Big And Bold Namiki Falcon2011/06/24
A fountain pen veteran once told me that in time, fine nibs would give way to broad nibs in my collection. Either he was half right or my rotation is still evolving after a mere ten years. As evidence last week two pens arrived, the tangerine Levenger True Writer with a very nice fine nib and Pilot’s resin Namiki Falcon SB with a soft broad nib. Guess which one got the most use. Okay. Did the post title give it away?
The Falcon is one of my favorite pens. The size and weight are very comfortable for my hand and my two soft fine nibs are always close at hand. They have become a bit more flexible with use and produce excellent results with a variety of inks. Sailor Brown, J Herbin Lie de Thé, and Diamine Violet are especial favorites in them.
However, being a fan of Pilot’s Iroshizuku line, the new Falcon SB got loaded (drunk and dazzled) on Tsuki-yo for its maiden voyage. What a fat, wet nib! This baby will never skip. On Rhodia paper a blotter helped but a different ink should tame that a bit.
The nib is very smooth but squeaks slightly which is a funny combination. The lack of drag is great when my hand is tired so it will be perfect for my end-of-the-day journal entry, often my longest daily writing session. One of the nice things about that usage is any color ink goes. No need to be all businesslike or conservative so perhaps Rohrer & Klingner Morinda or Magenta or even Solferino will fit the nib’s attributes and the paper’s willingness to accept loads of ink. A nib with this much flow will be a good match for pale colored inks like pink, apricot and pale blue.
This is a “soft” nib with a very limited amount of give though enough to produce a unique signature with a flair or two. I want to play with that a bit but my initial take is that Pilot labeling it SB is generous. Yes, it will flex very slightly but the line looks nearly identical to the non-flex line at least with Tsuki-yo and Morinda. The SF is better at flex but only after it has had some use. I’ve never used the SM (soft medium) but have read it is the nib people like the most. If it is halfway between the two, I can see why that would be the sweet spot for many users. Someday I will have to get my hands on one for comparison.
Not to put anyone off on adding the Namiki Falcon SB to your collection, but this is one pen that puts down a truly broad, wet line. Some folks will be thrilled at that while others may be intimidated. The SB is not ideal for small handwriting. It is best for big, bold statements. My handwriting suffers but my hand is happy with the ease with which I can write albeit sloppily. With practice my penmanship should improve. If not, it doesn’t really matter because when I grab the SB, writing longer will be more important than writing neater. For those times big and bold is just fine with me.
Note: My new Falcon came from Pear Tree Pens as did the bottle of Morinda. Tsuki-yo has been on my shelf since shortly after its release and is available from a number of sources including PTP. It’s a favorite amongst Iroshizuku fanatics and would be a good starting point if you haven’t tried this line of inks yet.