Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 82

 My "All-British" haul from Cult Pens in the U.K!

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Diamine 'Inkvent' "Polar Glow" fountain pen ink, fountain pen & ballpoint set by Helix Oxford, and a Caran d'Ache '849' London-themed ballpoint

Founded in 1887, Helix Oxford  is the UK's oldest and largest manufacturer of school stationery and yes, they make writing instruments other than the short wooden pencils that come in their famous mathematical sets. I didn't know the company made fountain pens, so I was pleasantly surprised to see them on Cult Pens' website and subsequently ordered one. The site had a sale on British products, so I also ordered the ballpoint as it was 50% off with the purchase of the fountain pen.

Their fountain pen (pictured above) is a handsome, glossy, all-metal writing instrument with a smooth steel nib. The only engraving on the nib is the 'Helix' name----there is no nib width marked on it---but the Cult Pens website says it "writes a 0.6mm line". The fountain pen writes very nicely and can be used comfortably posted or unposted. The ballpoint has a nice balance to it and, it too, writes smoothly. The fountain pens and ballpoints come in six colours (there are also rollerballs available);  I chose the dark blue for both because they match the original maths set tin.
Total cost for the fountain pen & ballpoint set - £7.49 (ie. less than $13 CAD)!


Diamine is a British company that was founded in 1864, and its factory is located in Liverpool, England. The "Polar Glow" ink (above) is from their 'Inkvent' line, which came out last Christmas and was one of 25 different Diamine inks that was included with their Inkvent calendar (an ink-themed advent calendar). The calendar had 24 tiny 7ml ink bottles and one 30ml bottle, but my bottle is the 50ml size. The ink is a blue shade with a lovely dark pink/reddish sheen. I love the bottle's unique shape and its stubby little legs :)

Ok, so the Caran d'Ache above was made in Switzerland (not Britain)...but the ballpoint is the "London" model and features iconic images related to the city-- Big Ben, the London Eye, the British Crown Jewels, London black cabs, double-decker buses and more! It's a great writer, the smooth surface feels really nice, and the hexagonal aluminum body is very comfortable to hold. In addition to Caran d'Ache-branded refills, the pen also takes Parker/Parker-style ballpoint refills which can be found at many office supply stores.

Note about shipping costs from the UK: Cult Pens' shipping (which was speedy and trackable) from the UK to Canada was only £10 (about $17 CAD) which is less than I've paid for shipping from the U.S (and some places in Canada!) Their service is excellent and they have a great selection of writing instruments at all price points. Cult Pens is currently offering 10% off all orders from anywhere in Canada with the discount code CA10 (don't delay---this discount supposedly ends soon!)

Many thanks to everyone in our pen club who recently sent in photos and reviews of their newest acquisitions for our online show & tell---all are very much appreciated!

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