Thursday, June 30, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 394

In honour of Canaday Day tomorrow, I thought I'd post some photos of my fountain pens with some vintage Canadian postcards. I bought the pens from Charals via their webstore last summer:

(please click on images to enlarge)
Above: Lamy 'Safari ' white fountain pen "I Love Vancouver" special edition sold by Charals

Above: 'Lamy' Safari in yellow, a colour that's part of their regular (non-Ltd.Ed/Spec.Ed.) production line

Above: Lamy 'Vista' fountain pen, which is essentially a clear demonstrator Lamy 'Safari'

Have a great Canada Day long weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 393

Here's a beautiful new ink recently acquired by Stuart from the Vancouver Pen Shop...

(photo courtesy of Stuart  ~ please click on image to enlarge)
Stuart writes: "At Van Pen today, I picked up a bottle of one of the three new Iroshizuku colours from Pilot - sui-gyoku, or emerald green. I love it, in a crowded field of green inks it stands out, a beautiful shade that shades very well. I think it will be popular."

The pen in the photo is Stuart's beautiful Graf von Faber-Castell 'Intuition' fountain pen :) Our thanks to Stuart for sharing this gorgeous new ink with us!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 392

Today's featured new acquisition is a German-made school pen made by Pelikan. I'd recently reviewed several different economy-model Pelikans that wrote very well, so when this one popped up on my radar, I ordered it from a German seller on eBay.

Meet my new Pelikan 'Happy' (model P24) fountain pen:

(please click on images to enlarge)

The pen arrived in its original hanging card packaging, along with a 6-pack of Pelikan Royal Blue ink cartridges. Total price I paid was 15.90 Euros (8.90 for the pen + 7.00 shipping from Germany), which is about $21 CAD.

There were actually two older Pelikan models with the same name--the original Pelikan 'Happy' model that came out in 1973 and was made from 1973-1977, then a Happy' model that was produced from 2006 to 2013, and finally this model which came out in 2016 (and as far as I know, is still in production). All three versions are cartridge/converter models, and this latest one can hold two standard short international ink cartridges (or one long cartridge) in its barrel.

The current Pelikan 'Happy' comes in four designs ---red with rings, blue with rings (which both came out in 2014), red with stripes and blue with stripes (which came out in 2015). I love the colour red and the design of the striped one reminded me a bit of the falling digital code (aka "Matrix digital rain") in the Matrix films, so that's why I chose it.

Its unusual cap design reminds me of the Pelikan 'Colani' models, whose caps were designed to look like a pelican's head viewed in profile. The hole in the cap (presumably meant for a carrying cord) reminded me a bit of the one on the Faber-Castell 'Scribolino' (the older version with the peapod-shaped cap). The Pelikan one is slanted, though, and gives the cap a subtle elegance, despite it being a pen designed for the younger set. The clip does a nice job of attaching onto paper and clothing, and although it's made of plastic, it's securely anchored to the cap.

The pen's barrel is made of a much thicker plastic than the clip, and feels very durable.
The bottom of the pen's barrel is flat and has two small holes (presumably for child safety reasons), so the pen is not suitable for conversion to an eyedropper-filler.

Now, for some measurements I did! The pen's capped length is 5.2 inches (13.2 cm)...

...while its uncapped length (nib tip to barrel end) is 4.7 inches (11.9 cm)...

...and its posted length is 6.3 inches (16 cm). Being an all-plastic fountain pen, it's very light, weighing about 11.7 grams with no cartridge/converter inside. The diameter of its molded triangular grip section goes from 1.15 cm at its widest to 0.95 cm at the nib end of the pen. The grip section (like the pen's cap) has a lightly-textured surface and is very comfortable to hold. The pen posts very securely and, because it's so light and well-balanced, I prefer to use it this way.

The nib is made of stainless steel and is unmarked. Until I opened the packaging, I didn't realize that the nib had no tipping material:

This wasn't an oversight on Pelikan's part--the nib is a so-called "butterfly nib", created by folding the nib's tines inwards. I've seen these nibs on cheaper vintage fountain pens, but also on some modern fountain pens (e.g. the Schneider 'Voice' & 'Easy models'). I was a bit worried about its smoothness, but my pen's untipped steel nib writes very smoothly and lays down a line somewhere between a Fine and a Medium.

The feed looks like the one on many economy model Pelikans, so if this nib gets worn down (because it lacks the iridium tipping), I'll swap it out for a different Pelikan nib. Right now, I'm very happy with the way it writes.

All in all, the Pelikan 'Happy' is a sturdy, fun little pen that might just put a smile on your face :)

(photos & review by Maja)

Friday, June 24, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 391

Here's a very inexpensive fountain pen I recently acquired -- a Jinhao '65'.  I saw this model during a visit to Nikaido when the shop's co-owner Joe showed me the one he bought from Aliexpress.  As soon as I got home, I ordered one for myself for the low, low price of $4.34 CAD, including shipping (link)...

(please click on images to enlarge)
There was only one colour option for the pen--matte black-- but I thought it suited the pen's simple design and I liked the way it looked in the photos, so I didn't mind. The pen arrived, safe and sound, in a no-frills, narrow cardboard box with the words "Business Gift Pen" and "Made in China" on it.

It's a long, slender, cylindrical fountain pen measuring 13.4 cm long capped, 16.1 cm posted and 11.9 cm uncapped (my measurements).

The weight of the pen is about 13.7 grams empty, with the cap accounting for about 6.6 grams of that.  The pen posts easily and securely, and I prefer using it that way as it's nicely balanced and not overly long when posted.

The pen's cap, barrel and clip are made of a matte black metal, but the ribbed section is made of black plastic. The monotone steel nib is very Lamy-like (more on that below) ...

... and has the Jinhao chariot logo, company name and "F" (for Fine) on it.

Although the nib's width is marked as Fine (and was described as being 0.5mm in width by the seller), to me, it writes more like an Extra-Fine. It is a smooth writer, though, and I have no complaints about it. It doesn't have any flex to it, but I didn't expect any. There was an Extra-Fine (0.38mm) nib width option for the pen, but I wanted the wider of the two nibs.

The pen came with a ink converter (which did not have the Jinhao name on the turning stem) in place, but I haven't tried using it with ink cartridges yet (the pen did not come with any cartridges). I did try putting a standard international ink cartridge on it, but the opening wasn't wide enough. I'll have to look into that later, but for now, the supplied converter works well.

Remember how I said the Jinhao's nib was very "Lamy-like"? Well, as soon as I saw the pen, I was instantly reminded of my Lamy 'cp1' fountain pen --the top pen in the photo above.

When I started researching the history of the Lamy 'cp1' on Fountain Pen Network, I found out that there were two versions--- one made before 1983, which was shorter and skinnier (like my example from 1978 - model 58), and a later version which was longer and thicker. The Jinhao '65' appears to have been inspired by the earlier Lamy 'cp1' version.

The later Lamy cp1's came with the same nib and feed as Lamy's 'Safari' pens, whereas the nib on my early 'cp1' is completely unmarked and also lacks a breather hole. The Jinhao '65' also lacks a breather hole, which adds support to my theory that it was based on the earlier 'cp1' version.

I wasn't able to slide the nib off my Jinhao but I believe Joe was able to do so, and I think he put a Lamy nib on it (Joe--please correct me if I'm wrong!). The other parts of the pens (caps, barrels and sections) are not interchangeable, though, as the Jinhao is ever-so-slightly wider (it's just over 0.9 cm in width vs. just under 0.9cm for my Lamy 'cp1').

Another difference--the design of the Lamy 'cp1' clip (top) looks much nicer (and the clip feels a lot more robust) than the simple clip on the Jinhao. The Jinhao's cap top and barrel ends are flat and unadorned, and its clip has no markings on it. In fact, aside from the Jinhao name and logo on the nib, there is nothing else on the pen that indicates it's a Jinhao writing instrument.

Above: I thought the Jinhao's barrel was closed (like the Lamy cp1's) but it actually has four small vertical slits in it. I'm not sure why it's like that---perhaps for safety reasons (to prevent choking should someone swallow the cap)?? Both the Jinhao and Lamy post via friction, but the Lamy posts with a nice "click" whereas the Jinhao doesn't make that sound. I haven't used the Jinhao long enough to tell how well its black finish holds up to repeated posting (or general use, for that matter).

The Jinhao '65' is a cool-looking, very portable fountain pen---it's light in weight and fits in the narrowest of journal loops--but the writing experience and build quality can't compare to that of the Lamy 'cp1'. For $4 CAD shipped, though, the Jinhao is worth buying if you're looking for a lightweight, modern-looking fountain pen. Many thanks to Joe for inspiring this purchase!

(photos & review by Maja)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 390

One more marvelous vintage Parker fountain pen, courtesy of Christopher! This one is his Parker Oversized Silver Pearl Vacumatic, Circa: 1936

 Christopher writes: "By far my favourite vintage fountain pen has to be the Parker Vacumatic, and right at the top of my list is the first generation Oversized model. This is a very big pen, both in overall size and girth. In fact, there is little reduction in the size from stem to stern. Brought out by Parker in 1933, it retained its consistent tubular shape until it was streamlined in 1937 when Parker tapered both ends of the pen to create an entirely new look. Also, the triple cap banding was changed to a wider single band and the well-established lockdown Vacumatic filler was replaced with the second generation Parker Speedline Vacumatic filler. So, the Parker oversized Vacumatic lasted five years but coupled with a much higher price, which was and is not in everybody’s pocket book (both for the original buyer and more currently for the vintage pen collector), to my mind makes it somewhat of a rare item."

(photos courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

"Other impressive feature regarding this fine writing instrument are the matching finish on the barrel, cap, blind cap and double jewels. In the US, these pens also had a matching finish on the grip but in Canada where this particular pen hails from, the grip section is black. Jumping out from this jet section is one big two tone Parker 14K gold arrow nib. It is interesting to note that the Canadian Vacumatic nibs were somewhat more elongated in shape over their US counterparts. This Oversized Parker nib definitely is a medium broad with a flexy delivery and truly a joy to write with.

Finally, yet one last interesting feature, in that the Vacumatic lockdown filler tube is not the commonly made aluminum one but nickel plated. This in itself is a blessing because the aluminum lockdown filler notch tends to wear down more often, thus not allowing the filler to lockdown as it was intended. The nickel plated version is a lot stronger to stand the test of time. As for size, this pen posts at 6 13/32nd inches but caps back to 5 13/32nd inches with a wide girth of 17/32nd inches or (0.53”). Is there any more that I can reflect about this wonderful vintage pen other than it will be in my weekly pen round up on a most regular basis."

We'll be back with a modern pen-related new acquisition on Friday. Until then, our thanks to Christopher (and everyone else who has sent in stuff for our blog) for sharing!

Monday, June 20, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 389

Today we're featuring another great vintage Parker find. Our thanks, as always, to Christopher for his informative write-ups and wonderful photos!

Christopher: "I think it is safe to say that green is my favourite colour and that does apply to vintage fountain pens as well. So, in this case, it is a very fine condition Parker Emerald Green Vacumatic Major sporting double jewels with the typical second generation Parker Blue Diamond warranty 14K gold filled arrow clip. This model also features the somewhat new Parker ‘Speedline’ filler - a filler which remains out and ready to use, but covered by a long jeweled blind cap."

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

"In 1940, Canadian Parker Vacumatic pens sported black jewels along with black grip sections, but this in no way takes away from the sheer elegance of this fine early 40s pen. The Parker Vacumatic Major came on board in the Vacumatic line up in 1937 - not as a replacement for any of the other models, but as a brand new Parker Vacumatic kick at the can. It was identical to the Standard Streamlined sized Vacumatic in every aspect save only a single but medium broad cap band with an inverted chevrons chasing. The Emerald Green and Pearl coloured Parker Vacumatics were introduced, by the way, in 1935. The Parker Vacumatic Major model went on to become one of Parkers best sellers until it was discontinued in the US in 1948 and in Canada as late as 1953 (it was drowned out by the incredible success of Parker’s ‘51’). 

Other outstanding features of this Emerald lovely are its brilliant pearl/emerald ‘Pyralin/Celluloid’ laminated plastic luster finish, its noteworthy barrel transparency and a stunning 14K gold with platinum mask Parker arrow nib. This nib sits on a Vacumatic W marked or wide Vacumatic feed (the wide referring to the ink channel along the top of the feed) which was intended originally for the likes of broad, stub and oblique nibs. So, needless to say, the nib in this case is a medium broad with impressive flex. What more can I say about this vintage Parker other then it will be well used with my writing hand."

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 388

 Today's featured new acquisition is a vintage Parker 'Magnetix' desk set belonging to Stuart!

Stuart writes: "I’ve got another great desk set for my collection, and you’ll recognize it from the 1947 Parker ad you recently linked to on the club blog! I got it from Pendemonium, and as they don’t ship through the infamous Global Shipping Program of eBay, the set arrived in eight days."

(all photos courtesy of Stuart ~ please click on images to enlarge)

"The base is solid Lucite, and see the colour!"

"From Richard Binder’s website, I determined that this colour is Plum, the same as was used in Aerometric 51’s. It’s a very deep, rich colour, and I love it."

"It works beautifully with the gold anodized aluminum piece in the centre. And I like the contrast between the curves of the base and the straight lines of the insert."

"The pen’s a 21, with a lovely smooth steel nib, described by Pendemonium as an XF, but I think it’s a Medium - it writes too big a line to be an F or XF. I’m thrilled with this one, it’s a great addition to my collection."

Wow, what a looker! Stuart - congrats on this great find, and thank you for sharing it here :)