Moleskine Meets J. Herbin Vert Empire


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.

Moleskine, a Parker '51' and Herbin Vert Empire

Moleskine, a Parker ’51’ and J. Herbin Vert Empire

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?

J. Herbin Vert Empire on Moleskine

J. Herbin Vert Empire on Moleskine

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.


  1. Sigh. Your destination sounds wonderful. I own three Hero fountain pens and one is a hooded nib but I can’t remember what number it is. Fantastic writing instrument for those of us in a meager budget induced lifestyle. Thanks for the ink review, too. I’ve been looking for inks that do well in dry, fine nibs.


    • One of these days I’ll try a Hero but for now the ’51’ is meeting my needs quite well.

      If you are on a limited budget and who isn’t these days, the ink sample program at Pear Tree Pens is a great way to find out what works well for you. I’ve ordered samples several times. While the amount of ink is limited, using a syringe to transfer the ink to a pen will give you enough to make informed choices and maximize your resources. It’s so much more fun to buy an ink that makes you smile than to buy one you’ll never use.


  2. YES! Another great combo that goes very well with the Moleskine. Great work!


  3. Cool post and pic! 😉


  4. Sounds very alluring. I might have to give that combo a try myself! Good to know that the Moleskine journals have good fountain pen options.


    • There must be a lot of workable ink and pen duos for Moleskine. I’ve dedicated one of the small Reporter journals to future tests. When there are enough good results, I’ll post about it.


  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Margana and kookychick, Okami. Okami said: RT @inkophile: A new post from Inkophile: Moleskine Meets J. Herbin Vert Empire: http://wp.me/pfSKv-mq […]


  6. […] Read the entire review at An Inkophile’s Blog. […]


  7. […] Moleskine Meets J. Herbin Vert Empire […]


  8. […] J. Herbin Vert Empire – Muted green. […]


Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: