Back story: I worked with Scott at the Atlanta Pen Show but am not affiliated with Franklin-Christoph (just as I worked with John Mottishaw (nibs.com) at the San Francisco Pen Show where I just talked about the Nakayas, because I like them so much. I don't push my pen preferences on anyone, but if you want to know about the pens I really, really like, I will be happy to share my delight with you.), and so I was able to try every single tester pen that Franklin-Christoph made so that customers could try out each nib that F-C makes. There were twenty-two tester pens, eleven each of nib size 5 and nib size 6, steel and gold.* I wasn't the only one who wanted to buy the tester pens, and Scott said that plans were already in motion to produce a line of pens based on them.
Thus, the introduction of the Models 65 and 66 Stabilis,
I haven't taken photos yet, so this one is from the F-C website:
I'm being asked why I ordered the 65 (instead of the 66), what the difference is between the pens, and why buy the pen at all.
As I said, I already knew, from trying all the tester pens, that I wanted one. I'm more middle-of-the-road when it comes to nib sizes, and I absolutely craved the F-C Fine. As I recall, I couldn't decide which I liked better, steel or gold; they were both perfect. (We pen nerds can tell the subtle differences when writing that civilians couldn't begin to understand.)
WHY THE 65 INSTEAD OF THE 66.
Because I ordered the 66, and it had already sold out. (Laughs.) I was told it would be a few weeks, not too long, but I didn't want to wait. Simple as that.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE 65 AND THE 66.
In size, the 66 is about 0.5" longer than the 65. Google tells me that is 12.7mm.
The 66 takes the #6 nib (slightly larger); the 65 takes the #5 nib.
There is no difference in quality or writing experience. I suppose those with big hands or who prefer bigger pens would choose the 66. I liked both. Initially, I chose the 66, because I liked the look of the bigger nib; it was purely aesthetic. I am not at all unhappy with the 65, though. I do like the smaller overall size, and the nib writes exactly how I remembered -- perfectly.
I doubt there can be much difference in weight. These pens are made of plastic and are lightweight and very comfortable to write with at long stretches.
WHY DID I BUY THE 65 AT ALL?
I really like the overall look of the pen AND I remember using the testers, how great the nibs were, how much I wanted the one with the Fine nib (the ones with the Fine nibs; there were four, and I was greedy).
DO I LIKE THE 65 NOW THAT I HAVE IT?
This pen is not a spotlight seeker; it is made of black plastic with a cool little cap that is almost flush with the barrel. One side is flat so you can set the pen down on it, and the pen won't roll off your desk (excellent design detail!). There is no bling, no trim, nothing to detract from its pen nature, even the Franklin-Christoph imprint is understated.** Which is not to say that this is a pen that takes itself seriously. The tapered barrel reminds me of art paintbrushes and seems to want to be picked up and used. I know I'm probably projecting, but not all of my pens elicit that response. By its simple attention-deflecting look, the 65 conveys that it is a workhorse pen, designed to be used daily, all substance and understated style -- focus on the doing, make art, write.
the one flat edge (so practical!);
the cap thread on the nib section is at the nib end rather than the barrel end (which Eric of FPGeeks pointed out in last Saturday's podcast);
the cap posts perfectly;
the lack of bling makes the silver nib stand out.
Aaaaand, I'm using mine as an eyedropper. I put only a little bit of ink in the barrel initially, because I didn't have silicone grease at work, and I used the pen as much as I could. No problems. Got home, filled the barrel with probably more than two long cartridges' worth of ink, added a bit of silicone grease around the threads (which still showed no signs of imminent leaking), and I've been using it this way since (that was Thursday). So far, so good!
WRITING WITH THE 65
Makes me want to keep writing. It's true. I don't want to put the pen down.
You know what other pen has this effect on me? Nakaya.
The 65 is a great little pen. I can see having a few of these, each with this perfect Fine nib but a different color ink. I don't know how I'd tell them apart, though. Probably I'd have to put a dot of color on top of each cap... hmm, an idea is being born.... (DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!) This is the opposite of not accumulating!
Remember, I'm not urging you to buy one. I like mine. I like it very much. It's already one of my favorites. If the look of it caught your attention, you'll probably really like it, too. The nib is smooth and perfect (I like firm nibs, so this is a firm nib, but it isn't a nail) and available in a range of sizes. The EF, italics, and stubs are done by Mike Masuyama. (That speaks for itself.)
Seriously, I'm not saying you should get one. Unless you want one. In which case, yes! You should definitely get one, at least one, of these! Get a 65 AND a 66! (Yay!)
*Now my memory is sketchy. There were steel and gold versions of EF, F, M, & B (that's eight), then BS, BI, MS, and MI but only in steel or gold, which is 24, which would be 48 tester pens, which there weren't 48. I think there were 22 in all. In any case, EF, F, M, MI, MS, B, BI, BS are available in steel or gold from F-C.
**I have to admit that I wanted a tester pen in part because the bright white imprint of "Tester MI" (or whichever nib size was indicated) reminded me of pens my dad used to use at work, unfancy, pushtop, black ballpoints imprinted PROPERTY OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, so there was a nostalgic angle, but the Stabilis line isn't imprinted in white at all, which, after all, was a good decision, as the pen seems somehow more pen, if that makes sense. Probably doesn't. I could always rub a white crayon over the imprint, see what happens, if I wanted. Haven't done so, but that's an experiment I could try.
Edited by ethernautrix, 16 June 2012 - 20:37.