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Help me pick my second pen?


steerpike
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Exhausted from a day spent wandering around Istanbul, I’m back in an Airbnb… looking at pens.

 

I’ve been writing with a Lamy CP1 and I’m ready to branch out. I’ve narrowed the list down to these. I know there’s no rhyme or reason to this list. I just like what I’ve read / seen. I plan to go F nibs except when it’s Japanese, which will probably be FM or M, depending on availability. My use case is just casual writing / journaling. Please let me know your thoughts / experiences. Also, considering I’m relatively new to the hobby, do you think I should drop this list and stick with sub-100 quid pens for now? Thanks!

 

(In no particular order)

 

1. Otto Hutt Design 03

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2. Esterbrook Estie in “honeycomb” (I have a matching pipe - I just like honeycomb)

image.jpeg.10c1135256ed0654c87d8475912f4c58.jpeg

 

3. Pilot Custom 74

 

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4. Platinum 3776 “Century Higo Zogan” (the all-out expensive option)

 

image.jpeg.cf85a999ac57365a2ba770a28c07c8d4.jpeg

 

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I'd suggest one of the Japanese pens, great nibs and trouble free.

Children think adults have all the freedom and adults think children have
all the freedom.
 

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I'd refine it even further than OCArt's suggestion and go with the Custom 74.  I have no experience with any of the pens, but I've liked my Pilots a lot (Metropolitans, Decimos, and a Falcon).  I think people like the Platinum 3776 model, but I didn't care for the lower-end Plaisir (it writes really dry, and I thought the cap band really cheesy looking); I also have a few Preppies which came free with bottles of ink, but have most of them set up with the rollerball heads for a project I was doing a number of years ago which has fallen by the wayside (and the cap on one of them cracked); I do also have one set up for using highlighter ink in, but almost never use it (so I'm sure the pen will be a MAJOR PITA to clean... :headsmack:).  Although that 3776 on the short list is *very* attractive looking....

I don't know if this will be a concern for you, steerpike, but some people don't like metal sections (finding them slippery).  An additional consideration might be the weight of any/all the pens on the short list (especially if posted) because I don't know how they'd compare to the pen you're currently using.  I know that I have had to scale up the weight limit over the past couple of years (for several years the 28 gram (capped or posted) weight of my TWSBI 580-AL and 580-ALR was my absolute maximum, but recently a friend gave me a belated holiday present of a Monteverde Strata, which I'm still getting used to (ironically, my LARGEST pen, a vintage Sheaffer Balance Oversize which had originally belonged to my husband's grandfather, is amazingly light-weight for its size...).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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As you did ask for suggestions.......👿😈👿😈👿

 

Vintage Parkers with the reliable "aerometric" (squeeze) filler can be excellent writers, and hunting on eBay can be part of the fun of the hobby.

 

Many experienced members here would point to the "51", like this one, ending in a few days:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/354119251898?hash=item527326f7ba%3Ag%3AQQgAAOSwhE5iUuil&LH_Auction=1

 

But the 51 is so popular (for good reason) that the prices go too high for me. So I hunt a little lower down in price, going for these:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/384909404973?hash=item599e636b2d%3Ag%3AwfYAAOSwHn1ijjcg&LH_Auction=1

 

Best wishes Steerpike, and welcome to the forum,

        Flay!

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2 hours ago, steerpike said:

1. Otto Hutt Design 03

2. Esterbrook Estie in “honeycomb” (I have a matching pipe - I just like honeycomb)

3. Pilot Custom 74

4. Platinum 3776 “Century Higo Zogan” (the all-out expensive option)

 

I don't know anything about Otto Hutt Design, and at this point don't care to look into it. Or the Esterbrook Estie, for that matter; but I at least know it can serve as a ‘platform’ for swapping in different nibs, including vintage Esterbrook nibs with the use of an adapter that Esterbrook sells.

 

Pilot (with the exception of the Capless lines, and then only in ‘the West’) and Platinum, as well as Sailor, do not offer replacement nibs as retail products or consumer-accessible spare parts. To get a (particular, or different) new nib, one has to buy the entire writing instrument, pen body and all. That is a departure from Lamy (for which you can buy loose nibs), Pelikan (Classic and Souverän models, for which you can buy replacement, screw-in nib units housing both nib and feed), Diplomat (for which you can buy replacement gripping sections complete with nib and feed), etc. you should keep in mind. Personally, I'm comfortable with all the major Japanese fountain pen brands taking that approach; but some other pen users who imagine they want to maximise the range of nib types and width grades available to them to use, while minimising their spend to acquire such, may not always be so.

 

I prefer Japanese pens, for their nibs but also value-for-money when it comes to gold-nibbed pens; even now, after rounds of price increases in the past three or four years, their entry-level pens that are fitted with excellent 14K gold nibs continue to be cheaper than almost every gold-nibbed European pen model in the market today that I can think of, and some of those European brands don't even make their own gold nibs in-house but outsource to ‘generic’ nib manufacturers like JoWo and Bock, which is not necessarily bad from a technical or performance perspective, but just that it's not a value-add if I choose to buy those brands of pens.

 

However, I just don't get along with the Pilot Custom 74 ergonomically, so that is a pen model I wouldn't just recommend to someone unless they really favour it above all other options. A lot of (dare I say, Western, or at least the more active in English-speaking forums) users seem to automatically jump to the Custom 74 — and Custom Heritage 912 for the next ‘size’ up — when it comes to recommending Pilot; whereas I'm the ‘opposite’, and would recommend the Custom Heritage 91 which is the same price as the Custom 74, and the Custom 742 (which is the same price as the Custom Heritage 912, for Pilot models of those (nib and pen body) sizes and with access to the same nib types and width grades. I got rid of both of my Custom 74 pens, but gladly bought more Custom Heritage 91.

 

As for the Platinum #3776 Higo Zogan, it has a snap-cap and no Slip & Seal mechanism therein, notwithstanding that it has the word ‘Century’ in the product branding these days. It used to be that all #3776 Century models are fitted with Slip & Seal, while ‘plain’ #3776 models — with either gold or steel nibs — were not. In my experience, compared to #3776 Century models that are fitted with Slip & Seal, #3776 models with snap-caps (and #3776 Celluloid models with screw-caps, too) don't seal nearly as well against ink evaporation when capped. If it's going to only one of two or even three fountain pens you have, and you'll be using it a lot and frequently for journalling, then it probably won't be much of an issue; you'd be likely to use up a fill of ink long before evaporation will sufficiently condense it and change its colour and/or performance characteristics.

 

So, if it's out of those four specific pens, and if you even have the mildest interest in swapping different nibs into a very limited number of pens you have on hand, I'd think the Esterbrook is probably the go. That it doesn't have a glossy metal section, or a step-down in diameter from barrel to gripping section, makes it the winner over the Otto Hut in my book, even if the latter could (or can) take easily sourced replacement nibs.

 

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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12 hours ago, hairlame said:

All of those pens are great options!  But, since you're in Istanbul, you could try https://www.kilk.ist/, or https://www.studyoagackakan.com/?lang=en?

I don't have first hand experience with either maker, but might be worth checking out if you get a chance to potentially try them in person!  

 

You, my friend, are a dangerous enabler. One of these shops is just a short ferry ride away. Some beautiful options..

 

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image.thumb.png.0be7bed7e6f50f114785b0ee21d409b9.png

image.thumb.png.9acea7d7b450c4c6ac3a120c1294321f.png

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3 hours ago, steerpike said:

 

You, my friend, are a dangerous enabler. One of these shops is just a short ferry ride away. Some beautiful options..

 

image.thumb.jpeg.41d2c3566bc0fe53d80f1f320e740fbc.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.7988ef7bc6f9686c5846b1b37cbc70b3.jpeg

image.thumb.png.0be7bed7e6f50f114785b0ee21d409b9.png

image.thumb.png.9acea7d7b450c4c6ac3a120c1294321f.png

 

I've just recently bought this pretty Italian acrylic WP2 from Stüdyo Agaçkakan. I'm liking it so far. Very friendly also. :) 

 

large.36588C1E-F7CD-46E1-A259-80E45E1A0278.JPEG.5fedbdffd219dd438faa21d235f38772.JPEG

FP addict thanks to #Penpalooza. Currently can't stop collecting Diplomats.

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Funny update… I wanted to go check out the local pen shop…

 

I got stuck in the elevator at my Airbnb. After screaming for awhile, someone who spoke a little English came to check. He told me to wait (as if I had options) and he would go get help.

 

So, I stood there in the elevator, in this random Turkish building in Besiktas, sweating and fighting off a panic attack, until some more guys showed up. We ended up breaking the door and I had to quickly jump up to the next floor. 
 

It’s too late now to make it to the shop. I think I’ll call it a day. 😆

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Your third pen should be one of them horribly despised western M's.

4th a western B for the pizazz.

 

I came in on my one and only M a P-75, and went wide. F was just to hold a place until I could get a wide nib for that make and model.......oddly that was harder to do than expected. So I ended up with a lot of wide and narrow nibs.

Then came a day when M was what I bought....how odd. I really came to like M.

 

M and B are better for classic rough papers...laid and linen effect.

 

Folks will argue which F is narrower.....never seen where they argue which B is wider.:lticaptd:

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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