Saturday, January 15, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 312

A couple of months ago, while doing some internet surfing, I discovered a local online pen retailer called Noteworthy Stationery . I'd never heard of them before, but they were located in Burnaby and their website stated "We are an authorized retailer of Caran d' Ache, Dux Sharpeners, El Casco, Graf von Faber-Castell, Kaweco, Lamy, Traveler's Company and many more". 

They offered free Canadian shipping on all orders over $95, but even more attractively to me (pen-budget-wise ;) they offered the choice of paying in installments via Sezzle. I'd used this hassle-free, interest-free payment service for some pen purchases from Fendrihan.ca with zero problems, so I placed an online order with Noteworthy for a Kaweco 'Steel Sport' fountain pen ... and here's the little beauty that arrived a few days later:

(please click on images to enlarge)

The Kaweco 'Steel Sport' model is a German-made, stainless-steel fountain pen with chrome trim and a very attractive brushed metal finish. If it looks familiar, it's because it's essentially a slightly longer (by 0.3cm) but much-heavier version of the ever-popular 'Sport Classic'. The plastic Sport fountain pens weigh 0.33 ounces empty and the aluminum ones weigh 0.68 ounces empty. Both are considerably lighter than the 'Steel Sport' (1.38 ounces empty) and 'Brass Sport' (1.48 ounces empty) fountain pens.

I own several plastic 'Sport' fountain pens and yes, they are a lot lighter than my 'Steel Sport', but the steel version still feels comfortable in my hand (when posted, of course--it's too short to use unposted) because it's short and well-balanced. It actually has a *pleasant* heft to it, by which I mean that it feels solid in the hand, but not overly heavy.




The steel Medium nib that came with my 'Sport Steel' is a wonderful writer---very smooth and  consistent in terms of ink flow; I couldn't be happier with it :)

The 'Sport Steel' model comes with
EF, F, M, B and BB nib options, but if you'd prefer a different nib than the one your pen came with, you can buy 'Sport' nibs separately. They come in various nib widths (EF, F, M, B and BB) and different materials (steel, gold-plated steel, black PVD-coated steel, 14K gold - single & two-tone -- and rhodium-plated 14K gold). Kaweco also makes "calligraphy" nibs for the 'Sport' in 1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm and  2.3mm, but they are only available in "regular" steel (ie. not gold-plated or black PVD-coated steel).

Tip: Jet Pens has a comprehensive guide on how to swap out the 'Sport' nibs here that's worth reading because the nibs on the metal 'Sport' pens (the 'AL Sport', 'AC Carbon', 'Brass' and 'Steel') are removed in a different manner than the plastic versions ('the Classic', 'Ice' and 'Skyline').


I love the look of the pen's brushed steel finish, its texture .. and the fact that the metal has no smell at all, unlike its brass counterpart (not a criticism, just an observation).

Here are CultPens.com's thoughts on the finish: "Brushed steel is a classic finish for pens. It's strong, hardwearing, and looks good. The brushing on these Sport pens is a little unusual, though, as it's brushed on a diagonal, giving it a very subtle pattern that just looks a little different. As with all uncoated metal pens, while it's tough, knocks and scratches will mark the surface, leaving a story of your time with it. Sport pens were made to live, not to be displayed."


And finally, here's a quick shot of my current collection of Kaweco 'Sport' writing instruments:

Photo above (top to bottom): 'Sport Steel' fountain pen, 'Sport Classic' fountain pen in "Bordeaux" colour, 'Skyline Sport' fountain pen in "Fox" colour, 'Sport Ice' fountain pen in "Ice Red", a 'Metallic Sport' (?) rollerball in red/pink, and a 'Sport Classic' ballpoint in black with guilloche pattern (this ballpoint model --the KW 0100 UV-- came out in 1996 and is branded "Kaweco Sport by Diplomat")

Regarding those clips (made by Kaweco) in the photo---There are two different Kaweco 'Sport' clip styles -- one with a curvy shape and etched design that looks like a snake, and another clip type that's straight and unadorned (both types are shown above) The straight clip only comes in two colours (silver and gold) whereas the curvy clip (referred to as the "N clip") comes in four (gold, silver, bronze and black colours). Both clip types are sold separately from the writing instruments, but they're not expensive (less than $4 CAD).

References:

--Not sure which Kaweco 'Sport' model to get? Check out this very helpful article on JetPens.com - 'Kaweco Sport: A Comprehensive Guide'

--An excellent, well-illustrated, in-depth look at the (surprisingly-long) history of the Kaweco 'Sport' writing instruments - 'Kaweco Sport History' document (34 page PDF)

--A Kaweco 'Sport' fan website that might also be of interest is Kaweco-Madness.com. This collector also has a very active YouTube account (OdE on YouTube) with lots of good info about these models (and other fountain pens, too).

 (photos & review by Maja)

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 311

Today we're featuring a fountain pen that came out in 2019, but wasn't purchased until 2021 when I bought it as a Christmas self-gift. Well, I wound up getting another pen for that purpose (lol) but I thought I'd review this pen now because it's a winter-themed pen and we've had a lot of snow this month!

(~ please click on images to enlarge ~)



Meet my Moonman 'C1'  Snowflake commemorative edition fountain pen!

 

I purchased the pen from eBay seller "esybuy" (one of my favourite sellers) back in March 2021 for around $24 USD incuding shipping. It arrived tastefully-packaged and well-protected in a Moonman cardboard box with foam insert. The small instruction booklet that was included is well-illustrated, but there is no English version of the text. No matter---a picture is worth a thousand words, as they say! The pen's box top, however, does have a translation of the Chinese characters on it:"Moonman. feel the temperature of writing!" 

At this point, I should mention that Moonman underwent a name change a few months ago and rebranded themselves as Majohn, so some online sellers are listing this model under the new company name. In fact, seller "esybuy" is still selling this same model on Etsy.com under the name "Majohn C1 Transparent Eyedropper Fountain Pen/ Snowflake Moonman C1 Fountain Pen".


Although it came pre-fitted with an ink converter, the pen was also (primarily?) made to be used as an eyedropper-filler, and Moonman was kind enough to include a glass eyedropper for that purpose. As far as its functioning ink capacity, the pen's barrel can hold between 4 to 5ml. If there was one thing I'd change about the filling system, it'd be to have a converter with a clear stem---the black stem on the supplied converter kind of ruins the pen's aesthetic :/


The acrylic, crystal-clear cap and barrel of the pen are decorated with winter themes---leaping deer (or reindeer), snowflakes, stars, evergreen trees, et al. It's a nice-sized pen, coming in at 138 mm capped and ~126mm from nib tip to barrel end (the pen does not post). At 21 grams capped and 17 grams uncapped, it's light enough to use for long writing sessions while at the same time, feels substantial in the hand.

 (Note: I haven't used the pen as an eyedropper-filler yet, but when I do, I'll use Parker Quink Washable Blue ink in it as I'm a little bit paranoid about barrel staining with this pen. Normally it doesn't really bother me, but this fountain pen looks so pretty with its ice-like cap and barrel...and I'd love for it to stay that way).

I'm not a fan of pens with a large step-down from barrel to grip section, but the section on this one is a nice diameter and very comfortable to hold. The section is made of multi-coloured resin with silvery sparkles in it. I was a bit surprised to see a blue/red combination used for a Christmas/winter-themed pen's section --I'd have expected a green/red combo --but it actually works quite well here as the section colours match blue-shaded inks better than their green counterparts. Apparently, the section patterns and colours vary from pen to pen, but all the 'C1' snowflake fountain pens I've seen online have had blue and red colours in them.

The pen sports a single-tone silvery steel #6-sized Fine nib branded with the Moonman name & logo, the nib size (the letter "F" in a circle) and the silhouette of a mountain range that reminds me of the one on Monteverde's steel nibs. I love the way my F nib writes (like a Western Fine). The nib has a tiny amount of feedback, but I love that and I'm not going to do any nib tuning on it--I love it the way it is!


The cap top and barrel end both have flat ends, and I was pleased to see that the acrylic was considerably thicker there (extra protection from breakage, if the pen nose-dives onto a hard surface).

You can't see it in my photos-- I really tried, but it's challenging to photograph-- but the cylindrical cap and barrel each have one facet to prevent the pen from rolling. The double-threaded cap allows these two facets
to align perfectly with each other when the pen is capped. These two flat areas are the only parts of the pen that don't have any images on them.



The section took me about five turns to unscrew from the barrel, which is reassuring if you're using it as an eyedropper-filler - the extra turns help to prevent ink leakage from the barrel-section joint. There is a small, clear O-ring at the end of the section threads to ensure the section screws tightly onto the barrel. There's also a smaller clear O-ring at the end of the nib collar threads. If you're really worried about barrel leaks, you could apply a bit of pure silicone grease (not supplied) to the section threads.


I like this branch motif on the barrel end. Actually, I really like all of the winter images on this pen--they have a sort of retro look to them, which I find charming. One YouTuber complained about the designs on the pen being upside down (from the user's POV) when the pen was in use. This reminded me of the debate about coffee/tea mug designs--should they be facing away from the person holding the mug, or not? Personally, I find this a non-issue when it comes to pens... but when it comes to mugs, I'm firmly in the "design should face the mug user" camp :)

All in all, I think the Moonman 'C1' snowflake special edition is an attractive fountain pen, a very good value for the money and a fountain pen I'd recommend if you're looking for an eye-catching clipless demonstrator with a large ink capacity.

Before I end this review, I should mention that Moonman used a similar (not exactly the same, though) snowflake theme on another of their clipless demonstrator fountain pens--the Moonman 'M2'--but that model is torpedo-shaped, not cylindrical like the 'C1'. If you're not a fan of the winter designs on either of those pens, both the 'C1' fountain pen and 'M2' come as regular editions without any designs on them.

(photos & review by Maja)

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 310

Today's featured newest acquisition belongs to Glenn Garside (one of our honourary members), who purchased this very special fountain pen for a very special occasion. Intrigued? Read on!

(all text & photos courtesy of Glenn ~ please click on images to enlarge)

 Pelikan Toledo M900.

2021 was the year of our Golden Wedding, a great excuse to treat myself to a ‘golden’ grail pen, especially when Cult Pens offered a discount I could not refuse, making it literally the best price in the world. I know that with certainty because my Scots-Yorkshire ancestry insisted that I do my pricing homework first. I note that their current selling price is considerably higher than on May 12, 2021, when I ordered my pen, so I am extremely glad I ordered it when I did!
I expected my pen to arrive in plenty time for our September 25th anniversary, but, because of industrial unrest and Covid-related supply issues at the Pelikan factory in Germany, it actually arrived the first week of January 2022! So much for my original optimism, but, as the saying goes, ‘better late than never!’
The decorative technique used on Pelikan Toledos originally travelled with the Arabs into Spain, and has been perfected over the centuries, especially in the famous Spanish town of Toledo. It involves engraving a pattern into a metal surface, after which a thin sheet of gold is placed over the pattern and embossed deep into the engraving with the help of a little hammer. To enhance the effect of the gold-filled pattern, the item is heated to approximately 800°C so that the metal surfaces oxidize while the gold shines and contrasts even more brightly.
In 1931 Pelikan adopted this technique for their Toledo pens (M900/910 & M700/710) with so much success that the design has remained virtually unchanged ever since. Every single pen is a unique, craftsman-made art-work. Engraving by hand, one of more than 300 individual steps to create each pen, is slow and limits production to a maximum of 200 pieces per month, even in the best of times.

Each pen is individually numbered on the barrel ring next to the filler knob, and presented in a lovely black, lacquered and silk-lined wooden gift box, together with the signed multi-lingual booklet about the pen.

The standard M800 bi-colour nib is 18ct/750 gold with rhodium accents and comes in the standard four sizes (XF, F, M & B); I chose the Broad option. Similarly, the trim & traditional Pelikan beak clip are the usual polished gold-plate, and the black cap, section & filler knob are made from the high-quality resin used in the other Souveräns.

The decorative barrel sleeve is made from one piece of Sterling Silver, with the motif covered by a layer of 24ct gold (vermeil.) One side of the barrel depicts a pelican with its head bowed, while the other side shows a pelican and its young.

  (To see super-sized images of photos: left-click on photo, then right-click & select "Open image in new tab" /"View image", then left-click on image in the newly-opened tab)

Being based on the M800, the M900 shares its dimensions and ink capacity; however, as you might expect, the Toledo is 9.3gm heavier, courtesy of the vermeil barrel.

That sounds a lot heavier than most pens, and is perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but I note that my Sheaffer Asia Series Bamboo Royal Selangor pen, which is made from Pewter, weighs 41.9gm and is a lovely pen to use, so I don’t anticipate any problem whatsoever.


The Dimensions:

Weight

Total Length

Barrel Length

Cap Length

Diameter

Ink Capacity

38.6 gm

141 mm capped.

165 mm posted.

105 mm

67 mm

13.0 mm

1.35 ml


References:
https://www.pelikan-collectibles.com/en/Pelikan/Models/Souveraen-Series/M900-M910/index.html
https://appelboom.com/pelikan-toledo-m900-fountain-pen/
https://www.pelikanpens.co.uk/products/pelikan-toledo-m900-fountain-pen?_pos=5&_sid=ed5d0f3f2&_ss=r

There are many others, but by and large, everyone uses the same basic text, no doubt supplied by Pelikan in their marketing material; surprisingly, the https://www.pelikan.com/ website doesn’t list any of the Souver
äns at all.

Glenn,
Brisbane, Australia.
Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Our thanks to Glenn for sharing this beautiful fountain pen with all of us! (and belated Golden Wedding Anniversary wishes to Glenn and his wife :)

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 309

Just some photos of two pen-related items I recently found in a couple of local thrift stores....

(please click on images to enlarge)


The wax seal kit was unused and came with a stick of sealing wax and a wooden-handled stamp with two initials on it. I checked online and found that this kit retails for 30 Euros at the Cartoleria Pantheon in Rome, so the $3.99 CAD I paid for it was a great deal. The little Santa is a novelty ballpoint I got for a dollar at a hospice thrift store.


This particular sealing wax doesn't come with a wick, so it's a bit trickier to use as you need to continually apply heat to melt the wax onto the paper (vs. just lighting a wick and letting the wax melt). I looked and found an excellent guide to making wax seals on JetPens.com here that was very helpful.



Above: This is the bottom of the stamp that came with the wax seal kit. It shows two initials in a rather elaborate cursive font. Of course, the initials are a mirror image of how they'd appear once pressed into the melted wax, so....

...I flipped the image and I think it now shows the initials L and H. I'll try the wax seal kit on the next envelope I use to mail a handwritten letter, and let you know if I'm right about the initials. I'm going to try to write more hand-written letters this year, and I think this might encourage me to do so :)

(photos & review by Maja)

Friday, January 7, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 308

....and from Lawrence's modern Parker to Christopher's vintage (actually, antique) Parker we go!

In Christopher's words:

"I have often felt that the vintage pen collector purist misses out on some really nice and fascinating pens. But, at the same time, I also feel that a vintage pen’s history can leave lots of room for exceptions. Case in point is this Parker Jack Knife short ribbon ring top which just came my way. Truly an exceptional pen regarding its condition, but probably would leave a lot of pen collectors scratching their heads. Still, in taking a good look at this piece and considering the Parker history, it all seemed to make perfect sense to me. First off, the barrel, cap and grip are Bakelite which tends to have a distinctive high gloss sheen over the later plastics. A space age material supplied by the Dupont company which Parker branded Permanite. Possibly the Bakelite was not as stable as what Dupont had been developing in the way of plastics but, nevertheless, George Parker realized that plastic was going to take over the age-old hard vulcanized rubber moving into the future. Still, as a header and footer on this fine Parker Jack Knife pen, both the cap screw and the blind cap are in the black hard rubber and probably old factory shelf stock. The cap is void of a band but, like the first Duofold Parker pens, not unattractive. The button filler originally introduced by Parker in 1915 is such an impressive filler, tucked neatly away when not in use under a tapered but flat bottom ended blind cap. This pen measured six inches posted from stem to stern, but caps back to an extremely pocketable five and three quarter inches.

I was told that the ring top pens were just as much men’s as they were ladies', but for their length. The longer ring tops were definitely for the fairer sex and were acquired with cloth ribbon to be hung as jewelry when not in use around the neck. The shorter ring tops often hung from watch chains off gentlemen’s waistcoats or were neatly tucked into vest pockets where their size was just not an issue."

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

"Finally, this leads me to the one feature on this pen which might stump the purist, for the black Bakelite grip section sports a Parker Vacumatic ‘Slender’ 14K gold arrow nib. But is this nib incorrect for the pen? Well, if the original owner dropped this pen, damaging the nib, and in doing so returned it to the Parker Company at a later date for sorting out, if a Duofold nib was in fact unavailable, I am sure Parker would have just replaced the damaged point with whatever was of similar quality but available at the time. This could also apply to a pen repair shop or jeweler who had to turn to Parker at the time for a suitable nib. So, the way I look at it is the Vacumatic nib in this pen is just part of its history and with that perfectly expectable. And my what a fine writer this nib proved to be. Just enough flex to satisfy and definitely a very smooth line on paper.

So in turn this pen is becoming a part of my collection and in my view rightly so."

Christopher, many thanks for sharing yet another wonderful vintage find with us!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 307

 From one modern red fountain pen to another! This is Lawrence's lovely acquisition...

Lawrence writes: "This is my Parker Red Sonnet (....almost typed in "Red Sonja..." LOL). I can't say this pen is "feminine" like, for example, my Waterman Elegance, because most of my pens are basically neutral. It's like with birds. I used to have ten budgies and I know that some of them are "male" and some are "female"...but visually it's hard to tell so I do treat them as neutral cute creatures and that's that. So same thing with most of my pens. Anyway, here are some pictures of the pen:

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


I got the F point nib and here is the nib:

The thing that was a bit annoying in the end for me was the converter. It's not a twist converter, but a sliding one. Supposedly this is to help fill the pen with one hand, but the mechanism is not smooth and it gets jammed often...so in the end what seems like a good idea became something of an annoyance.

This converter also has a ball-bearing inside that "shakes" the ink up a bit while you use it, supposedly to help the flow (well it didn't...LOL..more on that later).


I got this pen as an "update" of my beloved vintage Parker, and I wanted this Sonnet to act as a "proxy" for my vintage pen (I know it sounds crazy...but sort of like an "ambassador" for my vintage Parkers LOL).

The pen is beautiful to look at, the gold / black / red is a great combo.


(According to this page, the date code on the cap band --the single vertical line followed by the letter "I" seen above-- represents the first quarter of the year 1994)

It has a made in France / Parker name on the cap.


I know this is not really a "big deal" as Waterman (a French company) has acquired Parker, or is it the other way around ? (Ed. note: Both companies are owned by Newell Brands). Anyway, this takes me back to my elementary years, when my vintage Parkers were still actively being used. Most of the Parker pens everyone had were made in the USA, but I had this classmate who had a French Parker. She called it "My French Parker" in capital letters LOL. Anyway, it struck me as quite unusual and, as a kid, I wanted my own "French Parker"...and now I do....in red no doubt.

Now we get to the writing part. I have owned pens with diva vibes (eg. my POY 2008
) but most of these diva pens don't behave that way when writing; they are mostly very well-behaved and totally proletariat. But this Parker looks diva-ish and plays the part; it does not like any ink I put in it except Parker black. It skips like crazy until it got to the Parker black, then it worked fine, wrote smoothly, and is happy. Which is totally fine because I had this OCD thing with black/red combos -- black pen / red ink--and so this Red Sonnet will naturally "need" to have black ink anyway. So it worked out in a way."

Our thanks to Lawrence for his photos & review of this classic modern fountain pen--a perennial favourite-- as well as his ongoing contributions to our pen club's virtual "show & tell :)

Monday, January 3, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 306

Hope your new year is off to a good start! Yesterday's blog post had a little sneak peek of my new Laban '325' fountain pen in the "Flame" colour.  Here are some close up photos of it...

(please click on photos to enlarge)

I purchased the pen from my fellow pen club member Andy with Christmas gift money from my father. I already owned an orange '325' "Sun" fountain pen and loved the design, so I decided to buy the red version from Andy via Craigslist. 

I reviewed (at some length *ahem*) the orange version of this pen in this blog post last summer, so I won't go into details about the features of the pen again. Suffice to say, this new '325' is as beautiful as its cousin...


I love how the off-white/cream colour of the section, cap and barrel end complements the marbled red colour so well....


This '325' has an XF (extra-fine) gold-plated steel nib and it writes as smoothly as the Medium nib on my orange '325'. When I first started collecting fountain pens (over 20 years ago), I was wary about XF nibs as I thought they would all be scratchy compared to their wider-nibbed counterparts. A Sailor 'Sapporo' with an XF nib changed all that. Now, I have several XF-nibbed fountain pens in my collection.

The Mozartkugel candy in my photos is a throwback to a Christmas I spent with my cousins in Vienna in 1992. While there, I purchased the second fountain pen I ever owned--a Pelikan 'P10' school pen--which I still own.

I hope the 2021 holiday season was a happy one for you, and that you were able to spend some time with family (or close friends who are like family) despite this global pandemic. Many thanks to Andy for selling me this gorgeous fountain pen, and to my dear Dad for this lovely Christmas present.

(Photos & review by Maja)