Tag: fountain pen review

Review: Nemosine Singularity

Review: Nemosine Singularity

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The Nemosine Singularity is the first Nemosine pen that I heard about online. It seems to be quite popular  because it’s very affordable and there are choices of demonstrators, solid colors, and the fancier acrylic models. Everything Calligraphy sent these over for review and I must say I can understand the appeal these pens have.

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The body is made of plastic, and it’s really light. It may make the pen feel cheap, since we often equate weight with build quality, which isn’t always the case with fountain pens. Like the Neutrino and Fission, Singularity has a very simple design. It’s quite likable, really. The trims are simple and minimalist, and there aren’t too many details in the design. If the Neutrino and Fission are all about smooth lines, Singularity has some edges to it.

It’s a pretty neat design. The way I see it, it’s much cheaper than a Lamy Safari, and with a more classic look and feel. Since it has no metal parts in the interior of the barrel, I believe one can also use it as an eyedropper.

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I like the selection of their solid colors, especially these two (ivory and walnut). These are probably my favorite solid colors of Singularity.

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It has a nice boxy look to it, I think. The clip is alright, it’s usable. I like the faceted look and the fact that it’s a little wide or chunky. As simple as the pen’s design is, the clip is that one thing that catches the eye and gives it a solid look.

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The section is smooth and comfortable. The size is proportional to the pen’s length, which makes it relatively short because it is a pretty small pen, but the section is okay. It’s sensible.

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The demo colors of this pen are awfully cute. I don’t usually like colored demonstrators but the purple and aqua demos are pretty  nice.

IMG_4052It also comes with extra ink cartridges in the box, as well as a plastic converter.

Like the Fission model, this pen uses a #6 nib. I like the etchings on the nibs of these pens. They’re pretty intricate without being too gaudy. Like the other pens that I tried, the nib on this one worked right out of the box (don’t you just love it when that happens?) and is a smooth and wet writer.

For a budget pen, I noticed that the nib is very reliable. I actually enjoyed writing with it.

Here’s a video of the writing sample for this pen:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2lBbTAMqWQ]

I find that the broad nib on this pen is just a bit wider than the medium nib on a Lamy. It’s sufficiently wet and smooth, even without tuning. I suppose it can write better with a bit of adjustments.

Overall, it’s a pretty nice budget pen. It comes in plenty of pretty colors, it has an appealing minimalist design, it’s comfortable to use and the nib is pretty good out of the box. Some people may find it too light, some will like the weight just fine. It’s really a matter of preference. A pretty nice pen, overall.

The Nemosine Singularity is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned before, I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post and I DON’T do paid reviews.

Review: Nemosine Fission

Review: Nemosine Fission

Here’s another Nemosine pen that Everything Calligraphy sent for review–a Nemosine Fission. First impression, this pen is big.

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It doesn’t look like it’s big in photos, and of course it depends on the size of your hand, but when I held it in mine, it’s pretty big for me. The pen has a metallic finish, and both ends are smooth. Like the other two Nemosine pens, this pen looks pretty simple. I like that it’s not over the top or too much of an attention drawer.

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The section of this pen is pretty nice. It’s long and comfortable to hold. It’s metallic which makes it a tad slippery, though. Just to give you an idea how long it is when posted, here’s a size comparison with a Lamy Studio:

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I think that people with larger hands will appreciate this a lot because the pen feels substantially weighty, especially when posted.

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IMG_4057The end of the barrel has a chrome band with threads. You can screw in the cap when you want to post it. Being a non-poster, I found the band a bit of an unwelcome interruption in the simple design of the barrel.

I guess if you post your pen, this is a welcome feature. It secures the cap at the end of the pen while you write. It does also mean that you’ll need to twist it off when you want to unpost the pen and cap it. I guess it’ll all boil down to personal preference. I could certainly do without it.

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It fills with a cartridge/converter and, like the other two Nemosine models, comes with a few extra cartridges of in ink in the box. The clip on this pen is different from the other two (which are plain) because it has an N on it. The clips are okay, they’re functional and sufficiently springy. Here are a few close ups of the pen’s details.

I kinda love the details on the nibs of Nemosine pens. 🙂 They’re pretty intricate. Like the Neutrino, this one writes very well out of the box. These steel-nibbed pens are stiff and smooth. I like the broad nib that I tried. They’re wet without being overly gushing. It’s just a tiny bit wider than Lamy’s Medium. Here is a video of the writing sample:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7dRvkP1aKU]

Overall, I like the simplicity of the design, and the way that it writes. It’s a tad too heavy for me, since I really like my pens lighter. Still, I think it’s a nice pen for its price point.

The Nemosine Fission is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned before, I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post and I DON’T do paid reviews.

Review: Nemosine Neutrino

Review: Nemosine Neutrino

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I’ve heard a lot about Nemosine pens but I must admit they weren’t in my radar at all. I wasn’t very curious about them. Once in a while they would pop up in the forums and in posts on FPN-P’s Facebook group, but overall I didn’t really take notice of them. Everything Calligraphy sent me a few units to test out for this review, and I finally got to see what these pens look like in person.

My attention was immediately drawn to the Neutrinos. These torpedo-shaped pens are cute and tight in the hand. The form factor kinda reminds me of Pilot Metropolitans. Too bad I don’t have a unit anymore to compare it with, but I think they’re pretty close in size with each other. The pen also has a metallic body, which gives it some weight.

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(Top) Black, (Bottom) Gunmetal

I bought the gunmetal colored pen because it’s the most striking, for me, among the other colors that I saw in person. I like that the color is a bit hard to describe. I wouldn’t really call it gunmetal grey because it’s more brownish in color than greyish.

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The red one looks pretty nice too. I like that the pen is pretty hefty even if it is small. This little torpedo sits very nicely in my hand. Here’s a size comparison with a capped Lamy Studio below.

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It is much shorter when uncapped. People with large hands might find it too small. I find it just the right size for me, though.

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The section is smooth and metallic. Since it’s a small pen, the section is also proportionate to the size, but I like that they maximized the use of space. I think they made the section as long as they could, to make it more pleasant to hold while writing. It uses cartridges/converter, and comes with extra cartridges of ink. I’m glad that despite the size and the tapering ends, it still uses a standard converter. This pen has a simple profile, which is what I really love about it.

Here are a few details and close up shots of the writing sample:

Perhaps if I can change one thing about the design of this pen, I would make the chrome ring around the threads of the section much, much thinner. The design is already beautiful in its simplicity, the wide band kind of ruined it a little for me. Not exactly a deal breaker, though. The pen’s weight makes it comfortable in the hand without being too heavy that it’s tiring to use for long writing. The pen doesn’t post, though. If you’re particular about that, it’s something you might want to note. It doesn’t bother me, though, because I never post my pens.

The nib that I picked is a 1.1mm stub. I didn’t need to tune it, it wrote well right out of the box. I would put the flow at a moderate to wet. The nib of the Neutrino is much smaller than the Singularity and Fission. It’s really super cute. Here’s a video of a writing sample (sorry about the barking in the background, my dog’s an emotional wreck):

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dG6yNFzW-s]

Here is a comparison of the different nib widths, and a writing sample of a Lamy medium nib for reference.

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Overall, I really like this pen. I think it’s really cute. I like the color, the comfortable section, the weight, and the nib writes okay (you can make it even better with a little tuning). The price is also very decent. I think that it’s great value for money.

Nemosine Neutrinos can be purchased online at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post. I DON’T do paid reviews. I am, however, a very happy customer. ^_^

Review: Jinhao 155

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Here’s another Jinhao pen review thanks to the people at Everything Calligraphy who let me try them out. It’s the Jinhao 155. These are very simple-looking pens, and it appeals to people who can’t really bring cobra pens to work. These are nice, budget-friendly, conservative-looking pens.

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I like the design of the clip. It’s boxy and straight, very industrial-looking. the section is smooth with a matte finish and made of hard plastic. It’s a nice contrast to the textured body of the chrome-finished pen. The metal parts of the pen give this some heft,  but it’s not an uncomfortable pen to use for long writing. It feels solid, but not overly heavy.

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I like the black one best, but the chrome and gold colored pens are also quite pretty in person. They remind me of vintage pens that have this barley corn finish on them. They’re different if you look closer, though. If I would change anything on it, I’d rather the barley corn-like finish be all over the barrel instead of alternating with a smooth finish. Here’s a couple of close up photos of the barrel.

The nib writes okay, virtually the same as the other steel Jinhao nibs. Here’s a writing sample below.

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It’s a pretty simple, understated pen that is great for everyday writing. The Jinhao 155 is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Baoer 8 Horses

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Of all the pens from Everything Calligraphy that I tried out last week, this model is my favorite. I bought one for my personal use because I liked it so much. This is the Baoer 8 Horses pen. I like how simple the design is, from the clip to the barrel. The cap pulls off the barrel with a soft “snap”. The pen is light and comfortable to hold, whether posted or unposted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI like both colors a lot, it’s hard to pick which one I like better. I like the design of their barrel, I like that their trims are really simple and streamlined. Even the cap design is simple, though the clip is a bit stiff (I think it’s more decorative than functional). The body looks like it will make the pen heavy, but surprisingly enough, it doesn’t. It takes a firm tug to pull out the cap of the pewter-colored pen, but I won’t say that it’s hard to pull open. Overall, I think it looks pretty nice.

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I would prefer the section to be made of smooth plastic rather than have little lines running through it, though. Other than that, I wouldn’t really change anything else with the pen’s design.

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The pair looks pretty neat together. 🙂 Here are a few close up shots of the barrel:

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What I loved most about the pen was when I tried them out and wrote with them. The nib is actually not hard as a nail. It has some spring to it, and the flow is so nice. The gold one wrote perfectly out of the packaging. The pewter one wrote well but the flow could be increased a bit more so it writes better (or it could be the ink that I used with it, which was pretty dry to begin with, and largely unused since last year). Here is a writing sample:

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The flow is pretty generous, I am so happy with it. There really is a difference when the nib has a bit of springiness to it. Personally, it makes writing more pleasurable and comfortable. Here is a video of the writing sample:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xScS_C0IWLc]

Overall, I’d say this is such a good buy. At less than P500, the pen I picked didn’t need any tuning or smoothing, I just inked it and it wrote and I’ve been writing with it ever since I got it. I love the design and the weight is so comfortable in the hand. People like me who have an inner ear issue tend to be sensitive with holding heavy things for longer than a few seconds. It prevents me from using heavy pens for a long writing period, otherwise it would trigger a bad bout of vertigo. So yeah, I love pens that are light, but not so light that I can’t feel them well in my hand while I write. I’d say this pen is really, really comfortable to use for long writing periods. It also lays down ink consistently. I can write several pages and the feed just keeps up and makes the thickness of the ink quite uniform across pages.

Of course, the nib quality may be varied and, as always, I would advise people to learn how to fiddle with your own pen’s nib so that you can increase the flow or smooth it out and make it write how you want it to write.

It’s a great buy, I highly recommend it for people who are looking for a nice-looking budget pen that writes well.

Baoer 8 Horses is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 189

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Another Jinhao pen that I got to try out last week is the Jinhao 189. I must say that these recent Jinhao pens that I tried look pretty. I like the bodies that look like brass or pewter, and all the details that are in it. This reminds me of the Great Wall of China because of the trims on the barrel.

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The pen is medium-sized and with a domed finial. The end of the barrel is smooth and squarish. It’s moderately heavy, not uncomfortable to hold at all. Though again, I would not use this posted. Come to think of it, all the Jinhao pens I tried last week were better used unposted. Not a problem for me, though, because I usually write with the cap unposted. I write with my right hand and hold the cap in my left.

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The section is a little shorter than the last Jinhao pens that I reviewed, and it’s made of textured, hard plastic. Not the most comfortable choice for a section, but it’s not bad. It does give you a better grip on the pen while you write.

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Again, pretty nice color options. I like that the gold one is a more subdued tone of gold. It’s not shiny, shimmery, splendid gold. I paired this with Noodler’s burma road brown and the color matches very well. I think both colors are pretty. Here are a few close ups of the detail of the pens.

I don’t know how to read Chinese, I don’t know what the writing in the barrel says, unfortunately. It might be the numbers 189? I dunno. As far as the design goes, it’s right smack in the middle of being understated and eye-catching. Not as detailed as the last few pens that I posted, but it has its own appeal.

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Here’s a writing sample. The ink really matches the gold barrel, I think. The nib was pretty wet, though it could use a bit of tuning to make it write smoother and more consistently on all strokes. Not bad for its price, though. Not bad at all. 🙂

Jinhao pens are available for sale at Everything Calligraphy.

Jinhao 999 Dragon Pen

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Here is another pen from Everything Calligraphy, the Jinhao 999 Dragon pen. My goodness. This is a very intricately-designed pen. I think I spent a good few minutes just looking at the dragon design. It’s really fun to look at. Here are a few close ups of the details:

I like this design because it is quite imposing. The dragon design wrapped around the pen makes it thick and heavy, but it feels pretty solid and tight. I like the design of the cap because it’s just flat, with a yin-yang symbol on the finial. The flat ends give the pen a more hefty, solid look to it.

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I also like that the section (like the snake pen) is long and smooth. It makes the pen easier to hold. Best to use it unposted, though. This is a pretty eye-catching pen. It’s hard not to notice it. The girth alone is quite imposing.

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It makes me want to learn kung fu, dragon style! It’s a fun pen to use, and i like the overall look and feel of it. Here are the three colors that Everything Calligraphy sent me. The color I like best is the one on the rightmost of the photo below. It looks like pewter too, like the snake pen.

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As for the nib, this one wrote well right out of the box. I would put the flow at medium, it’s pleasantly wet-flowing.

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A pretty nice fantasy-inspired pen, IMHO. Quite substantial in weight, but it’s a good writer and is pretty darn eye-catching to boot.

This pen is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao Snake Pen

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Last week, our friends from Everything Calligraphy sent over several new models of Jinhao and Baoer pens for me to play with, and play with them I did. My impression on the nibs are all quite the same across the pens. I think they’re all the same kind of nib (medium, steel).

Generally, Jinhao nibs are okay, but you have to be ready to do a bit of work on them to make them write the way you want them to. Sometimes you need to flush them with water to remove the manufacturing oils on them, sometimes you need to tune or smooth them out. Sometimes they work perfectly right out of the box.

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The first pen that I will review is the Snake pen. It’s kinda hard not to notice these pens right away because of the very Slytherin vibe. The two snakes wrapped around the cap and the body, and the snake head on the finial make these pen very conspicuous.

Check out the details of the snakes below:

All the embellishment gives the pen substantial weight. In fact, it would be best to write with this pen unposted. The cap will make it very top-heavy. Without the cap, it’s still quite a weighty pen, but it’s not so uncomfortable to write with.

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I like this color best. I think it looks a bit like pewter. I like the details of the pen, although it’s a tad too heavy for my hand. If Jinhao came up with a slimmer version of this pen, I’d be all over it.

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The section of this pen is comfortably long in size, and it is made of smooth, hard plastic. The cap twists off, and as you can see, there are also threads on the end of the barrel.

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This one writes pretty well. The flow is good and the nib is sufficiently smooth, although hard as a nail. It’s not springy, but it’s a consistent enough writer.

Overall, it’s a very intricately-decorated pen. If you like whimsical designs and don’t mind the weight of the pen’s pretty badass-looking snakes, this is a good buy.

Jinhao Pens are for sale at Everything Calligraphy.

Modern vs. Old Style Cross Century II

Last February, my husband bought me an old-style Cross Century II fountain pen. I can’t really consider it vintage, but I know that this was before Cross was bought by a Chinese company. The logo is different and the design is also slightly different. The body of that Cross Century II pen was a little beat up, it has a lot of microscratches, and I wasn’t too keen on the stainless steel body. All it took to change my opinion about it was to ink it up and write with it. It has one of the best steel nibs I’ve tried so far, rivaling many of my gold-nibbed pens. The steel nib was incredibly smooth and the flow was wonderful. The pen itself felt wonderful in my hand. It quickly became one of my favorites (I haven’t taken it out of rotation since I got it).

Fast forward to last weekend. I went to this warehouse sale where I bought two sets of Century IIs because I was completely infatuated with the pen that I have had in my EDC for months.

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When I inked it up and tried to write with it, the nibs were good but not as good as the old style of Cross Century II that I have. It just felt so different. I tuned the nibs a bit to lessen the feedback, that worked, but there’s really just something different about the older pen.

At first glance, they look identical aside from the color. It’s just when you give it a closer look that you realize some differences. Of course the most noticeable is the logo. The one on the left is the old logo and the one on the right is the modern one. I prefer the old logo because it’s prettier. The slim and  boxy style looks classier. Even the way it’s stamped on the clip looks better. The modern logo’s kerning looks too wide and the style isn’t that distinctive.

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The cap of the old Cross Century II has an additional etching near the top. It’s very faint, but I thought it really tied up the design quite well. The branding was well-made. The caps of the modern Century IIs don’t have this little detail.

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The finials are also different. The one on the left is the old style, the one on the right is the modern style. Again, I prefer the continuity of the design of the old style of Century II. The black disc on the finial of the modern pen looks like it serves no purpose and makes it feel like an afterthought, or something they did because they couldn’t make the top of the pen all in one piece. The old style of the cap is also a tad longer than the modern ones, though they both have the same kind of plastic inner cap that makes sure it secures the cap when closed and that it posts on the pen without scratching the finish of the barrel.

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The nib detailing is also different. The etching on the nibs look the same, but the etching on the old style of Century II seems more polished, deeper, and smoother. The modern nib (on the right) looks to be etched just to pattern it after the original design of the nib. However you can see that the etching is not deep and the finish is not as smooth.

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A closer look at the nib’s iridium ball also shows that the two are quite different. The older nib (left) is less bulbous. Look at the size of the tipping on the modern Century II (right).

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I’m not sure how the tipping of the modern nib affects the writing, but I feel that the old nib lays down a more consistent line, and it’s really a lot smoother than the new ones. Watch the writing samples below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww1XN5mP9Ms]

I’m not saying the modern Cross pens are not good. I’m saying that they’re not as good as the old style of Century IIs. The workmanship is just very different. Even the way that the trims are put together look much better than the modern pens. Well, like what they say, they don’t make ’em like they used to. 🙂

These are good pens, though. They write without skipping or hard starting. They are good steel-nibbed pens and they look great too. My favorite of the two would have to be the blue one. It’s a little pearlescent in color and I inked it with Emerald of Chivor because…sparkles!

Review: Franklin Christoph Model 02 – Intrinsic

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I’ve had a crush on this pen since last year, when I first started collecting and using fountain pens. I remember that the first Franklin Christoph pen I saw in the FPN-P Group’s FB page was the Model 40 pocket pen in smoke and ice. I promised myself I would someday get one for myself, but I am wary of purchasing online and shipping it to the Philippines. It’s a good thing Everything Calligraphy is now selling Franklin Christoph pens. I was torn between the Black and Cinnamaroon and Smoke and Ice. I spent a long time going back and forth, before I decided on buying the Smoke and Ice first and then perhaps the black and cinnamaroon for Christmas. 🙂

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The pen absolutely did not disappoint. My first impression is that it looks very distinctive. The acrylic makes it look like I’m writing with a piece of icicle, and it’s way cool.

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It’s a little bigger than I expected. At least the cap is bigger than I expected. The barrel is a bit oddly-shaped, half of it tapers a bit, so that you can post the cap, and it posts deeply. The photo below shows what the pen looks like when posted, which is shorter than it would usually be if the barrel didn’t have that weird-looking tapered half.

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Isn’t it gorgeous, though? When it catches the light at a certain angle, it really makes you look twice. I am so tempted to turn it into an eyedropper (perhaps I will in the future), but I don’t think I can endure the thought of the ink staining the frosted texture inside the barrel.

The pen is not very hefty. I like posting it because the length is comfortable, and the cap does not make the pen top-heavy when posted. It’s actually one of the very few pens I prefer to use posted.

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The cap band has “Franklin Christoph 02” tastefully etched around it. The nib too has a simple gothic F on it. I find that these little touches are very nice. Understated and not screaming for attention.

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The finial also has a gothic F on it, and the four diamonds that are also engraved on the clip. I wanted to buy a pen with the emerald-colored finial, but then again I wanted to have a pen that is completely color-neutral.

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Here’s a photo of the finial. I currently keep it in a two-pen slip case so I can pull it out easily. That’s a Faber Castell Emotion beside it. The cap of the Model 02 is definitely fatter.

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The section of this pen is sufficiently long, for me. And I like that the thread is at the end of the section. That’s pretty nice. It means the threads aren’t biting into my fingers as I write. The threads are also larger but smoother than what we normally see on pens. This means that even if you hold the pen nearer to the end of the section, the threads might still not be bothersome for you. I like it a lot because the length of the section and the absence of the threads on it makes the pen such a joy to write with. I’ve had this for a couple of weeks and I really enjoy using it for long journal entries and letters. It’s an absolute joy to write with.

The nib is a steel 1.1mm stub. It’s smooth with a bit of feedback and writes moderately wet. I initially inked it with Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku, but I changed the ink to J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor which flows much wetter. It might be a while before I ink it with anything else. The nib really brings out the beauty of the ink.

Here’s a writing sample of the pen  below:

Overall, I’m glad this pen is crossed out of my wishlist. I want to get another one, with a medium nib this time, and a different color. This pen looks and feels well-made. The workmanship is superb, it is well-balanced, and it writes so well. I’m pretty much in love with it. 🙂