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Hello, I've enjoyed reading this forum for quite a while. The time has come to join. I live in Los Altos, California, a few miles from Stanford University. I am an engineer/scientist and my name "Precise" is descriptive of me. I bought a Montblanc Diplomat 149 new in New York City around 1970. At that time, I think the list price was $129 and I had lusted for that pen for several years. When I saw it discounted to $75 I grabbed it. I used it extensively for years but gradually drifted away from fountain pens. Then about a year ago I got back in. I had about a dozen pens. But just recently ordered a few more. I'll be reviewing some - I enjoy writing. At the moment here are some thoughts on some of my pens: Montblanc Diplomat 149 - Silky smooth, works perfectly, but the medium nib is wetter than I like. I inquired about a nib change but only MB does that and the price is over $300. So at the moment it sees little use. Pelikan M800 Fine nib. If there was ever a perfect pen, this is it. The line weight and wetness are perfect for my taste. It's silky smooth and has never missed. It writes even when stored vertically with the nib up for months (so does the MB). Pilot Custom 823 Medium. Another perfect pen. Incidentally, I can write "a lot" without opening the top. I've never run dry and had to open the top. Pilot Vanishing Point Medium. This was my most-used pen until I bought the "fine" below. It writes silky smooth and is very convenient. Pilot Vanishing Point Fine. This became my most-used pen after using the "medium" for a year. I like the dry line, which doesn't bleed on the cheap paper that I encounter every day. Duke D2. A cheap pen which writes very smoothly and reliably. I find the looks a bit garish, but it's performance is first rate. The pull-push cap is more convenient than a screw cap. Duke D191 (other colors are D190 and D192). Another cheap pen that I like. The multiple threads allow the cap to unscrew or post with one-half turn. That's very convenient. For some reason this nib is not as smooth as the D2, but I'm working on it. Duke Charlie Chaplin. Verrrry fat and heavy, but I enjoy writing with it. It has been drying out a bit quicker than it should. Sailor 1911. Essentially faultless, but not seeing as much use as it deserves. There are more, which I'll write about from time to time. I have a workshop and a microscope, which I use to tune nibs. With the Chinese pens, no courage is required to jump in and start adjusting or polishing. If you wreck a pen, you're out less than the price of a bottle of ink. Incidentally I like Duke Blue ink. It performs great and the bottle is pretty. All for now. Alan
A couple of days ago, I was cleaning out a part of my garden that I had let go wild for many years. While digging up endless root systems of Parthenocissus quinquefolia, I came upon this old Pilot Precise Rolling Ball pen. It was stained a tea color (I should have taken a "before" photo) and dirty, of course. I wiped it down with some spray cleaner and voilá. It wrote a little gummy at first, but now it's a smooth, excellent extra-fine point writer. I've been carrying it with me ever since; in fact, I like it so much, I ordered a 12-pack of Pilot Precise Needlepoint V5s. Could someone indulge my curiosity and give me an idea how old this pen is?