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What Was Your Last Impulsive Pen Acquisition?



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mizgeorge

Oh what a shame :(

I have only one Leonardo, and whilst it wasn't entirely without problems (the original feed was faulty, but the replacement was perfect), the nib was perfect - though mine is a Bock rather than JoWo. It is a stub though, which tend to be less tricky.

 

I can see it is clearly a bit out of alignment, but I'd probably just fix that myself if I liked the rest of the pen. 

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JonSzanto

Minor nib adjustment. I didn't seen any indication whether the pen was direct from manufacturer (LOI) or retailer; if the latter, the nib situation could have happened during their handling of the item, and not attributable to the maker. 

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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A Smug Dill
1 hour ago, mizgeorge said:

I can see it is clearly a bit out of alignment, but I'd probably just fix that myself if I liked the rest of the pen. 

 

48 minutes ago, JonSzanto said:

Minor nib adjustment. I didn't seen any indication whether the pen was direct from manufacturer (LOI) or retailer; if the latter, the nib situation could have happened during their handling of the item, and not attributable to the maker. 

 

How does retailer handling possibly end up with one half of the nib being taller, i.e. having more material physically, than the other half where the tines meet? It isn't just a case of the left tine being slightly raised and out of alignment. Seems to me you're just too keen to defend the manufacturer, Jon.

 

Yes, it's fixable by myself by removing some of the excess nib tipping material, like I had to do with the nib on my Leonardo Momento Zero (and was that mishandling - by a different retailer - too, that caused one half of the tipping to be about 30% larger than the other half on that pen's steel nib, too?), but why should I, instead of just regarding it as a defective product that shouldn't have been allowed to leave the factory like that? 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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JonSzanto

I'll be honest: all your photos adequately show is misalignment. It is not obvious that the tipping is uneven. If it were my pen, I'd go to the minimal amount of effort and realign the nib and try writing with it. I can't count the number of times I've worked with a vintage nib, on the pen I purchased for restoration, that wrote like a champ in spite of some visual anomaly. I'm not saying this is the case here, but it is always a possibility.

 

Look, please be careful. I am no more going out of my way to "defend" a manufacturer than you are going out of your way to bash them. It was *your* impulse purchase that you did, I suppose, in spite of previous disappointment. Your anecdotal experiences are important to your life, but they don't explain every aspect of the company - 100% of my pen experience with LOI was excellent - should I lie about that? In recent years I've had four brand new Aurora pens, and one had a nib defect, which was corrected by them. Still, should I say to others to expect a 25% failure rate? I don't think so.

 

Good luck on the pen. Send it back for a complete refund and stick with pens you already know and like. We've all only got a few years left of writing with our pens before the planet blows up, anyway.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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JonSzanto

ADDENDUM: I tried some enlargement of the photos - are we talking about an off center nib slit, or unequal deposition of tipping material? One photo shows (I think) the cut of the slit slightly off-center. That might affect writing or aesthetics if that is the case. Worth a try for a replacement, but if you actually don't like the pen you purchased, send back for a refund.

 

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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27 minutes ago, JonSzanto said:

I'll be honest: all your photos adequately show is misalignment. It is not obvious that the tipping is uneven. If it were my pen, I'd go to the minimal amount of effort and realign the nib and try writing with it. I can't count the number of times I've worked with a vintage nib, on the pen I purchased for restoration, that wrote like a champ in spite of some visual anomaly. I'm not saying this is the case here, but it is always a possibility.

 

Look, please be careful. I am no more going out of my way to "defend" a manufacturer than you are going out of your way to bash them. It was *your* impulse purchase that you did, I suppose, in spite of previous disappointment. Your anecdotal experiences are important to your life, but they don't explain every aspect of the company - 100% of my pen experience with LOI was excellent - should I lie about that? In recent years I've had four brand new Aurora pens, and one had a nib defect, which was corrected by them. Still, should I say to others to expect a 25% failure rate? I don't think so.

 

Good luck on the pen. Send it back for a complete refund and stick with pens you already know and like. We've all only got a few years left of writing with our pens before the planet blows up, anyway.

 

I was an early Leonardo purchaser and the first pen had a nib tine that was twisted, leading to a camber.  I recently managed to get the nib replaced after initial efforts to get the nib replaced failing and a long period of the pen being in storage.  Since then I've bought a LMZ Grande and a Pura.  Both have nibs that write extremely well out of the box.

 

This was a custom grind on a B nib for a Pelikan M605 Stresemann bought on Impulse (big time):

1475859063_m600B-2.jpeg.16a641cf3c47b7f5fff29827d0ca3d2f.jpeg2000097467_m600B-1.jpeg.b0cd2361ce0286af44bf1d1fc31b0562.jpeg

 

I had ink flow issues with this nib and noticed that it was highly likely that this nib was ground while misaligned, leading to a one tine being thinner than the other.  Furthermore, the tine split isn't down the middle of the tip, so one tine is already larger.  What a mess under magnification.  Anyway, with a little spreading of the tines, the ink flow improved and it's a decent writer.

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A Smug Dill
1 hour ago, JonSzanto said:

I'll be honest: all your photos adequately show is misalignment. It is not obvious that the tipping is uneven.

 

That's fine. It's the best I could do with my camera equipment and skills. I don't have a way of photographing through the loupe held in just the right position over the nib for a 30-second exposure.

 

1 hour ago, JonSzanto said:

If it were my pen, I'd go to the minimal amount of effort and realign the nib and try writing with it.

 

Certainly not before I decry the manufacturer letting yet another defective nib out the door, and try to make it a problem to be resolved at the manufacturer's cost. I told the retailer (on the weekend, so I'm not expecting to have heard back just yet) I'm returning the pen, but I didn't say for refund. I'd prefer Leonardo to acknowledge and admit, either to the retailer or to me, yep, it screwed up again, and will pay for return shipping and then do what it needs to do in terms of nib regrind or replacement, to make things right and ensure my limited edition pen is ‘perfect’ by the company's own design and specifications. The ‘cost’ of poor quality should be visited upon the manufacturer to make it take note and feel the impetus to improve, and that cost could be just in dealing with returns and rework, or also include lost revenue due sales opportunities missed, damage to its reputation in the market, etc.

 

Once I try realigning the nib myself, then the manufacturer gets to wash its hands off the problem. That's why I won't attempt any fixes before I get a response, even if I had any inclination to do so.

 

1 hour ago, JonSzanto said:

I can't count the number of times I've worked with a vintage nib, on the pen I purchased for restoration, that wrote like a champ in spite of some visual anomaly.

 

I don't buy vintage pens, and I don't buy pens knowing they're imperfect as-is with the expectation of having to do something to them myself to make them fit writing instruments. The only exceptions are cheap Chinese pens (say, costing <US$25 apiece) that don't pretend to be anything but cheap; and I don't think either Leonardo or Parker want to position their pens as such in the market.

 

1 hour ago, JonSzanto said:

I am no more going out of my way to "defend" a manufacturer than you are going out of your way to bash them.

 

Am I bashing them, or just being unforgiving of their faults?

 

1 hour ago, JonSzanto said:

In recent years I've had four brand new Aurora pens, and one had a nib defect, which was corrected by them. Still, should I say to others to expect a 25% failure rate? I don't think so.

 

Aurora has disappointed me twice, and both times on their Cento Italia hundredth anniversary commemorative limited edition models. In one case, the ruthenium-plated gold nib was obviously a used nib, with permanent discolouration on the coating along either side of the slit consistent with nib creep. The Dutch retailer got Aurora to send me a replacement nib and section. It was a pen I pre-ordered, so there is no excuse for getting that wrong; and it wasn't a pen model with nib and feed housed in a threaded collar, so there was no reason to suspect the nib was swapped after the retailer received the pen from the manufacturer.

 

In the other case, where I ordered what a different retailer's stock and was trying to clear, the Italic nib — and the first and only I've seen from Aurora — had two curved eyebrows instead of a straight edge at the tipping. That was definitely a manufacturing fault, but given what I know and observed as a customer of the Spanish retailer, it may not have been the nib Aurora originally fitted on that particular unit when the pen left the factory. I refused a nib swap that did not involve Aurora (which was closed on vacation for a month at the time), and the retailer paid for UPS to come pick the pen up from my home for return by express service, and gave me a full refund.

 

So, I'm not utterly happy with Aurora's nib quality control either, but I like the brand enough — and have enough good pens from it to start the relationship on the right foot, so to speak — to forgive it. When I subsequently gave Aurora more chances, my decision was vindicated.

 

Two Platinum pens of different models — but both fitted with 18K gold President nibs — had slight tine misalignment. One I bought some years ago, before I delved into “the hobby” and inspecting the nib through a loupe (which I didn't have) would have been the furthest thing from my mind, much less physically adjusting it myself. That pen was scratchy for years; and I've mentioned that in the forum previously. (The nib on the other Izumo pen, in a different colour, which I bought on the same order was fine in every way.) That stopped me from buying another pen fitted with a President nib for years. I bought a President with an UEF nib recently, and on account of my past experience as well as general wariness of how tight tolerances have to be for a nib so narrow at the tipping, I inspected it before inking the pen or dip-testing the nib. There was slight misalignment, which seemed to be due to the nib sitting slightly leaning towards one side on the feed; once fixed, the grind was close enough to ‘perfect’ for a factory UEF. If that UEF nib hadn't been fit for purpose, you bet I'd be complaining loudly about Platinum President nibs in online forums, notwithstanding the more than a dozen Platinum #3776 gold nibs I've owned that were very good out-of-the-box.

 

You won't hear me saying any good things about Sailor's (steel-nibbed) Fude de Mannen pens. They're cheaply constructed, and among the worst fountain pens I've ever used. The steel nibs on its desk pens are scratchy pieces of junk. I've written about those in the forum previously, too. However, every gold nib from Sailor I've ever bought has been between OK and great out-of-the-box; ‘on average’, Sailor gold nibs have been excellent for me across two dozen or so pens.

 

The difference there, again, is that I like those brands, and so I'm willing to forgive what could be their mistakes and give them another chance readily with my next purchases.

 

I gave Parker another chance after what must've been twenty years since I bought three gold-nibbed Sonnet pens (never mind the couple of cheap steel-nibbed models bought with low expectations). It continued to disappoint, and I've written at length and shown evidence of how poor its customer service and nib quality is today. Is that bashing, or simply that it has earned neither goodwill nor forgiveness from me?

 

Same goes with Leonardo Officina Italiana, although I don't dislike it quite as much. If Leonardo is going to fix this entirely at its expense including shipping both ways, when there's supposed to be a lifetime warranty on its products from defects — and this nib problem is clearly a manufacturing defect, which I hope it will acknowledge — then I'd be happy for it to resolve the problem for me, and then revise my opinion and narrative when it comes to Leonardo pens.

 

1 hour ago, JonSzanto said:

I tried some enlargement of the photos - are we talking about an off center nib slit, or unequal deposition of tipping material? One photo shows (I think) the cut of the slit slightly off-center.

 

Eyeballing the nib again just now, I don't think the slit is cut off-centre; but the lightly (laser?) engraved ‘scrollwork’ is slightly off-centre, and leaning closer to the left. That's why, in the centre bubble in my photo, it may look as if the slit is physically cut off-centre on the nib.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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I just impulse-bought a Parker 25 through the Bay of Evil.

A late-1970s one in blue trim (i.e. not a less-common black one, a rare green one, or a very-rare orange one).

 

I bought it despite the fact that I already own a fair few low-end c/c Parkers, and the fact that the 25 is the fountain pen that many of my contemporaries had at school, and which I remember as being ‘ugly’ and ‘weird-looking’.

And despite the fact that it is the same size as a Vector (i.e. a size that I know to be slightly too small for my hand).


I expect that the 25 will be a pen that I find to be ‘too skinny’ to be comfortable for long writing sessions (in comparison to my two aerometric Parker “51”s, which feel ‘perfect’ to my hand) and also a pen that I will consider to be a ‘dry-writer’ (in comparison to my LAMY 2000 & Pelikan M805, which ‘write wet’ to a degree that I love).

 

I bought this 25 because:
1- I know that it will be robust (it’s a steel-bodied school pen with a steel nib whose shape enhances its strength). Ok, I already own an all-stainless-steel Vector, which ought to be even-more-robust than the 25 (which has a grip-section made from blue plastic), and;
2- it will remind me of my school days, so will make me feel a warm glow of nostalgia (despite the fact that I never found these pens desirable when I was at school).

I also bought it because;
3- Somebody Else bought the Newhaven-made Parker ‘Victory’ (an aerometric-fill pen the same size as a Duofold Junior) that I had been thinking of buying in order to use with hard-core iron-gall ink.

 

If I do find that I hate the 25, I will let you all know.
At least it was relatively inexpensive 😁

 

Edited by Mercian
Clarification.

Foul in clear conditions, but handsome in the fog.

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halffriedchicken
20 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

The tines are misaligned, and even after accounting for the misalignment (without trying to fix it), I'm not convinced the two halves of the tipping are exactly the same height, never mind being perfectly symmetrical.

Once simple trick I do to adjust slightly misaligned tines is to place the nib upside down as if you are going to write reverse writing with the nib upside down on paper and press with slight pressure, not enough to flex a nib, and gently rock the pen side to side with your fingertips to realign the tines. Sometimes you can even hear an audible click while the tines are being realigned. For me, writing upside down is much easier to feel if tines are misaligned or aligned without a loupe.

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An audible click is caused by one tine catching on the other and the then clicking past.  My own concern is that tipping material could be dislodged or scratched in this way.  I prefer using a finger tip to push down on the tine that’s higher and hold it down for a 2 secs, check and then repeat as needed.  It’s less likely for the tine to be moved in a way that it clicks against the  other tine, and even if it does, it’s minimal and controlled. 

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10 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

Once I try realigning the nib myself, then the manufacturer gets to wash its hands off the problem. That's why I won't attempt any fixes before I get a response, even if I had any inclination to do so.

Misaligned tines have been so relatively common among pens I’ve purchased that I tend to just fix minor tine misalignment whenever I encounter them and routinely inspect the tines on all my new pens. 

 

Its frequent enough for me to really appreciate and consciously acknowledge, any pen received with a nib that is well tuned out of the box.

 

Another reason that I do my own tine realignments is because it’s quite easy.  I’m beginning to think it a necessary ‘skill’ for folks like us who purchase and use a lot of fountain pens.  The same for smoothening with Micromesh. 

 

With all that said I do have to acknowledge Pilot, Sailor, Platinum and Montblanc. I’ve never received a pen from these manufacturers with misaligned tines despite having bought multiple pens from each.  It is sobering for me when I purchase a Platinum Plaisir or Prefonte, a Pilot Pura that write perfectly out of the box, while at the same time, I purchase a £500 pen and have to immediately return it for a quickly agreed on refund by the seller, because the nib is so poorly tuned.

 

I am just now at work writing with my F nibbed Custom 823. What a joy and not a thing done to the nib. No tine fiddling and no polishing.

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Bo Bo Olson

7lozlMh.jpg30 year old German Senator regular flex M. Looks like an older pen, but Senator is a second-third tier pen....outside it's President; so making design changes wouldn't have made $ sense. . 

 

The steel nibbed version  of the cartridge President is affordable, the gold nib not so much so.

My screaming wallet prevented me from more than contemplating for a few seconds getting a Oversized pen.

 

MB sues Senator and loses, because the President looks more like a 149 than a New Balance. I don't know how often but it was 'old hat' a decade or so ago on the com.

 

So that's a pen to look at if you want a cheaper 149 type pen. (That was pre-Chinese counterfeit 149 era.)

 

Also got this bottle of Uhu blue black ink.Emei2kJ.jpg

Pen and ink for a pound of coffee.

They have a cheap swap or give away portal, that my wife discovered...................if we had a barn, we could open up a good quality second hand furniture store.

 

Having a barn for storage is a key to long term wealth.

10,000 cheap to free antiques fall through one's hands for lack of storage space.

The '50-70's antiques are big now....wasn't a couple of decades ago.

The '80-90's junk is still junk...in a decade or so, it too will be looked for.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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JonSzanto
18 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

... many, many words...

 

Gil, none of the long expositions changed the tenor of the remarks: you do seem to be far more bothered with getting this pen in less-than-expected condition than other pens, and you are ready to report to anyone who asks that they look away from the brand. The disingenuous part is when you readily admit similar failings in a brand like Aurora but give them a pass, for some opaque reason or other. Your description of receiving the recent Leonardo pen is bizarre in itself - it sounds like a pen forced on you, one that you really don't want to own or even look at, but that you bought it as a penance or something!

We all have pens that don't work out, and maybe it casts an ill light on the brand. My only input was that my data points didn't verify that kind of assessment and wondered why you were so eager to disparage the brand. At the end of the day, it seems to be a problem that could be solved if the pen is worth it to you, a bump in the road that can be fixed. Things happen, the world is imperfect, and how we deal with that colors our journey through life. I wish you the best in getting the pen preforming to your satisfaction.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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A Smug Dill
On 9/6/2021 at 12:55 PM, halffriedchicken said:

Sometimes you can even hear an audible click while the tines are being realigned. For me, writing upside down is much easier to feel if tines are misaligned or aligned without a loupe.

 

Thank you for the suggestion. That was how I actually come to realise there was a problem with the nib on my first Leonardo (Momento Zero, fitted with a Bock steel nib) pen. The problem, however, is that when one half of the tipping is larger and taller than the other, reverse-writing and then rotating the nib back to normal orientation again simply made the tines align and misalign repeatedly.

 

On 9/6/2021 at 6:45 PM, maclink said:

An audible click is caused by one tine catching on the other and the then clicking past.

 

Every time I ‘flipped’ the nib's orientation with that pen, it wrote scratchily for a few words, and then I'd hear a click and the hand feel, ink flow, and line width changed. The tines were very tight (which is generally OK with me, as that gives a more controlled ink flow without usually starving the business end of the nib), and were just grinding against each other.

 

On 9/7/2021 at 2:50 AM, JonSzanto said:

Gil, none of the long expositions changed the tenor of the remarks: you do seem to be far more bothered with getting this pen in less-than-expected condition than other pens, and you are ready to report to anyone who asks that they look away from the brand. The disingenuous part is when you readily admit similar failings in a brand like Aurora but give them a pass, for some opaque reason or other. Your description of receiving the recent Leonardo pen is bizarre in itself - it sounds like a pen forced on you, one that you really don't want to own or even look at, but that you bought it as a penance or something!

 

I find it funny that you choose to describe what I wrote as disingenuous and opaque.

 

It's simple: I don't like Leonardo as a brand. I like Aurora as a brand. I thought I made that more than clear, much less kept it secret or disguised; so what's opaque about that? Irrational, perhaps, but no more so than anyone liking or even loving and gushing about any other brand. Even if you love Leonardo (or Parker, or whatever) as a brand, that's how you feel, and it's between you and the manufacturer(s); nobody needs share that for your sentiment to be validated, any more than I need others to join me in disliking Leonardo.

 

For that reason, I judge Leonardo more harshly with each successive disappointment, but I don't think what I say about its pens — based on my first-hand observation of products for which I paid good money, with or without providing photographic evidence to satisfy others reading it — is baseless. If I forgive Aurora more readily, that's because I think it earned it, and it didn't squander the opportunity to redeem itself to me when offered through my continued custom.

 

As for being ‘forced’ to acquire pens, that to me is exactly what this thread is about — my (and our) buying pens on impulse, momentary compulsion that comes from within. There's nothing opaque about how that is triggered in me, either. If something (which could be a brand, a design, or a material) is novel, and offered at a slight discount — say 5%–10% — I may be intrigued enough to feel, on a given day, “Why not?” and give it a try; if something is attractive enough, I might even buy the first one at list price without discount. That's impulsive. That's what I did with the Leonardo Momento Zero; the Blue Hawaii material looks very nice, as does the pen's styling, and furthermore, several of my fellow hobbyists on FPN have been singing praises about Leonardo's not-manufactured-in-house steel nibs. The nib had uneven tipping and wrote poorly, at least for my tastes and requirements. My esteem of the brand, from what was a neutral position, fell to the negative; but I was prepared to attribute the shortcoming to the company probably being small, and then brand new to the market. I even posted twice in Market Watch alerting fellow forum members to discount offers on Leonardo pens, and in effect directed business towards it, because its was still worthy eye-candy. Then I heard more reports of problems with the Leonardo nibs' QC, including from retailers, and my esteem of the brand dropped again; it isn't something the company is acknowledging as an issue and investing effort and resources in fixing, in spite of the percentage of returns due unsatisfactory nibs (from what the retailers told me), even as it grew more successful. I disliked the brand more for that, and it went from a 20%-off brand in my mind (as in not worth considering unless offered at 20% below street prices on special offer from time to time) to a 35%-off brand.

 

But I was still prepared to give it another chance when the discount is steep enough, especially if I'm supposedly getting a higher-end and/or limited edition model (into which I expect the manufacturer has invested more care). Giving the brand another chance, in spite of past disappointments, when there are other discounted pens I could buy instead with the same spend in that same week, is impulsive.

 

I don't want brands to fail me or disappoint me, or to simply disappear; I want them to earn my respect and goodwill. It's not like I want to spend hundreds of dollars on what is guaranteed to be junk. I was even prepared to let Parker win me back. If the gold-nibbed and gold-plated Sonnet Cascade wasn't high-end enough, I'd buy a Duofold Centennial (which I did), on impulse when the discount was steep enough. If the stock nibs aren't good enough and made precisely enough, I'd go through its official Nib Exchange Programme and tell Parker exactly what I want, even if it means it had to produce the nibs on demand through its specialist team in France, which is what the company told me it does for nibs requested in exchange that are not F or M. It failed so badly, though, with first the Extra Extra Fine and then the Fine Italic nib it provided me with in exchange (and costing me more money, in addition of several months of waiting time during which communication was basically non-existent); so I don't know if it can go any lower in my esteem.

 

I bought my first Opus 88 Picnic at a discount; it was so good, I bought two other colours, and when I heard they were being discontinued, I ordered a fourth colour at the regular price. I bought my first Fine Writing International Planets pen (of which I don't even like the look) at a steep discount; but it impressed me so much with its performance, I ordered two more at the retailer's list price (even though I still don't like the clear barrel bracketed by opaque caps and end finial thing). I started off being hesitant about Pelikan; now we have about 15. I wasn't that impressed with the Sailor Promenade, when I got my first one early in 2019; but I've come to really appreciate that pen, and ended up buying four more (even though there are only four different colourways in total), at higher than list price, and that's impulsive, when it wasn't as if I didn't already have two dozen other gold-nibbed Sailor pens.

 

So, some brands and models rise in my esteem, and some fall. And we're here to talk about what we buy and what we think of them, are we not? Right now Parker is an 80%-off brand in my view, and Leonardo has fallen to a 65%-off brand. Aurora is a 20%-off brand to me, Pelikan and Pilot 15%-off brands, and Sailor and Platinum 10%-off brands.

 

(Aside: Why would I want to pay street prices or more for a brand in general, unless it's for a specific model that speaks to me and short in supply in the market, such that I have to beat fellow hobbyists to one of the limited number of units available? Cult Pens, for one, will offer at least 10% off on just about any brand it carries, more than once every year; and, unlike most US-based retailers, it offers free international shipping, once the value of an order exceeds a relatively low threshold.)

 

If I wasn't on a self-imposed hiatus from buying pens and inks altogether, those levels of discounts is what would make me take notice and possible trigger impulse buying.

 

I don't need anyone to agree with me with my assessment or ‘ranking’ of the brands; but I think it's good that we can see how different hobbyists view different brands. It doesn't offend my sensibilities if someone talks down Sailor pens or how they dislike the brand, even if it's my favourite fountain pen brand if there is one that stands out at all. The more people talk about Sailor pens, the better; and sometimes people may be intrigued or motivated to buy something exactly because someone else hates it for the ‘wrong‘ reasons (e.g. Sailor nibs produce supposedly too much feedback; ink flow in Platinum pens supposedly too dry for those fellow hobbyists who are really vocal about wanting to drown each line to maximise sheen from an ink).

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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JonSzanto
2 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

I find it funny that you choose to describe what I wrote as disingenuous and opaque.

 

I do attempt to lighten the mood for people every day, what with the world in such terrible shape.

 

And, that being said, the response is far too long and involved, and unworthy of some perfunctory reply, but it is getting late after a long day. I reserve this space to come back to it in the very near future. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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Bikerchick
1 hour ago, MuddyWaters said:

I've enjoyed reading this conversation between you two. Whatever your opinions might be, you both write well. Don't mind me if I continue reading from afar...

Same. I love the discussions on this forum. They can get a little heated at times but I've rarely seen them become personal or nasty. Most of you are so eloquent, it's a little daunting at times (but then I keep reminding myself that I'm not a native English speaker.)
Thanks for letting us enjoy all sides of the story, guys. 
 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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ethernautrix
7 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

[Re: a Duofold Centennial] ...If the stock nibs aren't good enough and made precisely enough, I'd go through its official Nib Exchange Programme and tell Parker exactly what I want, even if it means it had to produce the nibs on demand through its specialist team in France, which is what the company told me it does for nibs requested in exchange that are not F or M. It failed so badly, though...

 

This reminds me of my multi-year odyssey with a Parker Duofold Centennial International which nib I'd exchanged for the needlepoint. Maybe the mistake was mine in believing a needlepoint meant a sewing needle and not the blunt point of a knitting needle, but as the ranking of it was below EF, I'd assumed I'd get what I'd now describe as at least a  Japanese-brand EF.

 

I don't remember how many times I sent the pen back (this was in the mid-90s). The last time I did, I sent a page of lines written with at least a half-dozen other pens with F nibs, all of which wrote much finer than the Parker needlepoint. The reply was that the pen would be sent to the Queen of England's Master of Fountain Pens and Nibs to manufacture the proper nib. Something like that. Memory's a funny thing.

 

When the pen returned, I had high hopes. The problem had been bumped up to the highest level of problem-solving. My pages showing the proper line widths must have finally gotten the message across.

 

Nope. Still wrote like a fuzzy medium, or, to be fair, fine-medium.

 

It was so aggravating that when the pen slipped out of my (probably) pocket, either at the restaurant I'd been or the parking lot, I made only a cursory attempt to find it, and then just let it go. Beautiful pen with the most aggravating nib. I tried to love that nib. I tried to like it. I didn't know that pen shows and "nib-meisters" were a thing. I WAS A HAPLESS LAMB IN THE WORLD WITHOUT FOUNTAIN PEN FORUMS.

 

So, yeah. I still have the Centennial and matching ballpoint, both of which I'd bought before the International and both deeply and blackly engraved with my married name. I'd bought the International (no engraving) because the Centennial was too big. And that's my Parker needlepoint nib saga.

_________________

etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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Bikerchick
3 minutes ago, ethernautrix said:

I WAS A HAPLESS LAMB IN THE WORLD WITHOUT FOUNTAIN PEN FORUMS.

HAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA.

Welcome to my world, until the tender age of 47. ;) 

What is this money pit obsession hole I have fallen into? 

 

My other passion

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Bo Bo Olson

Mid '90's  there were  no nibmeisters....more than likely.

It was a world where only Frank Dubal existed.

Pre-Richard and Ron.

Or even the passed Ol'Griz.

 

Actually there was a woman 'nibmeister if I recall that worked for Sheaffer and became independent after Sheaffer fled the country.

 

But you didn't have a Sheaffer. I don't remember her name, but she was 'well known'. She was mentioned a couple of times in threads I read.

So Ron or Richard could well know her.

 

They went to the Sheaffer factory when it closed down and Ron gave us the Sheaffer standard nib widths that I often use to display basic tolerance in nib widths.

 

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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