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  1. Hello! It's just a thought but maybe there is someone living in Oxford or its proximity who would fancy meeting up, and sharing thoughts, experience and finds over a cup of tea or coffee? --karl
  2. Mark from Yorkshire

    Campus and Red n’ Black

    I have just tried a couple of my fountain pens on the Oxford Red n’ Black pad and it looks horrid then compared it to the Campus reporter’s notebook and it looks to me fine. Is it true that both these are supposedly the same paper.
  3. stephanos

    Review: Helix Oxford

    This is a review of the Oxford fountain pen, from Helix. Helix is a British brand that, to the best of my knowledge, produces school supplies. The pen is inexpensive and available over-the-counter at stationery shops in the UK. You can probably get it elsewhere also. The review itself comes in two parts: traditional and aesthetic. For more on why I’m taking this approach, see the explanation in my review of the Conid Minimalistica. --- TRADITIONAL/NUMERICAL REVIEW --- Design and appearance: 10/10 Steel-coloured, metal-bodied fountain pen with snap-cap and black plastic section. Slight flare at the end of the grip section made of metal. Capping the pen is pleasing, because of the very satisfying click that it makes. Clip is functional and fairly stiff, and has the words “Helix ® OXFORD” embossed on it. The clip is the only place that any branding appears. The top and bottom finials, the cap band and the clip, have a polished finish, whilst the rest of the barrel and cap are a more matte finish. This makes for an understated and aesthetically-appealing pen. The barrel tapers towards the back end. Pen posts securely. Black finial makes for a pleasing visual distinction to the rest of the outside of the pen (all steel), and matches the black section. Nib is steel, with plastic feed and is marked only with the word, “Helix”. Is this my most beautiful or favourite pen? No. But it does exactly what it sets out to do. Simple, elegant, restrained design. Won’t win any prizes for innovation, but well thought-through. Succeeds very well at being what is obviously a workhorse pen. A word on the packaging: this is simple, minimalist and recyclable – just right. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/uploads/imgs/fpn_1564418286__oxfordhelix_closed.jpg https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/uploads/imgs/fpn_1564418336__oxfordhelix_comparisons.jpg Filling System: 10/10 The pen comes with two standard international short cartridges. I’m sure it would fit a converter. This is exactly the kind of filling system that you would expect from a pen in this category. Given its use-case, I wouldn’t want to see a different filling mechanism. Nib performance: 9/10 The nib is surprisingly good. It is smooth, stiff and writes with a decent flow. For those who like such things, you can use it for reverse writing, for which it performs well. There is even some line variation to be had (when writing normally). The packaging advertises a nib that is “smooth writing”, a claim that definitely checks out. The description in the packaging also calls it a “flexible medium nib for excellent writing control.” Is this true? That depends on the audience. By comparison to proper flexible nibs (even modern flex), calling the nib “flexible” is an outright lie. But FP enthusiasts aren’t the target market: by comparison to a ballpoint or rollerball, the nib is clearly flexible. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/uploads/imgs/fpn_1564418234__oxfordhelix_box.jpg https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/uploads/imgs/fpn_1564418376__oxfordhelix_nib.jpg Writing experience: 8/10 The grip section is ever-so-slightly too narrow for me to be comfortable using the pen for long writing sessions. But that’s really my only complaint. The pen feels good in the hand. The metal barrel and cap give the pen a bit of heft, but it’s by no means heavy. It posts well and is not at all back-heavy when posted (I am an habitual poster). It’s long enough to use unposted if you don’t like posting. The nib is smooth and wet enough. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it performs. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/uploads/imgs/fpn_1564418404__oxfordhelix_writingsample.jpg Writes out of the box: 5/5 Many modern fountain pens bought new have problems right out of the box. I therefore think it generally appropriate to give a mark of 5/5 if it is trouble-free from the start, to reflect the fact that a pen is principally a writing instrument (0/5 if this criterion isn’t met). In this case, the pen wrote perfectly out of the box. Value-for-money: 5/5 Is the writing experience and pleasure from using the pen in any way congruent with the price paid? Value-for-money may not be a fountain pen enthusiast’s principal motivation, but it’s still relevant. This is a solid, well-made pen that writes well, with a very modest price tag (under £10 in 2019): definitely good value-for-money. Overall view: 48/50 This is an excellent pen for what it is. And it is unpretentious. Don’t get this pen if you only buy and use Visconti limited editions. But if you are looking to give someone a first fountain pen, or if you need a well-performing pen to drop into a bag or take on your long hike, then this is a good option, albeit one of many. --- AESTHETIC/NARRATIVE REVIEW --- This part is based on criteria proposed by Jonathon Deans. Evaluating the aesthetic experience Intensity (the wow! factor). There isn’t much of a visual wow factor here; it's not a pen to drool over. But it’s not meant to evoke Wowness. It’s means to look and feel sober. The feel is good in the hand, but again, no experience of being wowed. The performative intensity (experience in writing) is medium, because of the surprisingly good writing experience. Complexity of the experience: did I experience this pen as imaginative, surprising, interesting? Not really. I experience the pen as solid, reliable and pleasant to use. Having said that, the simplicity in design is deceptive: some real thought went into the design of the pen, and it holds together very well. That thorough design sets it apart from other pens in a similar price category. Unity: did I experience the Oxford as coherent and complete? Definitely, yes. It doesn’t make me want to shout from the roof-tops, but its well thought-through and well-balanced features make it an understated unitary whole that is very pleasing. Sources of aesthetic appreciation Materials: colours, shapes, physical material. Two kinds of metal, plus black plastic: not much to get excited about. The shape is standard and conservative. The good things about the pen come about through the way the individual parts are combined. Form: The relationship of each element to the whole. This is a real strength of the pen. Expression: what if anything is it that I associate with this particular pen, and what sort of emotions does it evoke? This was a birthday present from a child, paid for from their own pocket-money. I cannot use the pen without the emotional association that this evokes. Apart from that, I really like the way the pen is put together, and the radical simplicity of the design.
  4. TheDutchGuy

    Oxford Is Just Great

    About a year ago a colleague turned me on to Oxford notebooks, having used Rhodia and Clairefontaine for a long time before that. I love Rhodia, not just the paper but also the design in that wonderful golden yellow. It took me a while to get hooked on Oxford, but once the hook sank in... Some reasons why I've come to prefer Oxford: -significantly lower price compared to Rhodia and Clairefontaine (for example: three thick, 100-page A4 spiralbound notebooks can be had for 8 euros) -huge range of products -every Oxford notebook has margins (except the ones with blank paper), whereas Rhodia and Clairefontaine often do not have vertical lines (which annoys me greatly) -Oxford usually uses 90 g/m^2 paper whereas Rhodia uses 80 g/m^2 (don't know about Clairefontaine), which translates into "more paper, less coating". This is the main selling point for me. It doesn't feel like writing on plastic at all; Oxford paper is soft, organic and smooth and all of my pens love it, whereas some of my pens really don't like Clairefontaine -in terms of feathering (none), bleedthrough (none) and showthrough (same as other good brands), Oxford is at least on the level of other brands -Rhodia can feel very different on both sides of the same page; the front side of a page is sometimes a bit rough and makes pens look dry, whereas the backside will be smooth and wet. In short, Oxford offers more for less and I honestly cannot find a single quality of Rhoda or Clairefontaine that Oxford doesn't match. I haven't tried Tomoe River yet, but that's probably too expensive for my huge daily turnover at work.
  5. Jackokun

    Help Identifying This Oxford

    Hello, I recently managed to get this wahl Oxford, while it was in a bad shape the nib was good an after a sac replacement and a through cleaning and minor polish it was back to its former glory. my question is can anyone give me more information about it and the model, and given that it came with an omas nib (super flex), would you say that it was a frankenpen? Many thanks Jack http://i.imgur.com/9bFIF7p.jpg http://i.imgur.com/UVaOkuX.jpg
  6. I am the proud owner of a Conway Stewart Oxford fountain pen (brown tortoise shell in colour) and I am trying to research the pen with respect to how many were sold etc. One rarely sees them advertised for sale second hand, as opposed to other modern Conway Stewarts. I have conversed with Bespoke British Pens who took over what was left of Conway Stewart and they cannot find any records. If anyone has any information historically on the CS Oxford, or if anyone owns one, I would be grateful if you could post it here. Thanks
  7. At the moment I had an opportunity to try three GvFC inks: Garnet Red, Hazelnut Brown and Moss Green. Garnet Red is boring and I don't like it at all. Hazelnut Brown and Moss Green on the other hand are amazing inks. SWAB: http://imageshack.com/a/img845/5408/aj6h.jpg SPLASH: http://imageshack.com/a/img842/8586/85gl.jpg Two drops of ink on kitchen towel: http://imageshack.com/a/img18/3549/cio2.jpg My software believes Moss Green is this: http://imageshack.com/a/img46/1558/pouz.jpg INFORMACJE / PARAMETRY Producer: Graf von Faber-Castell Color: Moss Green Saturation: strong Flow: very good Shading: nice and quite intense Dry time in Faber-Castell Ambition F nib on Oxford paper: http://imageshack.com/a/img809/9113/9b1h.jpg Waterproof: a bit http://imageshack.com/a/img34/4262/8oaa.jpg VERDICT: I like this ink A LOT. SKANS 1. Lyreco paper (BB nib by Herlitz): http://imageshack.com/a/img23/231/he23.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img843/5011/xp2k.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img835/6939/tvr2.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img41/6116/s9iv.jpg 2. OXFORD paper (Regal fountain pen with F/M nib ) http://imageshack.com/a/img838/1529/xnaq.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img850/3365/vxbf.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img199/792/jk80.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img546/4003/ril1.jpg 3. PHOTO COMPARING SIX GREEN INKS (taken on a sunny day): http://imageshack.com/a/img809/9937/pgyb.jpg
  8. Hey Folks I was in Tesco today and notices Oxford Optik paper is half price. It says the offer is on until 5th September, but the ones I saw where: Oxford A5 Wirebound £1 Oxford A4 Refill Pad £1.50 Oxford A4 Wirebound £2 Oxford A4 Project book £2.50 They had a lot of other offers, but nothing FP friendly as far as I know..... Not sure how long the stock will last, but gather up while you can. No other FP friendly paper beats it...Including Rhodia in my opinion. Ren
  9. This has always been an odd little paper. I've known for a while that it and Diamine China Blue don't get along. Whether it's coming from a super-fine nib or being slathered on thick, China Blue will fade away and be barely noticeable after about 24 hours on this paper. Well, I found a new ink it likes to throw down with: J. Herbin Bleu Myosotis. Here are the two inks fresh on the paper: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/834/87vbp.jpg And after approximately 12 hours: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/839/8j8l.jpg And approximately 24 hours: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/842/q9kpy.jpg Weird, huh?

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