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Fosfor Heather With Bock Titanium Nib

prithwijit review fosfor heather bock titanium conway stewart

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16 replies to this topic

#1 Prithwijit

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 14:17

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Introduction

Recently my interest in all things fountain pen related has spawned a specific sub-genre - a fascination for experiencing nibs made of different materials such as gold, titanium, palladium, etc. Looking around, it seems that the Bock 250 triple system is the ideal platform for experiencing material differences since they seem to have the widest range of conceivable material options for this particular nib. It is thus hardly surprising that I have embarked on developing a collection of different Bock 250 nibs. To eradicate as many variables as possible, I am getting all of them in medium tip so as to focus solely on experiencing material differences.  

Amongst the earliest Bock 250 sets, I got a Titanium one thanks to the help of fellow FPNer Tervinder (@romee_win) and his brother Rajdilawar who got it for me from Germany. Just looking at the colour of the Titanium nib convinced me that it will go very well with oxidized silver trims. Since Manoj is the only Indian pen maker that I am aware of who is using silver accoutrements, I approached him with a request to get a pen made. To match the colour of silver trims and titanium nibs, I opted to use Conway Stewart Heather blanks and hence the moniker used for the pen.

Design

Instead of creating a design from scratch, I shared with Manoj one of the drafts I had of the Azaadi design. This was largely similar in concept except for being slightly larger and having only one broad ring in the cap instead of having two slimmer ones.  It is a classic design with simple straight lines for the cap and with only a slight tapering of the barrel. The top of the cap and the bottom of the barrel are flat and polished. The body of the barrel and the cap are polished smooth and shiny. The broad silver hand crafted band on the cap with elaborate motifs add a touch of flair. Just like the Azaadi (and its muse the Churchill), this pen too has the concentric circles on the cap finial to give it a crown like look. The clip and trims used are all made of silver. The turquoise/teal base colour of the heather material and its pearlescent properties nicely complements the muted colour of the silver trims and the titanium nib.

 

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Size and Balance

At 155mm capped, this is a card carrying member of the oversized pens club. But don’t let the length let you have misconceptions about its heft. Being a completely kitless pen with no metal other than in the nib, clip and bands means it is in-fact surprisingly light. Despite the length, it is nicely balanced and can easily provide comfortable writing for extended periods. The simply sublime section design adds to the comfort quotient. One can post the cap if so desired, but I prefer to use the pen unposted. The excellent Conway Stewart acrylic material is light and yet strong and hence the pen despite being oversize doesn’t compromise on the weight aspect and this contributes a lot towards the overall comfort.

 

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Nib

The Bock 250 Titan nib in medium width is the heart and soul of the pen. As I had mentioned earlier, this pen exists for the sole purpose of allowing me to experience this nib. From an appearance perspective, this nib looks exactly like any other Bock 250 nib out there. Only the subdued matte grey colour and the Titan branding on the nib below the Bock logo gives you a hint that it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The clip nib and bands complement each other nicely thanks to their colour.

 

IMGP1628.JPG


Filling Mechanism

The thing I like about European pens is how most of them use the standard international system for cartridges and compatible convertors. I like this system better than any other because of the wide compatibility, system life longevity, value and convenience. So I am not at all surprised and quite delighted that Bock 250 triple systems adopt the same standard. This pen has paired the nib unit with a Schmidt K5 converter to use bottled inks and can also accept cartridges from a host of brands.

Build Quality

Manoj is a master craftsman who is known to work on only one pen at a time with an eagle’s eye focus on the details. That naturally translates to hallmark of quality and the pen benefits from the same. The fit and finish and the tolerances are impeccable for a handmade pen. It is obvious that the pen has been made with care and a considerable amount of time has gone into polishing and buffing to ensure a very high quality product.

Writing Experience

I know all of you are interested about the writing experience more than anything else. I will keep it short and unambiguously state that this nib is simply awesome. The nib is super smooth, appropriately wet and glides over the paper laying down a nice wet line. There are no skips or false starts and overall the pen is a superb writer. The closest analogy I can think of is a couple of Visconti Dreamtouch nibs I have tried and this nib feels exactly the same.
 
Just to ensure that I am not being prematurely exuberant, I have been using this pen in continuous rotation for over a month now all the time keeping it inked with Daytone Blue-Black. I am happy to say, a month of cohabitation has not changed my opinion a bit and I still smile at the prospect of putting the pen to use.  Please note that I am well aware that there are likely to be significant unit to unit variations between nibs and your personal experience might vary. So while I am no authority on whether all Bock Titanium nibs are great, the one I have received certainly makes me very happy.

Price and Value

I will make a distinction between the value proposition of the pen as made by Fosfor and the overall pen’s cost including that of the Titanium nib which I had procured by myself. As far as the standalone pen is concerned, it is incredibly VFM. I may have mentioned this before but I will do it again that I am not aware of any other custom pen-makers who offer this level of quality and individualization at this price point other than Manoj and Mr. L Subramaniam of ASA Pens. They hear you out, try to understand what is it that you wish to achieve and the satisfaction persists long after the cost concerns have receded.

Given how happy I am with the Titan nib, it is no wonder that I find the overall pen an amazing value for the quality and beauty that it offers.  I am under no illusion however that part of the value perception comes into the picture because I wanted to experience something different in a Titanium nib. There may be quite a few steel nibs that can be tuned equally well (and I may have quite a few of them as well) and your perception of value is likely to be influenced by this fact. To Summarize, the pen is a great value with a properly tuned steel nib and an amazing value with the Titan nib if such a nib is what you are specifically seeking out.  

Specifications

The measurements in this section have not been taken with any precision instrument or laboratory techniques but should suffice to give you a fair idea of the size of the instrument.

  Length (capped) – 154.5 mm
  Length (uncapped) – 137 mm
  Length (cap) – 71 mm
  Length (section) – 22 mm  
  Maximum width – 14 mm
  Minimum width – 8.5 mm
  Maximum section width – 10 mm
  Minimum section width – 8.25 mm

Conclusion

I had commissioned this pen with a very specific objective and it has successfully delivered without an iota of doubt. Not only do I like this pen, it has managed to wriggle into my regular list. I rarely ink up the same pen for four successive weeks and this one is breaking all records. It is very comfortable, well balanced and an excellent writer thanks to the wonderful Bock Titan nib. The silver clip and band is a unique Fosfor signature lends the pen a degree of exclusivity. I have no hesitation in recommending this model to others.

Useful Links

Conway Stewart Heather blanks from www.theturnersworkshop.co.uk
Bock 250 Titan nib from www.starbond-europa.de
The nib is also available at www.beaufortink.co.uk
Pen made by www.fosforpens.com



 


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


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#2 KellyMcJ

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 18:18

Amazing pen!

#3 Tweel

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 20:47

I have the titanium nib of the same Bock 250 Triple System mounted with a Sheaffer NoNonsense feed in a clipless, brushed ebonite Gama Hawk.  Definitely a frankenpen, but it all works well together and the matte ebonite and matte titanium are complementary.  Mine, with a fine point, is also a wonderful nib.  It seems to have been made with extra care.  The tipping isn't a "modern blob", but instead uses a modest amount of iridium ground very nicely.  Things have been written about both the flexibility of a titanium nib and the danger of springing it.  My experience is that it falls somewhere in between, at least with this nib (I haven't tried a T-Flex, for example).  I wouldn't call it flexy, but rather springy -- it opens up a little.  And then it stops, as if hitting a wall.  It tells you very clearly that if you persist in pushing, it'll bend.

 

This was a well-done project of yours with a beautiful result, and a very good review to cap it.  Congratulations and thanks!


fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

 


#4 Prithwijit

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 03:49

I have the titanium nib of the same Bock 250 Triple System mounted with a Sheaffer NoNonsense feed in a clipless, brushed ebonite Gama Hawk.  Definitely a frankenpen, but it all works well together and the matte ebonite and matte titanium are complementary.  Mine, with a fine point, is also a wonderful nib.  It seems to have been made with extra care.  The tipping isn't a "modern blob", but instead uses a modest amount of iridium ground very nicely.  Things have been written about both the flexibility of a titanium nib and the danger of springing it.  My experience is that it falls somewhere in between, at least with this nib (I haven't tried a T-Flex, for example).  I wouldn't call it flexy, but rather springy -- it opens up a little.  And then it stops, as if hitting a wall.  It tells you very clearly that if you persist in pushing, it'll bend.

 

This was a well-done project of yours with a beautiful result, and a very good review to cap it.  Congratulations and thanks!

 

Hi Tweel,

 

Thank you for the compliments on the pen and the review. You are right that the Titan nibs seem to be made with extra care. I didn't notice much flex or spring in my nib either but enjoyed the overall writing experience nevertheless. 

 

Do please share pictures of your franken Gama.

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#5 mehandiratta

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 04:56

I can undoubtedly say.. This is pen from each corner is well detailed...
As German Architect "Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe" once said that "God is in the Detail" ... This pen is an epitome of that..

Well crafted by Manoj with amazing bock nib..

vaibhav mehandiratta                               

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#6 Sudhir-ThePenPerson

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 19:45

Dada

 

As usual, your review is amazingly detailed and the pictures speak louder than the words.

 

This review puts a new concept in my mind and I think I may now have one for a set of blue premium ebonite blanks and a Heritance nib that you helpfully sourced. 

 

The silver and blue will go well together, I think. What say?

 

Cheers again for the lovely review.

 

Sudhir


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#7 visvamitra

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 07:10

Nice. I rather like this one.



#8 zaddick

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 07:36

Thank you for the enthusiastic review. Enjoy your new treasure.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!


#9 Prithwijit

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 14:01

Dada

 

As usual, your review is amazingly detailed and the pictures speak louder than the words.

 

This review puts a new concept in my mind and I think I may now have one for a set of blue premium ebonite blanks and a Heritance nib that you helpfully sourced. 

 

The silver and blue will go well together, I think. What say?

 

Cheers again for the lovely review.

 

Sudhir

 

Hi Sudhir,

 

Given that a picture is worth a thousand words, let me share a couple of pictures to help you in your decision making process -

 

Image I: CS Marlborough in blue rippled ebonite (same material as yours)

 

Marlborough-Vintage-Blue-Ripple-2-960x1200.jpg

 

 

Image II: CS Churchill in black ebonite

 

Churchill-Classic-Black-FP-1200x798.jpg

 

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#10 Prithwijit

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 14:04

Amazing pen!

 

Thank you for the compliments.

 

Nice. I rather like this one.

 

Glad to know that. Hope you enjoyed the review as well.

 

Thank you for the enthusiastic review. Enjoy your new treasure.

 

Thank you. This pen has quickly become one of my current favourites. Both the design and the nib has contributed significantly to that.

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#11 Prithwijit

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 14:28

I can undoubtedly say.. This is pen from each corner is well detailed...
As German Architect "Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe" once said that "God is in the Detail" ... This pen is an epitome of that..

Well crafted by Manoj with amazing bock nib..

 

Hi Vaibhav,

 

Thanks for your comments. Miles obviously is an architectural goliath who set the tone and theme for modern minimalist architecture. His other motto of "Less is more" probably wouldn't gel very well with the design of this pen. 

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#12 Tweel

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 01:30

Do please share pictures of your franken Gama.

 

Thanks for your interest, here it is:

 

fpn_1457918766__gama_hawk_001_sm.png

 

fpn_1457917934__gama_hawk_002_sm.png

 

-- Brian


fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
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#13 sannidh

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 04:33

Dada,

I take a bow  :notworthy1: to this pen & the art of pen-making.

We are missing a writing sample  :roller1:

 

Sonik


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#14 Sagarb

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 07:20

Another wonderful review for a wonderful pen..As Sonik said, we are really missing some writing samples.. :)


Sagar Bhowmick


#15 Prithwijit

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 15:18

 

Thanks for your interest, here it is:

 

fpn_1457918766__gama_hawk_001_sm.png

 

fpn_1457917934__gama_hawk_002_sm.png

 

-- Brian

 

Hi Brian,

 

Thanks for sharing the pictures. the matte gray colour of the nib seems to gel rather harmoniously well with the matte black finish of the pen. It is a beautiful instrument and wishing you many reams of pleasant writing with it.

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#16 Prithwijit

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 15:19

Dada,

I take a bow  :notworthy1: to this pen & the art of pen-making.

We are missing a writing sample  :roller1:

 

Sonik

 

 

Another wonderful review for a wonderful pen..As Sonik said, we are really missing some writing samples.. :)

 

Thank you Sonik and Sagar for your encouraging comments. This pen is a thing of beauty and I didn't want to tarnish the aura around it by putting pictures of my chicken scratch next to it :)

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 


#17 Prithwijit

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 14:18

Just thought I would share a side by side picture of the Heather and the Azaadi to highlight the size difference.

 

IMGP1622.JPG

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit

 


Click here to check out my reviews

 

Fosfor Rajendran | ASA Santulan | Ranga Sugarcane | ASA Sniper | Fosfor Heather | ASA I-Will | Hero Glorious | ASA Azaadi | Fosfor Islander | ASA Halwa | ASA Macaw | ASA Namenlos | ASA Bheeshma

 






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