Thursday, January 5, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 447

In the last year or so, I really started to get into fountain pens handmade by small pen makers, so I thought I'd do a review of one I purchased in September 2022...

My interest in these kind of pens started with the gorgeous 'Troubleshooter 1313' fountain pen I bought from Ash at Rockster Pens in September 2020 (I reviewed it here), but my interest deepened after I bought a lovely resin fountain pen from Analog Notes at the end of 2021. Analog Notes is owned and operated by Ronnie Shields, an independent pen maker in the American Midwest (Bloomington, Indiana). The pen was an Analog Notes 'Faraday' model (reviewed by me here) that I bought chiefly because of its beautiful swirly red and cream resin. I knew that Analog Notes made other fountain pen models (using a variety of different resins), so I kept an eagle eye on their Etsy store... and when this pen below came up for sale there, I pounced on it...

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

This model is called the 'Maxwell' and the resin is "Calico Koi", made by the well-known and highly-regarded resin-maker Jonathon Brooks

Here are the pen's dimensions, courtesy of Analog Notes' product brochure:

The pen doesn't post, but at 5.0 inches from nib tip to barrel end, it's long enough to hold and use unposted

The pen fills via cartridge or converter, and came with a Schmidt standard international size ink converter. At the time of purchase, I was given a choice of nib width (XF, F, M, B, 1.1 italic or 1.5 italic) and nib colour (silver-or gold-coloured) for the #6 JoWo steel nib...

I chose a Medium gold-coloured nib, but I've since swapped it out for the silver-coloured Medium JoWo steel nib in the photo above. Sometimes it's hard to decide which nib colour best suits a particular pen until you see the pen in real life!

In any case, the original nib wrote very smoothly, with no tuning required. The original gold-coloured JoWo nib was a plain nib---no special engravings on it---but that's fine with me; I don't expect every small pen maker to have their company name on the nibs they put on their pens. If the nibs are customized---great, but if not, it's not a dealbreaker for me.

Above: the 'Maxwell' next to the red and white 'Faraday' model (the first pen I bought from Analog Notes).

The 'Maxwell' is the shorter of the two, but the 'Faraday' is a tiny bit slimmer. When the 'Faraday' is capped, there is a step-down from its cap lip to its barrel -- you can see it in the photo above. The cap on the 'Maxwell', however, is flush with its barrel, and its smoothly chamfered barrel and cap edges are very smooth to the touch---nice!

The uncapped 'Maxwell' is shorter than the 'Faraday', but its section is longer, which may or may not be important to you, depending on where you grip your fountain pens. Neither model can be posted and both pens have the same section diameter, so there's a similar feel when you grip them. At 19.5 grams (Maxwell) and 20.8 grams (Faraday), they're both light, but they don't feel unsubstantial (if that makes any sense). I love using both of these pens; they feel great in the hand and their gorgeous resins are real eye candy (and their sections match the rest of the pen :)

Like many businesses, Ronnie had to raise his prices in 2022 due to rising costs, so the 'Maxwell' (purchased in September 2022) was $135 USD vs the $95 USD I paid for the 'Faraday' back in December 2021. $135 USD is still lower than what most small pen makers in North America & Europe charge for their handmade pens (and $95 USD was a ridiculously low price for the Faraday), so I can't complain.

One cool feature about buying items on Etsy is that you can now use Klarna to pay for your goods. It's another interest-free payment plan --like Sezzle-- that spreads your credit card payments over a period of several weeks (Klarna payments are made at 0, 2, 4 and 6 weeks). I paid $53.56 CAD every 2 weeks (4 payments in total) for my 'Maxwell' pen (incl. shipping), which was less painful than paying for it all at once! (I have no afilliaton to Klarna or Sezzle, but I've used both several times without any hidden charges or other problems)

Many thanks to Ronnie of Analog Notes for another gorgeous, smooth-writing, well-made fountain pen! I'll be featuring a few fountain pens made by another small pen maker next week here on our blog.

(~Review by Maja~)

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