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Flexible Nibs And Global Market Trend

flexible nib flexible nib market vintage flex modern flex

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50 replies to this topic

#21 Reed_thoughts

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 19:02

just a few comments on a "hot" topic:

 

-We now have Titanium nibs. They are quite soft and yield decent line variation. I have one and they are a lot of fun.

 

-As for "montblancs" and other brands to offer flexy nibs: some do at a huge cost (montblanc charges 1500 for it, but to be fair, at the price they make a custom nib for you, and they do perform a lot of tests so you like it)... But there is also nib Meisters. They can modify nibs to make them softer/more flexible.

 

We have options.



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#22 Strelnikoff

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 19:34

Right now if you really wanted one you can get an Edison pen with a Richard Binder flex nib, or go to John Mattishaw and get his Spencerian modification on a #10 Pilot FA nib. For the Spencerian you are looking at $274 just for the nib with his mods and still have to buy a Pilot 912 pen to put it in. Both of these options have been around for a while. Both are low volume options and high labor that a company like Boch or Jowo are not ready to do.

 

I bet if enough 3rd party nibs were bought the big companies would take notice and maybe make the investment in taking over that market. It could also be that enough people buy the Jowo flex (Edison/F-C) and the market does well enough for Aurora to prove there is a demand more flexible offerings could happen in the future. If the current options don't show a big increase in sales I expect they will die out and companies will just focus on F/M/B standard nibs :(

 

I know for me when it came time to put my money where my mouth was I bought a new F-C Pocket 66 (with M Stub) instead of spending the money on their flex nib to go into a pen I already had. I did not have the cash right now to buy the pen with the flex nib so it was one or the other. Maybe I will try their flex nib later but not this time.

 

I have two Pilot Custom Heritage 1912 with FA nib(s). The feed is an issue. Nib is superb. I'd rather spend 150 USD... or 200 ? on good feed adjustment - with that nib. Problem is - current feed Pilot is using with FA nib is same feed as used with rigid nibs. Not enough ink flow. Also - Pilot's feed is extremely hard to modify to allow for more ink flow.



#23 Strelnikoff

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 19:38

just a few comments on a "hot" topic:

 

-We now have Titanium nibs. They are quite soft and yield decent line variation. I have one and they are a lot of fun.

 

-As for "montblancs" and other brands to offer flexy nibs: some do at a huge cost (montblanc charges 1500 for it, but to be fair, at the price they make a custom nib for you, and they do perform a lot of tests so you like it)... But there is also nib Meisters. They can modify nibs to make them softer/more flexible.

 

We have options.

 

Montblanc does that???  I didn't know.

I know that Pelikan offers something in that sense, if you visit their factory - a special occasion, guided visit etc. - they offer to make you a nib with whatever pen you chose - and tune it to your likening. Then they mark it S (special - i think). But for what I understood, it is just a conventional 18C nib for M800 pens or M1000 ... and that "special" is nib tip grinding, not a different material (i/e/ flexibility).

 

Maybe I'm wrong.

 

But if MB is doing that - and making flexible nib for 1500 USD... that could be considered a step forward. Their pens are already expensive, so a special edition with such nib would be OK on the market.



#24 Nail-Bender

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 20:43

 

I have two Pilot Custom Heritage 1912 with FA nib(s). The feed is an issue. Nib is superb. I'd rather spend 150 USD... or 200 ? ...

Send them here

https://www.nibs.com.../john-mottishaw

 

I'm gathering from the discussion that you folks are only interested in modern gold flex nibs (not steel)

 

One thing to consider about vintage flex pens is they were all eyedropper or sac.

I'm coming to believe that this may contribute to the excellent flow characteristics of the old pens.



#25 ac12

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 21:10

 


 

I'm bored with modern pens. They all write the same. Few differences here and there, but essentially it's all the same... expression is needed :)

 

Do what a few of us have done.

When I want to write flex, I use my dip pens.  And there isn't a fountain pen equivalent to an oblique dip pen holder.

 

And I can swap nibs to different flex nibs for about $2 each.

Spring the nib, no problem, a replacement nib is only $2 or less (for many/most dip nibs).


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#26 BoBoJones

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 21:29

It's good if flexible nibs are made.  It seems that many people here want them.  Everything is getting pretty expensive in pens.  Ordinary new nibs can cost quite a bit today, even for small pens.  Hobbies can be expensive.



#27 tgoto

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 00:49

If I were you I would still consider modern soft nibs. If you buy vintage you don't know if you're buying a sick man with cancer but who looks healthy. At a pen show I once wrote with a vintage Pelikan flex nib with the view of buying it. After a few minutes of writing, the damn tipping crumbled underneath which made it useless. At least if you buy modern you know it has a clean bill of health.
 
Admittedly I've not heard about such things happening frequently, but be aware that flexing stresses the nib over time.


I have tried Pilot Falcon at a pen shop and I liked it, although I wasn't keen on the looks tho (burgundy or black).

I am also leaning toward trying out Franklin-Christoph's soft nib...I wonder if anyone has tried FC's soft nib...

Then, I love how some of vintage pens look...I should've paid more attentions to fellow pen friends here, but I purchased a Mabie Todd flex just because I loved the russet and green marble pattern (plus it was a fairly rare pattern - 205/63 - so I didn't know when I would be able to find that pen next time). I have not received it yet, but it is a gamble to buy vintage pens unless I can actually check out the pen at a pen show just like you did.
Dream, take one step at a time and achieve. :)

#28 sidthecat

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:41

One can find flexible nibs on the cheap - it requires crossing one's fingers and looking past The Usual Suspects. Because I like ringtops I can occasionally find a bargain. I've once or twice taken advantage of a seller's ignorance (there's someone on eBay selling a 2nd Generation Doric with an Adjustable nib that he's describing as a "blue pen". I interrogate sellers and enlarge photos, and I've discovered that some third-tier pens can have brilliant nibs. And do not disregard Warranted nibs.
Pens are a hobby: flex is an obsession. Be afraid.

#29 Strelnikoff

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:03

One can find flexible nibs on the cheap - it requires crossing one's fingers and looking past The Usual Suspects. Because I like ringtops I can occasionally find a bargain. I've once or twice taken advantage of a seller's ignorance (there's someone on eBay selling a 2nd Generation Doric with an Adjustable nib that he's describing as a "blue pen". I interrogate sellers and enlarge photos, and I've discovered that some third-tier pens can have brilliant nibs. And do not disregard Warranted nibs.
Pens are a hobby: flex is an obsession. Be afraid.

 

 

I've paid the price... and will continue to pay :)  every now and then - there's a find and surprise. 



#30 tonybelding

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 23:07

I love these kind of posts from the IPG (Internet Peanut Gallery), and I love deconstructing them, so here goes nothing. . .

 

NO, it is unlikely that you will see a new FLEX nib.

 

There is NOT sufficient demand for a manufacturer to invest the $$$$$$ in making a flex nib.

 

What a commercial blunder Bock must have made by introducing the Bock Titan!  Too bad they didn't have you on board to advise them.

 

The other problem is, while there are MANY on FPN who want a new flex nib, almost no one is willing to PAY the cost of a newly manufactured flex nib.  So then, why should a manufacturer make a flex nib.  In discussions with someone, they determined that a newly manufactured flex nib would sell for $250+ EACH.  . . .  But that is to a pen manufacturer who would buy thousands of nibs.

 

I'm glad we have experts like "someone" to set us straight on things like this!  Otherwise we'd never know that Bock are losing their collective shirt on those Titan nibs they've got selling retail for $90 each on the Goulet website.

 

If they can’t sell enough nibs, they loose money.  And no one will make nibs to loose money.

 

Except Bock, apparently.  I hope everyone on FPN is stocking up on Bock product in advance of their bankruptcy proceedings!

 

This reminds me of arguments about how bumblebees can't really fly because the physics just don't work out.  And yet somehow the bees keep buzzing happily from flower to flower, ignorant of all rules they're breaking.



#31 Bluey

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 23:14

I didn't think the Bock titan nib was at all soft; in fact not much different to a regular Bock. It didn't do it for me so I eventually passed.


Edited by Bluey, 21 July 2017 - 23:18.

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#32 ac12

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 23:41

So Tony, did YOU try the Bock nib?

 

Bluey did, and his first-hand option does not sound like it is a flex nib.


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#33 Bluey

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 23:50

Maybe I got a naff one. I read tons of reviews and many were saying that it was soft(even flexy), has luxurious feedback and very wet. But apart from it having somewhat rougher feedback than regular Bock I didn't see any of the above claimed traits.


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#34 Nail-Bender

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:32

I love these kind of posts from the IPG (Internet Peanut Gallery), and I love deconstructing them, so here goes nothing. . .

Wait!...They are talking about using a nib that is not gold.

 

Let's watch!..

 

Pass the popcorn Tony :D


Edited by Bordeaux146, 22 July 2017 - 02:37.


#35 tonybelding

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 05:20

So Tony, did YOU try the Bock nib?

 

Bluey did, and his first-hand option does not sound like it is a flex nib.

 

I got one with my Karas Kustoms Ink pen, but I swapped it onto my Bexley 56, which it seems like quite a good match for.  I like it.  As to whether it's really a flex nib. . .   At the beginning of this post, the question was asked in these terms:

 

Whether they are quasi-flexible, sort-of-flexible, vintage-wannabe-flexible, or really flexible with "modern" or "vintage" feel. . .

 

There's no question the Bock Titan nib falls somewhere in that range!  I find mine so sensitive that I can't really carry it as an EDC pen, where I may have to write on random, cheap paper.



#36 Strelnikoff

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 05:35

Wait!...They are talking about using a nib that is not gold.

 

Let's watch!..

 

Pass the popcorn Tony :D

 

 

I tried Bock's titanium nib - and it was actually quite good. Plus - just by knowing it's a modern nib which I can buy (when I see it in our local pen shop) - and knowing titanium properties, I just went mercilessly on "testing" pressure. With vintage gold nib I'm always holding back. 

 

Apart from the "feel" - if two lines (nice, thin/thick etc) are on the paper and look identical, I can't tell if that was written with gold nib or ... bronze nib :D

 

one of these days someone will make perfect carbon fiber kevlar wool... nib - and that'll be it ... 



#37 Strelnikoff

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 05:41

 

I got one with my Karas Kustoms Ink pen, but I swapped it onto my Bexley 56, which it seems like quite a good match for.  I like it.  As to whether it's really a flex nib. . .   At the beginning of this post, the question was asked in these terms:

 

 

There's no question the Bock Titan nib falls somewhere in that range!  I find mine so sensitive that I can't really carry it as an EDC pen, where I may have to write on random, cheap paper.

 

 

 

Perhaps I could refine the question in this sense:

 

Regarding the market trends - and knowing that some fp users are shelling way more money on vintage pens than on new ones (I'm first to admit this) - modern flexible nibs should have an economic justification. Or - already have. 

Honestly, I'd rather spend 200, 300, 500, 900... 1200 USD on a modern, brand new pen with such nib, than on a vintage one. 



#38 sidthecat

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 18:08

For me, pleasure of writing with a fountain pen is the sensation of gliding with an instrument that doesn't require much pressure to make a mark. To that end, I like nibs with as much flex as I can afford, and use them well below their limits. So far, I've never sprung a nib, and some might argue that I'm doing it wrong.

#39 pajaro

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 18:24

For me, pleasure of writing with a fountain pen is the sensation of gliding with an instrument that doesn't require much pressure to make a mark. To that end, I like nibs with as much flex as I can afford, and use them well below their limits. So far, I've never sprung a nib, and some might argue that I'm doing it wrong.

 

Just say "I did it my way."  Each of us has his own way of doing it.


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#40 rwilsonedn

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 19:36

 

Just say "I did it my way."  Each of us has his own way of doing it.

 

And hence, most of the debate about flex nibs. One person's soft-but-hopelessly-inflexible is another person's just-like-vintage. I think much of the difference arises from differences in the amount of pressure the user applies on normal, no-pressure strokes. Folks who are comfortable with dip pens often have trained themselves to use effectively zero pressure--sometimes only the surface of the ink at the tip of the pen is in actual contact with the paper. Folks who are used to modern pens may consider that they are applying no pressure when they are actually pressing hard enough to splay a vintage nib out by a millimeter or two. When they really press down, they can get flex out of a Lamy Safari. Naturally each person will form a different opinion of how flexible a particular nib is.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: flexible, nib, flexible nib, market, vintage flex, modern flex



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