal clip, but this clip is very small to fit with the pocket theme. Right now we are making it in Creme' w/ Emerald finial, Creme' w/ Maroon finial, solid emerald, and black with maroon. But this is one we'll make some different fun options to put in the Stock Room even if we don't make them as a line item. So keep a look out for those.

@myyrkezaan - we unveiled the 25 at last year's DC Show. We underestimated it's popularity and had to make another production run before we released it on the site.

There is going to be a Raleigh Show this year, and we are likely the main sponsor. Jim Rouse will be the show organizer.

On flex nibs, I'll try to be efficient here, but it is a complex subject from our perspective.

First, we have to define a flex nib.

A true flex, or super flex, will create line variation without much pressure. A semi-flex is much more subtle, but much easier to attain. A true flex nib is harder for most people to write with, and sometimes what people are really after is a softer nib, with a little more give, so to speak. This is easily attained by using solid gold. 18K is soft enough, but isn't "springy" - meaning it will come back to original line quickly. You can do this better with certain alloys in a 14K nib as you have more alternative metals to work with than the 18K. We are adding #5 (small) 18K nibs to the line, so they will be available on the Pocket 40, 14, 25, 27, 29, etc.

Now, if someone is after a true flex, in either steel, titanium or gold, here are the challenges.

You can go at it a couple of different ways to achieve this. You can make the slit longer, thereby making the tines longer. This by itself isn't usually enough, so you also have to make the metal itself thinner. This creates a couple of problems. For one, you lose durability. It is fairly easy for the nibs to get "sprung" - bent to the point where won't bend back. This is more troublesome in gold, because the cost of production is so much higher. Still, with lifetime guarantees, and a fairly high rate of failure, it can become costly to offer this choice, even in steel. As the modern population has been trained to write with rollerballs and ballpoints, the typical pressure applied by the hand is greater, so the likelihood of this happening is greater than when everyone always wrote with fountain pens. Even though popular here, it is a relatively small market, and can be costly to engineer and produce. Even to do a run of just 500 nibs, you have the pre-production costs of machining for a different nib.

Then there is the issue of the feed. With a true flex nib, the feed has to be designed so that it can handle variations in ink required. Modern feeds are very consistent in regulating flow to keep pens from leaking- but this isn't the best feature when you are flexing and need gobs of ink in one instance, and normal the next. Speaking of feeds, there is an increased challenge in keeping thin flex nibs in alignment with the feed.

Something else that's not often mentioned about nibs is the ability of the metals to absorb vibrations. The iridium tips on gold and steel are identical, so what is actually touching the paper is the same. The reason gold nibs are generally thought of as "smoother" is because gold absorbs the vibrations a bit better than steel. The modern thick steel nibs do a really good job of this now, so it is increasingly harder for people to tell a difference, again depending on the pressure applied by the hand. So you can see that if the wall thickness of the steel is made thinner - it will not absorb vibration as well, and so will be more likely to feel "scratchy" or not smooth, to the user. What you gain in flex, you greatly give back in writing comfort for this reason.

Other factors can be writing angle. If one writes holding the pen straight up or at a steep angle, the steel nib can feel more like a "nail." But when written with at a lower angle, the tines more easily spread to give a little bounce. Which brings up the point - if you are to manufacture these, to a great degree you have to come up with a one size fits all - unless you produce them in varying degrees, which of course becomes even more expensive.

So - all this means it is challenging, but not impossible. We are looking into it, and may have something to offer at some point this year, although it would in reality be a "semi-flex" as opposed to a true or "super-flex." First, we'll have the 18K option for the softer feel, then later something else. (We've always offered 18K in the larger #6 nibs)

I also of course recommend having the nibs customized to flex, with your particular handwriting style by a nib meister - Mottishaw, Binder, Masuyama, etc. Sometimes just for that bit of extra money, you can get a nib perfectly suited for you. (But y'all already know this I'm sure.)


Scott F.

Edited by FranklinChristoph, 25 January 2012 - 16:56.

F-C on Twitter
F-C on Facebook
Franklin-Christoph.com
F o r t i t u d o....e t....F i d e s

#10 Sherwood Forester

Sherwood Forester

    Veni, vidi, vindalui ... I came, I saw, I got curried away

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 433 posts
  • Location:Nottinghamshire, UK

Posted 25 January 2012 - 18:04

Thanks for the very informative and useful treatise on the subject of flex and a description of the factors involved.

I have used a selection of fountain pens for many years and never even knew there was such a thing to be considered. I just knew that some of my pens seemed to feel better than others did when I wrote with them. That did not, however, prevent me from using all of them regularly. It just seeemed to me that, like clothes or perhaps like 'luxury' items such as watches or cameras, one has one's favourites.

Since I've been a FPN member I've read lots of posts in which contributors have been banging on about various degrees of flex and soft nibs, et.c. The result was that I began to question my ability to feel what I am doing with my pens when I write. If I can't sense what is going on at the sharp end, i.e. whether the nib is flexing considerably or very little, should I really be using a nib pen? Am I fit for purpose or am I in the wrong game? Are all those other people obsessive or are they just smarter than me? Doh!

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading the post and perhaps now I know it is not rocket science or voodoo I shall take more notice of and give much more thought to the matter.

Now see wot you dun, Scott!
To err is human. To errrrrrrr is confusion.


#11 myyrkezaan

myyrkezaan

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 558 posts
  • Location:Clayton, NC

Posted 25 January 2012 - 18:45

Thanks for the great write up on nibs.

Will definitely be stopping by at the show, do you bring nibs with you and if so do you think the #5 18 will be available by then?

#12 FranklinChristoph

FranklinChristoph

    Franklin-Christoph, Ltd.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 276 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 18:46

Yes, we should have them within a couple of weeks - for sure by Raleigh.

Thanks for the great write up on nibs.

Will definitely be stopping by at the show, do you bring nibs with you and if so do you think the #5 18 will be available by then?


F-C on Twitter
F-C on Facebook
Franklin-Christoph.com
F o r t i t u d o....e t....F i d e s

#13 myyrkezaan

myyrkezaan

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 558 posts
  • Location:Clayton, NC

Posted 25 January 2012 - 18:48

Excellent news, looking forward to seeing the 40 pen case as well.

Yes, we should have them within a couple of weeks - for sure by Raleigh.

Thanks for the great write up on nibs.

Will definitely be stopping by at the show, do you bring nibs with you and if so do you think the #5 18 will be available by then?



#14 Postscript

Postscript

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 667 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 25 January 2012 - 21:04

Excellent news, looking forward to seeing the 40 pen case as well.

Yes, we should have them within a couple of weeks - for sure by Raleigh.

Thanks for the great write up on nibs.

Will definitely be stopping by at the show, do you bring nibs with you and if so do you think the #5 18 will be available by then?

This is what's great about FPN.

Post Script

#15 meestahbig

meestahbig

    Rare

  • Away
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 194 posts
  • Location:New York City
  • Flag:

Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:15

Scott and the team at FC are world class... excellent service that is rarely ever seen nowadays.

As you can see from his responses he is someone who truly takes pride in the products and service being offered.

rgds, Marc

#16 mbradley

mbradley

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 278 posts
  • Location:Utah
  • Flag:

Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:57

Thank you for a very informative response on the flex Issue. Would flex / semi flex be more palatable to a manufacturer if they could have limited or shorter warranties for such pens? It seems fair to me as a softer or springy nib has to be more fragile by design. Posted Image




Michael

#17 FranklinChristoph

FranklinChristoph

    Franklin-Christoph, Ltd.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 276 posts

Posted 10 February 2012 - 16:14

Michael-

That might help, but I don't think that is the main factor holding manufacturers back. I think it is mostly a size of the market issue. This could be just perception though and if marketed well, a semi-flex nib could be a financially worthwhile.

One other factor is the complication of adding so many sku's to your line up. We are building a tester kit right now with a new acrylic pen, and have to make 32 pens for it. Offering 5mm and 6mm in HP Steel and 18K Gold - in XF, F, M, B, MI, MS, BI, and BS - you have 8 of each for a total of 32. If you did a flex in both gold and steel, in both sizes and all tip sizes, you'd have 64 different nibs to offer. That gets really hard to manage logistically.

So you'd probably settle on one metal and one size. Like 5mm steel. Then you'd still be adding 8 sku's but more doable. Or you could offer it in only F, M, B - but what's the fun in that? Posted Image

Scott

Thank you for a very informative response on the flex Issue. Would flex / semi flex be more palatable to a manufacturer if they could have limited or shorter warranties for such pens? It seems fair to me as a softer or springy nib has to be more fragile by design. Posted Image


Michael


Edited by FranklinChristoph, 10 February 2012 - 16:15.

F-C on Twitter
F-C on Facebook
Franklin-Christoph.com
F o r t i t u d o....e t....F i d e s

#18 docholt

docholt

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Location:Georgia, U.S.A.
  • Flag:

Posted 12 May 2012 - 14:10

And round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows!

What started out as a simple FP review ended up as the best tutorial on nibs that I have read to date. We, at least I, take these little devices for granted, unaware of the complexities of material choice, production limitations, etc., etc. The more I find out about the "simple" fountain pen the more I am in awe of it's design and fuction.

Thank you,
doc

#19 tenney

tenney

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,802 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:58

Scott, thanks for all of the useful information. Couldn't you "do" with fewer testers of every model -- shift to one set to let folks test nibs, and then a few of each model to test "balance" and general feel? i.e. wouldn't I be able to judge whether to go with an M or F with testing only one or maybe two pens even if it's not the exact model I'd be buying?

Two questions...

Just curious... if one wanted a Masuyama nib, but just a regular "M" (or whatever), is that possible? or would one have to go for a CI (or whatever)?

And... on the 25... does it use the same nibs as the other pens, or is it a smaller nib?

Thanks.
--
Glenn (love those pen posses)

#20 Chi Town

Chi Town

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,790 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Flag:

Posted 14 May 2012 - 13:50

Isn't it GREAT that we have Scott of FC stop in and add to our discussion's, even though it helps his company it also add's to our interest's here at FPN. Thanks so much Scott for taking time out of your busy day to keep us up to date on what is going on at Franklin Christoph!

Mike

            Visconti Last Lira aka Luigi Einaudi #63 of 975, Stipula Yellow Da Vinci Carbon Fiber T, Stipula Model T, Vintage Fountain Pens, Delta Amerigo Vespucci LE, Pelikan Special Edition Sahara F/P, TWSBI Micarta, Danitrio Mikado, Genkai, Nakaya Decapod Cigar, Watley in Woodgrain, Marlen Yellow Liberty LE, Santa FE Style Custom "51" made by Ralph Prather, president New Mexico Pen Collector's Club.







Sponsored Content




|