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dms525 posted a topic in Fountain Pen ReviewsI have had a Franklin-Christoph Model 02 Intrinsic for about a year. I have used it with the Steel JoWo 1.1 mm "Cursive Calligraphy" nib and with the remarkable F-C Music nib. I found the Model 02 a very nice writer, and the 1.1mm italic nib pretty fair, although I confess that the same nib that I bought from Edison Pens was slightly crisper. However, the Model 02 was just long enough to stick just far enough out of my shirt breast pocket so I almost never carry it out of my house. I frequently browsed the Franklin-Christoph web site looking for a model that would get used more, but there was none that met my criteria. Then, just a few days ago, I got an email announcing a new model being introduced - The Model 20 Marietta. When I checked it out, the size seemed just right, almost identical to a Pelikan M600 in length, and that, along with the Conway-Stewart Belliver, has been my ideal everyday carry-size pen. Now, the new model was pretty plain black plastic. There was the promise of new colors to come ... in 2 or 3 months, but I went for the IPO. I had also been very curious about F-C's offering of both steel and 18Kt gold nibs specially ground for them by Michael Masuyama. Now, I have maybe 20 (I'm almost afraid to count) italic nibs custom ground for me by Michael. He knows what I like and I get it from him. What would a F-C Masuyama italic nib be like? I was sure it couldn't be "bad," but would it be to my liking? I was also curious about how different it might be from the stock JoWo italic nibs. So, now I know, and I am going to share my impressions with you. I have nothing to add to previous reviews regarding construction quality, fit and finish. The Model 20 is, like other F-C pens I have seen and read about, well made. It feels high quality without any suggestion of glitz or bling. It's all about writing. The other remarkable feature is its light weight. I have just one caution: The nib on my Model 02 was very easy to unscrew from the section. I liked to be able to use it with the 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9mm italic and music nibs, as well as a round F nib. The nib on the Model 20 is in there very tight. I have an email to F-C asking about this and will report the outcome when it comes out. The pen is basically a cylinder. There is some shaping of the section and a couple "rings" cut into the two ends. Otherwise, it is as plain as can be. The change in packaging is very much worth mentioning. Rather than coming in a gift box, suitable for gifting or adding to the collection of empty pen boxes in my closet, F-C pens now come in a very attractive and useful single pen zippered case. This is packaging that is actually useful! What a concept. The size of the Model 20 is just what I expected. It is just enough smaller than the Model 02 to fit perfectly in my shirt pocket. It is just long enough for me to use unposted, but, like all of F-C's fountain pens, it is made to post securely and is very well-balenced when posted. Here is a series of photos comparing the Model 20 Marietta to the Model 02 Intrinsic in various configurations: Pens Capped Pens uncapped Pens posted I hope you can appreciate that the pens are most different in length when capped and least different in length when posted. I think this shows some very thoughtful design and engineering. How about the Masuyama italic nib? This photo shows the JoWo 1.1 mm steel italic nib on top, and the JoWo Steel nib ground to a 0.8mm "Medium Italic" by Michael Masuyama below it. The top nib happens to be an Edison nib I had installed on my Model 02. For the writing sample, I swapped in the F-C version of this nib. The Masuyama nib writes narrower than I expected, and, thus, even more narrow than the stock JoWo 1.1mm italic nib than expected. Now, the JoWo 1.1 mm nib has quite respectable thick/thin line differentiation, but the Masuyama nib is truly amazing. It is smooth with just the right amount of feedback, and is very crisp. The thin strokes are really hairlines. This nib compares very favorably to the 14Kt and 18Kt OMAS, Pelikan, Aurora and Conway Stewart nibs Michael has custom ground for me. And, if you look at the price premium F-C charges for it, it's an amazing bargain. I have read multiple queries on FPN about the differences among the F-C nib offerings. Based on my new Model 20 Marietta compared to my experience with the stock JoWo 1.1 italic nibs on F-C, Edison and TWSBI pens, the Masuyama-ground nibs F-C is offering are the best, and it's not even a close call. The other FAQ is whether the 18Kt nib is worth the extra expense. I have not written with F-C's stock or Masuyama-ground 18Kt nibs, so I cannot say much. But I am sure impressed with the Steel F-C/Masuyama Medium Italic nib, and I am comparing it to some pretty classy, custom-ground gold nibs. F-C also offers a Masuyama-ground "Broad Cursive Italic" nib in either steel or 18Kt gold. They say this is a 1.0 mm nib. I would love to have that to use in my F-C pens, but I am waiting to see what F-C says about how tightly installed the nib is on my Model 20. David
Folks, here’s a quick review of my recently-acquired Franklin-Christoph Marietta 20. In a nutshell, I love this pen. I have two Stabilis 65s from F-C, which are in ice (i.e. see-through), which I turned into eye-droppers for red and blue ink. I wanted a basic black pen for everyday writing in black. Of the three F-C pens I have, this is my favorite. Here is the F-C site for those interested: http://www.franklin-christoph.com/view-all-fountain-pens.html I should admit from the outset that I dislike pens that have metal barrels, are heavy, gaudy or jewel-encrusted. This pen is the opposite of all that. It’s available in Tiger Red, but I chose black because of the timelessness of black. The body of the pen is from acrylic. It is beautifully smooth but doesn’t feel cold, which is another reason I prefer this material to a metal pen. The glossy body is like watching liquorice before it sets. The nib is #6 medium. It floats along with no effort. I wrote on some F-C note paper and the nib is perfect for me; not too fine, not too broad for ordinary note-taking. The cap is slip-on so it’s super easy to open. The cap remains securely posted. I have small hands and this pen does not feel at all bulky to handle. There are no threads on the barrel and this makes for a comfortable grip. F-C customer service is fantastic. For those who don’t know, F-C make their pens in North Carolina. (The nibs are German, but the bodies are crafted in NC.) Lovely, lovely pen and I’m really satisfied with the purchase. I'm not paid for this review but just wanted people to know about F-C!