Platinum Curidas – One Year On

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It is now close on a year since I joined the masses and put in my order for a Platinum Curidas in Urban Green. It should be noted I was not caught up in the initial hype but rather garnered interest over time as I started to hear feedback from friends who’d been early adopters. As with so many the feed on mine cracked around one of the nib securing wings and while Cult Pens were happy to swap it for another pen or give me a refund I decided to keep it as the crack did not affect the writing nor ownership experiences and there was no guarantees Platinum had fixed the issue with newer pens, in fact I still do not know if this design flaw is still in place.

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High Street Fountain Pens for a Fiver

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Let’s be honest. Many of us when we started down the slippery slopes of the fountain pen world discovered a plethora of cheap Chinese pen on eBay and tried a few out. These mainly worked, but over time we realised they are just cheap copies of other makes and while some people do continue to use/buy them, others like myself stop. Thing is for disposable starter pens to give to friends and colleagues light they are hard to beat, so the question I set myself was could I buy pens just as good on the UK high street for £5 or less. The only stipulations being that the nibs had to have tipping (not just a butterfly fold) and the pens had to be refillable. As I know some of you may raise the question over the Pilot VPen V4, which in theory you can refill, I have included one of those as well as a bench mark, though you will have to pull the nib and feed once empty for it to really count.

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Replacing the Sac in my Father’s Parker Duofold Senior

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Last September (2020) I took possession of my late father’s Parker ‘New Duofold’ Senior fountain pen, which I part covered at the end of this piece. A week back I went to use the pen to find the ink had evaporated, and on refreshing with a little water I then found it appeared to be leaking around the base of the sac. Or so I thought. The net result was some careful disassembly to discover the real problem, and then the repair. The work itself was simple enough so I will be covering it here as an example of why you should not necessarily be scared to do repairs such as this, and will also include the mistakes I made and the bullets I dodged.

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Narwhal Schuylkill Porpita Navy

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Narwhal appeared on the fountain pen scene around a year and a half back producing cheap and cheerful piston filler pens with in-house made nibs. Based in California, this small start up has quickly developed a fan base and after a year released a new model, the Schuylkill, with a prominent ink window which is still visible when the pen is capped. Two limited editions were included with this launch, with 365 ebonite pens appropriately called the 365, and 800 of this the Porpita Navy finish in a unique acrylic.

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April 2021 Fountain Pens For Sale Part 2

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I’m a bit stop/start when it comes to trimming the collection. I envy those who are able to just look at their pens, grab a number, advertise them and sell them (though in reality most still need to work their way through the various for sale sites/platforms). I actually composed this list a while back, but never acted until now and have split the total listing in to two as I’m posting these on the Fountain Pen UK Facebook group and do not want to abuse the freedom to occasionally advertise.

Note this is a UK only sale.

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April 2021 Fountain Pens For Sale Part 1

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I’m a bit stop/start when it comes to trimming the collection. I envy those who are able to just look at their pens, grab a number, advertise them and sell them (though in reality most still need to work their way through the various for sale sites/platforms). I actually composed this list a while back, but never acted until now and have split the total listing in to two as I’m posting these on the Fountain Pen UK Facebook group and do not want to abuse the freedom to occasionally advertise.

Note this is a UK only sale.

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Pelikan M200 Café Creme Old Review and Update

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In the words of a young John Cleese “and now for something completely different”. The idea to do this piece actually came from a discussion on the FPUK Facebook group about pens and food, resulting in me posting a picture I took to go alongside my very first pen review back in 2016, and my only pen review until I started here some two and a half years later. It was a review of not my first pen, nor my first pen on moving away from Parker, but of my first Pelikan. The back story was I had seen a pictures of the M200 Cognac and the M205 Amethyst, the special editions from 2014 and 2105 respectively. I fancied one of these though was uncertain about the real life photos people ere posting of the purple pen and looking on line the Cognac was no where to be seen, however I did spot the Café Creme and something about it resonated with me. It was the M200 special edition from 2015, a year which seemed to be a busy one for Pelikan with five different limited run M20x pens in that year (according to Pelikan Collectables). Again these were in short supply, however I found one for sale at Pelikan Pens, part of the Pure Pens/Niche Pens group for the princely sum of £99. It was the most I had spent on a pen at that time, oh how things have changed and there are plenty of you out there who make my present budget look small 😉 .

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TWSBI Eco

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In the last few months I have reviewed a couple of different TWSBI pens and have been critical of both, so the question is with the Eco will it be three for three. Certainly at its launch the Eco raised a few eye brows. The 580 was considered to be a low cost entry into the piston filler world, yet here was a pen for considerably less. Critics were quick to point out the reputation TWSBI were still trying to shed for pens cracking and also that the section and barrel were one piece, making it harder to clean. The fact that you were still supplied with a spanner and silicon oil along with dismantling/cleaning instructions seemed to be overlooked, never mine most other manufacturers would cry foul and invalidate your warranty if they found you’d taken their product apart.

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TWSBI Vac 700R Iris

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TWSBI jumped on the special and limited editions band wagon quite a while back, particularly with the ECO and the 580 AL models, with the latter being hit by a slight price increase. 2020 had seen successful versions of those, with the Prussian Blue 580 AL being particularly well received, but in all cases it was still safe playing of a known formula so more than a few people may have been surprised when rumours of a limited edition 700R crept out. After all, while being the most expensive pen in their range (though still sub £80), it never quite generated the excitement of the others being more for those who wanted a vacuum filler but without the costs of a Pilot Heritage 823 (if available in your country) or the even higher cost of a Visconti. Certainly the initial artistic Instagram leaks garnered interest, however I doubt anyone realised just how quickly this pen would sell out when launched. A second batch was made and release within just a few weeks and I’ve still not seen or heard any confirmation this had been planned in advance. It appears that comparatively minor cosmetic alterations potentially changed the ugly duckling of the TWSBI range to a glorious white swan.

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