Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 349

As promised - one last Indian-made fountain pen, to close out our March reviews...

Like the pen in the previous blog post, this one is also a Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) model ... actually it's the very first model they designed from scratch! I got it back in October of last year directly from FPR for $8 USD in their "Deal of the Day" sale (regular price: $18 USD).

(please click on photos to enlarge)

And here it is - my Fountain Pen Revolution 'Jaipur V1' fountain pen!

The "V1" (version one) refers to it being the original 'Jaipur' design; the newer one (ie. the V2) is made of premium acrylic or ebonite, has a screw-in nib unit with a #6 size nib and a newly-redesigned clutchless piston mechanism (clutchless, in this case, meaning that the piston mechanism can be removed from the barrel).  The V2s are currently about three times the price of the V1.

As for the model name, almost all of Fountain Pen Revolution's pen models are named after places or things connected to India; this one is named for the city of Jaipur, the capital of the state of Rajasthan, located in northern India.

The 'Jaipur V1' is a lightweight, medium-sized resin piston-filler that's currently available in ten different colours - in solid (blue, black, red and orange), demonstrator (blue, green, purple and clear) and half-demonstrator (blue and black). You can see the lineup here in the FPR webstore.

The pen's specifications (as provided by FPR):
Length capped: 13.5cm (5.3”)
Length posted: 15.8cm (6.2”)
Section diameter: 1cm (0.4”)
Body diameter 1.3cm (0.52”)
Weight (empty): 17g (0.6oz)

I like to use the pen posted because it's not heavy, it's not too long and it's well-balanced in the hand, all of which make it good for long writing sessions. A small word of warning: the pen does have a smell to it, due to the material (a vegetal resin) used in its manufacture. I've found that with similar resins, the smell does dissipate over time ...but it does take some time.

Side note: I've discovered a little trick that might help mask the smell of the plastic; I applied a very small amount of Vicks VapoRub ointment to the inside of the cap with a Q-tip and a little bit to the exterior of the pen, and then wiped it off. It seems to do the trick. (Disclaimer: I don't know the long- or short-term effects of this ointment on the pen's material,
but I've done it with three other pens that had the same problem and they seem fine. Use this method at your own risk!)

I love the peaked cap top and the shiny clip and cap ring :) The latter has the letters "FPR" in cursive tastefully etched onto it. The clip has just the right amount of tension to it, and the cap screws on tightly and posts securely on the end of the barrel.

The piston mechanism works smoothly and I haven't noticed any ink seeping into the back chamber of the pen. Should this happen, Fountain Pen Revolution was kind enough to post a video on YouTube showing you how to fill and also disassemble the pen-- 'How to fill and disassemble a FPR Jaipur Fountain Pen by Fountain Pen Revolution' (the disassembly part starts at the 1:40 mark)

The 'Jaipur V1' is available with a wide variety of steel nib options -- both non-flex (EF, F, M, B and 1 mm Stub) and flex (Steel Flex & Steel EF Ultra Flex). You can also upgrade to a 14K gold nib for an extra $99 USD should you so choose.

The nib on mine is a non-flex two-tone #5.5 sized Medium steel nib. It has less feedback/tooth than the Fine version of this nib on my FPR 'Quicksilver', and it's also is a wetter writer. The difference in wetness is due to the 'Jaipur V1' feed being made of ebonite, whereas the 'Quicksilver' feed is made of plastic. The nib on my 'Jaipur V1' wrote well out of the box and I'm very pleased with its performance.

(Above: One last photo that captures the red colour of the pen a little better than the previous shots - the photo above was taken on a different day and in a different location).

All in all, I'm very happy with my purchase. For $18 USD (or less, if it's on sale) you're getting a smooth-writing, reliable, piston-filling workhorse of a fountain pen that comes with a variety of nib options. If you want to upgrade to a Broad, 1 mm Stub, or Steel Flex nib, it's just $3 USD more (the
Steel EF Ultra Flex nib is $13 USD extra). Many thanks to FPR for the pen, and also to YouTuber Larry Berrones of Larry's Fountain Pens channel for the discount code (use code LARRY15 to get 15% off your FPR order).

(photos & review by Maja)

Monday, March 28, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 348

 Continuing with Indian-made pens.....

(please click on images to enlarge)

Here's a Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) 'Quickdraw' fountain pen that I purchased in a small lot of pens from YouTuber Stephen Brown (aka "sbrebrown" on YouTube) a few months ago. In addition to this bright blue colour, the pen also comes in black, orange and yellow and is available directly from Fountain Pen Revolution's webstore (for the pen's specs, check the FPR page here). Oooh, it looks like it's currently available as a BOGO--Buy One Get One FREE!

I love the lined metal cap. There is no finial on it, but that's fine with me as it's in keeping with the  pen's simple, clean design. The cap posts firmly and its clip is sturdy (and with the right amount of tension--not too much, not too little).

The FPR 'Quickdraw' is a pretty unassuming all-metal fountain pen, but its main draw (pun intended) is that it has a magnetic cap closure mechanism. The mechanism works well keeping the cap securely in place. In fact, the magnet in it is so strong that when I was removing the cap just prior to these photos... pulled the nib unit right out of its section! Uh-oh....

The pen came in perfect condition from Stephen, so I'm wondering what happened. Maybe it's my bad luck with magnetic cap closures, because this isn't the first time I've had problems with them--my Visconti 'Rembrandt' fountain pen developed a serious rust problem around its magnet due to the omission of an important manufacturing step (the application of an anti-rust coating to the magnet). Later 'Rembrandt' pens don't seem to have this problem.

Anyway, back to my FPR 'Quickdraw'... If the plastic nib unit was threaded, it wouldn't have come off. Seeing as it was friction-fitted, I decided to permanently glue it back in place with some carefully-applied Gorilla Super Glue (the cyanoacrylate kind).

While we're waiting for the glue to cure, let me tell you a bit about the nib....

It's a (non-flex) #5.5 size FPR-branded
chrome-plated steel nib, with a small drawing of a nib below the letters FPR written in cursive. The nib and feed are friction-fitted into the section. The nib on my particular pen is a Fine (the nib width is marked at the bottom of the nib, but isn't visible when the nib is in the section) that has a fair amount of feedback, so if you're looking for buttery-smooth, you won't find it here. Having said that, it isn't scratchy, and I haven't experienced any skips or hard-starts with it so far. It's actually growing on me...

The 'Quickdraw' model is available in five different non-flex nib widths (XF, F, M, B and a 1 mm Stub), which come with black plastic feeds. It's also available with flex nib options - "steel flex" or "steel XF ultraflex" nibs. Those flexy-nibbed 'Quickdraw' pens come with ebonite feeds and only fill via ink converter (they will not take cartridges). My pen has a non-flexy nib and takes both international cartridges or a standard converter (the latter was supplied with the pen).

There we go! The Gorilla Super Glue did the trick, and the nib unit is now staying put :)

I prefer to use the pen posted because it's well-balanced (I am a "high-gripper" though). The section is made of brushed metal and comfortable to hold, and I don't find it slippery at all. For an all-metal pen, it's very comfortable to hold because it's not too heavy and it's well-balanced when posted. Many thanks to Stephen for the pen!

 (photos & review by Maja)

To close out the month of March, we'll be featuring another Indian-made fountain pen here on Wednesday, so stay tuned....

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 347

At the end of 2020, I bought an Indian-made Kanwrite 'Heritage' piston-filler and raved about it and its great BB (double broad) Stub nib on this blog. A few months later, I discovered that Kanwrite offered another interesting nib option on a different model of theirs, so I bought two pens of that model in February/March 2021. Here they are:

 (please click on images to enlarge)

~ Kanwrite 'Desire' pens in "Fire Blast Marble" and "Opaque Pearl Brown" ~
Some specs (my measurements):

Capped Length : 5.4 inches (13.7 cm)
Uncapped (nib tip to barrel end): 4.8 inches (12.3 cm)
Posted Length : 6 inches (15.2 cm)
Weight: 14 grams (with no ink/converter/cartridge in pen)

These Indian-made cigar-shaped fountain pens are made of plastic and have chrome, gold-coloured double cap rings and clips. The plastic does have a smell (not unexpected, due to the specific type of plastic used to make the pens) but the smell dissipates over time. The design of the pens is simple, but classic....

...and best of all---the sections match the rest of the pen! :)

The pens take standard converters (supplied) or international ink cartridges, but they can also be used as eyedropper fillers. The caps screw on well, and I haven't had issues with the ink drying out.
The pens are light in weight and well-balanced posted or unposted, but I prefer to use them posted.

I ordered the pens from two different sellers in India (one on eBay, the other on etsy) but with the same nib type....

...and here's the nib type I ordered for both pens - a #6 size Kanwrite "Dualtone gold plated Broad Full flex" steel nib!

Kanwrite nibs are made in-house and I'm very impressed with their quality. The nibs have flex, but not as much flex as some vintage gold flexy nibs. Still, the Kanwrites are smooth writers and a lot of fun to write with...and for $26-$29 CAD (incl. shipping from India) each, you really can't go wrong.

Side note: The opaque pearl brown pen (from actually arrived with the wrong nib --a Fine-- on it (yes, just like with the PennaRossa Modena pen I reviewed two weeks ago!). The nib width is stamped at the very bottom of the nib...but you can't see it when the nib is in its section, so it was an understandable error. It took five months for the seller to mail the replacement nib to me, though, due to the terrible surge in COVID-19 cases in India (and some natural disasters they were battling, as well :( He sent the nib to me via expedited registered mail, which I thought was very considerate.

(side view of the nib showing the cutaway parts)

There are a variety of nib width options with the 'Desire' model---EF, F, M, B and BB 'Zoom' nibs--- so make sure you read the descriptions carefully so you don't accidentally order the wrong nib for yourself (that's actually why I ordered the pens from two different sellers--one didn't have the nib I wanted in the colour I wanted).

I love the swirly "Fire Blast Marble" (top) and "Opaque Pearl Brown" resins....

Note: the "Opaque Pearl Brown" model that I bought on etsy is described as "Coffee Grey Marble" on eBay. Also, there's a "Red Marble" version that resembles the "Fire Blast Marble" model, but they're actually two different resins.

All in all, I am extremely satisfied with all of my Kanwrite fountain pens---they look nice, feel great in the hand, and the nibs on them are well-made and highly enjoyable to write with.

I would not hesitate to recommend the 'Desire' model (or the 'Heritage' model I reviewed in late 2020) to someone looking for an affordable, well-made, attractive resin fountain pen with an "exotic" (Stub or flexy) nib. Kanwrite is a family-owned and operated business that's been around for 26 years and they make very good pens that are an excellent value for the money, in my opinion.

(~photos & review by Maja~)

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 346

We're going down the vintage path in today's blog post and featuring a desk set belonging to Stuart! The desk set was made by Esterbrook (who made a lot of desk sets) and it's a highly uncommon one. Without further ado, here it is...

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

Stuart writes: "The Esterbrook Stylist desk-set was a lucky find, they aren’t nearly as common as the company’s other sets.  The gold-coloured plastic insert has a subtle texture to it, which gives it a sophisticated look.  It’s covered by a clear plastic piece, which adds depth."

 "The whole look is wonderfully mid-20th.-century and retro-cool!"

What a classy vintage desk set! Use it in good health, Stuart, and thanks for sharing it with us :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 345

The pen came in a small lot of fountain pens that I bought from one of my favourite YouTubers, Stephen Brown ("sbrebrown" on YouTube), and the notebook was purchased at a local London Drugs store. I wasn't sure if they still carried the notebooks, so yesterday I went to the nearest LD to check; I'm happy to report that London Drugs still stocks the notebooks (and other notebooks by the same company) at their brick & mortar stores.

And here they are...

 (please click on images to enlarge)

Beena 'Magic' fountain pen + Paper-Oh 'Quadro' notebook - B6.5 (3.5"x 6.9" x 0.4") size
(the notebook looks stained in the photo above because the shrink wrap wasn't removed yet - it isn't actually discoloured )

It was hard to find info on the pen brand, but according to this page, Beena was an in-house brand of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) who also made writing instruments for other Indian manufacturers like Chelpark, Camlin and others (Stephen Brown, in his YouTube review, noted that the same pen had been sold under the brand name Nisstiiv).

So, where's the nib??

There it is! It turns out that this little fountain pen has a retractable nib, and I'm guessing the model name -- 'Magic' -- is an allusion to this little disappearing trick.

To extend the nib, you simply turn the end of the barrel counter-clockwise; to retract it, twist the barrel end in the opposite direction. When the nib is fully extended or retracted, it doesn't actually snap into place, so a few users have complained about the nib retracting/extending while the pen was in use.
I'm wondering if they were using the pen without its cap on, because if you post the cap on the end of the barrel, the nib can't be extended or retracted.

Useful feature: t
he cap is long enough to accommodate the nib & section with the nib extended, in case the user forgets to retract the nib before capping the pen.

When capped, the Beena 'Magic' is slightly less than 5 inches long; posted, it's about 5 inches long. Because it's so light (total weight of pen: 14 grams), it's short enough and light enough to use comfortably when posted. The section is about 0.4 inches in diameter (barrel diameter: 0.5 inches), which might seem a bit narrow, but the pen feels "chunky" in the hand and is pleasant to use.

The cap and clip are made of metal, while the barrel, section and cap finial are black plastic. In his YouTube review, Stephen mentioned that the pen's plastic had a smell to it. The smell is all but gone now, fortunately!

The #5-sized two-tone steel nib has "Iridium Point" and some scroll work engraved on it. There's no nib width marked on the nib, but I'd say it's somewhere between a Fine and a Medium. The pen's ink flow was problematic, though, so I removed the pen's feed and carefully widened the feed channel with a very sharp, very thin blade. Now the flow is perfect. There's no flex to the nib (and I didn't expect any) but it's a nice, smooth, reliable writer.

the pen only takes a short international cartridge or a mini-converter-- full-sized (3" long) converters and/or long ink cartridges will not fit in the pen.

The Beena name is etched in lower-case font on the cap, which is a snap-on type. The steel clip feels secure and has just the right amount of tension to it. They might not be to everyone's taste, but I actually like the shape of the cap and clip as they fit the pen's playful design. It's probably not the kind of fountain pen you'd use in a formal business meeting, but it would work well for students as it's very light in the hand and comfortable to use for long-writing sessions (just make sure to bring some extra ink cartridges!)

Paper-Oh is a division of Paperblanks, a stationery company (originally from Vancouver!) that produced their first collection back in 1992. If you check out their website, you can see that the company is passionate about their Paper-Oh notebooks, and puts a lot of thought into their design and construction.

This is Paper-Oh's "Quadro" notebook, which the company describes as an "urban notebook" (the notebook's grid pattern was inspired by the layout of streets in a large city's downtown core). The double-layer cover is scored, embossed and perforated and the flaps are magnetized to protect the edges of the pages. The magnets are a nice design touch and make a soft snapping sound when they connect. The 'Quadro' notebook holds 112 lined pages and is available in lined or unlined formats. I paid $7.95 at London Drugs for my lined version.

But wait! There's more.....

The notebook comes with a "Flexi Page Marker" with scored markings on it that allow multiple pages to be flagged at the same time (horizontally or vertically). The marker can also be attached permanently to the notebook by peeling off the protective strip over its adhesive backing.

The company says the notebook's paper is "sourced from 100% sustainable forests" and is "uncoated, unbleached and run through an additional press to make it satisfyingly smooth." All of the Paper-Oh notebooks are available in lined or unlined formats (their 'Cahiers' line is also available in grid format). They currently have 7 different notebooks in their lineup, so there's something to please almost everyone.

Other features of the ''Quadro' notebooks:

  • they "do not contain binder boards, making them extremely lightweight."
  • they have an "innovative spine scoring technique" that allows them to lie completely flat when opened.
  • they "have been Smyth sewn with minimal glue along the spine" to make them more flexible.

That's a lot of stationery lingo above (lol) and I'm not what you'd call a "paper person", but I find the paper very nice to write on, and I think the notebook looks cool and has some neat features :)

 (photos & review by Maja)

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 344

Happy Spring!

Today we're shining a spotlight on an iridescent fountain pen belonging to Stuart - a limited production model released on March 2nd that's already sold out at many stores (Stuart acquired his from the Vancouver Pen Shop). Without further ado, here it is!

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

Stuart: "The Kaweco Sport in iridescent pearl is another fun pen, the variations of colour on mine are quite understated, making for a finish that attracts the eye."

Isn't it lovely? Thanks for sharing another great recent purchase with us, Stuart :) We'll be featuring another modern pocket fountain pen here on Tuesday, so stay tuned...

Friday, March 18, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 343

Today's featured new acquisition is courtesy of Stuart and it's a fountain pen that can take ink cartridges, a traditional converter or a special spring converter - all of which came included with the pen!

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

Stuart writes: "The TWSBI Swipe in Salmon is very fun, the colour is great...

...and the 1.1mm. nib is great to write with, especially with fuyu-gaki ink, with its intense colour!"

 Our thanks to Stuart for sharing this cool new pen with us! We'll be featuring another of his newest acquisitions on Sunday :)

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

(1940 Sheaffer 'Tuckaway' first year model with 14K gold-filled cap & barrel; photo by Maja)

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 342 (more photos)

 A few more photos of this little beauty, taken in better lighting conditions:

 ( ~please click on images to enlarge ~ )

Here are a couple of photos of the pen with a Kaweco clip (clip purchased separately):

 I don't always use the clip, but I think it looks really matches with this colour...

(photos by Maja)

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 342

It's been a while since I did an unboxing post...

Early last week, I got an email from reminding me that I had $25 worth of customer loyalty rewards on my account, so I checked out their website to see if they had any new pens in stock. I was surprised to see a pen in a pattern that I thought was discontinued quite a while ago, so I placed an order with them (and remembered to use my rewards ;)

(please click on images to enlarge)

The parcel arrived, safe and sound, from Ancaster, Ontario within 6 days. Normally, shipping is free for orders over $50 CAD, but my order (after the rewards were applied) was under $50, so I paid $7.99 CAD shipping--not bad for FedEx service!

(Funny story: This little Buck knife arrived in the mail a few months ago, along with a handwritten note saying that it was a prize I won in a random draw. Um, what draw?? The note wasn't signed and the parcel didn't have a return address, so I was a bit creeped out. Then, I remembered that I'd bought a Swiss Army Knife from a Canadian eBay seller a while back, so I contacted him. Turns out that he was the sender lol).

Ok, so here's what arrived from Fendrihan....

....a Kaweco fountain pen and a Schneider K2 converter!

(Sorry about the photos - lighting was poor today, thanks to Vancouver's "winter weather" a/k/a rain)

This is the Kaweco 'Classic Sport' fountain pen in the black "Chess" pattern. I thought the pattern was discontinued ages ago, so I was really surprised to see that Fendrihan had some in stock. With my customer loyalty rewards, the pen wound up costing just $20 CAD.

I ordered the pen with a Broad nib because I didn't have a B in my Kaweco 'Sport' stable...and wow, is it ever fun to use! It glides across the paper like a curling stone on a sheet of fresh ice.

 (Each little square is made of 5 tiny horizontal parallel lines!)

I have
a 'Sport' ballpoint in black in the "Guilloche" pattern (ca. 1996), but I didn't have anything in the "Chess" pattern. According to this Kaweco 'Sport' history, the 'Sport Classic' "Chess" model came out in 2009 in fountain pen and ballpoint form, and was available in black and blue colours.

This is the Schneider K2 converter I got from Fendrihan. I'd ordered a Schneider K5 converter from another online pen seller several years ago, but I'd read that the K2 was slightly narrower at its widest point, so it was better suited for slimmer fountain pens (another difference: the K2 is translucent, whereas the K5 is clear). The K2 converter is now happily in use in my aluminum Muji fountain pen.

Many thanks to Fendrihan for their excellent customer service, and all the pen stuff I ordered from them over the last two years!

(photos & review by Maja)