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Come the March London Pen Show, spring was in the air and that meant the launch of the annual Write Here limited edition fountain pen, produced for them by Scrittura Bolognese. This new release had been teased back last autumn, when the prototype was shown at the October London Pen Show for feedback. A month or two later and Write Here started a competition for a name. I can’t remember what I submitted but the big cat patterning does mean Africa was most suitable winning suggestion.

This is the sixth release and seventh colour for the pen (as the second edition was available in both green and red) and initially reminded me of the OMAS amber and saffron celluloids of old, though none of those were ever (as far as I am aware) transparent or translucent. The dark brown, black and amber splodges do suggest almost of the camouflage patterns on predators waiting to pounce on the savannah. John Hall even commissioned notebooks in the same patterning from Notorie, which he gave away for free at the pen show with each purchase of the Africa.

From the Write Here table at the London Pen Show.

Now I am not going to review the Write Here pen itself, after all I have already done so last August, not long after covering their fourth release, the purple Tropea. Unlike the last time with its 1.4mm stub, here we have a much more normal (and popular) fine 14k gold ‘Extra Flexible’ nib, which is actually one of my personal preferences. As someone who likes smooth and bouncy nibs, it is a glorious one to use. Created with the original OMAS machinery and to the same gold alloy specification, it will instantly be familiar to those new to ScriBo, but who have Ogivas, 360s and Paragons. The ebonite feed also provides all the ink flow you could ever need.

This leaves the real talking point to be the material. After all not everyone likes demonstrator pens, and here the patterning means you will not see all of the internal workings. How much will depend on the individual pen and I would suggest making your way to Shrewsbury to compare Write Here Africas if you are considering buying one, else to attempt the same at one of the UK pen shows. With this particular pen there is heavy patterning towards the section, also hiding much of the reservoir, though not all and load the pen with a contrasting ink and you will easily see how full it is. Move further back and the patterning lightens, revealing much more of the piston mechanism. As I said, each Africa will vary and much is also down to personal preferences.

The patterning has really grown on me. When I first saw the prototype last October I was a little disappointed. I am not sure what I expected in the flesh but it just did not feel right, almost as if someone had seen a honey/miele celluloid and tried to replicate it on the cheap. It should be noted I am not generally a fan of the much loved Visconti paper demonstrators such as the London Fog and Florentine Hills. However within a short time of this one arriving I had fallen for the looks and enjoy the presence of the pen on my desk. I’m fairly certain I will miss it when it is shortly passed on to the next reviewer.

The big question is would I recommend this pen to others. Well it must be remembered I am both a fan of ScriBo pens and the Write Here model, just bare that in mind. As with all Write Here’s there are just 50 examples and these will sell out. Some releases sell out quickly, some may take a few years. The key thing is you may have to grab this one while you can if it pushes your buttons. If not and you like the model, then there’s always next year. I’m certainly tempted, but then I have a couple of Write Heres including the previous release.

Look closely and you can see the ink level.

This pen was leant to me by John Hall of Write Here through the United Inkdom review group.

Writing Sample:

Family Shot:

Oh and because some of you will be wanting a Toto reference :-