Tag: fountain pen review

Sailor Morita Progear Mini

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

The first Sailor pen that I bought was a clear candy, back in 2014 (if I recall correctly). I got another Sailor, a Sapporo Progear Slim last year, and I’m really happy about how the pens write perfectly out of the box. The nib wasn’t soft, but it wrote really smoothly. So I thought I’d get a Morita as well, because I love the color and I enjoy the Sailor pens that I bought so far.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

I was going to get a progear slim again, but I thought I’d try a progear mini this time, and I’m glad I did. This pen is super cute. It’s a little pocket pen that is just a teeny bit longer than a Kaweco Sport.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

When uncapped and posted, they are almost the same size as well, although the end of Sailor’s barrel has threads on it where you can securely screw the cap on. I’m glad they did it this way because it’s not comfortable to hold unposted, and having a place to thread the cap on means that I don’t need to worry about the cap scratching the barrel when I post it. It’s also pretty secure, your hand won’t push the cap off while you write.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

It is about 1.5 cm shorter than a progear slim, and the girth is the same. When capped, the girth is like that of a medium-sized pen, so it’s easy to hold while writing. The length of the section is a bit short (like the progear slim), but it’s the right proportion to the body. Since I hold my pens near the edge of the section anyway, the threads don’t really bother me a lot.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

I really like the color of this pen. It looks like Tiffany blue for me, but after reading about the pen online, it’s called robin’s egg blue. It was made especially for Mr. Morita, of the Morita Pen Shop in Osaka, Japan. The color is said to be based on the ceiling of a cathedral where Mozart performed. I like the combination of robin’s egg blue and rhodium trims.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

Because of the length of the pen, the proprietary Sailor converter doesn’t fit. It uses cartridges instead. I don’t mind it at all, though this might be a deal breaker for people who don’t have the time to refill empty cartridges using a syringe. Here’s a video of the writing sample:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg8pKPwzN64?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Like I mentioned earlier, the pen just wrote perfectly out of the box. My Sapporo has a medium nib, though being a Japanese medium, it wrote more like a European fine. I chose a B nib this time because I like thicker lines. The Sailor Morita’s B nib writes like a European medium, which is perfect for me. I love it, it glides on paper and has the slightest feedback. It’s really a pleasure to use.

Here are a few more closeups of the different parts of the pen:  Continue reading “Sailor Morita Progear Mini”

Review: J. Herbin Tempest

The nice people at Everything Calligraphy sent over this pen for me to try out and review. It’s called the J. Herbin Tempête or Tempest. Nice name, don’t you think? You can at least say that you’re writing up a storm with Tempest in your hand. It came in a nice velvety-black box, some literature on how to use it, and a little dropper.

J. Herbin Tempest

I would suggest skipping the dropper completely and just using a syringe because the dropper only holds a bit of ink at a time. It looks kinda pretty, though. My first impression of the whole thing was that I liked the shape of the pen. It reminded me of desk pens because of the pointy end. It’s certainly a looker.

J. Herbin Tempest

It’s not a small pen, by any means. It’s a comfortably-sized pen. Uncapped and unposted, it’s about 5.25 inches more or less. Capped, it’s about six inches. It’s not super long, I can post it comfortably enough.

J. Herbin Tempest

I think it’s a pretty handsome pen, and it’s eyecatching because of the shape and because of that clear barrel with the frosted-looking interiors. It was clearly made to be an eyedropper, but I was initially concerned about inking it up and staining it. I’m a little OC about my clear-barreled pens and one of my biggest regrets is turning my Frankling Christoph into an eyedropper (and filling it with Emerald of Chivor). After that fiasco, I decided to only turn opaque-barreled pens to eyedroppers and spare myself the heartache of seeing all that pristine acrylic horribly stained by ink. Other people certainly don’t mind it, I guess it’s a matter of personal preference.

J. Herbin Tempest

Well, I had to ink up the pen so that I could test it. So I half-filled it up with Diamine Wagner. The end of the section threads has this little o-ring in it that I suppose helps with making sure the ink doesn’t leak out. Just be careful when cleaning out the pen that the o-ring doesn’t slip out. Surprisingly, the interior of the pen had this texture that made it resistant to staining.

J. Herbin Tempest

The ink just slides off the surface, making it really easy to wash off. When I cleaned the pen afterwards, I couldn’t see traces of the ink that I used. I guess it may still stain with frequent use and depending on the ink brand and color, but it’s nice to see that it is stain resistant. In any case, I would think that if you buy a pen designed to be an eyedropper, you shouldn’t mind some stains on the barrel.

J. Herbin Tempest

Overall, I did like the look and feel of the pen. It’s a bit too light for my taste, but some people will actually like that. It’s also shiny in all the right places. 🙂 The section is comfortable, but there’s a small gap where the o-ring is. I guess that can’t be helped. I especially liked the design on the nib.

J. Herbin Tempest

I think that’s just pretty. Here are a few more close up shots of other parts of the pen.

J. Herbin Tempest      J. Herbin Tempest

J. Herbin Tempest      J. Herbin Tempest

The ink that I used is a dry ink, but it looked really nice when I tried to write with the pen. I had primed it properly prior to use so it didn’t have a hard time starting. The pen had a pretty nice flow going, despite the fact that I used a dry ink.

J. Herbin Tempest

Here is a video of my writing sample.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1hSn5zEWyA]
I must say that I enjoyed writing with it. Because it’s really light, I wrote several pages without tiring out my hand. It’s a comfortable pen. The nib was smooth enough but could use a bit more tuning. Not something terribly off-putting, though.

Check out Everything Calligraphy for the Tempest.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Knox Galileo

Knox Galileo

To cap off my series of reviews on Knox pens, I tried out the Galileo from Everything Calligraphy. To be honest, it looked a lot like the Avicenna that I had to see them side by side to see the difference. There were a few. The Galileo is smaller, has a more streamlined design. The trims are thinner and flush against the barrel. The body is also metal, like the Avicenna and the Aristotle, although it’s lighter and smaller than either pens.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the two pens (Galileo on top, Avicenna on the bottom). The form factor is very similar. The clip on the Galileo is pretty nice, it has this shape that makes it easier to clip it through your pocket or pen case. Like the Avicenna and Aristotle, the clip on the Galileo is functional and feels sturdy.

Knox Galileo

After playing with two pen models that have very conservative colors, I’m kinda happy for the pop of colors on the Galileo pens sent to me.

Knox Galileo

That’s pretty refreshing. 🙂 Like the other two models, this pen has a very comfortably-sized section. Why can’t all pens have sections this comfortable and practical? Also…two-toned nibs! ^_^ Yaaas. It makes a difference for me, aesthetically speaking. Here’s another look at that nib.

Knox Galileo

I noticed that the medium nib isn’t two-toned, though. I guess it’s random? I dunno. Anyway, in terms of performance, it’s also basically identical with the Avicenna (click here to watch the writing sample). It’s a basic, iridium-point steel nib. I like that it’s smooth and writes wet out of the box, although it has a small sweet spot and slightly rotating your grip can cause the pen to skip a little.

Overall, at P799, it’s a pretty decent writer. Those who want to get their feet wet with writing with a fountain pen would enjoy this. Affordable, no-frills, and works right out of the box.

The Knox Galileo is available at Everything Calligraphy.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Knox Aristotle

Knox Aristotle

Here’s another pen from Everything Calligraphy, the Knox Aristotle. It’s at the same price point of the Knox Avicenna, another budget-friendly pen. I kinda like the form factor of this pen. The torpedo shape is pretty nice. I’m not sure if there are other colors but the ones sent to me are pretty conservative.

Knox Aristotle

I believe the nib is practically the same across all the three Knox pens. The color, etching, and writing experience are pretty much the same. I hope someday they come up with two-toned nibs so that it fits the aesthetics of the pen better. I like that the trims of the pen are simple and, like the Avicenna, it’s a very conservative-looking pen. It can sit on a desk in an office or in a student’s pen case; it looks nice.

Knox Aristotle

I really love that these Knox pens have comfortably-sized sections. Small sections can be quite bothersome for long writing because you’re practically feeling the threads while you write. This one’s pretty comfortable to hold. The metal body gives it some heft but it’s not uncomfortable or tiring. The cap can be posted, but it’s top-heavy when you do so. Also, I’m uncomfortable with posting it because it might scratch the finish of the barrel.

The clip is squarish and functional. You can actually use it to clip the pen, it’s not too stiff and it feels securely attached to the cap.

Like the Avicenna, I’m glad that this one also wrote well right out of the box. Don’t you love it when affordable pens write without hard-starting, skipping, or scratchiness? I know I do. ^_^ I noticed these steel nibbed pens can be quite unforgiving to my hand rotations, though. Slight rotations can make it skip.

All in all, it’s good value for money. These German iridium point nibs have always performed well for me, and I’m pretty happy with my current pens that use them.

Knox Aristotle is available at Everything Calligraphy.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Knox Avicenna

The wonderful people at Everything Calligraphy sent me a batch of new pens to try out and review. It’s pretty interesting, these new pens that they sent. I have to admit that I’ve never really heard of them before. The brand Knox is completely unfamiliar to me. So I was curious about what they looked like and how they wrote.

This pen I’m going to review today is the Knox Avicenna. My first impression when I opened the small and thin box that it came in was that it kinda felt like one of those Nemosine pens. In fact, the other models of Knox pens look a bit like the other models of Nemosine pens too. This one feels lighter than the Fission, though.

Review: Knox Avicenna

The body of the pen is made of metal, but it’s not too heavy. Perhaps it’s because it’s smaller in size than the Nemosine Fission. It’s a very simple-looking pen with a comfortable plastic section.

Review: Knox Avicenna

I find it very presentable. The pen’s price point puts it as an entry level pen, and as entry level pens go, I like that this pen’s design is not tacky at all. It’s not screaming “Look at me! Look at me!”

Review: Knox Avicenna

The chrome trims are simple and they don’t stand out. The colors are conservative and not too crazy-looking. The nib is steel but gold-colored, and that is a bit of an irritation for me, because it doesn’t match the trim. A two-toned nib would’ve been acceptable, or just a plain chrome-colored nib.

Review: Knox Avicenna

The cap takes a firm tug to pull off. It can be posted but it makes the pen top-heavy when posted. The clip is actually pretty functional. The pen uses a converter (included in the box). Here are a few close up shots of the pen’s details. I like the simple etchings and filigrees on the nib.

Review: Knox Avicenna         Review: Knox Avicenna

Review: Knox Avicenna         Review: Knox Avicenna

I was pleasantly surprised that the nib worked right out of the box. Unlike many steel-nibbed budget pens, this actually has a bit of springiness to it. It reminded me of how my old Ohto Poche used to write. This very slight springiness makes it pleasant to write with. As far as steel nibs go, this one’s pretty good. It’s not hard as a nail, which is a relief. Check out the video of the writing sample below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdvpRt9_zHE]
Overall, I liked how the pen wrote. It was smooth, sufficiently wet, and a bit springy. It gives you the feeling that you’re writing with something soft, making your pen glide on paper. It’s super friendly on the budget, and is a good pen for daily writing. If you’re on a tight budget and you want something that writes well and looks simple, this pen offers good value for money.

The Knox Avicenna is available at Everything Calligraphy for P799.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Sailor Sapporo Progear Slim

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

You really gotta love these Japanese pens and their awesome nibs. I got this pen at a preorder with PensGalorePH which is also where I got my Pilot Custom Heritage 92. Their preorder prices are really good.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I was a little hesitant to order it at first because of the color. I don’t have any white pens, and I would’ve preferred a black Sailor ProGear Slim Sapporo but they only have the white one.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

This was delivered a day after the Parker Premier, and boy, it’s like using pens that are opposites of each other–black and white, metal and acrylic, European nib and Japanese nib. My first impression was wow, this pen is small.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

The first Sailor pen that I used was a clear candy, and I think that even for a steel nib, it was pretty good. The nib was really good for drawing and writing. It’s my first time to buy a Sailor pen with a 14k nib, but I have tried a ProGear Slim before.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I like the simplicity of the design of this pen. The edges are flat, the trims are simple. Rhodium trims fit the white acrylic pretty well, the pen looks clean and beautiful in a classic kind of way. The section is pretty short, I guess it’s proportioned to the length of the barrel, but I imagine that people with large hands will find the length of the section a bit too short for comfortable writing. If you don’t like to hold the pen too close to the nib, you’ll most likely end up gripping the threads of the barrel, not very comfortable.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

It’s a converter-filler, and the converter/cartridges are proprietary. I am not a big fan of proprietary converters/cartridges because I find it a hassle to replace them. It’s easier to replace if the pen uses standard C/C’s. The little details of the pen are quite pretty. I like the little anchor logo on the finial.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White           Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I like the ring around the cap band because it’s probably the only thing that kind of stands out when the pen is capped. I like the font they used to engrave SAILOR Japan Founded 1911. Kinda reminds me of fonts used in printing money. The engraving is crisp and looks really good. The clip’s design is also simple and nondescript, but I don’t like that it’s not so springy. It’s hard to slip anything under it. I certainly won’t be able to clip it on my pen cases.

When you uncap the pen, you’ll be greeted with this pretty little thing. Well, without the ink coating it, of course.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

Isn’t that such a gorgeous nib? It has nice, deep, clean-looking hallmarks, filigrees, and logo. Such a nice detailed nib.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White          Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I think the pen is best used posted. Since it’s so light and well-balanced, it’s not uncomfortable when capped. When it’s posted, it’s just a bit longer than a Pilot Vanishing Point. When unposted, it’s a lot shorter than a VP. People with small hands can still find it comfortable to write with unposted, but those with larger hands may find it too short to be comfortable. Personally I can use it either way.

The nib is the usual Japanese medium nib, which is more like a European fine. I loved that this pen’s nib is already an excellent writer right outside the box. No tuning was needed for it. It wrote very smoothly and consistently upon first inking. I even forgot to flush it with water before using, and it still wrote perfectly from the get go. It’s satisfying, to say the least. It’s a firm medium nib, not very springy. But it is really smooth and the flow of ink is moderate. Here’s a video of the writing sample below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpNWuEPPhK4]

Overall, this is a pretty nice pen. It’s light but comfortable in the hand, especially when used posted. It’s simple but what one can consider a classic beauty. The overall aesthetics of the pen is tastefully simple, and complements the focal point, which is the lovely nib. I love how the nib is already a great writer right out of the box. It’s a pen that you can use to write for hours, it’s simply a joy to use.

Review: Parker Premier Monochrome Black (Medium)

Review: Parker Premier Monochrome Black (Medium)

Gosh darn that’s a long name. Anyway, I’ve been using the Parker Premier Monochrome Black (which I shall call Premier from this point on) since I got it last Tuesday. Since then I managed to use up a converter and a half of ink (yes, I wrote that much in a short period of time). This is, without a doubt, up there in my favorite pens list. I know I love all my pens a lot, but I do have a short list of favorites. Those pens that hardly make it out of rotation. I can tell this one will hold a top spot for a while. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

I got this pen last Tuesday and I can hardly put it down. It’s just a pleasure to write with and to look at. Anybody who knows me well enough will say that I’m not a big fan of modern pens. Least of all modern Parkers. I think they’re devoid of imagination. A shadow of the glory days of a giant brand. When I first came across the Premier online (through Fountain Pen Network Philippines), I was intrigued. It looked nothing like the modern Parker pens that I’m used to seeing at National Bookstore. This one was sleek and eye-catching, in the same way that of all the Lamy pens in all the happy colors, I’m quite drawn to the Lamy 2000 and its decidedly modern design.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

The pen is metal coated with PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) which makes the surface very resistant to corrosion and abrasion. The barrel and the cap has a brushed metal finish, the texture is very pleasant. It does have an overall effect that looks like matte, but it’s more of a soft brushed metal finish that makes it pleasant to hold. It’s not slippery or uncomfortable in the hand, as some metal pens can sometimes be. My pet peeve is metal sections in pens, it makes it nearly impossible to write comfortably because the pen keeps on slipping. The Premier’s PVD coating ensures none of that annoying slippery feel.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

The texture kinda reminds me of Lamy 2000’s makrolon finish. Kinda.

Everything about this pen speaks of a well thought-out modern design. I think this design can be a great template for Parker’s modern pens. The lines are clean and the details are pretty good. The clip looks very different from traditional Parker arrow clips.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black         Parker Premier Monochrome Black

It’s angular, boxy, but gives the pen a very good modern look to it. Of course I’m still partial to vintage Parkers and their art deco clip, but this one has its own style and identity. It certainly beats modern arrow clips with thinly etched quivers.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

The overall effect is pretty nice, and the clip itself is functional– springy but firm. It feels sturdy enough. The cap snaps on, but it doesn’t make that hard snapping sound. It snaps to the section securely but is easy to put on and take off. It has an almost magnetic feel to it, like it glides and clicks easily in place.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

Both ends of the pen are flat, which lends more to that minimalist, modern feel. There’s nothing flashy about this pen. Nothing shiny and ostentatious. Even the finial is a simple black disc.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

The design is tied up by three rings on the top of the cap, cap band, and end of the barrel. I really like that the PARKER logo around the cap band was designed differently from other Parkers, vintage or modern.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

I like the horizontal lines that run through the letters. It’s a nice little detail.  Continue reading “Review: Parker Premier Monochrome Black (Medium)”

On Custom Nibwork

My two Cross Century II pens wrote okay but the nibs were boring. Booooooring. Hard as nails and not the most pleasant pens to write with. They’re okay but they can be better. I decided that I would ask a local nibmeister, JP, to fix it up for me in my favorite kind of grind–left oblique cursive italic.

Here’s a video of the writing sample:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnhVH-RcrFI]

I once asked him to grind me a cursive italic nib on a TWSBI Micarta, and I enjoyed that as well. However, I was always rotating my nib while I write, and I wanted something that had more of a slant to it. Here are a few photos of differences between a regular nib, cursive italic, and a left oblique cursive italic. The lines written with blue ink is left oblique cursive italic, medium nib is green, and cursive italic is brown.

IMG_4215

As can be seen in the photo above, the left oblique cursive italic nib has a slanted profile, the medium nib has a rounded profile hence rounded tips on the lines, and the regular cursive italic has crisp edges.

IMG_4216

IMG_4217

The resulting line variation makes the writing more interesting-looking, for me.

IMG_4211

It has more line variation as you write.

IMG_4212

Whether you write in cursive or block letters, it makes the lines more varied and (in my opinion), a lot more interesting to look at.

IMG_4213

I initially asked for a regrind to a cursive italic because I thought that I should have at least one pen with a CI nib, just to try it out. I liked how it turned out so I had more done. If you rotate your grip a lot (like I do), you may find the crisp edges of a cursive italic nib to be a little difficult to use. That’s exactly what led me to a left oblique cursive italic. I like the slanted line a lot, and it’s more forgiving of my rotating grip. I think JP did a good job on these nibs. The beauty of getting a custom grind done is that you can have it customized to how you want to hold your pen, how crisp you want the lines to be, etcetera. I’m glad I added more CIs in my collection.

If you’re looking into getting some nibwork done, you can try contacting JP through his FB account. You may also join Fountain Pen Network Philippines.

Review: Pilot Custom Heritage 92

P4042032

I got this pen several weeks back. I was just a little too busy to post a proper review. It’s been in my pen case from the time I got it, though. It’s hard to put this pen down.

P4042045

It’s a beautiful pen. I’m not really into demonstrators but I do have a few in my collection. This one is a pretty nice addition. There’s something about demonstrators that look so clean and cool. I also like to look at the ink sloshing around the barrel. It’s a pretty pen, I must admit. The size is comfortable for my hands, but I think that people with larger hands will find it a bit on the small side. I like the size, though. I can grip it comfortably and it’s well balanced whether you post the cap or not.

P4042036

The piston is very smooth. It’s probably the smoothest piston I’ve used right out of the box. The large ink capacity makes it ideal for long writing sessions.

I like the little details of this pen. I like the ring around the cap that says Custom Heritage 92, the simple clip with a slightly beveled look, the way the nib aligns perfectly with the clip when capped, the simple design of the piston. Everything about it is simple and understated.

IMG_4121 IMG_4122 IMG_4123 IMG_4125

I like the design of the nib too. I think it’s pretty intricate, very nicely done. Although I was a little disappointed that I needed to floss it to increase the ink flow. It was a little bit dry, although I already expected that from a Japanese nib. It wrote smoothly, yes, but I wanted it to write wetter, so I flossed it a bit.

IMG_4120

After increasing the ink flow to my preferred level, writing with it was just wonderful. It’s smooth with a tiny hint of feedback. Smooth like butter. The nib is springy and offers a bit of line variation, but I really don’t write cursive so that’s not very important to me.

Here is a video of the writing sample:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59kZXWUeE5M]

I used it with different inks and it writes very well with all of them.

Overall, I love that this pen is such a smooth writer. I love the size and weight too. I wouldn’t recommend it for people with big hands, though. I got this one at a good price through a preorder from PensGalore. It’s a nice mid-level pen with a lovely 14k nib.

Nemosine Review Roundup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I just finished reviewing Nemosine Neutrino, Fission, and Singularity these past few days. Overall, my experience with Nemosine pens is pretty good. I like that they all have very simple designs, and that they have pretty color options for each model. In terms of look and feel, I think my favorite is the Neutrino. It’s slim, doesn’t post, and the weight is just right. Even if the body is metal, the size makes the weight just right for me.

The nib is pretty standard across all three, even though Neutrino has a #5 nib and the other two have #6 nibs. Here’s another look at the writing sample of different nibs:

IMG_4064

I enjoyed the broad nib most, and the 1.1mm nib next. The broad nibs that I tried wrote pretty well, as far as steel nibs go. They don’t require tuning or fiddling (at least not those that I tried), so these pens could be great for fountain pen newbies who just want something they can use without much fuss. I also noticed that the nibs are more reliable compared with similarly priced pens.

As far as entry level pens go, all these are pretty su-weet. If you’re looking to get a pen that looks good and won’t cost too much, any one of these would be a great option.

Click here to read the review on Nemosine Neutrino
Click here to read the review on Nemosine Fission
Click here to read the review on Nemosine Singularity

All these pens are available at Everything Calligraphy (obviously one of my favorite online shops).