The demise of Omas is sad, but not unexpected. If you’ve always wanted one of their pens, grab it while you still can…
Posts Tagged ‘pocket pen’
There are four green inks that form the mid-range of my green rotation. Each is different enough to get its own time usually in one of my Pilot Elite ‘Socrates’ pocket pens and when I’m in a bold mood, a Lamy Vista 1.1 mm calligraphy nib.
- Diamine Kelly Green has the most yellow of the green inks and shades incredibly well from light green at the tops of letters to shamrock green at the bottom.
- J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage is less yellow and might be considered the truest green of the bunch. It shades less and offers more consistent coverage than Kelly Green.
- Rohrer & Klingner Verdura starts the transition to blue-based green. The blue isn’t strong but is definitely present in greater measure than yellow. Shading is more subtle and the flow a bit dry compared to the other green inks.
- Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku is the most blue of the group. Depending on the paper it can produce excellent shading with excellent flow. Even though it leans decidedly blue, it is definitely a green.
In that same color range ,Diamine Umber, J. Herbin Vert Empire, and Diamine Emerald get high marks, too.
What better way to start the year than with a thorough cleaning. Ten pens got the treatment and are drying, nibs down, in a wad of paper towel. That leaves a mere five for general use and two for testing. Does that sound like a lot? I assure you that is lean for me.
- Parker ’51’ Aero F with Noodler’s Zhivago
- Parker ’51’ Aero Special XF with Noodler’s Black (pen test)
- Sailor 1911 F with Noodler’s Red-Black
- Lamy Vista 1.1 with Iroshizuku shin-ryoku
- Levenger Mink True Writer Masuyama CI with Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan
- Montblanc 220 OB with Rohrer & Klingner Magenta
- Pilot Elite Socrates F Pocket Pen with Diamine Presidential Blue (ink test)
When a fountain pen won’t do, there are four more writing instruments at hand.
- Levenger Starry Night Roller Ball with a black felt tip refill
- Autopoint Mechanical Pencil
- Pentel Pocket Brush Pen with a black cartridge
- OXO Pink Highlighter
Elena sent a couple of Mitsu-Bishi 9800 2B pencils that will get some playtime soon. It’s likely the Levenger Kyoto True Writer Masuyama Stub will get a load of Iroshizuku syo-ro or possibly Private Reserve Ebony Blue in the near future. I love writing with this pen so it never stays clean for long.
That’s my winter rotation. What’s on your desk to start the new year?
Need a fountain pen? As my collection has become more focused, several have fallen on hard times with no use in over a year. Time to send them off to new homes.
- Contact me at inkophile *at* gmail.com to ask a question or make a purchase.
- Payment via Paypal at price plus shipping costs.
- Shipment within 72 hours of cleared payment.
- U.S. buyers only.
- Domestic shipping via USPS Priority One Rate will be the current rate for a small box. No non-U.S. sales. Shipping to U.S. addresses only.
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- Combined purchases will increase shipping cost if larger box is needed
- If the pen is not as described, please return it within 7 days.
- For items new or New Old Stock (NOS): If you ink it, you keep it.
- Original pen box available for some but not others.
- Used pens will not be perfect. Idiosyncrasies are noted if known. There is a list of pen vendors in the sidebar, if new suits you best or you prefer a warranty. Hey, I tend to buy new as well.
All of my Japanese pocket pens were made in the 1970s so they are not pristine. However, some are more perfect than others. Either an empty cartridge or used converter is included so you can put your pen to use without delay.
Some of these pens got a fill or two here while others were never inked. There isn’t much I can tell you about them beyond what is in the descriptions.
Lastly, take the color of the pens with a grain of salt. Black will of course be true but other colors may not be so accurate. It’s fine if that puts you off and you look for a pen elsewhere. I would much rather you be happy with your pen purchase from another source than to sell you one of my pens that is a disappointment.
Now for the goods…
- Platinum Pocket Pen in frosted silver with gold trim. 18k fine nib with white plastic section. Made in the 1970s and still has its sticker. I have never inked this pen and cannot say whether anyone else ever has. It uses Platinum cartridges and an empty one is included to get you started. The cart is well-designed with a small metal ball that floats in the chamber to keep the ink flowing. There are no converters made for this model. Length is 4 3/4″ capped and 5 7/8″ posted. Let me know if you would like to purchase a box of carts along with your pen.
- Platinum Pocket Pen in black with a double-sided 14k nib, one side is fine while the other is medium. This is a dry-writing pen that works best with free-flowing inks. It uses cartridges only and there is an empty one included. Length is 4 7/8″ capped and 6″ posted. There are a few boxes of cartridges here if you are interested. Sold
- Waterman 52, ca. 1915-1929 in black chased hard rubber (BCHR) with nickel trim. The 14k Ideal nib is a semi-flex fine to medium. It has no clip and the lever-filler has no brassing. The nib has a slight hook and writes a bit scratchy. However, a lubricating ink, light touch, and smooth paper make it fun to use. This pen has been professionally serviced and is overall in good condition. Note that the nib is slightly discolored though you might be able to improve on that. Length is 5 5/16″ and 6 5/8″ posted. $100 US
- Waterman Lady Patricia, ca. 1930-38, semi-flex fine 14k nib. This is a small but lovely pen that has been professionally serviced. It is onyx plastic with a red, hard rubber section and cap edge. All trim is gold-filled metal. The pen is in good condition with typical discoloration plus a few scratches on the clip but very little brassing. The nib is not bent though it may appear so in the close-up image. Length is 4 1/4″ and 5 3/8″ posted. $125 US
- Parker Vacumatic, ca. 1943, in azure blue with a 14k fine to medium nib. Very good transparency but shows signs of wear and a few spots of brassing on the cap ring. This pen has been repaired and the cap replaced. The end cap narrows slightly but fits well. The plunger filler works as it should. Consider this a user pen with a very good nib.
- Levenger Verona fine nib in marbled gray plastic. The 14k nib is dual-toned and in perfect condition. The barrel has some scratches so it is user grade. The nib writes like a medium but I find Stipulas to write wider than the nib size states. The flow is good with some inks but not others. A new converter might help with the flow. The cheap one it came with is not impressive. Sold.
- Pilot Prera in ivory with stainless medium nib. That original nib has been swapped for a medium italic from a Pilot Plumix but you can easily swap them back. Both pens are included in this item along with a squeeze converter for the Prera. Length is 4 3/4″ capped and 5 3/8″ posted. Withdrawn.
- Pilot 78g in black with a broad nib but it really is an italic. It comes with a squeeze filler and is in like new condition. In fact it may never have been inked. Length is 5 1/4″ capped and 5 7/8″ posted. Sold.
- Pilot Elite Pocket Pen Script Nib with Silver Luster Cap. The nib is a double-vented, fine firm 18k script nib. The extra vent increases ink flow which really benefits this dry-writing pen. The cap can appear either silver or champagne colored depending on the light. Length is 4 1/2″ capped and 5 5/8″ posted. Sold.
Some new, some old, here are a few of my favorite things…
- Rohrer & Klingner Ink – Two colors have been in my cabinet for years so this was not a brand new find. However, when Pear Tree Pens began to offer it this year, I started to expand my collection and am happy to report R&K has earned several places in my regular rotation. Solferino, Verdigris, Alt-Goldgrün, and Magenta are my current favorites but Morinda and Blau Permanent are not far behind. The palette is a well-round offering with something for every need. At $12.50 for 50ml the cost is in my acceptable range especially considering the quality.
- Iroshizuku remains the ink that tops my guilty pleasures list. For color and performance this one is hard to beat. Ku-jaku joined my collection this year and instantly won a place on my favorites list displacing several turquoise and aqua inks.
- J. Herbin Ink continues to be my mainstay. There isn’t a dud in the bunch plus they are exceptionally easy to clean from a pen. Lie de Thé is my favorite and most-used brown with Poussière de Lune in my rotation nearly as often.
- A sample of the Rhodia dotPad (courtesy of Karen at Exaclair) quickly earned a place in my paper arsenal along with anything from G. Lalo now that I’ve tried various weave samples from Jean Elie at Pen and Co.
- For calligraphy or flex nib practice, Clairefontaine French-ruled paper rules here. Thick, juicy ink lines dry slowly but it is definitely worth the wait.
- This was a lean year for me when it comes to new pens but a Noodler’s Fountain Pen was a nice addition to my collection. I am fond of ebonite so that added to its appeal.
- Courtesy of the generous Peggy Love (who also insured I have a lifetime supply of Apica Journals), I got my hands on a trio of Levenger True Writer Rollerballs with Fiber Tip refills. They won’t replace my fountain pens but they certainly are convenient and very easy on my hand. These pens are useful for writing situations that include frequent stops and starts since they do not have to be capped as quickly as a fountain pen. I have enjoyed filling pages with doodles and even managed a bit of line variation by playing with the angle at which the nib contacts the paper. A girl’s gotta have fun, you know?
- An old favorite has taken up residence in the number one position in my rotation and it isn’t a fountain pen. Shocked? Well, sometimes you’ve just got to go with what’s convenient and a mechanical pencil is hard to beat. No uncapping, no flow issues, no muss, no fuss. While I only use it for notes to myself, that is what I write most often so why not use the best tool for the job? Besides anything that works on a Post-It gets high marks from me. After trying several mechanical pencils, I’ve concluded that my old Autopoint Jumbo All-American Pencil, with a 0.9mm HB lead, is just right. Because the wide lead does not dig into paper, it erases easily. Unlike my other MPs, the lead has never broken. Not once! While that is in part attributable to the chunky lead, it is also a result of the design of the pencil. Years ago I bought the ivory and the red. The former blends in while the latter stands out. Both are winners in my book.
So that’s my list of new or rediscovered items for 2010. Unlike in years past my regular rotation remained the same led by a Sailor Sapporo, a 1911 and a couple of Pilot Pocket Pens. The Pilot 742FA and Montblanc 220 OB are off for repair so we shall see how they work out on their return in January. There is one Lamy Safari with a custom cursive italic nib that is always inked with Montblanc Racing Green. It remains my #1 writer though I wish the nib had a snazzier body. Two Namiki Falcons with soft fine nibs are always close at hand and a Levenger True Writer is usually inked as well. That makes my core rotation total seven pens, give or take a True Writer or two.
Inks come and go but I am consistently pleased with Waterman Blue Black in my vintage pens especially those with flexible nibs. At the price point and with its easy availability, WBBk is an excellent match for pens that go through a volume of ink. It is also a good one to include with a gift pen. It won’t cause damage and it writes well from any nib. If the recipient loves it, a new bottle can readily be found.
Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Quo Vadis Habana, and Apica continue to be my favorite brands of paper. Triomphe and G. Lalo are excellent stationery though often I use a lined Rhodia pad for casual letters. For variety I have a few pads of Japanese paper that are lovely with even the roughest nibs. Lastly my stock of the long discontinued Exacompta Black Block is waning so I don’t use it as often as I would like though it has a softness that suits me perfectly. If you run across this one, do let me know. I would love to add a few tablets to my reserves.
So that’s my list of favorite things. Rumor has it that Santa just might have on his sleigh one of the new Noodler’s flex nib pens with a bottle of Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses. Yeah, I know. That’s a mouthful but can you picture that pair? The demonstrator (clear) model with plum ink should be lovely. Hopefully, it gets delivered to the right home. I don’t think any of my neighbors would appreciate this dynamic duo but I could be mistaken…maybe…
Iron gall ink is old. Really old. Traces of it have even been found on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It has been around that long but does it belong in your fountain pen?
Iron gall became the ink of choice during the Middle Ages and was common well into the 20th century. Made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources, the blue-black is the quintessential vintage color.
Originally used with tools like reeds, quills, and later dip pens, these inks fell out of favor with good reason as fountain pens and modern formulations emerged. Not only do iron gall inks have a reputation for damaging pens but writing surfaces as well. In other words, those old formulas did not play well with paper.
Recent inks are less risky because they contain only small amounts of the offending components. Diamine, Montblanc, Lamy, and Rohrer & Klingner offer blue-black colors with R&K adding a purple version as well.
That iffy reputation made me reluctant to risk pen damage. However, when Pear Tree Pens offered an appealing discount on ink, I couldn’t refuse.
For the past week I’ve tested the two made by R&K. The colors are excellent for conservative uses and the properties are in line with some of my favorite brands. Flow, drying-time, coverage, show-through and bleed-through all measured well for me. There is some question about how light-fast these inks might be but I haven’t used them long enough to have an opinion. If you like shading, both Salix and Scabiosa are lovely.
Some people use iron galls with good success though others report these inks can do serious damage to pens if maintenance isn’t regular. Then there are those pen users who report no issues despite infrequent cleaning but I suspect they use their pens often enough to prevent ink drying out in the feed or nib. Or perhaps they are exceedingly lucky.
Despite those good reports, I find it hard to make a full-fledged recommendation for what is likely a high maintenance ink. It is worth noting that the companies that offer them are top-notch so that is an endorsement of sorts. Thus if you practice careful pen hygiene, you might enjoy Salix or Scabiosa in your regular rotation.
Using these Rohrer & Klingner iron gall inks has been a bit like tapping into history. In fact one of them could be just the mate for that vintage-looking leather covered journal I’ve been considering. Hmmm…
For the last two weeks, my pens and inks have taken on summer hues. Inks more than pens but black is a neutral, right?
While other inks and pens will surely get added over the next few weeks, my current rotation includes
- Mabie Todd ‘Jackdaw’ Stub with J. Herbin Lie de The
- Sailor Sapporo with Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku
- Namiki Falcon SF with Diamine Violet
- Lamy Vista 1.1 italic with J. Herbin Rouille D’Ancre
- Lamy Safari Custom Cursive Italic with Montblanc Racing Green
- Montblanc 220 with J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis
- Pilot “Isaac Newton” with Rohrer & Klingner Solferino
- Pilot Blue Flower Pocket Pen with J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche
- Yellow Levenger True Writer with Rohrer & Klingner Alt-Goldgrun
- Retro 51 Scriptmaster II in Clementine with Iroshizuku Yu-Yake
There are five fine nibs, four stub/italics and lastly one lone, flex nib. Not until I completed the list did I realize how well it represents my usual choice in nibs. Unintentionally, I picked just the right mix of pens.
The inks were a bit more considered but still without a true plan. Summer weather does call for lighter, cheerful shades like orange and turquoise. Larmes de Cassis fits the season as well. So the inks skew a bit softer than my usual rotation.
Just to keep things from getting into a rut, I’ve also have at the ready two Levenger True Writers with fiber tip refills, one black and one blue. Veering even further from the fountain pen fold, a couple of Pigma Microns showed up in orange and evergreen. Those two will make colorful notes on anything including an old Moleskine Cahier with paper that just doesn’t play fair with fountain pen ink.
Well, that’s my seasonal kit. Varied and colorful it invites playful use which is just the thing for the lazy days of summer.
How about you? Do you have a group of pens and inks that suit this time of year?