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Franklin-Christoph Pocket 40 Review


latetotheparty
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Hello folks. I am new to this site and wanted to post a review of a couple of Franklin-Christoph pens that I purchased just because I think F-C is so blooming fantastic. To avoid boring everyone to death, I’ll do separate posts for the different pens. This post is going to be about the Pocket 40.

 

First off, I had to use fountain pens in high school, so I knew the very basics, but not much more. I purchased my first post-high school fountain pen, a Sheaffer Prelude in shimmery pink for around $60. I rarely used it because it was very heavy (IMHO), the cap kept falling off and it felt too short and unbalanced if unposted. Ridiculously, I waited ten years before looking for a replacement. I purchased two Lamy Al-Stars on Amazon. Although the nibs were good, I got cramp from squeezing the triangulated grip section. So I researched online about pens made in the U.S. Many thanks to this site, Gourmet Pens, Penaddict, The Pen Habit and Gentleman Stationer for putting F-C on my radar (links at bottom).

 

I drooled (rather obsessively) over the F-C site before ordering two Pocket 40s, one with a Masuyama medium cursive italic nib and the other with a 1.1 cursive nib. I have no photographs because I eventually swapped them out for Stabilis 65s. Here is the link to see what they look like:

 

http://www.franklin-christoph.com/pocket-40.html

 

The P40 colours were Emerald and Cinamaroon. I purchased the ice versions because I knew I wanted to convert them to eyedroppers (much easier than one imagines and really the whole point of buying any of the ice pens). Even with ordinary Parker Red swirling about inside, the Cinamaroon was simply lovely to look at. The pens are light, which I like, and I never had a problem with ink leaking after using the silicone grease. The nibs were both lovely, although I realize that my handwriting is probably too small to suit a cursive italic for writing at speed.

 

The P40 is, obviously, very easy to carry in the pocket, so if you are looking for a genuine pocket pen, it completely meets expectations. I have nothing bad to say about the P40s from F-C. So why did I swap them for the F-C Stabilis 65? Purely because I realized that I rarely needed to be able to carry a pen in my pocket for my work and so I probably should have chosen a larger pen in the first place. (I have petite hands and initially thought the non-pocket F-C pens might be too large.) The Stabilis 65, which I will review separately, was simply better suited for writing done other than on the hop.

 

Another reason I love F-C, even after only a short period of engaging with them, is that they do not carry too many designs as to be overwhelmed by where to start. Also, their designs are timeless and gender-neutral. Sounds silly perhaps, but the vast majority of the “classic” pens in the >$120 - < $600 range that I saw online are either very masculine or the other extreme. Maybe I'm just not good at searching and no offense intended to anyone, just my personal perception and experience.

 

Lastly on this topic, the service at F-C is nothing short of outstanding. That alone is a reason to choose F-C over another brand, all other things being equal. I wish every company had this level of service. Scott and Jim bent over backwards to help me when I wanted to swap out pens. They answered the ‘phone and emails themselves and you genuinely feel like they value your custom. Jim sent me a tub of silicone grease with the second order without me even asking for it. Unless there is some major service (bleep)-up in the future with F-C in, which I cannot imagine would ever happen, they have a customer for life in me. FYI, I did not receive any compensation from F-C for this review, just saying my piece!

 

Sorry for the long and winding road and hope this has helped someone!

 

http://www.gourmetpens.com/2014/07/review-franklin-christoph-model-40p.html#.VjYI_-gqPGD

http://www.penaddict.com/blog/2015/5/29/franklin-christoph-model-65-stabilis-review?rq=franklin

http://penhabit.com/2014/08/14/pen-review-franklin-christoph-02-intrinsic/

http://www.gentlemanstationer.com/blog/2015/5/30/franklin-christoph-eydropper-mania

 

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  • PaperDarts

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  • latetotheparty

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  • jayKellner

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great review, doesn't look like a bit to the kaweco sport??? I own a Kaweco, and Im thinking in buying my first Franklin-Christoph :D

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Thanks for the review and the links! I am coveting one of the Ice pens; I saw a couple at the Scriptus pen show in Toronto a couple of days ago but I was already over my budget for the event. Nice to know that they convert to eyedroppers so easily and look so good.

"Life would split asunder without letters." Virginia Woolf

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Thanks Jay and PaperDarts for the kind words. Jay - I don't own a Kaweco, so I'm not able to comment first hand. I did look at them (online only) though before buying the F-C P40 because I knew I wanted a pen that I could convert to eyedropper. The price point is totally different between the two. I think you can get a Kaweco Sport for under $30 (?) on some sites, whereas F-C is around $100 more. That said, I've read that the Sport can feel somewhat plasticky, but again, I've not held one myself. I also have no idea what Kaweco customer service is like. Per my original post, F-C has great customer service so I'm never worried that I'll be up the creek with a dodgy pen and no recourse. Having read many reviews of both pocket pens, I get the impression that people primarily buy the Kaweco because of the price, you get a lot for the $30, and people who take a pocket pen camping / hiking etc. would rather have a $30 pen bashed around than something more expensive. The F-C P40 has a lovely smooth, glossy feel to it and the aesthetics of the P40 were simply more of a factor to me. If I were still a student, I would have gone for the Kaweco because of the price. But I'm not a student any more, hooray! PaperDarts - i understand the budget issues :D I've had to exercise a LOT of restraint after discovering the F-C brand!! Good luck both!

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