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Confession time. My paternal great grandfather (edit – picture at the bottom) was born in Smyrna (now Izmir) in Turkey, coming over and settling in the UK near the end of 19th century. I do not remember my grandfather (and certainly not my father) maintaining any Turkish traditions or heritage, yet when I see a product from the country of my ancestors I feel a tug to the heart strings. So when a small pen maker pops up in Istanbul my attention is grabbed. Problem was the costs of getting a pen over to the UK were comparatively high due to taxes, duty, etc, so when I heard rumours Kilk were going to be at the 2022 Spring London Pen Show my interest and attention was alerted.

Back in 2015 Oruç Gazi Kutluer moved on from the media industry to develop his dreams of designing and making his own fountain pens. By 2019, when this interview was published, Oruç was starting to become known for his work and in 2020 the company started to expand. For many of us it was not until late 2021 that we started to notice Kilk when a number of bloggers, including Figboot, suddenly published reviews.

No Oruç alas due to COVID, however one of his friends and associates, a lecturer in book preservation and binding, was able to attend in his place.

As mentioned in my introduction, Kilk attended the 2022 Spring London Pen Show. Alas Oruç came down with COVID-19 and so was unable to be there, but a number of his colleagues/friends were, bringing with them a selection of pens. One particular grabbed my attention. A version of their Novo Baroque, which was uniform in a dark amber tortoise shell type resin, accented by gold coloured trim. To me there was something rather traditional about the looks, hints back to an older age from when my father’s ancestors were still merchants in Turkey.

To many this might look like a simple cigar shape with a roll stop, however for me there are several things on the cap that give it real character. The wide Ottoman-baroque inspired band stands out and does draw the eye. When you combine that with the flower like roll-stop I am reminded somewhat of a pre-fez hat or helmet worn by a pasha or janissary.

The resin used is actually translucent with you being able to see the nib and feed through the cap, never mind the converter through the barrel. The pen is light in weight, but I do not see the walls being especially thin, which is a good thing else dropping this pen could result in cracking.

The cap comes off in just over one turn and despite being wider than the barrel will not post. As the pen is of a decent length this should not be an issue to people with larger hands. In fact the nib sits further in to the cap than you might realise, so while the Novo Baroque may look to be a similar length to a Montblanc 146, uncapped it is noticeably longer.

As previously noted, the pen comes with a roll-stop in the cap rather than a clip. This works very well.

The section curves slightly as it gently narrows to near the nib, before angling back out again. Both ends are about the same width and personally I find the shape comfortable to hold. The threads might be hard, but they are shallow and not sharp. Also they sit far enough back, as part of the barrel, that you can actually hold the pen without touching them. For me my thumb rests on the threads and I do not find them uncomfortable.

The filling mechanism is the standard international fitting and the pen comes with a Schmidt K6 threaded converter installed, though no cartridges.

The nib is described as being Kilk’s own V2 steel screw in unit. Certainly it and the plastic feed look different from anything else I have so I do not doubt this and would consider it to be of a similar size to a JoWo or Bock #6 . Visually it has simple Kilk branding including the nib size engraved in to it. Writing wise it is firm with a little feedback. Alas for me I had to fiddle with mine for it was very dry, barely allowing any ink to flow. Some simple shimming fixed this and now it is an enjoyable nib to use. I suspect I may have just been unlucky as no other reviews I have seen have reported the same issue. Certainly it would not stop me trying another Kilk pen.

Packaging wise the pen comes in a black cardboard (?) box with a magnetic clasp. Inside is fixed foam with a pinched oval recess, allowing the pen to be firmly held in place. Included is a treated polishing cloth, warranty card with pen details, and a pen care guide. There is a model specific outer sleeve.

From the Kilk website.

When I bought this pen there were four options for the finish, though on the Kilk website there is just the one, which is with a white barrel and nickel-chromium plated metalwork. At the show there were two colour and two trim options. As well as the standard white barrel variant there was the all brown pen, as I bought. There was then the bright work with the options of NiCr or gold colouring, the latter option also coming with a gold coloured nib. The white reminds me a meerschaum, and while it did bring back memories of my late father buying hand crafted pipes from the Grand Bazaar (if you see a picture of this pen alongside an ornate pipe then this was added post this article going live), the all brown version worked better for me.

One interesting note on the metal work, which I will update if I find out more, is trying to work out what it is made of. On the warranty card it just says ‘NiCr Plated Jeweller’s Bronze Accents’, however on the website it instead says silver. There are no markings, however that does not mean much as Turkey has a centuries long tradition of silver work with no purity or hallmarks. In fact back in the 1990s during the same holiday when my father was buying meerschaum pipes I got a silver neck chain with no markings from Izmir, a non-tourist city, and I know that is legit.

Price wise this pen is normally £128 + taxes (and postage/packing). At the London Pen Show there was a reduced price. For what you get I think this is good value as the pen is comparable to the likes of a Leonardo Furore or Onoto Scholar. At present DHL are only charging £11 for paying customs fees in the UK (I’m sure it used to be over £20), which along with postal charges of £12 and duty at ~3% would mean a total of ~£155 for this pen in the UK. Personally I’m going to cross my fingers Kilk will be back at the October London Pen Show.

So what are my thoughts. Well since the nib was tweaked I have really enjoyed this pen. Sure there’s a certain amount of heart string tug with this purchase, however I am now tempted to try a Celestial or Camera Laterna.

Would I recommend this pen to others. With pen show discounts, certainly if there’s one that appeals to you, though I’m a little nervous about the nib. Flow problems due to tines being too close will not show up with a dip test, however I think I was just unlucky. Direct from Kilk, maybe depending on your local taxes and the delivery charges. The Nova Baroque sits in a very crowded market place, however I do feel it is slightly different from the norm and may well appeal to you.


  • Turkish character to the pen.
  • Comfortable to hold and use.
  • Handmade.
  • Pulls on my ancestral heart strings.


  • Crowded market place.
  • Cap band may be a little too fussy for some people.


  • My nib suffered from ink flow problems, though this was easily fixed and hopefully I was just unlucky.

Writing Sample:

Size Comparison Pictures:

{edit ~3 hours after this post went live}

Great Grand Father, probably taken in Manchester, certainly over half a century after he settled in England.