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  1. The Elevator

    What defines Vintage vs Modern?

    My sincerest apologies if somebody has done this already, but I would like to inquire about the definitions of the commonly used terms Vintage and Modern. 1: Is there a certain commonly-accepted year of delineation, like 2000? Or is there a more general and broad period of time, such as Sheaffer´s abandonment of their traditional US manufacturing sites in the early 2000s? 2: does it vary per the type of pen in question? For example, an original mid-century Parker 51 VS the modern attempt at a remake? 3: does it vary per whether the pen is discontinued or still in production? For example, the now-discontinued TWSBI 530, VS the modern replacement, the 580? Does this make my particular variant of the Platinum Preppy WA from the 2021 release a “vintage” pen? Obviously, there is probably no real universal answer to this question. I am simply looking to collect some opinions, pointers, and useful information as I start gearing up to enter the vintage fountain pen world. If you know of any particularly interesting “vintage VS modern” case studies, I would be delighted to read about them. Moderators, if you know about an older thread that this would merge well into, *please* do it. In a bygone era, I was once a forums moderator, and I know how ridiculous redundant threads can get. I am simply at present not able to find a thread that explicitly discusses this topic. (I could also just be blind)
  2. OldTravelingShoe


    From the album: OldTravelingShoe's Random Pics of Fountain Pens (2)

    © (c) 2022 by OldTravelingShoe. All rights reserved.

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  3. Got my hands on a rather nice looking Parker IM that I knew nothing about until today. I got this pen second hand, and, although the pen didn't really picked my interest at first, the cheap price and the fact that I don't own any "modern" Parker pens, got the best of me. The seller told me it was a Sonnet, but as soon as I got home and started to look for info over the pen's age, I quickly found out I was dealing with an IM pen and not the aforementioned Sonnet. Digging a little deeper, I found this version was, much to my surprise, the restyled edition that came out sometime in 2016-17, when Parker pen production seems to have moved back to France. So what it's like to use a modern Parker? The answer coming from the perspective of someone who has a nice stable of comparable pens (15, 25, 45, Vector) of the same brand, and before it was eaten alive by the Newell monster, is kind of a mixed bag. For starters, this pen feels notably heavier than all of the aforementioned pens, even when they came in with metal caps and barrels, it is also a tiny bit bigger than any of those and it feels rather substantial. The fit and finish seems quite nice and devoid of any notable cost-cutting corners. The pen's clip feels taut and durable (in contrast with some reviews I've read of the previous version). The cap posts securely and caps/ uncaps with a reassuring click, yet, when you cap the pen, you have to push it down with a little force; the cap apparently seals way before the cap reaches the end travel. A bit odd at first, but maybe this will result in a pen that keeps moist for a longer period of time. Time will tell. The minute you remove the cap and unscrew the barrel to fit a converter or a cartridge, you get a feel that in my case, is mostly replicated on my lacque Sheaffer Targa pens, except all the parts on this pen are heftier. The IM previously shared its nib with the Jotter, but this updated version uses another nib design that is quite appealing but that seems a bit tiny for such a large pen. To give you a visual example, it is a bit wider but shorter than the nib on my Kaweco Liliput! It is quite a smooth pen for a fine nib, and flows pretty well. By contrast, the F nibs on my Parker 25 stable, are a bit coarser and give more feedback, whereas the fine and extrafine nibs on my 45's seem a tiny bit smoother. The writing experience is pleasant, even if the section is a bit small and with a step up ring just before the barrel. Said step up is not really intrusive fortunately. The pen styling doesn't really speak to me as a Parker product, it kind of feels identity-less. Aside from the "arrow" Parker clip, there is no single design detail that could relate this pen to any of its forebears. Also, the fact that this pen is closely related to the Waterman Hemisphere, supports the notion that Parker is no longer a manufacturer; just another brand channel for selling writing products. Is it a bad pen? Definitely not. It's much better built, quite nicely finished and on par performer than most of its competitors, but it is not a pen that could stir passions, specially not in those younger generations buying TWSBIs, Pilot, Platinum, Sailors, Lamys and Kawecos by the ton. I got mine for less than half the price is goes for online, so I did scored a win here. But I would never even consider buying this pen brand new.
  4. so i have heard that the modern high end pen makers have these nib units(a basically sealed housing containing the nib and feed) to keep the nib and feed aligned and held in place better, IE: a better writer. this is especially true of the more high end pens. a fellow fountain pen guy told me that it was just a scam to keep competitors nibs out of their pens, so in turn you have to purchase a proprietary replacement nib from the original pen manufacturer. any opinions on this? And does anyone know of any modern high end pens that use friction fit nib/feed assembly's???
  5. Hi gang, Some of you may remember me as Bonhams Auctioneers former penman-in-chief. Well, I've moved on to San Francisco's PBA Galleries, and we're launching our debut Fine Pens sale on Thursday, July 19th at 11:00 am PST. Here's a link to the online sale listings: https://www.pbagalleries.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/454/ The catalogue goes to press today and will be mailed shortly. It's a fairly big sale, 361 lots, including many modern and vintage Montblancs; rare vintage eyedroppers from Waterman, Parker, Aiken Lambert, Edward Todd and others; limited edition Montegrappas, Namikis, Stipulas, OMAS, Sheaffers and more. As a big personal fan of Henry Simpole's wonderful creations, I'm especially pleased to offer four rare Simpole overlay pens. Our buyer's premium is 20%, with a 1% discount for cash or cash-equivalent payments (Bonhams premium was 25%, no discounts). Definitely factor the buyer's premium into your bid amounts! There's no credit card maximum (Bonhams max was $25K). You can register to bid on our website (the process is simple), and you can bid online, in person, by phone or by absentee bid. I've tried to include a broad range of pens to suit various budgets, and I hope that many of you will find treasures to enhance your collections! Our next sale will be on December 6th, and we're accepting consignments now. You can contact me at: ivan@pbagalleries.com. Cheers, Ivan Ivan Briggs Director of Fine Pens and Comics PBA Galleries Pictured: HENRY SIMPOLE: Tendril Sterling Silver Filigree Limited Edition Fountain Pen: Premiere Example. Estimate: $1000-1500 The Tendril's wonderfully elaborate openwork filigree was inspired by a Japanese silver overlay pen that Mr. Simpole saw in a 1990s auction catalogue. The filigree is overlaid on a Conway Stewart body. 160mm. Broad 18K gold Conway Stewart nib. Outer box, lacquered wood display box lined in red velvet and cream satin, illustrated leaflet, signed limitation certificate. Limited Edition: No. 1 of only 6 examples made. Excellent condition, not inked. Henry Simpole is the consummate penmaker's penmaker, and his overlay pens are among the very best limited edition writing instruments of the modern era. Each of his designs is handcrafted in small numbers to the most exacting standards, and they perfectly blend the superior aesthetics of the eyedropper era with the advanced materials and filling technology of the present day. Mr. Simpole's pens are exceedingly difficult to obtain on the secondary market, and the few examples offered in this sale represent a rare opportunity for collectors to obtain his legendary handiwork.
  6. Hi, I was wondering if someone had in his possession montblanc catalogs for any of the years 1990 to 2010. Information about solitaires and solitaires doues is very hard to get. And I don't know if anyone can help me but I just bought a montblanc solitaire gold and black (35979) (2006) and I was surprised to see it coming with screw on cap, it came with box and papers but is it normal for this model? Thank you very much,
  7. PrestoTenebroso

    New Desiderata Pen…For Real.

    Hello Everyone, I don't announce this kind of thing very much, but I wanted to share it with you kind people because this is one of my favorite places to go on the internet, and the FPN community is what makes it so for me. I am coming out with my latest production pens since the Icarus. I am very pleased with how they both are coming out. Those of you who know me personally know that I am not very easily pleased. It's been a long time since I used a pen that felt as comfortable as these. 1: As some of you know, I love wood. I think it's beautiful, has an unsurpassed feel, and makes an excellent construction material for many things, but it poses unique challenges when used for a fountain pen. I've been struggling with that problem for years, but now, I've finally gotten good enough that I can work with tolerances tight enough to make the dream a reality. For years I've wanted an all-wooden pen, and now I have one. Wooden cap, wooden barrel, wooden grip. Hands down, this is the most comfortable pen I've ever made. Wood can stain, and that's been accounted for in the design. When you get your hands on this, I think the pen will disappear into the experience of writing with it. I want to use it all the time, but for the work I do, I often need a clip for my pens. This pen will come with the option to install a functional, designed steel clip. My first release of this pen is just about 8 units, but I'll be making more in the future. They all fill with a simple, reliable aerometric sac. The beauty of an aerometric sac is how easy it is to fill and clean, but the ink capacity (around 2.5ml) isn't as voluminous as you might get with an eyedropper filled pen, so to prevent you from getting caught with an empty pen, some of these will have an ink window. Three, to be exact. 2. The first run you'll have available are made from highly patterned fancypantz german ebonite. The material has a black base color and has green, red or blue ripples in it. The big problem with this material (besides it being very expensive) is that it's so dark that it really doesn't photograph well, and even in person, it's hard to get a clear fix on what's going on with the color pattern. Well, I've solved that problem through faceting. The way the light glints off the sides attracts the eye in a way that's hard to describe. The pen has 12 gently tapered, faceted, painstakingly-finished-by-hand sides on the cap and on the barrel. Ink windows are optional, as are clips with this model. So, I've been talking about how these pens feel while writing. What nibs can you use? Jowo F (more of a "Western fine"/medium; .4-.5mm)Pilot XF (a true extra fine .2mm)Zebra G flex nib units (with my usual, handmade, purpose-designed ebonite feeds)Nemosine .6mm italicAll these pens come with interchangeable nib units, so you can switch nibs within one and the same pen. Just unscrew (or, if you want, just use a simple hex/Allen wrench you probably have at home). These will come out this week. I think "Black Friday" is stupid, but if you want to be the first to know when these pens will be available for sale, please consider signing up for my mailing at the top of this FAQ page here. Price? I can't speak to that right now, but I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on that subject. Please email me at DesiderataPens <<<AT>>> JEE-MALE <<<DOT>>> com., or leave a comment.
  8. Hey there, I am using a Lamy Safari Medium and a Pilot Metropolitan Fine as my daily pens in my high school and am looking for a next level pen for myself that I particularly want to be in Gold nib (I have talked about why I need a gold nib in my introduction topic https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/326436-help-for-next-level-fountain-pen-in-gold-nib/?do=findComment&comment=3904231). Now I want the pen to have a huge ink capacity as I want to start writing with Fountain Pens in my mid term and final examinations as well. Right Now I am considering Lamy 2000 for $185 (INR.12000) and Pelikan M600 for $295 (INR.19000) as these are some of the few piston filled options that I have which I can buy from my local pen store in New Delhi. Others are used Vintage pens like Sheaffer Imperial V Triumph Lifetime for $178 (INR.11550).
  9. I highly recommend viewing this as a pdf here. Any comments, corrections, or additions you can offer me will be greatly appreciated! There are some things I just can't find online in Canada (Nikko G nibs, any non-Speedball adjustable oblique holders, walnut ink...) so I also listed the go-to US sites. I was going to do a UK section but I'm tired for now. CANADIAN POINTED PEN CALLIGRAPHY ONLINE SHOPS Canadian Shops Aboveground Art Supplies www.abovegroundartsupplies.com Toronto, ON Shipping: $10-18+ Free Shipping: $150 (ON, QC, MB only) Ships Via: Canpar or Canada Post Pens Dip: Sheaffer, Panache, Speedball/Hunt, Rotring ArtPen, reed & quill Pens/Markers: Pilot Parallel, Academy Viva, Faber-Castell, Lamy, Itoya, Pitt, Pentel, Tomboy, Prismacolour, Sakura Ink Copic White, Dr. PH Martin, FW, Liquitex, Koh-I-Noor, Calli, Winsor & Newton, Speedball, various India inks Watercolour: Dr. PH Martin, Da Vinci, Peerless, Turner, Winsor & Newton, Reeves, Sennelier, QoR, Daniel Smith, Grumbacher, Pebeo, Pentel, Pelikan, Prang, Yarka Paper Bienfang calligraphy pads, Moleskine, Ogami, Travalogue, Strathmore Accessories Various pen cleaners, gum arabic, general art supplies including bottles & droppers Notes Very large selection of fine art supplies, not all listed here. 10% student discount IN-STORE, friendly staff (at McCaul location). Search function for online store is irritating. Curry’s www.currys.com/ Various; Southern ON Shipping: $7-$12+ Free Shipping Minimum: $75 Ships Via: Unknown Pens/Nibs Dip: General’s, Koh-I-Noor, Speedball, Steadtler, quills & reeds Pens/Markers: Elegant Writer, Itoya, Pilot disposable, Sakura Ink Dr. PH Martin, Winsor & Newton, FW, Golden High Flow, Liquitex, Speedball, Koh-I-Noor, Chinese black ink, Copic White, Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments Watercolour: Winsor & Newton, Da Vinci, Daler-Rowney, Handy Art, Holbein, M. Graham, Koh-I-Noor, Pelikan, Prang, QoR, Reeves, Richeson, Sakura Koi, Sargant, Sennelier, Yarka Paper Moleskine, Pentalic, Quattro, Strathmore, Bienfang, Canson, Arches, Fluid, Cotman, Daler-Rowney Accessories Various pen cleaners, gum arabic, general art supplies including bottles & droppers Notes Very large selection of fine art supplies, not all listed here. 10% student discount IN-STORE. DeSerres www.deserres.ca/en-ca/ Various throughout the GTA + Ottawa Shipping: $9-115+ Free Shipping: $39-$59 Ships Via: Canpar Pens/Nibs Dip: Hunt/Speedball, quills Pens/Markers: DeSerres, Pitt, Itoya, Pentouch, CalliCreative Ink Speedball, Colorex, Winsor & Newton, FW, China, DeSerres, Noble, IZINK, various India inks, Sennelier, Paper Manuscript, Brause papers/pads, parchment pads Accessories Cleaning solution, gum arabic, general art supplies Notes None Wonder Pens www.WonderPens.ca Toronto, ON Shipping: $8 flat-rate Free Shipping Minimum: $125 Ships Via: Canada Post Pens/Nibs Dip/Fountain: Lamy JOY, Kaweco Sport, Brause nibs and holders Markers: Pilot Parallel Ink Higgins, Rohrer & Klingner, Diamine, J. Herbin, Kaweco, Lamy, Monteverde, Noodler’s, Parker, Pilot, Platinum, Sailor, Waterman Paper Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Coach House Press, Field Notes, Leuchtturm1917, Life, Midori, O-Check, Quo Vadis, Hobonichi, G. Lalo, Original Crown Mill, Tomoe Paper River Accessories Blotting paper, empty ink bottles, bulb syringe, ink syringes, brass sheets Notes Large selection of bottled inks- I swear I saw iron gall in store, but now I’m not sure. Responsive service. Canadian Shops with no Online Shopping Gwartzman’s – Toronto, ON Michael’s – Various The Paper Place – Toronto, ON That one in the Maritimes with the cute website U.S. Shops Goulet Pens www.GouletPens.com Ashland, VA, USA Shipping: $9-40+ Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: USPS Pens/Nibs Dip: J. Herbin glass, Rohrer & Klingner glass Nibs: Goulet, Monteverde, Noodler’s Art, Brush: Noodler’s, Platinum Marker: Platinum Ink Aurora, Caran d’Ache, Cross, De Atramentis, Diamine, Faber-Castell, J. Herbin, Kaweco, Lamy, Montegrappa, Monteverde, Noodler’s, Omas, Parker, Pelikan, Pilot, Platinum, Private Research, Rohrer & Klingner, Sheaffer, Stipula, Visconti, Waterman + samples Paper Apica, Clarefontaine, Exacomspta, Field Notes, Filofax, Goulet, Leuchtturm1917, Maruman Mnemosyne, Midori, Quo Vadis, Rhoda, Traveler’s Company Accessories TWSBI inkwells, empty ink bottles, syringes, pipettes, sample vials/holder, various pen cleaning supplies Notes Inks are also available in sample sizes, individual and in packages. Goulet also offers an ink sample club. I have never ordered from Goulet Pens, but they receive rave reviews for both service and quality. Jet Pens www.jetpens.com/ San Jose, CA, USA Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: USPS/Canada Post Pens/Nibs Dip: Speedball, E+M Artists, Brause, Tachikawa, Tokyo Slider, Nikko, Zebra, Deleter, J. Herbin glass Nibs: Brause, Deleter, E+M, Kuretake, Nikko, Speedball, Tachikawa, Zebra Brush: Akashiya, Kuretake, Pentel, Pilot, Sailor, Tombow, Uni, Zebra Marker: Sakura, Pilot, Faber-Castell Ink Caran d’Ache, Deleter, Diamine, Dr. PH Martin’s, Higgins, IC, J. Herbin, Kaimei, Kaweco, Kuretake, Lamy, Monteverde, OMAS, Parker, Pelikan, Pilot, Platinum, Rotring, Sailor, Speedball, Steadtler, Waterman Paper Doane, Field Notes, Kokuyo, Kyokuto, Life, Lihit Lab, Maruman, Metaphys, Midori, Raymay, Rhodia, Tomoe River, Word Accessories Various pen cleaners Notes JetPens is a reliable online retailer for all kinds of pens and office supplies. The website is extremely well organized, with pen-buying guides provided. I find that shipping to Toronto tends to cost between $10-20 USD. John Neal Bookseller www.johnnealbooks.com/ Greenboro, NC, USA Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: Unknown Pens/Nibs Dip: Variety of straight and oblique holders, especially: wooden holders, Brause, General’s, Koh-I-Noor, Speedball/Hunt, Mitchell, Gillott, Tachikawa, Century Nibs: Nikko, Tachikawa, Zebra, Hiro, Leonardt, Brause, Gillott, Hunt, Mitchell elbow, Index Also: Pilot Parallel, calligraphy fountain pens, broad edge pens Ink Ziller, McCaffery’s, Richtone Sepia, various India inks, Dr. PH Martin, Moon Palace, various China/sumi inks, Bokuju, Calli, Higgins, Pro-White, Walnut crystals, Walnut liquid, Winsor & Newton, Dr. PH Martin’s Spectralite, Liquitex, Pearl Ex Pigments Paper JNB, Boris, Canson, Strathmore, Rhodia, Grafix, Fabriano, Maruman, Dura-Lar, various lined practice pads, Clairefontaine, Borden & Riley, Bienfang, Canford, Biggie, Pentalic, Stillman & Birn Accessories Gum arabic powder and liquid, pen cleaner Notes I have no experience with John Neal, but they also receive good reviews from other calligraphers online. Paper & Ink Arts www.paperinkarts.com/ Nashville, TN, USA Shipping: Varies Free Shipping: N/A Ships Via: UPS, USPS Pens/Nibs Dip/Holders: Horizon, Quill, Carrot, Century, Colonial, Deco, Dynamic, Hourglass, Paper and Ink Arts, Peerless, Pointed, Zanerian, Ziller, Speedball, Caran d’Ache, DipStik, Brause, e+m, General, Hunt, Koh-I-Noor, Manuscript, Scribe, Tachigawa, Tachikawa, quills Nibs: Brause, Crowquill, Esterbrook, Gillott, Hiro, Horizon, Hunt, Manuscript/Leonardt, Nikko, Speedball, Tachikawa, Tape, Vintage Hunt, Zebra Comic Brush: Brushables, Pitt, Kuretake, Pental, Pigma, Pocket, Sakura, Uni, Waterbrushes, Zig Also: Pilot Parallel, Straight Ruler, Noodler’s Flex Ink Calli, various Chinese/Sumi, Dr. PH Martin’s, FW, Gold High Flow, Higgins, Lumiere, Manuscript, McCaffery’s, Pearl Ex Pigments, Pebeo, Pelikan, Walnut ink, Winsor & Newton, Ziller Paper Arches, Arnheim, Art Paper, Blotter, Bugra, Canson, Diploma, Fabriano, Frankfurt, German Ingres, Glassine, Gutenberg, Kraft-Tex, Lanaquarelle, Magic Brush, Nideggan, Pergamenata, various practice pads, Schiller, Strathmore, Vellum Accessories Ink cage ink reservoirs, lefty pens and nibs, various related accessories Notes I have never ordered from Paper & Ink Arts, but they receive good reviews for their selection- especially for oblique pen holders. I have heard that they have spotty responsiveness to customer queries. *I did have Artist Supply Source listed, but the website was so terribly organized and glitchy that I couldn’t list it in good conscience.
  10. strelnikoff

    A Wahl Eversharp Confession

    Dear all, I'm hooked to Wahl Eversharp pens. And I'm here to admit that (with perhaps a short quasi-question). It didn't happened by design or by my own will - but by coincidence and through circumstances. When I got into flexible nibs, vintage pens and so on - and started to investigate more, I was drawn by default to Waterman pens. What I have seen and read it was sufficient for me to believe that's the way to go. While trying to find a decent 52 with super-flexible nib, one that writes exactly as what I've seen in videos and reviews, photos... I ended up purchasing two Wahl pens. One Gold Seal Victory, and one Penrite - Tempoint. I've tried my pens, wrote with them for some time and although I was quite happy with performance - I never really thought much about them. I was searching for Waterman's with that ... unicorn nibs. And so - I've got my Waterman 52, 42, another 42, 54, 56, 3V, 52-1/2V, 52V... few more 52's... several 94's... 100 YR Pen, Commando, Nurse's Pen, 12 and 13 eyedroppers... and that gorgeous 58 woodgrain. Few had extra-flexible nibs, one or two with super-flexible wet noodle nibs, most have flexible or semi-flexible nibs and several manifolds. All in all - I was buying Waterman's almost indiscriminately, sometimes just for a nib. In that process I have picked up few Wahl pens. Usually, I'd look at them, see if they have any flex, and if they are in decent condition, so if the price is right (i.e. if I won't notice it in end of month statements) - I'd buy them. So I've got one Decoband Equipoised with Flexible nib (written on the nib) and one - no clue what the model is, gold filled with #5 long nib... And then I saw new Decoband Rosewood (and blue lapis) with superflex nib in our local store- tried it too. So I have to admit - only few of my Waterman's pens come close to quality of build or writing experience of my Wahl's. And - I keep reaching for them first (WE's). I probably won't stop looking at and buying good Waterman's - but it's the Wahl Eversharp what really I started to appreciate more. Thus the semi-question: those who have new Decobands - I'm torn between Rosewood hard rubber and Blue (celluloid?). Considering hard rubber being more sensitive (I think) - does celluloid material make more sense? Is there any considerable differences to take into account before I spend 800 USD or more? Thank you!
  11. Maybe I just haven’t been paying close enough attention to the pen world, but the resurrection of the Wahl-Eversharp pen company slipped right past me. For those of you who haven’t delved into vintage pens or their history, a brief explanation may help. During the Golden Age of fountain pens, the “Big Four” American pen companies were dominant: Conklin, Waterman, Sheaffer, Parker and Wahl-Eversharp. Some of you may think my math is funny, but Conklin went into decline at roughly the same time Wahl-Eversharp was rising to prominence, so there were only four major companies at any given time. Wahl-Eversharp were best known for luxurious Gold Seal pens, the Equipoise, the faceted Doric and the art deco Skyline. All fountain pen makers were devastated by the sudden onslaught of ballpoints, and all of the Big Four changed hands in various ways. Waterman, Sheaffer and Parker never went away completely. The Conklin brand was revived a few years ago and is now owned (along with Monteverde) by Yafa. That left Wahl-Eversharp as the only “Big Four” brand that you couldn’t buy a brand new example of. Well... Now they’re back! Right now the revived Skyline is it, though they’re said to have a new Doric in the works. I’ve had a few Wahl-Eversharps in my collection and liked them, but I never had a Skyline. Although the design has garnered a lot of praise and is considered iconic by many, it always looked awkward and strangely proportioned to me. The pen body is sleek and streamlined, while the cap is big and clumsy. They don’t seem to go together. When I saw the new Skyline Technic, I had to reconsider my feelings. The pen body and the cap are machined from billet aluminum. The solid gray pen seemed understated, taming the excesses of the design and unifying the pen and cap. When I learned that these have a “revolutionary”, ceramic-coated, semi-flex, steel nib and a matching computer-designed feed, I was sold. http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/wahl_skyline_technic/skyline_technic_box.jpg Unboxing the pen, I was first confronted with a large, glossy, black, presentation box with metal hinges and a sort of fluffy, fleecy, white lining. The pen itself was sealed into a clear plastic capsule. I was unimpressed with this packaging. The big box is attractive when displaying the pen in a boutique or for gift-giving, but once you’ve got the pen it becomes nothing but a bulky piece of junk to store. These types of boxes are all too common, and I find myself wishing pen companies would go back to the good old days of small presentation boxes that were also practical storage cases. (For a modern example I might point to the Levenger True Writer.) http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/wahl_skyline_technic/skyline_technic_box_closeup.jpg I also noted that the box has some cosmetic defects. This is what I call a “piano box” since the lacquered wood and metal hinges are reminiscent of piano construction. This one has some dings near the front-left corner, rough finish at the opposite corner, and slightly rounded-off edges near the corners of the lid closure. As well, the glossy black finish isn’t entirely smooth. Frankly, I have seen cheap Sheaffers sold in piano boxes that were more nicely done than this one. http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/wahl_skyline_technic/skyline_technic_capped.jpg After breaking the pen out of its carbonite prison, my first impression was very positive. The fit-and-finish on this pen are outstanding, as one would hope for in a pen of this price category. I give the new Wahl-Eversharp company praise for recreating the Skyline accurately, with the original’s size, shape, and even parts that are said to interchange with the original. Other classic pens that have been brought back from the past bore only loose, superficial resemblance to their vintage counterparts. (I’m looking at you, Sheaffer Balance!) http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/wahl_skyline_technic/skyline_technic_uncapped.jpg The choice of C/C filling is not exciting, but it makes sense. It brings Skyline into the modern era, and it also solves the problem of the posted cap tending to scratch up the filling lever. In this case the supplied converter (already installed in the pen) is a screw-in type of high quality. It’s secure, it doesn’t leak, doesn’t wobble or rattle, and is about as good as converters get. The slender pen body is a thin and form-fitted shell that just barely contains the converter; there is no wasted space. This is different from the plastic-bodied Skylines, which make you access the cartridge or converter from the rear of the pen using a blind cap. That seems awkward, and I’m glad the metal Technic manages to avoid it. As metal pens go, it’s lightweight. It’s slightly lighter weight than my sterling silver Sheaffer Targa, but slightly heavier than several of my all-plastic pens (Bexleys, Edisons, etc.). Plastic threads inside the cap make posting safe; it's not going to scratch up the pen's body. It posts quite well, deeply and securely, and the balance when posted is very good. I do not usually post my pens, but this is one that actually feels more comfortable to me when posted. I really do find the pen's size, weight and balance pleasing. The Skyline Technic is available in black, in blue, and in natural aluminum colors. The natural aluminum that I got is not exactly what it sounds like, since it has a gray anodized (I presume) finish that doesn’t look like bare aluminum metal at all. It’s much darker, it’s more of a semi-gloss texture, and I find it handsome in a sort of subdued and rugged way. It should prove to be quite tough and scratch-resistant. When I turn the pen in my hand, I can see very slight shading differences around the pen, but this is not noticeable when not looking for it. The semi-flex nib was the one element that I was most eager to test, and which I was most uncertain about. The impressions from reviewers online varied widely, so the only way to get the real story was by writing with it myself. The nib is on the smaller side (No. 5) making it nicely proportional to the pen. (I find that No. 5 nibs are often more comfortable for me than the big No. 6 nibs, as I can get my fingers closer to the page and hold the pen at a more natural angle.) The ceramic finish on mine was a dark, glossy black, whereas the Wahl-Eversharp website had indicated this pen would come with a titanium gray nib. The immediate good news is that it’s quite a smooth writer. There was just a bit of very finely-grained “feedback” letting me know what kind of paper I was writing on. The flow was also very nicely adjusted as it came to me: wet but not gushing. Tip size is an issue for me. These nibs are supposed to be “fine to medium” size, but the one I got looks and feels like a full flabby M. My personal preference is for F and EF nibs, so this was not really my thing. Worse, it’s not a good choice for showing off what a “semi-flex” nib can do. Flex expression is more pronounced with finer nibs. The advertised “semi-flex” quality of this nib is something I’m not really finding. It’s firm. It’s not a manifold type nail, but it’s firm. You can make it flex quite a bit if you push it. If you write with a ballpoint-trained Gorilla Hand, then it will produce bold text, but writing in the normal way of fountain pens won’t really give you anything. I doubt whether I would have even advertised this as a semi-flex. My Sheaffer Targa is more expressive, and Sheaffer have hardly been known for nib flexibility. Worse, I also had some instances of hard starting, where the pen skips on the first stroke as it touches the paper. It didn’t happen too often, but it shouldn’t happen at all. I have too many other pens in my collection that never do this. Thus, I contacted Wahl-Eversharp. I got a swift response promising a replacement nib — indeed, a replacement nib-feed-section assembly. Also, I was told a small run of “natural aluminum” Technics came with the black nib, but they are now shipping a much lighter colored nib, called “light titanium” finish. I opted for one of these as the replacement, and I found it actually looks much like normal polished steel. http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/wahl_skyline_technic/skyline_technic_nib.jpg The hand-written note that came with the replacement nib said, “I hope this works better for you — it was good to my hand.” That seems to be saying it was tested before being sent to me. I had to question that assumption, though, as soon as I had it inked up and touched paper. It’s a gusher! It’s a fire hose! Am I really expected to write with this? Ink flow on the first nib was perfect, so why is this one a fire hose? At least this proved the computer-designed feed can deliver a lot of ink throughput! Now feeling rather frustrated, I pulled one of my driest inks out of the closet: Montblanc Jonathan Swift Seaweed Green. This tamed the fire hose down to a wet-but-usable level (at least on my denser paper, such as a Rhodia pad) with lots of shading. This is still not the style of writing that I usually go for, but it’s acceptable, and some people might like it. Also, the replacement nib doesn’t skip as much as the first one. It still does once in a while, but it’s infrequent enough to not be much of a bother now. Since I received the replacement nib, feed and section assembly and was never asked the return the original, I now find myself with spare parts to play around with. I began trying to fit some other #5 sized nibs into the original feed and section to see how they perform. A nib from a TWSBI 530 fit with no problem, and so did a FPR (Fountain Pen Revolution) flex nib from India. In both instances they became quite wet when fully seated. It seems as though the feed and its housing are applying pressure to the nib in a way that causes its tines to spread slightly, so that every nib installed becomes wetter than it was before. http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/wahl_skyline_technic/skyline_FPR_flex.jpg The FPR nib is most interesting, as its dull steel color closely matches that of the pen body, it writes smoothly, its fine point better suits my preference, and it also has a wee bit of flex. FPR currently have these listed for $7 each, or 3 for $15. However, the FPR nib also has an occasional hard-start. That makes it the third nib in a row with this problem, to some extent, and I’m beginning to think the feed is the actual source of the problem. Forcing the tines apart may not only make the nibs write wet, but it may also contribute to the hard starts. Even though I eventually got mine writing somewhat acceptably, I’ve got to say the Wahl-Eversharp nib was a big disappointment. The “revolutionary” semi-flex nib doesn’t flex in a way that I find particularly useful, and it’s flabby, and I’m restricted to dry inks and premium paper. I was told I could get a Fine nib (or, I assume, perhaps even EF) custom ground for an additional $50. Hmm... An additional $50 to get a fine nib on an already quite expensive pen? You know, I can buy a TWSBI with my choice of EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm ST or 1.5mm ST nibs. Why does this much more costly Wahl-Eversharp only come with M? Well, the TWSBI nibs are generally good writers, but quite firm; they won’t flex at all. The Wahl-Eversharp nib can be made to flex if you Gorilla Hand it. Surely that is worth something? Then I compare with the steel nib in my Baoer 388, a Chinese pen with a list price of $15. (I actually got mine on sale for $5!) Then I compare with the FPR nibs from India. These aren’t like vintage flex either, but they can actually flex a little bit when writing normally — more than I’m really seeing from the Skyline nib. http://zobeid.zapto.org/image/pens/wahl_skyline_technic/targa_skyline_baoer.jpg That brings us to the larger question of value. This pen sells right about the $280 mark. That’s for a non-limited-edition C/C filling pen made from aluminum and steel, not silver and gold. I could buy two nice Bexleys with steel nibs for that much, or probably four Monteverdes. Actually my sterling silver Sheaffer Targa with a 14K gold nib cost me only $200, and it writes much nicer. I’m not saying the Skyline is a rip-off, or that anyone who buys it is a chump. However... You probably need some sort of attachment to Wahl-Eversharp, to the style of the vintage Skyline, and you need to appreciate the aluminum construction and the superb fit and finish. If those don’t push your buttons, there’s not much logic in choosing this. The nib is particularly disappointing. This is the highest-priced pen I can recall seeing sold with a steel nib. Then factor in the minor-but-persistent hard-start problem, the lack of options for tip size, the poor flow adjustment of the second example, and the minimal degree of flex. Although this steel nib is perhaps as good as a typical modern gold nib, it doesn’t offer any improvement over gold, and it doesn’t cost any less than gold, so what’s the point? Harsh though it may sound, I hope this review comes across as constructive criticism. I’m thinking back to the first pens from the revived Conklin, a few years ago, and how they were actually rather crude in some ways. They’ve improved greatly since then, and I hope Wahl-Eversharp will go through a similar learning curve and product improvement. One sign of optimism is that the parts of the package actually made in-house by Wahl-Eversharp (namely, the pen body and cap) are so excellent. It's only the outsourced (I assume) bits that let me down, so I'm sure that can be solved.
  12. Hi all. I've discovered lots of modern Conway Stewart for sale on this website, www.retail-world.net. I really like the Winston Lapis Blue and I was thinking on ordering (it's offered here: http://www.retail-world.net/conway-stewart-the-winston-pen.html). Does anyone have experience on this website? Thanks for the information! João.
  13. I have been researching and I cannot seem to find many reviews for the Sheaffer Sagaris, Prelude, or the Agio. Yes, I know, the Agio was discontinued a while back, but there are many people on Ebay that seem to have them NOS for around 30-40 dollars. They were supposedly super smooth writers according to some people. As for the Sagaris, not many people seem to talk about it much. Mainly what I want to ask is: How does the Sheaffer Sagaris compare with the Agio, Prelude, and the 300? I have heard the 300 tends to have a little more feedback than the others. The others I have not ever heard being compared before.
  14. tonybelding

    Mod Style Pens

    As I'm sitting here on a damp Thanksgiving, with some coffee and chocolate-pecan pie (highly recommended!), I'm just taking it easy and pondering modern style as it pertains to pens. I've actually begun a project renovating my 1965 vintage ranch style house, so the styles and fashions of that era have been much on my mind. I have to be very clear on what I mean by modern in this context. In the pen world we usually divide pens into vintage and modern, which is all about age. Even though the exact transition point can be debated, we all pretty much define it in terms of years. So. . . That's NOT what this post is about, and from this point forward I'm going to try and avoid the word "modern" and simply say "mod" instead, so everybody knows I'm talking about the design language, not the age of a pen. From where I sit, mod designs hit the pen world around 1940-1941 with the introduction of the Sheaffer Triumph and the Parker 51. The streamlined shapes, new materials, and conical nibs (on the Triumph) and hooded nibs (on the 51) were a very deliberate break with tradition. Other companies got into the act, but to me Sheaffer and Parker were the leaders in this movement. Later we saw the coming of Sheaffer inlaid nibs (notably on the Imperial and Targa series), the Pilot Vanishing Point, various Japanese pocket pens, and of course the Lamy 2000 and the Safari. To my mind, all of these are icons of mod style among fountain pens. Today it seems that we've regressed, and most contemporary pens are more-or-less traditionalist. You know, I love those 1920s style oversized flat-tops as much as anyone, and I've got my share of modern retreads of those. From today's Parker Duofold, to the 1930s-ish ultra-stodgy designs of Pelikan and Mont Blanc, to all those retro Bexleys. . . Traditionalist pens are in. For those who favor a more purist mod design, the options are limited. Sheaffer and Parker are shadows of their former selves. It seems like the only mod stalwarts today are Pilot, with the VP and E95S, and Lamy with the 2000 and the Safari and Studio and several other models that accept Safari nibs. If I'm overlooking anything out there, please point them out! I feel like perhaps we've, collectively, become too fixated on the old-fashioned-ness of fountain pens. For example, how often has somebody here on FPN rejected the Parker 51 for not having a big, open, traditional nib to show off? Perhaps we forget how design-forward some of these famous pens were in their time. Maybe we should appreciate them more?
  15. I'm a fountain pen novice and looking for a recommendation for my next pen. I currently have a Lamy 2000 and a Lamy Studio (steel nib) both w/ fine nibs and a few cheap pens: Kaweco, Safari, etc. I'm looking to get my next pen and am leaning towards another Lamy 2000 with a medium nib. I tried it at a store a few weeks ago and found the nib to be considerably smoother than the fine one I currently have. I use my Lamy 2000 for pretty much all of my writing, so it would be great to have another ink color option available most of the time too. I really like the 2000, primarily for the following reasons: 1) the design is clean, simple (no crazy engraving on the nib!), and almost all black 2) it holds a lot of ink 3) its nib is the smoothest of the pens I own--much better than the Lamy steel nibs 4) it's easy to hold and write with for long stretches 5) the cap is not unstable when it's on the pen or when it's posted. (I find that the cap on my studio can always be wiggled a little bit, which I don't like. The cap on my Studio also requires occasional tightening with a screwdriver, which I really don't like. It's come loose a couple times while I was traveling and I had to improvise tools to fix it.) 6) It's tough. I've dropped the pen accidentally several times on concrete, without any real issues except some fine scratches on the body. I want a pen I can use everywhere and will most likely drop at some point. 7) I think it's a good value at ~$125 USD. My primary issue with most fountain pens is that I find about 99% of them incredibly ugly. Like, I go into a store or a pen show and I just gravitate back towards the Lamy pens--primarily the 2000 and the Studio--because of their clean looks. So, I'm wondering if someone could recommend a pen that I might like or any advice about whether to buy another 2000 or to try something else. I was thinking about the Diplomat Excellence A Plus in black lacquer with chrome accents and 14k nib, but I think its look is still a little too ostentatious for me, and it's probably a bit more than I want to spend. I carry my pens everywhere in my shirt and jeans pockets, and I'm bound to lose one at some point. I was also thinking about a Lamy Dialog 3, which I know I could get for $200 if I'm patient, but, after having tried it, I think it's a little too big for my taste. I also considered a Studio Palladium, but the aforementioned cap issue compels me back towards the 2000. Maybe a Pelikan M205? Will it be as smooth as the Lamy 2000? And what nib size should I go for? Your thoughts are much appreciated!
  16. Hi there fountain pens lovers & collectors, I'm proud to announce the creation of a new fountain pen boutique, called: www.123stylo.com Located in Switzerland, but shipping worldwide! (free shipping from 500$) To begin with, we have already prepared a nice choice of over 70 very nice fountain pens, both modern and vintage, LE, from 50$ to thousands. We have hundreds in our drawers that are soon going to be online. Many are NOS but without the hefty boutique price tag. 2 day return whatever the reason is! All pens are guaranteed genuine, and in perfect cosmetic & working order. You will find the website updated every week. Arrivals are announced on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. But to hear about novelties before they arrive on socials, you can register to our newsletter at: info@123stylo.com www.facebook.com/123stylo https://twitter.com/123stylo_ https://instagram.com/123chrono_ It's time, follow us! William, creator of 123stylo.com p.s. you will find my adds on FPN, under the "swisspens" nickname.
  17. restricting concern to the nibs. what can be said about Vintage versus Modern? restrict concern to the filling system, not only the design but also the materials: Vintage vs. Modern? restrict concern to the feel of the barrel -- cigar-shaped, length, weight, material used. Vintage vs. Modern? this will be my first fountain pen since i was 15 ... i'm 61. and my finances suggest that i must not spend beyond $80 (but i likely will: “a man often does not have money for what he needs but he always has money for what he wants.“ i forgot who wrote this) after a visit to The Fountain Hospital and attending a BAPC meeting, i'm reasonably sure - but not dispositive - that i want a stiff and smooth-writing and oversized cigar-shaped version. assuming that this is settled then one of the remaining factors in my purchase decision is Vintage or Modern.
  18. The title says it all really.....suggestions for a modern, and a vintage wet noodle, preferably in UK. Thanks Alex
  19. I got an old waterman's ideal #2 wetnoodle nib out of a fountain pen found on Ebay and put into mi Faber Castell E-Motion pearwood fountain pen! http://s26.postimg.org/yza9l4zex/10848813_10205690042309519_6753319126576676301_o.jpg Here's a video:
  20. I recently received a flex pen which doesn't write. I've emailed the seller regarding this, but in the meantime I'm looking for a modern, inexpensive fountain pen with which I can practise flex. I'm thinking of spending no more than about £20 which is $33.2 usd. I've read that Noodler's pens are for tinkerers, I'd rather have one which works straight out of the box and doesn't need lots of work to get it to write. And after what I've read on this site regarding US customs practice, a pen I can purchase within Europe, or even Asia would be prefered. Thanks. Catherine
  21. So I am new to this forum and I am debating on whether to purchase a vintage 149 or a 149 75th 1924. I understand the vintage ones were better made compared to the modern ones so I guess does this hold true for the 75th one as well? Is it just a decked out 149 in a modern and not as durable body like the vintage ones produced way back when. Just looking for honest opinions. What would you buy? Thanks so much for shedding light on my question.
  22. I was just poking around, trying to figure out who makes new lever-filling pens today. This was once the most common, dominant method of filling fountain pens, and now it's almost extinct. The only ones I turned up easily are from Delta, plus some limited editions (which look particularly nice) from Conway Stewart. I think some other companies may have made limited edition lever-fillers in the recent past, but I can't find any in current catalogs. Have I missed anything?
  23. The Second Annual Poland Pen Show in Katowice is coming up fast - April 12-13, 2014. I don't know how many of my U.S. Pen Posse friends will attend (Hello? Anyone? Anyone?), but I know Sarj and Jas (of England) will be there with amazing pens (I think everyone knows Sarj and Jas). Here are some details from the Poland Pen Show facebook page: For exhibitors: 200 PLN (25 euro) (payable at the door) includes 2m exhibition space, hot beverages (coffee, tea), lunch, and, on Saturday night, dinner and a party. (I like to call such things "Pen Posse," but it's a chance to hang out, eat, make new friends, and talk with old friends.) I'm told that exhibition space is getting very limited, so if any vendors or traders are reading this and want to attend, please e-mail me. And check out the Pen Show Poland page on facebook, if you use facebook: Pen Show Poland. P.S. I am a Pen Posse Ambassador, not a paid spokeswoman for PSP or the Polish fountain pen board, Forum O Piorach. My connection is in friendship and the furtherance of fountain pen culture.
  24. I have both a Fine Nib, Metal Pilot/Namiki Falcon, as well as a Stipula Model T ( It's a Titanium Nib, sorta Medium in size, and with some pressure it is semi flex/soft) Everyone and their brother talks about Flex and either Vintage or the Falcon. I'd like to hear some pen nerds feedback on other options, what else is out there?, and what are they like? I was checking out the new flex nibs at Edison, featured here: http://edisonpen.com/index.cfm/2013/6/27/Edison-Offering-Richard-Binder-14k-Full-Flex-Nibs These look promising, however I really dont care for the look of most Edison pens they would go on. I much prefer the look of say, a Mont Blanc, or the metal Falcon - sleek, and modern. I'd love to be surprised by a pen I've never heard of or researched! Anyone have any recommendations?
  25. So it seems to me, after the year or so that I've been into pens, that most fountain pens are designed with a much more stayed, classy look that looks best worn with a suit. Meisterstucks, Sheaffer Valiants, Parker 61's are great, but really they look silly clipped in a madras shorts pocket, used by a guy with a bandana, long hair sticking out, and a beard (guess how I know this). On the other end, there are Pilot Varsity's, Petits, Preppy's, and other similar pens that are great, have a cool look, but are similar to any cheap normal BP or RB pen sold in blister packs. Let's talk about pens that are stylish, but look best clipped to a Banana Republic or Gap shirt. Something nice, but modern. Also, I'd love to hear about anything that's hit a nice point in its age where it's retro-cool, maybe a Wing Sung 233. Here's my picks: Pilot Prera (any bright color works) Picasso 916 Malange (again, bright colors work best) Nemosine Singularity demonstrator Sailor pens in bright yellow (especially not the 1911 cigar shape) Borderline too fancy but still pretty modern looking: Visconti Wall Street Delta Dolce Vita David Oscarson Harlequin

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