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Parker Big Red Centennial For $224 On Amazon


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162 replies to this topic

#41 morbidsteve

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 22:47

I wish I would have known and picked one of these up!!



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#42 katerchen

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 02:39

I wish I would have known and picked one of these up!!

 

There's a good chance it will come back. Just check every now and then.

 

(Actually, it shows $240 right now, which is not that far from the lowest I saw)



#43 Honeybadgers

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 03:17

if it's 240 right now, buy it. good lord is it a great pen for that price, especially since parker will swap your nib.

 

I'm super excited for the needlepoint nib I ordered, but I was very temped by the reverse oblique triple broad for possibly the best signature pen ever.

 

Honestly if it pops up for 224 again, I'll buy another and actually have it swapped for the OBBB


Edited by Honeybadgers, 05 November 2019 - 03:18.

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#44 Theroc

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 05:21

 

(Actually, it shows $240 right now, which is not that far from the lowest I saw)

 

That is from a 3rd party seller for a used pen.

But you are right about it coming back. It's been frequently dropping to the $220 mark since June.

Anyway, the Medium nib is available directly from Amazon and in stock right now, albeit for $263.



#45 katerchen

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 05:31

Sneaky bastards ... I could have sworn that Amazon used to put the new price on the front page with a link to used, refurb and all other sellers.



#46 Honeybadgers

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 22:15

 

That is from a 3rd party seller for a used pen.

But you are right about it coming back. It's been frequently dropping to the $220 mark since June.

Anyway, the Medium nib is available directly from Amazon and in stock right now, albeit for $263.

 

The fine was available new for like $248.

 

But yeah, the lowest was from amazon warehouse. I doubt parker would honor the nib exchange for that.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#47 A Smug Dill

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 22:58

I ordered mine in a fine which wrote more like a "thin" medium so contacted Parker,

 
 
The line thickness from the F nib on my Parker Duofold Centennial Classic Big Red is not as wide as the F nib on my Pelikan M815 Metal-Striped was, out-of-the-box. I think that has a lot to do with the Duofold nib writing rather dry, and it's not helped by the ineffectiveness of the cap at preventing the nib and feed from drying. The pen took a few strokes to get writing again after merely 48 hours of not being used, and there is some small amount of nib creep visible, which in my experience is a symptom of inferior sealing of the nib and feed when capped.
 
The sense I get from writing with the Duofold is that the geometry of the tipping is more rounded, than say on a typical Aurora or Platinum, notwithstanding that I seem to be able to get a higher ratio of distinct parallel horizontal lines to vertical lines inside a 5mm square space. That's not a good thing in my book, a finer but wetter-flowing nib, that demanded far more from the nib technician to craft and demands more control from the user to write with, beats an easier-to-make and easier-to-use 'shading' nib any day, and a 'ballpoint' nib just feels sloppy.
 
fpn_1573340266__parker_duofold_centennia
 
fpn_1573344846__parker_duofold_centennia


Edited by A Smug Dill, 10 November 2019 - 00:14.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#48 ardene

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 01:59

 

The fine was available new for like $248.

 

But yeah, the lowest was from amazon warehouse. I doubt parker would honor the nib exchange for that.

There is no need for Parker to know how much it was purchased for. A receipt image with black boxes over the price should do fine, perhaps with a cover letter explaining that the pen was given as a gift and the person who gave the pen to you sent you the receipt redacted specifically so that you can ask Parker to change the nib.

 

 
The line thickness from the F nib on my Parker Duofold Centennial Classic Big Red is not as wide as the F nib on my Pelikan M815 Metal-Striped was, out-of-the-box. I think that has a lot to do with the Duofold nib writing rather dry, and it's not helped by the ineffectiveness of the cap at preventing the nib and feed from drying. The pen took a few strokes to get writing again after merely 48 hours of not being used, and there is some small amount of nib creep visible, which in my experience is a symptom of inferior sealing of the nib and feed when capped.
 
The sense I get from writing with the Duofold is that the geometry of the tipping is more rounded, than say on a typical Aurora or Platinum, notwithstanding that I seem to be able to get a higher ratio of distinct parallel horizontal lines to vertical lines inside a 5mm square space. That's not a good thing in my book, a finer but wetter-flowing nib, that demanded far more from the nib technician to craft and demands more control from the user to write with, beats an easier-to-make and easier-to-use 'shading' nib any day, and a 'ballpoint' nib just feels sloppy.

 

I am sorry to read of your experience. Notice though that the difference in ratio between the horizontal and vertical lines would suggest that the pen is in fact wet, but that the point where the nib makes contact with the paper is further back than the point of first contact between nib (lubricated by ink there too) and paper. The Sonnet’s nib behaves like that and I can assure you that its tipping is not spherical, like on my Urban, IM and my old Vector; it rather looks like a flattened triangle on its underside, a wedge with curved sides, with the forward end of the tipping pointing upwards rather than completing a spherical shape. That’s a steel nib (M) I am talking about. I would expect a Duofold’s tipping to be similar. This shape does not require any particular control in writing on my part, but it writes in a more expressive way than my Urban (and both are wet to the point of ridiculous, the IM and the Vector are wet, but are definitely designed to fill in two more A4 pages with a Quink cartridge; that’s taking your average student into consideration and in my book is a good thing).

 

Also bear in mind that western pens tend to be designed to be used with acidic inks (pH 2.0 to 4.0). My Parker, Kaweco and MB pens all like a nice plunge into an acidic blue ink every so often. Western blacks tend to be acidic as well. That said, these pens will perform well with inks close to neuter pH (7.0). The acidic composition of western inks might well reflect practical than historical considerations: it is perfectly all right to clean the pen from ink using potable tap water, let it dry with all the salts inside and then the acidic ink will in its turn clean the feeder walls because it is an acidic water solution itself. In addition, the acidic ink has the ability to dilute dried ink remnants of inks of a similar variety without cleaning at all. It is therefore practical. For info on ink pH see here:

 

http://www.fountainp...lected-222-few/

 

More than ink though, your Duofold might not like Rhodia paper very much. My Parker 75 and Sonnet are both like that. They prefer slightly textured paper without coating, which translates to school notebooks and paper with at least 30% cotton or other plant fibre content. I.e. my Parkers like either very cheap or very expensive paper. This tendency is shared with the MB. The pens that can handle Rhodia well are my cheaper pens (Perkeo, Vector, IM, Urban); they do leave uniformly wet lines of ink rising well above the paper surface. My Rotring italics (which are professional tools) do not like Rhodia very much as well; these leave a thin coat of ink in most of the downwards drawn character shapes and a pool of ink at the bottom.

 

Edit: In relation to your quote, I see that Marten has a point by looking at your photos. The Duofold seems to force you to write slightly larger characters in your cursive script. You might not like that as you are writing, but my opinion is that your cursive is both more readable and more flowing aesthetically with the Duofold. The Aurora might be more comfortable for you, but your cursive with it is far more cramped, and although legible, the cramped together (latin) lettershapes bring about a sensation of urgency to a reader.


Edited by ardene, 10 November 2019 - 03:35.


#49 A Smug Dill

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 03:50

Also bear in mind that western pens tend to be designed to be used with acidic inks (pH 2.0 to 4.0). My Parker, Kaweco and MB pens all like a nice plunge into an acidic blue ink every so often. Western blacks tend to be acidic as well.


I'm confident I can find an acidic Japanese ink (e.g. Platinum Classic Ink iron-gall ink colours) among my collection if I tried, and I do have inks such as Pelikan 4001 Blue/Black (which has a reputation of flowing 'dry' that is corroborated by my user experience) and KWZ Ink Aztec Gold (which doesn't).

More than ink though, your Duofold might not like Rhodia paper very much.


That may be. I tend to favour paper that shows off precise finishing of each pen stroke in my handwriting, and Rhodia 80g/m² notepads work very well in that regard.

They prefer slightly textured paper without coating, which translates to school notebooks and paper with at least 30% cotton or other plant fibre content. I.e. my Parkers like either very cheap or very expensive paper.


If you can suggest a paper that Parker pens will write wetter while leaving crisper edges with each pen stroke, I'm all ears. I have four types of Tomoe River paper here, as well as two types of Midori, some Maruman, etc. which I hardly ever use, but if that's what it takes to make Parker pen perform close to its Japanese counterparts in the aspects I care about, I'd be happy to try.

The Duofold seems to force you to write slightly larger characters in your cursive script. You might not like that as you are writing, but my opinion is that your cursive is both more readable and more flowing aesthetically with the Duofold. The Aurora might be more comfortable for you, but your cursive with it is far more cramped, and although legible, the cramped together (latin) lettershapes bring about a sensation of urgency to a reader.


What I care most about are crisp edges and sharp points as my pen strokes abruptly change direction. Whether I'm writing with x-height of 2.5mm or 5mm, I still look for that characteristic first and foremost. That's expressiveness that match my personal character. I couldn't do tai chi even when my martial arts teacher insisted that I try; that continuous flow without delivering impact just filled me with rage I couldn't let out. My favoured style is more of short/small flowing circular movements punctuated with crisp piercing or slashing strikes at soft places or joint-breaking moves. The way I want my handwriting to look is also like that, conveying a sense of direction and iron discipline prevailing over barely contained menace and violence. Maybe Parker doesn't have a pen or nib to suit my taste, but that would be OK if that's its official position or philosophy. I've found some (but not all) Aurora, Diplomat and Pelikan nibs that deliver pretty much what I want, so I don't think it's really a "Western" versus "Japanese" thing.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#50 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 07:02

There is no need for Parker to know how much it was purchased for. A receipt image with black boxes over the price should do fine, perhaps with a cover letter explaining that the pen was given as a gift and the person who gave the pen to you sent you the receipt redacted specifically so that you can ask Parker to change the nib.

 

The vendor that I returned it to for exchange said parker requires a receipt to honor the 28 day free exchange. And the receipt I had was not a gift receipt (which might be the way to go, gift yourself the pen, lol) so it included the listed price. 

 

Which means we're on the same page. I just wanted to be honest with the retailer since the guy was just unbelievably nice and we might now be using him for our wedding stationary when my wife and I finally get around to having our ceremony.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#51 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 07:03

 

The vendor that I returned it to for exchange said parker requires a receipt to honor the 28 day free exchange. And the receipt I had was not a gift receipt (which might be the way to go, gift yourself the pen, lol) so it included the listed price. 

 

Which means we're on the same page. I just wanted to be honest with the retailer since the guy was just unbelievably nice and we might now be using him for our wedding stationary when my wife and I finally get around to having our ceremony.

 

Gil, if you decide you don't want the pen, get it exchanged for the OBBB and I'll buy it back from you for what you paid plus shipping.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#52 ardene

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 08:06

Dill, try out an acidic ink to see how this behaves with the pen in terms of wetness (yes, Pelikan's ink is the exception that confirms the rule). The Monteverde ink in your samples seems to behave as intended with this pen. Another thing: Alkaline inks might have acted as detergents for any residual oils, but they have been known to drip or otherwise flood a feeder without additives because the alkalinity affects the solution's contact angle. Acidic inks tend to behave more predictably (i.e. if you add stuff like dyes in water, it tends to cling more than plain water on metal whereas the alkaline solution tends to flow easier; all the added stuff in it make it more soapy). See https://en.wikipedia...i/Contact_angle Judging from my experience with cleaning Parker pens vs pens with Bock feeders and nibs, the Parkers let water drip through them faster; much faster. They are faster and easier to clean, but this suggests that the channel might allow so much ink to contact the nib that the necessary anti-flooding agents in an alkaline ink work more effectively than conceived and tested for.

 

Try by all means all the papers that you have mentioned and see how they work with both alkaline and acidic inks (Pelikan excluded until you are confident you know how wet the pen is). If you have the MD type of Midori the pen should work fine, but I don't know about the crispness you desire. Tomoe River is also not smooth enough to work all right. What I would personally suggest is something like the Original Crown Mill Classic Laid Writing Pads (a mouthful of a name) because they have a textured surface. But they are blank; no lined or dotted variant of them in existence. Theoretically not-so-smooth paper would give you more control over how you write; the movements to produce crisp angles might be feasible, but I do not know if their result is going to be as identifiable as on a smoother paper. I use two brands, Skag when in Greece and Nu (stylised nu:) when in the UK; you will surely find the equivalent in Australia, just look for bound school notebooks. These are cheap and work very well with all my fps. I buy their bound (stiched or spiral binding does not make a difference) notebooks because the refill pads of both brands are coated in a way that even pencils slide over them. With these refill pads only ballpoints appear to work without any problem whatsoever. Rhodia is far better than the refill pads.

 

On the nibs, I do think that Parker designs Sonnet (and presumably Duofold) F, M and B nibs to exhibit stubbish qualities for a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Notice that MB tends to make its B, BB and BBB nibs stubbish as well. The catch with higher-end Parker nibs is that their smoothness appears to come from ink being absorbed by the paper rather than from the nib depositing ink on it. I have an MB OBB which derives its smoothness from the enormous amount of ink its big tipping lets between  its non-pointy but fully curving surface and the paper. On Rhodia it swims in its own ink, often making the left tine lose contact with the paper when writing fast. The Sonnet on the other hand will skip in the downstrokes when writing fast on Rhodia. Then there is the 75, which is a medium stub with a 14K nib and it exhibits the same tendency as the Sonnet, although when writing fast on Rhodia it can skip in every direction. On different paper it is a constantly reliable writer. Hand- or arm- oily residue is not to blame, despite that the 75 is so sensitive to them that it was it that got me into the habit of covering the lower area of a page with another piece of paper, because it can skip in every direction from the top of the page. This smoothness-by-absorption thing makes ink dry fast. The ink the MB deposits takes longer to dry. Others here have noticed similar things on higher-end Parkers. In several threads on Sonnets people speak of Sonnet nibs having baby bottom by design. Whereas in my experience this is not a true assertion, I should say that they are designed to write with minimal contact with the paper and in such a way (guaranteed by the fact that ink is mainly drawn at the base of the triangular wedge tipping even though it will disperse all over the wedge surface if the pen is not held above 60 degrees or so or very low) that their line width is on the thick side. MB strives after thick lines as well, although they achieve it with tipping ground like a half of these old seal-type things with the curved bottom on which blotting paper was attached. Parker's tipping is getting narrower towards the front end (that's why I described it as triangular) and the surface in contact with the paper is flatter. Both designs lead to customers which can move their pens up and down a lot, as they might do with a ballpoint, and still achieve this elusive pleasure of writing without applying any pressure whatsoever.

 

Another hint that this behaviour is by design comes from my ancient Lady Duofold (90 years old), which happens to carry a nib which is even older in design. It carries a 14K nib designed for ring-top Jack-Knifes. This has had the desirable effects of making the pen affordable to bid for and win and, unlike dedicated Duofold nibs of the late 1920s, of the nib being very springy. It is essentially a fine, stretching regularly to medium with the negligible pressure required to bring it to contact with the paper. The nib tipping is a generous quantity of iridium protruding visibly from the gold tines in a thin elongated oval shape which is flat on the top and like the bottom one third of an egg on its side at the bottom. This pen performs perfectly on Rhodia. The tipping's bottom shape makes it, like the contemporary higher-end Parkers, useable at various angles while retaining other desirable characteristics (in this case springiness). So, yes, I think that Parker does deliberately design their higher-end fountain pens to be lushly wet, and with some interesting flair, and with minimal feedback, and to offer a writing experience as carefree as their lower-end fps (or even more carefree than even a humble disposable ballpoint since fps need to apply no pressure to write); as a result of my experience with the old Duofold I also think that they have always done so. Finally, as a result of my experience with MB, I think that other manufacturers aim at the same thing. The OBB is extremely forgiving in writing; there is no need to pay any attention to find its soft spot (because it is a very big spot, covering most of the tipping, the pen comes to rest on it on its own).

 

Concerning your writing style I think I understand what you mean. I have some similar preferences and that is why I do not usually write in cursive. I like the stops and changing direction abruptly (and in my case raising the pen every so often).


Edited by ardene, 10 November 2019 - 08:26.


#53 ardene

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 08:33

Which means we're on the same page. I just wanted to be honest with the retailer since the guy was just unbelievably nice and we might now be using him for our wedding stationary when my wife and I finally get around to having our ceremony.

Oh, I see.



#54 A Smug Dill

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 09:06

Gil, if you decide you don't want the pen, get it exchanged for the OBBB and I'll buy it back from you for what you paid plus shipping.

 

 

You're better off waiting for Amazon US to offer it at the US$224 price again. I had to pay 10% GST (Goods and Services Tax) and shipping charges on top of that to get the pen.

 

I've previously contacted Newell Brands's office in Australia about the nib exchange. I'm inclined to ask for an exchange the nib for a Fine Italic if it is available for the Duofold Centennial, and failing that, the Extra Extra Fine which was listed as an option on Parker web site for the model. However, prior to doing so I might want to double-check just how poor the cap seal mechanism is; what would setting the pen aside unused for a week do to a full converter's fill? That's pushing it, though, to get the pen sent in time for a nib exchange ("within 28 days of purchase" as opposed to 28 days from when the item was delivered to me).

 

If the cap seal really is next to useless, then the nib wouldn't really matter, but I could probably send the pen back at Amazon's expense for refund on the claim that it is functionally unsatisfactory and/or defective.


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#55 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 09:40

 

 

You're better off waiting for Amazon US to offer it at the US$224 price again. I had to pay 10% GST (Goods and Services Tax) and shipping charges on top of that to get the pen.

 

I've previously contacted Newell Brands's office in Australia about the nib exchange. I'm inclined to ask for an exchange the nib for a Fine Italic if it is available for the Duofold Centennial, and failing that, the Extra Extra Fine which was listed as an option on Parker web site for the model. However, prior to doing so I might want to double-check just how poor the cap seal mechanism is; what would setting the pen aside unused for a week do to a full converter's fill? That's pushing it, though, to get the pen sent in time for a nib exchange ("within 28 days of purchase" as opposed to 28 days from when the item was delivered to me).

 

If the cap seal really is next to useless, then the nib wouldn't really matter, but I could probably send the pen back at Amazon's expense for refund on the claim that it is functionally unsatisfactory and/or defective.

 

 

If it's any help, mine's cap seal was absolutely perfect for the 2.5ish weeks I had it inked nonstop. If yours is problematic, maybe talk about a repair as well as a nib swap (mine is currently being exchanged for the XXF so the option is there)

 

It doesn't have that weird lack of seal around the 3 holes in the top that the sonnet has. Yours shouldn't have any cap seal problems.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#56 A Smug Dill

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 04:24

I'm not sure what happened this morning:
 
fpn_1573446050__parker_duofold_centennia

Then, switching to a Leuchtturm1917 journal:

fpn_1573445418__parker_duofold_centennia

 
Switching back to the Rhodia Dotpad:
fpn_1573445892__parker_duofold_centennia
 
fpn_1573445850__parker_duofold_centennia

fpn_1573445811__parker_duofold_centennia

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#57 Intensity

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 05:53

The last photograph in the post above illustrates the difference between pens I like and don't like precisely.  Thank you for posting that, A Smug Dill. I am also a fan of well-defined lines and none of that washed out fuzzy look of the top writing.  A lot of modern round-ball European pens I have had write like the top one (for instance any of the steel round-tip Lamy nibs, Pelikan's modern gold nibs).  Any pen that writes like the top pen either gets a custom nib grind or goes into a "for sale or trade" stash.


Edited by Intensity, 11 November 2019 - 05:54.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


#58 morbidsteve

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 11:52

I got my M Big Red yesterday. Kind of hesitating to put some ink into it! Wondering if I do or don't want to send it in -- I think I'm good with the M nib. Anyone have the M nib and have opinions?



#59 Driften

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 03:16

I got my M Big Red yesterday. Kind of hesitating to put some ink into it! Wondering if I do or don't want to send it in -- I think I'm good with the M nib. Anyone have the M nib and have opinions?

 

 

I am loving the M, but I tend to like B's. 



#60 Honeybadgers

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 06:10

 

 

I am loving the M, but I tend to like B's. 

 

Take it over to Silberman Brown in downtown Seattle. He'll do the nib exchange for you if you want a B!


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)







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