Archive for the ‘Japanese Pens’ Category

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Brief Update On The Pilot Metropolitan

09/21/2016

Sometimes a pen works so well with an ink that nothing else seems right for it. Who can argue with success? But it can pay to be open to change.

Last night the Pilot MR Metropolitan Medium was ready for another refill and begged for a different color. Pilot Blue Black has performed so well that at first I rejected the request. But after a bath, the pen was ripe for a new ink. We settled on green to expand the colors in my rotation. Sailor Tokiwa-matsu has had little use and is subdued enough to suit my go-everywhere pen. So after a fill, we went for a spin.

Not expecting the smooth flow and ideal performance of Pilot BBk, I was delighted to find Tokiwa-matsu quite nearly its equal. But wait. Does that mean the Metro performed equally well with both inks? Indeed.

Now it’s time to acquire a second one to see if my Metro medium nib is uncommon or typical. Buying another pen is easy. The hard part is settling on the color. Choices, choices, choices, but that is a very good thing.

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#1 Fountain Pen On Amazon

09/12/2016

Clicking around Amazon can be dangerous. They make it far too easy to find things I never new I wanted much less needed. Today while price shopping ink, Amazon offered to share with me the name of their #1 fountain pen.

Can you guess which one it is?

Hints:

  • It is a black pen. That’s as expected.
  • It has a fine nib. That’s the size most Western pen users start with even if they find other sizes to be more interesting as they get accustomed to using fountain pens.
  • The maker is Asian which was a surprise. But maybe not.
  • Fit and finish are excellent for an entry-level pen.
  • It comes in a variety of colors.

That’s a lot of hints. What is your guess? Scroll down for the answer.

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The winner is the Pilot Metropolitan! Who knew it was that popular? Admittedly, mine is getting a ton of use and I would like a second one for ink testing. But #1? Kudos to Pilot for making such a terrific little pen.

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Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen

09/02/2016

A summer project provided the opportunity to test an inexpensive, reliable, sturdy fountain pen with a medium nib. The Pilot MR Metropolitan seemed a good fit for the purpose. So I popped one into an Amazon order along with dog biscuits and vitamins. Macy was very excited when she first sniffed the package. “Mom, this one’s for me!” She was not impressed by the dark gray pen box, but was tail-wagging happy about the food.

Here is how the Metro stacks up.

For a metal pen, the Metro is surprisingly light-weight. Even writing with the cap on the end, the weight remains within my range if a trifle overbalanced. The brass barrel should take plenty of everyday knocks and abuse. This is a sleek baby that feels quite comfortable in the hand.

The Metro writes every time without hesitation which is impressive considering my inconsistent use of it. The snap on cap seals solidly which may prevent or at least reduce ink evaporation. That may account for the easy starts. It also means jostling won’t loosen the cap, perfect for an everyday carry pen.

Unlike most fountain pens, the Metro allowed me to pause in thought for an unusually long time without concern for ink drying in the nib. Not something everyone needs, but it is helpful for a pensive mood. I really wanted to write longer just to experience the satisfaction of putting down words so easily.

Initially filled with Pilot Blue-Black, the pen and ink are perfectly suited. The color may be rather ordinary, but the flow and lubrication are just right for the stainless steel nib. It glides without a hint of drag. Staples Arc notebook paper completed a pen, ink, paper threesome that is a pleasure to use.

The Metropolitan comes in several styles and an array of colors. The neutral silver with a zig zag pattern was a practical choice. Maybe next time, a colorful Retro Pop will land in my cart, but for now, the matte silver will have to work extra hard trying lots of different inks especially Iroshizuku, Noodler’s, and Sailor. All should write at least as well as Pilot BBk. Iroshizuku ku-jaku is angling for a spin in the Metro and that is a writing duo that will be hard to resist.

Several retailers carry the Pilot MR Metropolitan. Mine came from Amazon, but even Massdrop has offered it. This is one pen that shouldn’t be hard to find. Current prices range from approximately $12 to $15 including a CON-20 squeeze converter and a single Pilot cartridge. Converters can cost $5 purchased separately, so including one with the pen makes this a very good deal.

With a Pilot MR Metropolitan in my bag, I am prepared for anything including a rough-writing newbie who wants to see what it’s like to use a fountain pen. What a great way to make a convert!

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A Couple Of Pen Deals

08/05/2016

While searching for pens on Amazon, I ran across a couple of Platinum models that are very well priced. Both are from the #3776 Century line with the Slip and Seal mechanism that extends the length of time ink remains fluid in the nib. Especially in summer heat, it keeps pens ready to write instantly.

The first deal is a Platinum “#3776 Century Chartres Blue Medium nib. The second is a Platinum “#3776 Century Black in Black Medium nib for those who prefer a more neutral appearance. I have a Century with a medium nib and thoroughly enjoy it. But then I like the broad and music nibs, too. Hey, a good pen is a good pen.

A couple of Platinum Century nibs…

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Namiki Falcon And J. Herbin Meet Clairefontaine

07/19/2016

A Namiki (Pilot) Falcon sporting a soft fine nib makes a lovely bridge between J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir and Clairefontaine French-Ruled paper. This isn’t calligraphy, but rather whimsical, swirly lettering that suits the way the nib likes to dance over the smooth surface of the paper. The ink provides proof that the pen and paper came together.

If you want the trio, Writer’s Bloc carries the pen, paper and ink. Nibs.com carries the pen and will modify it in amazing ways. John Mottishaw is their nibmeister and he may well be the best at his craft.

If you want to experiment with a flex nib but not tax your budget, Noodler’s makes fountain pens that will give you a sense of what it’s like to achieve thick and thin in the same stroke. Amazon offers the range in various colors though my clear Standard Flex is hard to beat when it comes to showing off ink to its best advantage.

 

So go have some flex fun filling lots and lots of pages, but don’t be surprised if it becomes an addiction. It’s a fat-free, guilt-free one and will even keep your hand out of the cookie jar while you doodle away. Cool, eh?

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A Good Deal On Washi Tape And A Pentel Touch Pen

07/13/2016

Washi tape is a quick and easy way to add a decorative element to a journal, but much of it is wide and can overpower small pages. When I found three rolls of narrow tape from MT for under $5, resistance was futile. Then I was offered a Pentel Touch felt tip pen (SES15N) that flexes from extra fine to very broad and is ideal for whimsical or calligraphic lettering. For about $10, hours of entertainment was assured.

A Midori Traveler’s Notebook #013 with Tomoe River paper offered to provide a playground. Now washi, pen and paper are fast friends. Sometimes the pen sits out a round which allows a vintage Pilot Elite ‘Isaac Newton’ pocket pen loaded with Noodler’s Black to take a turn. The black and silver theme is rather deco-looking and I am smitten.

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Another Benefit To The Platinum Slip & Seal Cap

05/21/2016

After several attempts to get ink to dry in a Platinum Century Slip & Seal pen, I give up. It just won’t happen, but I did discover a welcome additional benefit while giving it a hard time. Because the ink doesn’t dry in the nib and feed, the pen rinses out in record time even after being left idle for ages.

My Century Nice Pur B had Diamine Wild Strawberry in it with no use for months. Months! There was a faint ring of ink at the edge of the piston and dregs in the section. In any other pen, rinsing and soaking for hours if not days would be expected for such neglect. Darned if the pen didn’t rinse clean in less than two minutes total. Filling the converter with tepid water eight to ten times and then giving the nib a rinse in a stream of water removed ink from every nook and cranny. Is that pen amazing or what!

Thank you Luxury Brands USA for sending the Platinum Century Nice Pur. Slip & Seal is a brilliant mechanism for a beautiful fountain pen. Kudos to Platinum for ingenuity as well as execution.

The Nice and Nice Pur are currently on special at Nibs.com. It is a limited edition release, so grab one while you can.

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