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I know I’m irregular when it comes to these updates as my pens rotate at the pace to match the shifting of tectonic plates, still even I did not realise it’s been eight months since I last posted about the fountain pens in front of me, yes August 2020 was the last time I listed my pens in use.

Previously I had four categories, the permanent resident, those considered the present daily pens, those in use for review purposes, and those which do not really fall in any category and also possibly should be cleaned and put away. At present just two work better, permanent and others. Note those attached to my journals are considered permanent.

The Permanent Resident

Franklin Christoph Model 66 Stablis in frosted ice with a medium SIG steel nib, filled with Montblanc Lucky Orange. ā€“ As before this is my ever present desk pen.

The Other Pens

Platinum Curidas in green with a medium steel nib and filled with Lamy Turmaline. – While not used as much as before, it still has its place at my desk. I will be doing an update on it some time in the near future, probably for its one year anniversary in May.

Montblanc 146 with a medium (?) 14k gold nib, filled with Montblanc Toffee Brown. ā€“ I did say I will review this pen and I do need to, but there’s no hurry as it will be a reflection on a pen from the past and not my views on what you can buy now as much has changed in the 30+ years since this was made.

Yard-O-Led Astoria Grand with a medium 18k gold nib, filled with Akkerman Delfts Blauw. – This is an occasional use pen which tends to come out of the drawer when others mention the brand resulting in a trigger in me to bring this out for a while. I do enjoy using it though it can be a bit finicky when it comes to ink choice. Too saturated and it can suffer from flow problems. At the last South East Pen Club Zoom meet some one showed their Y-O-L (can’t remember which of two possible people it was) and within 5 minutes mine was back out an inked. One thing about this ink. Akkerman (or more accurately Diamine) have got the colour just right when you compare it to the blue on Delft style porcelain and ceramics, the only catch is the shading of this blue reminds me of the washed out colour of the ink I used when I was at school …. just glad the fill was from a sample I was sent and not a bottle I had bought.

Pilot Custom 823 in Amber with a medium 14k nib and filled with Robert Oster Citrus. This workhorse pen tends to suffer from the ‘too much candy’ syndrome or ‘lots of other toys to play with’, so pushed to the side until I need its reliability. While moved in and out of the pen drawer it is rarely uninked, though on this occasion was fully cleaned out before use as I needed something to try out a sample I had been sent and could see me using the 823 for a while. It is one of those pens which ‘just feels right’ in the hand.

Additive Double Helix with a medium steel nib, filled with Bril Laurel Rose. Additive was the first pen manufacturer to make (and to be created for the purpose of) fountain pens using 3-D printers. It should be noted the pen is made using the additive process (hence the company name) and commercial printer units (not home/hobbyist). Over the various iterations (normally in Double Helix and Ribbon options) different materials and finishing techniques have been used to get around the issues the pens have encountered. This was very much a public development with Jeremy Tong and Andrzej Tunkiel getting together through discussion on the ‘Net. Mine is from the 3rd generation which had adjustments to help flow and a change in finishing process to stop/reduce ink sticking. Think they are now on the sixth version. I brought my pen out as some one was asking about them and a more recent Hong Kong based rival on Facebook. Mine came out to show pictures, along with the staining I’m cultivating (an issue with the earlier pens, think they have now got on top of this, but can’t confirm) and so I filled it with an ink with a very bad reputation for staining, so bad that it took over 24 hours of rinsing and soaking to clean out the syringe I used to fill it.

Franklin Christoph 46 in Blue, Pink, and White Diamondcast and with a medium steel SIG nib, filled with Diamine Cornflower. Think this pen arrived just after my last pens in use update and may have been bought from one of the Franklin Christoph virtual pen shows (in lieu of Franklin Christoph being able to attend actual pen shows where they sell a large number of their pen range in one off and limited run finishes). I will probably be reviewing this pen at some point.

ScriBo Feel in the Zucca finish with a fine 18k gold nib, filled with ScriBo Grey. It is rare I buy a second pen of the same model, but having seen the summer 2020 limited release pair (every six months ScriBo release two special editions of the Feel in new acrylics) the warmth and colouration of the zucca/pumpkin finish saw my wallet flying towards the checkout button. In the flesh it’s stunning.

Narwhal Schuylkill Propita Navy with steel medium nib, filled with J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune (moon dust). I might have posted my review for this pen but it is still out and being used. Had a few interesting conversations on Facebook over my review – all friendly and mainly over the colour of my pen (which is the same as the one Stephen Brown takes apart in his video) with some people having pens much closer to the advertised finish, some like mine, and most preferring the other (joopleberry shrub oh fellow HHGTTG fans).

Attached to Journals

Pilot Capless/Vanishing Point in Tropical Turquoise (2019 limited edition) with a medium 14k gold nib and filled with Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku. – No changes with this pen, still attached to my Midori Traveller Passport and carried in a pocket, though with heading out less it tends to be used only for crossing items off my shopping lists. Restrictions are now being reduced in the UK with the vaccine roll out progressing well so perhaps I might find myself making more notes when out and about.

Lamy Scala in Dark Violet (2019 limited edition) with a fine 14k gold nib (which was swapped in at purchase for the stock steel nib) and filled with Faux Lamy Dark Lilac.