It's a hot, sunny Sunday here in Auckland, New Zealand. The palms are rustling in the garden and the paddling pool is set up on the deck. It sure feels like we're in for a long summer. I've only just gone back to work after my longest holiday in four years - a full three weeks! - and escapism has already been tempting my mind away again. Hence, two new pens recently arrived after days of enjoyable reading, watching reviews, considering comparisons, weighing options, and finally hunting for the perfect specimen at the right price.
That process, and my thorough enjoyment of it, made me realise just what a wonderful resource the Fountain Pen Network is. I've been a member for only a few months, and before that made casual use of the forums and reviews which popped up in Google searches. Now, I feel it's time to repay the use I've made of the knowledge compiled here by adding to it, if I can do so helpfully and modestly.
I am hardly any kind of expert. The opposite in fact! I have always loved to write, but I'm not sure I had even touched a fountain pen up until a year ago. As a student, either at the start of the year or around exam time, I would go through a buzz of stationery purchases, in eagerness or desperation. The right coloured notebook or pen can set you up for a perfect semester... or prop up a feverish, last-ditch attempt to cram - right? But I never connected this fondness for smooth writers and cheerful bindings with fountain pens. I had always found fountain pens to be beautiful, but they were an object of prestige and mystique, something a bit niche or for the initiated. Like cigars and champagne; a thing I saw in movies, not in real life. Fast forward a few years to the middle of 2019 when I have a steady job (and income) and a partner who uses his grandfather's fountain pen at work. I get to see one up close. Boom. My interest began to grow, and I've had a challenge reining it in since.
Now I have six pens. Some are European, some are Japanese. All are from different makers. They are of varying nib widths. Four are vintage and two were bought new. They are all of reasonably high quality and from known brands (thanks mainly to knowledge gleaned from this very site), except one which was a case of mistaken identity and a good lesson in caution when buying pens online.
I have been thinking that I would love to do a post about my small collection so far, but given the diversity of it, does anyone have any pointers on where it should go? I was thinking of doing each pen with photos and writing samples. Not quite full reviews, but with commentary on how I find them to use for sure. I tend to go for good examples from good makers, and have a thing for unusual and beautiful design, materials or nibs.
My pens are:
- Lamy 2000, new (I'm sure plenty has been said already about this pen!)
- Sailor Pro Gear, new (again, plenty said I'm sure)
- Pilot Custom, vintage, maple. An unusual model from I assume the 1980s, with the inset nib found on some other pilot pens but not on the Custom anymore. It's design is also different to the current pilot design, more slender. It is also made of solid maple. It's a really interesting and beautiful pen, and I was only able to find one or two other references to this particular version online.
- Sheaffer Targa, vintage, sterling silver. Not an uncommon pen, but it was my first and it remains my favourite. It has a fluted design that is beautiful to look at and hold.
- Montblanc No. 32, vintage, presumed 1960s. This is the variant with the partially hooded nib, giving a wing-like shape which I find particularly beautiful. It's a fantastic writer, and I love its more minimal, sleek design compared to their top shelf pens and the more modern Montblancs.
- Aurora Marco Polo, supposedly vintage. This was my mistake pen. When I was starting out, I saw this advertised as an Aurora Hastil on Etsy, and my research into the Hastil made me incredibly interested to own one. So I bought it, and later, after more research and comparing images, realised that it is NOT a Hastil. I feel like a real fool about this, even though the seller refunded half my money when I pointed out the mistake. If the pen were nice to use, this would have restored it to a place of honour in my eyes, but... well let me know if you'd like a proper post about my pens!
If I do write a post about my collection, where should it go? Would it be better split up into individual posts about each pen? Let me know what you think.
Thanks for having me!
Edited by FlyingDoug, 19 January 2020 - 06:53.