Wednesday, August 23, 2023

August meeting photos!

We had a full house for our August meeting, held at the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver Public Library on the 17th---twenty VPC members, including four new members (Grant, James, Shona and Stewart) and one returning member who said he last attended a meeting in 2014 (Shiva)!

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

Newcomer Grant showed us the two vintage Parker fountain pens that fellow VPC member Christopher restored for him---a Parker 'Challenger' in "Burgundy" from 1937 or 1938, and a Parker 'Vacumatic' "Silver Pearl" from mid-1945 (photo above). These two beautiful fountain pens belonged to Grant's great-uncles and have great sentimental value for him. Our August meeting's primary topic was "To fake or not to fake? That is the question! (Fountain Pen Knock-Offs/Fakes/Clones)" and Grant brought some pens in for this topic ---his Moonman/Mahjohn 'A1' fountain pen (a Pilot 'Vanishing Point' copy made in China) and a Hero '616' (a Parker '51' clone, also made in China).

Shiva also brought in a Hero copy of a famous vintage Parker - a Hero 329 fountain pen', a Parker '61' clone (he also generously gave out a couple of spare 329s he had :) He also showed us his daily carry pens--an authentic (heh) Parker '51' fountain pen and a Sheaffer 'Imperial' 440-- as well as a Sailor 'Profit Jr' and
a Lamy 'Safari' (a fountain pen that Shiva says he often uses because it's so reliable). 

Jerred brought some interesting examples of knockoffs of modern fountain pens, such as the three in the photo above - (left to right) a Jinhao '80' (a Lamy '2000' quasi-clone with an open nib-- Jerred said he replaced the pen's nib with a real Lamy nib lol), a Hongdian '6013' (that looks like a thinner version of a Faber-Castell 'e-motion'), and a pretty convincing Faber-Castell "Ambition" knockoff made by an unknown manufacturer (Jerred said its cap is lighter than the Ambition's, making it more balanced when posted!)

Jerred also brought along these two examples by Moonman (which changed its name to Mahjohn, so I will refer to them interchangeably in this blog post) - a swirly, multicoloured Moonman 'M600S' (inspired by Parker's modern 'Duofold' models) and a lovely blue Moonman 'M800' (with a Bock nib) that bears a striking resemblance to a Leonardo 'Momento Zero' (Jerred reviewed the M800 here on our site).

That colourful acrylic used for Jerred's 'M600S' was also used by Moonman for their 'N2' model, which was featured in a nice write-up Daryl did for our website here.
Daryl was at our August meeting and brought along a curious desk accessory, a pounce pouch, which absorbs oils from a writing surface, making it easier to write on.


Our secondary meeting topic is always "Newest Pen-Related Acquisitions" and Jerred brought along this recently-acquired very slender Delta fountain pen for that topic. It's the same early Delta model as the one he reviewed here three years ago (although that one was made of chrome and had a steel nib), but this one is made of sterling silver and has a really sweet-writing tiny gold nib on it.

Vladan also had some new acquisitions to show us -- a very cool-looking Pelikan 'Pelikano' P480 "Dragon" fountain pen (photo above), which came out in 2017 (love that "scaly" texture!)....

....and this intriguing Leonardo 'Momento Zero' Micarta limited edition fountain pen!

The pen was a collaboration between Leonardo Officina Italiana and the Italian pen store Stilo e Stile, and only 223 pens were produced. Micarta is the brand name of a composite material that consists of compressed layers of a substrate (cloth/paper/carbon fiber et al.) set in resin. The pen is a cartridge/converter-filler, so to prevent the section (which is also made of Micarta) from staining, Leonardo thoughtfully included two extra parts with the pen--a black section made of resin (that won't stain), and a long metal tube that attaches to the pen's converter (so you can fill the converter from a bottle without getting ink on your fingers).

We hadn't seen Nathan at a meeting in quite a while, so it was nice to see him again. He brought many of the fountain pens he acquired since the last time we saw him, including this group (top to bottom): a Graf von Faber-Castell 'Tamitio', a Kaweco 'Perkeo', a Lamy 'Aion', a brand-new Mahjohn 'V1' model, a faceted Pilot 'Vanishing Point", and an Esterbrook 'Estie' in "Tortoise" resin. The Estie sported a nib reground by nibmeister Joshua Lax; I tried it at the meeting, and it writes like a dream!

The three pens on the right are new acquisitions belonging to Nathan--- a lovely Waterman 'Carene' "Sea Green Shimmer", a Pineider 'Modern Times' fountain pen (with a very comfortable grip) in "French Racing Blue", and a huge Jinhao '9019' green demonstrator . The two pens on the far left are a matte black guilloché Mahjohn ‘A1’ model and a yellow Mahjohn 'A2’, well-made clones of the iconic Pilot 'Vanishing Point'.

The Mahjohn ‘A1’ models are all-metal, whereas the ‘A2’ is made of plastic and faceted. Both the 'A1' and 'A2' pens use the same nib unit --which can be purchased separately on AliExpress-- and the nib unit fits perfectly into a genuine Pilot VP.
 I didn't photograph it, but I believe Amy also brought a Mahjohn 'A2’ to the meeting (I accidentally left mine at home lol). The 'A1' is a very popular knockoff -- we saw several of them at the meeting (I left that one at home, too!), including a clipless version owned by Andy, who joined our club in 2020, but attended his first in-person meeting this month! Andy also brought in a very cool (non-knockoff) fountain pen, an Ensso 'Italia' (which Nathan also brought --see post below).

Six more nice fountain pens belonging to Nathan, five of which were made by small pen makers around the globe; the one made by a larger manufacturer is the gorgeous Nahvalur 'Horizon' "Twilight" model, the second pen from the left. The other five are (left to right): a sleek, teal-coloured aluminum Gravitas 'Entry' fountain pen made in Ireland by Ben Walsh, a hefty little stainless steel Shibui North 'Pocket Fox' "Sky Flame pocket fountain pen made in the UK by Ruth Bolton, a titanium Ensso 'Italia' and an 'Italia' in "PM4" (Primary Manipulation 4 resin) made by an award-winning California-based design company, and a Eureka 'Symmetry' fountain pen (made of PEEK plastic) that was manufactured in South Korea. Oh, and in case you're wondering -- Nathan anodized the titanium Ensso 'Italia' himself, and he also engraved the Shibui pen at the request of the manufacturer for his YouTube review of it (Nathan's awesome YouTube pen review channel can be found here). 

We also some lovely new pen accessories at our meeting; I didn't photograph them, but Yang (who just joined our club last month) showed us her two new beautiful leather pen cases by Galen Leather --a 6-pen zippered case and a 4-pen 'Slip and Zip' case.  

It was good to see longtime VPC member Sam again, as well. Sam showed us some really great fountain pens, including the two above-- a Namiki Vanishing Point" from the mid-1990s (top pen) with "Namiki" engraved on its clip, and a Pilot 'Capless' from the mid-1960s with a Pilot-branded clip. The 'Capless' fountain pen model name was changed to 'Vanishing Point' in 1973; for more information on the VP/Capless models, check out Carmen Rivera's excellent "Pilot Vanishing Point Pen History" page.

Above: Sam also brought in this eye-catching Nahvalur 'Nautilus' fountain pen (love those little "portholes" which act as ink-view windows for this piston-filling pen!). I believe this is the "Stylophora Berry" model, which is made of ebonite...

Asifa brought in a Jinhao X159 (a very large plastic pen with a huge #8 nib, inspired by Montblanc's  famous '149' model) for our primary topic. I didn't snap a photo of that pen, but I did take a photo of her Jinhao 'X750' (above) The pen had belonged to her brother, who got Nathan to grind its nib (and yes, it writes beautifully).

Above: This vintage pen belonging to Christopher is trying hard to be a Parker 'Vacumatic' and it's doing a good job...but it's a lever-filler, not a button-filler like the genuine article! The manufacturer's name isn't on the pen, but it's certainly a handsome vintage "Vacumatic' knock-off.

We actually used the topic of fountain pen knockoffs for our September 2017 meeting, but the examples I brought to this month's meeting (in the photo below) were all acquired by me since then! I think that's because there are a lot more fountain pen clones being made now compared to 2017 ... but the quality of some is actually very good (the Majohn 'A1', for one). Many of our members expressed that they were not against pens being copied, as long as the original manufacturer's name and/or the original model name wasn't on the pen. 

 (To see a super-sized version of the photo: left-click on it, then right-click & select "Open image in new tab" or "View image", then left-click on the image in the newly-opened tab).

Anyway, here's what I brought last week for our primary topic:
Upper left quadrant
(left to right):an all-black Jinhao '65' (a Lamy 'cp1' clone I reviewed here), Jinhao '80' (Lamy 2000-inspired), two Jinhao '82' models (Sailor 'ProGear Slim'/'Sapporo' knockoffs), Jinhao '85' (a Parker '51' clone; Andy reviewed his here
), Jinhao '86' (which is the same as the '85' model, but with a plastic barrel) in dark green.
Lower left (L-R): Jinhao '86' in orange, Jinhao '100' (inspired by the modern Parker 'Duofold and reviewed here by me), a burgundy Jinhao 'X159', two Jinhao '166' fountain pens (Faber-Castell 'Ondoro'-inspired, but the Jinhao pens aren't particularly inspiring-ha!) and a Jinhao '992' (a Sailor ProGear Colour' clone).

Upper right quadrant (L-R): Moonman '80S' (a Parker '45' knockoff), Moonman 'P135' (Montblanc "Petit Prince Aviator" knockoff), a striped Moonman 'M700' (yet another Parker 'Duofold' clone!), Moonman 'M800' (Leonardo 'Momento Zero' knockoff), and two Wing Sung '699' fountain pens (well-made clones of the venerable Pilot 'Custom 823')
Lower right (L-R): HYL Demonstrator (a clone of a Moonman pen - the 'M1 !), Hero '565' (which is supposed to look like a Sheaffer 'PFM'), Yiren '401' (a knockoff of a Lamy 'Vista', but with an iridescent clip and nib), a Blackbird 'Imperial' (Parker '45' copy made in India) and a Wancher 'Forward' model (which I got from Jerred in a trade a while back). The Wancher looks like a Lamy '2000' from the outside-- its clip is different, though-- and like the Jinhao '80', it doesn't have a hooded nib; it is, however, a much better-made pen than the Jinhao. Lastly, the pen in the extreme lower right corner is one of my newest acquisitions, an authentic Faber-Castell 'Ondoro' in "Smoked Oak" that I recently won on eBay (for a great price).

I'm so sorry I didn't get a chance to photograph everyone's pens--it was a busy night with so many newcomers to welcome to our pen club (but I'm not complaining about that 😁!). New member Stewart showed us his Pilot 'Elite 95S'  and white Lamy 'Dialog 3' fountain pens, as well as a pen he bought at the Eurobox pen store in Tokyo--a gorgeous Italian-made 'Radius Superior'. Brand-new members James and Shona showed some pens they acquired at the recent Pacific Northwest Pen Show--Shona's new green Sailor fountain pen and James' vintage Sheaffer 'Balance'. They also brought in pens for our primary topic-- a Jinhao '80', a Jinhao '159' (an all-metal cousin of the X159 with a #6 nib), and a Jinhao '699'(a Lamy 'Safari' knockoff). We also saw Shona's very first fountain pen (a Pilot 'Metropolitan') and her Pelikan M205, whose nib was reground at the pen show by Gena Salorino of James showed us some other recent acquisitions--a tiny all-metal Waterman lever-filler, and a Staedtler drafting pen. As usual, longtime VPC member Rene brought in a wonderful assortment of pens for our primary and secondary topics. For our August meeting, he showed us a Baoer '388' (Parker 'Sonnet' clone), a very cool-looking all-black with red accents Jinhao '75' (another Parker 'Sonnet' clone!), a Parker '51' copy made by Wilson, as well as his new vintage Sheaffer desk set, a vintage Parker '51 Special' and a Cross 'Century Classic fountain pen'.

Many thanks to everyone who came to the meeting; whether or not you brought anything for our topics or just yourselves
😊, your attendance was very much appreciated! I'll post the details about our September meeting later this week, so please check the top of our homepage for the info in big red letters :) 

(~Blog post by Maja~)

Friday, August 18, 2023

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Many thanks to everyone who came to our August meeting last night! I'll be posting a meeting report (with lots of photos) next week, but in the meantime, enjoy this great ballpoint example of our meeting topic (Fountain Pen Knock-Offs/Fakes/Clones) sent in by one of our club's overseas members --Jerry from the U.K! (Jerry actually suggested our August meeting topic, and sent along a helpful list of talking points--thanks, Jerry!).

Without further's Jerry's example of a "genuinely" 😉 well-made fake:

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

Jerry writes: "Here is my “piece de resistance” fake 🤓! A Montblanc “Great Characters” series Andy Warhol ballpoint, complete with Montblanc boxes and service guide. If you look very carefully, on the inside of the lid, a previous owner/seller has actually blanked out “Montblanc” to avoid someone being fooled.

What I really love about this pen is that it has the Andy Warhol quote around the top “Art is what you can get away with”. I am sure he would have loved the irony of this rip off pen - even if Montblanc didn’t

The genuine article is being sold for around CAN 1,700. I paid less than CAN 10.00, with the seller making it very clear it was a fake 👍! The pen actually works, writes and is impressively heavy!

Of course, the volte face is this: perhaps the genuine pen IS only worth 10 dollars and Montblanc are cashing in on their reputation and laughing all the way to the bank! I’m sure your members considered that very point when this was a topic previously."

Our thanks to Jerry for his photo and mini-review! Have a safe weekend, everyone :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Reminder - meeting on Thursday (August 17)!

Don't forget our monthly pen club meeting on Thursday August 17th at the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver Public Library from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM! (click here for detailed information, including our meeting topics)

** Please note the location for this meeting! **

Questions? Contact us at
Hope to see you there! (no RSVPs needed :)

Monday, August 14, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 512

Today's featured newest acquisition is a classic vintage set that Christopher acquired shortly after our July meeting (a reminder: our August meeting is this Thursday -- details here). Our thanks to Christopher for sharing this handsome set with us!

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

Christopher writes:
"Thinking back, I believe that a Parker 51 was the first vintage pen I felt I had to have. Not that it surfaced right away, but while on a trip to Vancouver Island, I spotted what was to become my very first Parker 51 pen score. Rather a plain jane, finished in jet black with a brushed steel cap, but I was so eager to have this treasure, I just jumped an the opportunity and forked out far too much of what was burning a hole in my pocket at the time. It was an aerometric filler model from the mid 1950s, but within several weeks, I added a second 51 at less than half the price. As the years have gone by, I have bought and sold many Parker 51 fountain pens, but I still covet the ones I have retained in my collection. They are all very good and responsible writers, which come to life immediately as they are used.

The 51 I will now describe, is actually a matching late 1940s set of fountain pen and mechanical pencil also finished in jet black but with brilliant 14K Gold filled caps. What is very interesting about this set, is that the Parker arrow clip are transitional and similar to the Parker Vacumatic but also longer than the standard 51 Parker arrow clip. Just for the record, I should mention that although Parker introduced their 51 aerometric in 1948, it was just an introduction with a limited number of pens for a test market. The actual Parker 51 aerometric release was during the early part of 1949, making my set in essence a first year Parker 51 aerometric set. The Parker Date coding of .49. Is very clear at the top of the pen’s barrel and both writing instruments are in just superb condition as is the newly designed 51 aerometric presentation case designed for Parker by David Chapman of a Chicago design firm. In closing, I have featured this lovely set in an office setting, where it would have been right at home."

Friday, August 11, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 511

Well, since British Columbia's first significant summer heat wave is due to hit us this coming Sunday, I thought it fitting to post a photo that Stuart sent in of his TWSBI Eco in the "Heat" colour 🔥 (and two of his other newest acquisitions) !

In his email, Stuart wrote: "I woke up my ancient iPod Touch and took some photos of recent acquisitions with it. Most of them synced to the iMac, but not all, I don’t know why. The Touch is old, 11 years or so now, so that alone could be the problem. Anyway enough were transferred for me to do some simple editing, so here they are!"

(all photos courtesy of Stuart ~ please click on images to enlarge)
Stuart: "The Mt. Fuji Platinum is hard to photograph well enough to do its beauty justice, but I’m content with how my pics came out."

"Then a shot of the 1952 Parker 51 Aerometric in Cocoa that Christopher sold me at the last meeting. Great-looking pen, and a smooth writer. Funny aside - a seller of one of these on eBay calls the colour “Ovaltine”, LOL!"

"And finally the vibrant Heat TWSBI Eco, a very fun pen and perfect for Summer."

Our thanks to Stuart for snapping these shots for our pen club's website!

Please take care during this coming hot weather -- stay well-hydrated, seek shelter in cooling centers if need be, and please don't leave your kids or pets in your vehicle!

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 510

August 8th is Happiness Happens Day, a day to celebrate all things happy, so here's something that made Christopher very happy -- a thoughtful gift he got from a pen friend a little while back :)

Christopher writes:

"Good pen collector friends are even better when they feel you should have a gifted writing instrument for your collection. And I will have to say this about my fellow Vancouver Pen Club chum, David Moffatt, he sure did me proud with this fine Parker Vacumatic.

I believe, in having sold countless Parker Vacumatics, that at least some -- if not a lot of -- vintage Parker Vacumatic enthusiasts just seem to overlook the attributes of the Debutante model. Possibly the size at first glance capped, or maybe a Major or Standard would have more appeal? But for me, all that wonderful beauty and quality built into a smaller size is nothing but impressive. Starting the ball rolling with the exquisite Pearl colour top quality Lucite plastic finish and, add to that either 14K gold filled or smart shiny steel fittings which all complement a leading pen design, and you have a good start definitely for a great vintage writing instrument."

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

He continues:

"Then, if your Vacumatic is from the beginning of the 1940s like this one, the filler is the no nonsense, easily used ‘Speedline’ filler covered with an extended blind cap. And because this is a second generation Parker number, this particular pen comes with noteworthy jewels at both ends. These jewels are jet black because this pen’s production hails from Canada. 

Looking beyond the silver pearl exterior finish with a bit of light behind the barrel, it is evident that although a bit red ambered, there is some noteworthy barrel transparency. And fitted perfectly into a rather short, but adequate jet black grip section, is a superb 14K Gold Parker Arrow nib on top of a goodly supporting jet black Parker Vacumatic feed. The nib is a fine but consistent smooth writer, making this a vintage pen worthy of any vintage pen collector’s pen collection. I should mention the cap before concluding, in that it sports a short steel clip and medium width steel banding. 

This is a streamlined Vacumatic Debutante Senior model, which posts at a full 5 ½ inches, but caps back to an extremely pocketable 4 ¾ inches. The one thing that really grabbed my attention regarding this fine Parker pen was the brilliance of its exterior pearlescent finish. The Senior Parker designation refers to the fact that, in 1940, this debutante in part was moved to the top-end of the Vacumatic Parker line (while a Debutante Junior was created in the Shadow Wave Parker Vacumatic line). Subsequently, it is well on its was into my vintage pen collection."

Our thanks to Christopher for sharing this lovely gift with us!