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Franklin-Christoph 65


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#1 ethernautrix

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 20:31

Since I'm being asked about the Franklin-Christoph 65 I just received, I figured I'd tell about it here instead of responding individually.

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:
Posted Image


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?

Unequivocally, yes.

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.

Coolness points:
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.

(Laughs.)

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!)

Lisa




*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.

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#2 stevlight

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 21:08

Great write-up.

I like these.

Did I read it correctly that the cap POSTS!!??

I may need one of these if that is true.

Edited by stevlight, 16 June 2012 - 21:09.

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#3 dgator

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 21:25

Thanks for the write-up. I've been thinking about adding a Franklin-Cristoph to my collection. Hmmm, what nib should I choose? :-)

#4 Tumbleweedtoo

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 22:55

One of my most enjoyable reading experiences! A great review too! Thanks!

All the best,
T

#5 terminal

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 23:01

So you ended up with the steel one, yes? Great write up, seems like a good value
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#6 Chris S

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 01:51

With the price increase for Pelikan that I keep hearing about, this may next on my want list. The have that look that I really like.
All I want is 1 more pen, and 1 more bottle of ink, and maybe 1 more pad of paper. Well, at least until tomorrow. Oh yeah, and throw in that bottle of single malt. Is that asking for too much?

thanks Chris.

#7 Chi Town

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:19

Thanks for the write up, it makes me want to go right over to te FC site right now and puruse their selections for something to buy!

Mike

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#8 tenney

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 04:58

Great write up. Thank you! I can't wait to either get one (or a 66) ... or see yours at a pen posse. Although I might go for a Medium CI (to get the customization done by Dave).

And, a question:

So, you initially wanted a 66 but got the 65. If you had it to do over again with no waiting time, knowing the 65 as you do, would still go with the 65 or would you go for the 66?
--
Glenn (love those pen posses)

#9 estie1948

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 06:02

Thank you for this well-written and very interesting review. Great writing style. You introduced me to a pen I had never heard of and told me all I need to know to make an informed decision as to buying one. Now I am saving my pennies.

-David.
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A backward poet writes inverse. -Anon.

#10 ethernautrix

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 08:41

20120616 FPN F-C 65 1.JPG

20120616 FPN F-C 65 4.JPG

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#11 stevlight

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 13:16

I will be checking these out at the Wash. DC Pen show for sure.
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#12 StyloBug33

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 13:17

I absolutely love your handwriting!

I just wanted to add that I was able to purchase a Model 66 right after hearing about it on FP Geeks, and totally agree Ethernautrix's assessment. It is a great pen. I have been using it since it arrived, also as an eyedropper.
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#13 Uncle Red

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 13:34

Great review, thanks.

#14 goldiesdad

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 14:15

Great write yp Lisa ... I have had my eye on this company and am close to getting one ... Now which one ...

#15 Scriptorium Pens

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 14:52

I'd never paid any attention to Franklin-Christoph because I thought they were way out of my price range. Now I want one. Thanks for the introduction!

Renée

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#16 tenney

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 18:12

Thanks for the handwritten response. I'm still trying to decide between the 65 and 66... they are lovely indeed.
--
Glenn (love those pen posses)

#17 todayilearned

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 18:48

I'm interested in purchasing one. Are they worth the price compared to other options in the price range?

I know there is a personal preference but I'm asking more if the construction of these is worth the asking price.
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#18 ethernautrix

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 20:18

Thanks, StyloBug33! Yes, I heard Eric mention the 65 and 66 on the podcast, and that reminded me to order one.

Glenn, I'll definitely bring the 65 to the next Pen Posse; also, the 25 (Eclipse) so you can see them and compare. I'm thinking about ordering a MS nib for the 25 (I saw that the #5 nibs fit the Eclipse), cos I'm not using the EF on that one very much. It's a smooth EF, and I like it, but I have my ruthenium-plated Nakaya F nibs that I always reach for first. I know I tried the MS nibs, and I probably want an FS nib, but that would mean taking it to a nib grinder. Or filing it myself. Or something.

I have to say, I really like posting the cap. I'm used to holding onto the caps of my Nakayas, but it's kindv nice to post the cap (of the 65) while writing. Posting the Micarta's cap makes the Micarta a bit unwieldy.

todayilearned, yes. I've thought about it, how simple the construction is, how it's made of plastic, but the pens are made by hand individually in the USA (that carries weight with some), and each pen has to be tapered and one side has to be faceted and then there's the thread on the top of the nib section instead of the bottom (I actually don't know if this is more difficult, but it requires putting the thread farther inside the cap, which sounds more difficult.) and the cap is beveled, which is a signature touch of Franklin-Christoph pens. Then there's the wonderful nib, so smooth -- and interchangeable!

I am thinking that maybe people expect a pen in the $100-$200 range, especially with a steel nib, to have a more complicated filling system, but I prefer c/c, and I'm using the 65 as an eyedropper anyway (holds much more ink), and, as jar points out, a converter is a piston filler. The simplicity of the 65, the utter lack of bling, the eyedropper option, and... just the shape of it -- the 65 just makes me want to write with it. It's hard to explain. I'm sure it has something to do with childhood and watercolor sets and not thinking about whether or not I was being creative; I was just painting. Same with this pen. It's weird, I know, and very specific, and I'm sure hardly anyone else will feel the same (and if some do, right on!), but it's like... the left brain shuts up for a while.

YMMV. (Laughs.)

So how can I put a price tag on that? (Laughs.)

As for my handwritten response... "Indeed?" "Rather fancy?" (Laughs.) The British comedy, PEEP SHOW, was on in the background and must have influenced my word choice. Quite.

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#19 KrazyIvan

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 21:22

D'oh! I knew I should not have clicked this link. Between this and an Omas 360 I am going to need a bigger bonus.

#20 tenney

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 07:07

You going for a MS instead of XF? Will wonders never cease. :-)

Since the 65 and 25 both take a #5 nib that makes it more interesting to you to be able to swap nibs around. I'd guess that it's easy to unscrew the nib on the 65, but how is it on the 25 with the hood?
--
Glenn (love those pen posses)






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