Many of you may know that Platinum is my favourite pen brand. Despite their rather narrow range of pens, models like the President, #3776, and Preppy represent some of the best pens at their price point, ever.
This brings me to a rather unique pen, and one that could only come from Japan, the Maki-e, which was sent to me by Massdrop.
For those of you that don’t know of Massdrop, it’s a site that curates a bunch of superb products that are suggested by users. Each product must receive a certain number of votes from the community, and once it does Massdrop will get in touch with the brand to organise a group-buy. The best thing about a group-buy is that the higher the quantity, the lower the price, like buying in bulk. So, you get to vote for the products you want, then buy them at a reduced price. Win-win, right? International shipping is also very competitive, and can be as little as a few dollars for small items like pens.
So for those that don’t know Kaweco (pronounced Cah-Veh-Co), they’ve been making pens for a while out of Germany, and have come up with some very iconic designs. One such iconic pen is this, the Sport. The Sport is part of a series of like-modelled pens that are primarily designed to be sturdy, comfortable to use, and small enough to lose in your pocket. Not only that, but they look unlike any other pen I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a lot of pens. If you ask anyone that knows Kaweco to name one of their pens, chances are they’d mention the Sport first.
Kaweco got in touch with me and sent a few pens for me to try. The Sport comes in several flavours, with a huge amount of colours, patterns, and designs in each. They don’t just make fountain pens either, there’s also ballpoints and pencils too. The range is pretty widely available, especially from places like JetPens or the Goulet Pen Company, and come in at a rather inexpensive price point (around $30). Of course the premium models, like the AL Sport, will cost you more, but you can expect the same (or similar) writing experience across the range.
So they sound pretty good, right? Well, let’s see.
There are few pens stranger than retractable fountain pens. They’re like a contradiction; fountain pens are cumbersome and complex by design, so why bother making one retractable? Well, I think it’s mainly because they can, but also because doing so forms one of the most iconic and unusual writing instruments in recent memory, whilst also making something so hopelessly practical that it’s a wonder why Pilot are the only ones to mass market such a product.
The Vanishing Point (VP from hereon out), or “Capless” as it’s known in some countries, marries the writing pleasure of a fountain pen, with the convenience of one-handed operation. Slip it from a breast pocket, click the button, and begin writing in one swift motion, and with one hand. What is considered by some to be a gimmick in fact enhances the whole experience of an entirely extraordinary pen, one that even without the capless mechanism would be fantastic in its own right.
So, it’s a noteworthy product, and one that I can wholly recommend; something I hope to show you in this review.
About a week ago the guys at Pen Chalet contacted me to see if I would give an honest review of the Pilot Knight fountain pen. I’ve been a long time fan of Pilot pens in general, so naturally I said yes.
I know a bit about the Knight, but in particular I know that this pen houses the same nib assembly found on the cheap 78G, the mid-range Prera, and a few other sub-$100 Pilot pens. I think it would be suitable to see how the Knight stacks up, and just give you my thoughts on this pen in general.
Last time I wrote about cheap fountain pens, I was very impressed at the quality for pens that can be bought using spare change. The sub $10 and sub $5 category have really shone lately, both in the quality of the construction, and how they often write better than pens costing upwards of $100.
JustWrite recently sent me a huge batch of pens from their new sub $5 range, and after playing with them the past couple of weeks I have my final review to share with you guys. I’m pleased to say that all of these pens exceeded my expectations.
It’s time for another review of some products from JustWrite. This time, I’ll be looking at some very cheap and very interesting inks: the Toucan series. Plus, I look at the REAL Parker Frontier, and see how it fares against the cheaper copy, the Baoer 388.
The Lamy Dialogs are elusive pens. Though you may know the Lamy brand, it seems the 2000 and Safari get all of the attention, however I think the Dialog series is a real achievement by Lamy, and whilst they are expensive, they each bring something entirely unique to the table, something not found in other pen brands. Something German.
The packaging IS something to write home about. Make sure you use your new pen if you do.
I’m lucky enough to own all three of the Lamy Dialog pens, and they are absolutely unique from each other and will suit only a small percentage of pen users due to their unique designs and functions. In this post I’ll be reviewing all three, contrasting each as well, whilst comparing them to more contemporary pens available today.
Of course it’s most fitting to go in order, starting with the Lamy Dialog 1.