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My Most Excellent Fountain Pens. End Of A Journey?



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In the past I I read with interest write-ups about one's collection. I thought to share mine as I am reflecting on the hobby.

 

I have been heavily invested into fountain pens since 2005. Do not ask me why. I just got the bug. Initially focused on collecting, then in more recent years trying to find the perfect writers.

I think I can now narrow down my inseparable fountain pens into the following 15. Let me share with you what makes them special to me.

 

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I will start from the left:

 

1. Visconti Ripple in Blue Silver (BB Palladium nib): this is a classic early model from Visconti (not to be confused with the equally appealing Watermark) with a silver overlay that is colored in blue with a technique used in the auto-industry. At that time, it was quite a feat. One of Del Vecchio's creations. The added bonus is the double broad palladium nib, smooth and stubbish. It is an heavy pen but I do not mind. Provenance: Peytonstreet Pens (2018).

 

2. Visconti Ripple Carbon Fiber (M Palladium nib). This was a collaboration between Visconti and an Italian company specializing in carbon fiber for sport cars (Carbon Dream, the logo of Carbon Dream appears on the cap finial). The nib has a very good flow and it is a pleasure to write with. Provenance: private seller in China.

 

3. Visconti Opera Master Demo (18K F Nib). This is another classic model, quite heavy, and the surprise was the nib. I do not usually like fine nibs but this is really wet and leaves a satisfying line on the paper. Provenance: Eurobox in Tokyo.

 

4. Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog (M Palladium nib). It is one of the most balanced models in terms of lenght and weight. Born to write. The gray swirls to me are very attractive aesthetically. The nib has a very good flow (almost a B) and comes with a hint of feedback that is not bad. Provenance: private seller from Spain.

 

5. Visconti Homo Sapiens Jade (14k B nib modified). This might look like a boring repetition of the previous model, but it comes with a nib with a story. It is an old 14k nib, super smooth, that was modified by Nagahara Jr, a famous nibmeister previously working for Sailor, with his signature cut that provides line variation according to the angle you hold the pen. Perhaps just a gimmick if you do not write in Chinese or Japanese, but the nib is even smoother than before. Provenance: Martini Pens in Germany.

 

6. Pilot Custom Urushi Vermillion (B 18k nib). I remember how this model was talked about back in 2015 in stores in Tokyo before its release. It was much anticipated. A new model from Pilot does not happen every day. It turned out to be an oversize version of Pilot's previous flagship, the 845 Urushi, with a spectacular new nib, a number 30 nib (smaller than the Emperor's nib, but larger than the nib on the Yukary's pens). The nib is very bouncy, leading to flex (which I am not interested) and I love the generous flow. Provenance: Morita Pens in Osaka (2017).

 

7. Delta Dolcevita Piston Filler Maraviglia (BB 14k nib). I generally like Dolcevita pens from now-defunct Delta. But this is phenomenal because of the combination of a very attractive material (a turquoise celluloid) and the stubbish smooth BB nib. Provenance: ebay auction (from a former member of this board).

 

8. Sailor King of Pen Urushi Vermillion (B 21k Nib). I find the minimalist style and the size of this pen very attractive. One special feature: it never dries! I left the pen inked and untouched for months and would always write even after a long period of non-use. Super smooth nib. Provenance: Aesthetics Bay, Singapore (2016).

 

9. Nakaya Neo Standard Arai-shu (M 14k nib, reground). I have several Nakayas, but this is my favorite because of the nib. It came with a cursive italics nib that I hated (too crisp). A nibmeister during an event in Japan was able to smooth it and now is a beautiful medium stub, with very distinct line variation. Only downside, a lot of turns to open or close. Provenance: private seller on FPN market.

 

10. Hakase green celluloid and white buffalo horn (18k "stub" nib). Hakase is an artisan company in Tottori. The current maker is the third generation and basically he runs one-man operation. I first read about Hakase in this forum and I was left fascinated. Then one day actually I included Tottori in an itinerary in Japan and I ordered my first one (the next pen). This is my last Hakase, ordered during an event in Tokyo back in March 2018. Ryo Yamamoto, the current maker, is a very able nibmeister. All nibs were adjusted to my writing posture and they are all incredibly smooth. The writing experience with these nibs is very pleasant.

 

11. Hakase green celluloid (18k B nib). This is the model I ordered during my first encounter with Ryo in his shop in Tottori in 2015 (and delivered in Tokyo one year later). Magnificent smooth nib. I probably exaggerated by adding the possibility to post an already quite long pen. It can work as a desk pen.

 

12. Hakase in black buffalo horn (18k M nib). This is a very sleek and balanced model. The nib is M with a hint of stub, another extraordinarily unique nib. I ordered it in Tokyo in 2016 during the meeting to take delivery of the first pen and got it again in Tokyo in March 2017.

 

13. Omas Paragon gray celluloid 90th anniversary (18k BBB nib). I have been a big Omas fan and collector. For many years Omas pens were the only ones I ever used. Now I have only one in this definitive list, but there might have been more. The gray celluloid has some incredible depths and the faceted Paragon is just a timeless elegant design, according to my taste. The nib is an incredible stub, but very smooth. Provenance: trade with a collector in Taiwan (2018).

 

14. Pelikan M1000 with aftermarket raden decoration (18k F nib). This is my first Pelikan and it immediately made it to the list. The first reason is about aesthetics: the raden work is so clever. The raden was cut to resemble small nibs and they are perfectly arranged on the body and the cap. I immediately liked the creativity of this decoration. The raden work was made by Mr Iwase, a Japanese maker that is quite famous nowadays for these modifications. The second reason is that the F nib actually writes like an M with a very generous flow and meets my requirements. Provenance: Mr Iwase from a pen show (2019).

 

15. Newton Shinobi (with Omas 18k BB nib). This was a custom pen commissioned to Newton using one of his most popular models. My goal was to re-create a pen with an Omas vibe (hence the semi-transparent celluloid) and to host a terrific double broad Omas nib. The pen had some problems. I had to send it to a repairer that fixed it. Notwithstanding the ordeal, it still makes it to the list because of the nib (that I may transfer to a regular Omas pen in the future).

 

Now, reflecting on the hobby, I think that I reached my level of satisfaction. It is more and more difficult to fall for a new pen, especially with a large collection of pens that do not get any use sitting on the side. I do not regret anything about my journey because apart from the occasional adrenaline rush, thanks to this hobby I made friends and I learnt about cultures and crafts.

 

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Nice pens but what do you do when need a pen on the go. I could never imagine not having one cheapo pen.

 

I know cheapo is relative and it's changed for over the years but even a beaten up expensive pen for those on the go situation when dropping a pen is more likely.

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That is quite an astounding set, all very eye catching. It must be very satisfying to know you have covered your core desire for an ideal pen (or pens). I still find myself struggling to define a "type" of pen which is perfect for me. It has resulted in a rather eclectic and unmatched set of pens in my display cases (and table space for my desk pens).

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That's a lovely assortment of pens, and what makes it special is the high percentage of custom made pens and finishes. That Pelikan raden is particulrly beautiful.

 

If your journey was a good one and you've reached such a stunning destination, how could you have any regrets? Perhaps the next stage is becoming collector-sensei and helping less experienced collectors along their way...

Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/

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I think I feel largely the opposite. I have a number of the same pens you have, including some other obscure pens like Conids, Oldwins and Faggionnatios, but I am still attracted to great design and performance, no matter the cost.

 

I just got a $30 Sailor from Wancher that I like as much as my King of Pen.

 

I think it's one of the great aspects of this hobby is that you can buy a pen for less than $50 (or in some cases, 5 bucks for certain Chinese pens) and still experience such satisfaction using it.

the Danitrio Fellowship

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The end of a journey? Depends. Did you set out with only acquisition in mind? If "acquiring until you no longer desire to acquire" was the journey you had in mind, then I'd say you've largely completed the journey.

 

If "using your pens" is the journey, though -- well, you've got a long road ahead of you. As long as you are alive and can afford ink you can write.

 

So is the journey "Buying Pens" or "Using Pens"?

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Nice pens but what do you do when need a pen on the go. I could never imagine not having one cheapo pen.

 

I know cheapo is relative and it's changed for over the years but even a beaten up expensive pen for those on the go situation when dropping a pen is more likely.

 

You are quite right. I also carry some more "replaceable" converter pen when on the go, but usually I have at least 2 of these.

 

This prompts me to share a story. Last year I lost three pens (two from the tray, Buffalo Hakase and Carbon Fiber ripple, plus another KOP with Naginata nib not shown) in a taxi on my way to the airport in Taipei. They were in a pouch. I realized that the pen case was missing only at the boarding gate, so there was not much I could do. I still had some credit on the local sim card, so I thought to call the hotel (let's name it, Shanghri-la) to ask if they had any way to locate the taxi (I did not have any receipt, and actually I was not even certain that I lost it in the taxi). Well, they were able to find the driver and to retrieve the pen case that I got back later on. I was not devastated, but in my mind I was already giving up any further acquisition. Very grateful that I got the pens back and this leaves me with a special debt of gratitude toward Taiwanese! I am mentioning this story just to say that some more replaceable pens are a good idea for travel (I have a Pilot 823 for example).

 

PS: I also misplaced the London Fog while around Ginza... it fell from my jacket pocket. Luckily it fell in a shopping bag that I was carrying, so I found the pen eventually.

Edited by katanankes
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Thanks for sharing your collection. I have or have owned many of the same pens and can understand how you settled on those. I'd add a vintage 149 with a springy nib and swap out a Visconti. ;)

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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Do you mind if I ask what you mean by "narrow down"? Are you planning to get rid of everything else?

 

Yes, possibly. No specific plans at the moment. But I am debating whether makes sense to own a lot of pens I do not use (and most of them are in another continent...). Definitely I overcame the mindset of the collector seeking a complete series of something.

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Thanks for sharing your collection. I have or have owned many of the same pens and can understand how you settled on those. I'd add a vintage 149 with a springy nib and swap out a Visconti. ;)

 

Eh eh! I still have some space on the tray, for one or two pens placed horizontally :-)

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The end of a journey? Depends. Did you set out with only acquisition in mind? If "acquiring until you no longer desire to acquire" was the journey you had in mind, then I'd say you've largely completed the journey.

 

If "using your pens" is the journey, though -- well, you've got a long road ahead of you. As long as you are alive and can afford ink you can write.

 

So is the journey "Buying Pens" or "Using Pens"?

 

Your comment is very thoughtful. Apart from showcasing pens I feel meaningful with like-minded people, I wanted to share this transition from collecting and using to mostly using (and some collecting...). I want to limit new acquisitions and spend more time enjoying what I have accumulated. The FPs are so meaningful to me that I will never stop using them.

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