12 Jun 2019

the parker IM special edition in midnight astral

A Parker fountain pen was my first ever fountain pen and at school, I used various models. My mum's Parker 45 was my absolute favourite and as a result, the Parker 45 will always have a special place in my heart. Parker have slipped off the fountain pen radar somewhat in recent years. I would say that their popularity ebbs and flows with their vintage offerings more popular than their modern counterparts. However, it appears they are trying to change this with the introduction of a Special Edition IM line. 

Here, I present to you the Parker IM Special Edition in Midnight Astral with a medium nib. The rest of this post is pictorial so sit back and enjoy!


*** Disclaimer: This pen was provided by Executive Pens Direct for an honest review. It has been reviewed as impartially as possible and all views are my own. Thank you to Executive Pens Direct for working with me.***

22 May 2019

introducing the pilot lucina yellow fountain pen with a fine nib

Yellow is a colour I often overlook for fountain pens (not quite sure why!) so when I saw this Pilot Lucina, I knew it would be a perfect addition to my pen collection. The yellow was the first thing drawing me to it and knowing that I would more than likely get on with the nib instantly, I knew this pen would be a winner. And I wasn't wrong.


Design and Usability

I love the bright yellow barrel with the black and gold coloured accents. To me, it's a cheerful pen which will always raise a smile each time it is used. The only thing I don't particularly like is the word 'Lucina' across the black band on the cap - but that's such a minor thing, I can overlook it.

Made of plastic, it is lightweight in hand and ensures an even distribution of weight whether or not the cap is posted when in use. Honestly, I have found this pen a pleasure to write with during long periods.


Nib

As always, not a bad word to say about the nib. Pilot really do know how to knock it out of the park with excellent nibs. Predictably, I went for the fine nib and it writes a true fine line with no feedback, no scratchiness and excellent ink flow. With finer nibs, we often say that inks with sheen don't show off this property as much as it could; however, I have inked this pen with Diamine 'Robert' and there was sheen aplenty.


Price

I ordered this all the way from Japan for around £40 including postage and I definitely would pay that again. But I would say that for many of Pilot's fountain pen offerings. The main selling point would be the nib and I guess you could say that the Pilot Metropolitan would be just a good a pen for a fraction of the price.


Overall

I bought this pen because I wanted an affordable yellow fountain pen. This one came within budget and was from a brand I trusted. The nib was pretty much guaranteed to be perfect for me and I knew that the build quality would be decent.

However, for the price, you might be better off going for a Pilot Metropolitan. If, however, you're thinking of this or a Pilot Prera, I'd probably recommend the Pilot Lucina. The Pilot Prera is a short pen whereas the Lucina is more 'normal-sized'.

In my opinion, this pen is perfect for students, essay writers, story writers and just anyone who writes for long periods of time. The lightweight pen is perfect for those long sessions (precisely what I need for those long ramble journaling sessions or study sessions) without inducing severe hand cramp.

15 May 2019

smythson of bond street duke's organiser (A5 size equivalent)

Back when I was still a student, I had a Smythson Bond Street organiser which I absolutely loved. However, I stopped using it because it seemed a bit too small for me and the A5 seemed to be too large a size for my needs. The Smythson A5 size is called the 'Duke' whereas the personal sized one is called the 'Bond street' - bit misleading as their brand name is Smythson of Bond Street! 

Anyway! When I was hunting for an A5 Filofax to use, I found this Smythson Duke's organiser on eBay for a fairly good price. I just couldn't resist and before long, it was in my hands. It's a neutral colour with the gold accents coming from the clasp. 

Comparing it to the A5 Filofax Original I have, this Smythson is much heavier and feels like it is made of better leather (as expected with its RRP!). The clasp on this Smythson seems a bit more flimsy compared to the A5 Filofax one and one other negative is that the pen loop is made of leather and can only take a slim pen as a result. I guess some elastic would have cheapened the look somewhat but it would have been nice to be able to put a fountain pen in the pen loop!

The layout inside is exactly the same as the Bond Street sized organiser by Smythson. 

This really is a lovely organiser but due to its weight and inability to hold a fountain pen in the pen loop, I think the A5 Filofax may be my everyday carry, with the odd moment in this Smythson (for when I want that bit of luxury)! 

8 May 2019

introducing: the moonman 80, a modern ode to the parker 45

Back when I was about 14/15 years old, my mum let me use her Parker 45 fountain pen. It had a gloriously fine nib and is potentially the start of my obsession with fountain pens. Since then, I've not found a Parker 45 in the same design (red barrel, steel cap) which writes as finely as hers did. Even when I tried to insert the nib into another Parker 45, it didn't seem to write as finely as I remember?

When I heard that Moonman were releasing a tribute to the Parker 45, I wanted in to see if it could be just as good. I opted for the olive colour and the teal offering too.


Design and Usability

The design is similar to the Parker 45 so aesthetically, it looks good. The plastic barrel and steel cap make for a lightweight pen, cap posted or unposted. I can't really fault its design but it does feel more flimsy than the two other Parker 45s I have used (one being the one mentioned earlier and another being an all-steel offering). The slip cap glides on smoothly and seems to form a tight seal. 


Nib

I found both nibs a bit disappointing. Poor ink flow, scratchy and although I went for a fine nib, it wrote a disappointingly broad line. All in all, not really the ideal nib for me and the line was too broad for me to consider tuning the nib for better ink flow.


Price

Extremely cheap - they came whizzing all the way from China for less than a fiver each if I recall correctly!

Overall

Although the Moonman 80 looks like the Parker 45 in design, it does not match up in usability. I guess you really do get what you pay for sometimes! I think I'll stick to the real thing in the future... That said, it's not a bad starter pen which sports a classic design.