Moleskine Meets J. Herbin Vert Empire11/29/2009
Serendipity. Now there’s a word you don’t hear often but it suits this occasion. Serendipity is defined as “The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.” Ink/pen/paper success is accomplished in exactly that manner. Today I got lucky.
As I was writing an entry in my daily journal, an Apica 6A10, I was struck by how small I could comfortably write with my 1950’s era Parker ’51’ Aero. The barrel color is called “navy gray” and is quite similar to J. Herbin Vert Empire. The fine, dry nib that is ideal for paper that feathers just begged for a go at a Moleskine and so I obliged.
The result was excellent. Not only is the writing nearly feather-free, the combination of ink color and ivory paper is soft and very appealing. In addition the mid-century pen coupled with the vintage looking journal is elegant and retr0 cool. There is a bistro in my neighborhood with little café tables and a touch of Parisian chic that fits the look better than the on-every-street-corner coffee shop. Mmmm, know where I’m headed?
While there might not be a ’51’ in your future, they can be found on eBay and various pen boards if you must have one. The Aero-metric model is hardy and relatively easy to maintain. Even so do buy from a reputable source and preferably a pen that has had a new sac installed. The price range is $50-100 with the 14k nibs like mine or rare colors bringing in the higher prices.
Another pen option is the Hero ‘329’ that sports a hooded nib like the ’51’. The Hero ‘616’ is a true copy of the ’51’ so that’s another model to consider. I have no experience with Hero pens so this isn’t a recommendation but there is at least one positive review at Fountain Pen Network. Check out Amateur Economist and Another Word for Nerd for more opinions. Frankly, any fine nib that writes on the dry side will do.
Now I’m off to try today’s happy accident in a fitting setting. Make that a double espresso and a croissant, if you please. I think I’m going to sit here a little longer than usual.