27 Jun 2018

new ink: j herbin 1670 emerald of chivor fountain pen ink - a bit late to the party

It's about time I had some other, more interesting inks in my collection and what better addition than this offering from J. Herbin. As always with these posts, I'll let the pictures do the talking.

20 Jun 2018

introducing: the pilot vanishing point decimo champagne fountain pen in a fine nib

When I graduated from medical school, it felt like a real accomplishment: so many years of hard work getting to this point, striving towards what I had wanted for years. And to commemorate this, I wanted to get something special. One option was jewellery but anything on the wrist or hands would not be allowed at work and necklaces don't go with every outfit.

The obvious choice was therefore... a pen. I bet you didn't expect any less, right?

This pen wasn't purchased until a few months' into my job because I wanted to feel like I really earned it. And as I'm doing some paid teaching of medical students, I used those funds to go towards my chosen pen. A pen I had been yearning after for years... The Pilot Decimo in champagne pink.

It really as beautiful as I had fully expected. The thinner barrel, compared to the standard Vanishing Point, makes for a pleasant writing experience. I find it is more comfortable in the hand compared to the Vanishing Point. The retractable nature of it means a cap can never be lost and if you're writing something where there may be long pauses, retracting the nib isn't as tedious as capping and uncapping.

The champagne pink colour is sophisticated and isn't overly feminine. This pen definitely feels grown up enough to represent a major landmark in my life so far. 

The nib is just... amazing. It writes a smooth, fine line with little to no feedback. Because of the slimmer barrel and fairly lightweight nature of this pen, it would be a comfortable pen to use for longer note taking sessions. However, I tend not to use it for too long and that's maybe because when it comes to things I treasure, I use them sparingly! I guess this thought will have to change.

As always, the clip location isn't for everyone but it encourages you to hold a pen in the conventional way. If you're unsure if the clip will bother you, I'd encourage you to try one of these pens out in person. Though if you did, you'd run the risk of not being able to resist taking one home with you...

Overall, this is a pen that'll always remind me of finishing medical school and starting my life as a doctor. And whether that's a good or bad thing will remain to be seen... But I'm sure this pen will always be too beautiful for me to hate. Thus, making me look back at this period of my life with a heartwarming feeling.

13 Jun 2018

pen comparison: wing sung 3008 and the TWSBI Diamond 580AL

The Wing Sung 3008 is an almost identical copy of the TWSBI 580AL Diamond. There are a few differences but these are fairly minor. These include that the grip section is clear on the Wing Sung but is a block colour in the TWSBI, then there is the TWSBI logo at the end of the cap whereas the Wing Sung one is blank and finally the nib has more engraving on the TWSBI offering.

When it comes to performance, the Wing Sung is lighter but it doesn't feel badly made either. Both are comfortable in hand and neither seem to feel evenly weighted when posted. In terms of writing experience, the Wing Sung seems to be better for longer sessions due to its slightly lighter design.

Both nibs are smooth and the Wing Sung nib is actually pretty amazing for a pen costing so little. It is  smooth, very little feedback and consistent - more than can be said for some other nibs on the market at a higher price point.

The TWSBI appears to have a higher ink capacity though I haven't formally measured the two pens to compare. Both piston mechanisms are easy to use and don't feel flimsy. The big selling point of TWSBI originally was that they offered fountain pens with a piston mechanism at an affordable price-point but I would argue that the Wing Sung is just as good an offering at a much lower cost, especially if you're new to piston fillers.

Both pens have their merits and it'll all come down to what you want. The ink capacity is similar, the design is similar and both nibs appear to write equally well. The main differentiating factor is the price difference.

6 Jun 2018

lamy safari limited editions

It all started in 2014 with the Lamy Safari in Coral Pink and since then, I've 'collected' every colour that has appealed to me. The only one I missed out on and sorely regret missing out on is the Copper Orange Al-Star. Otherwise, I'm in possession of all the colours I have wanted since 2014. Safaris and Al-Stars are inexpensive fountain pens that write well and work well for me so this is an (relatively) inexpensive hobby.

To see their individual reviews:

(I've left off the Blue Green as that was initially a limited edition but is now a part of the regular line-up.)

As bad as this will be for my future wallet, I do look forward to seeing what each year's limited edition colours are. Sometimes, I get excited and sometimes, I shrug my shoulders and go 'meh'. This year, I was half and half :)