The Fountain Pens Page

If you are still viewing this @ my Beagle address, please head on over to http://jmk.drag.net.au, for the new site location!

Welcome to the fountain pens page.
Apart from the rest of my site which is mostly about games, this’ll be my spot on pens that I like and what not, plus tips and recommendations. I’m not an expert on fountain pens, but I have used them for quite a while. (Maybe about 22 years or so.) So if you are really in the know, then most of this will probably be stuff that you’re already familiar with.
These days I really can’t stand crusty unreliable ball point pens, apart from a few that use gel ink. For me, scribbling about like mad is a pain, when it should work 1st go. A good quality pen will work straight up, and that’s what I like about fountain pens. Well, so long as you take care of them. Unlike regular pens that you simply throw out when they run out of ink, a good fountain pen is a lifetime friend. The other advantage is that you don’t need to press as hard to the paper, which means your fingers can write comfortably for longer. I also prefer the way the ink looks.

Shopping for a fountain pen in Australia can be very expensive, with some selling for close to 3 × the price of what you can get them for in America. Even with postage costs you can save a lot of money, especially if you can get the decent exchange rates.

Sometimes when you think of fountain pens, you think of price, but even though there are some rather expensive ones, there is a great selection of more affordable pens from the majority of the brands available.
Some of the lower end Cross pens are a great buy, and I’ve found most of mine to be consistently reliable. The ATX and Century 2 line are superb. Although very hard to find in Australia, Aurora’s Ipsilon pens are quite affordable too. Waterman’s Phileas pens are most stylish for their exceptional price, and some places have the black version for slightly cheaper.
If you’re not concerned about cost, you can find some really incredible pens that are valued up to that of a car! Just right for the connoisseur. Some of the more “up-market” pens that I find attractive are Delta’s orange looking Dolcevita series, the Aurora Mini Fuoco and Optima, Conway Stewart’s Churchill & the entire Silver Duro Collection, Pelikan’s Polar Lights Special Edition pen, Dunhill’s Sidecar, MontBlanc’s Starwalker Rubber & Meisterstück 149 and Montegrappa’s Miya Collection and Emblema ones too. Montegrappaís work with celluloid is arguably second to none.
What’s the most expensive fountain pen in the world? At the moment it would probably be the Aurora Diamond, which is platinum, covered in 1919 diamonds and worth over $1 800 000. Yowza!
If you’re looking for quality nibs, Sailor are a great choice, as are those by Platinum, which I currently recommend. Also of note are the amazing Urushi lacquered Nakaya pens which are hand made to your specs if you so wish. Here are a few of these and other impressive looking pens: (These’ll be linked to wherever I can find places that have them. They’ll be removed if I buy one myself.)
Aurora Optima — Green
Michel Perchin Russian Eagle LE — Royal Blue
Pelikan Polar Lights
Visconti Van Gogh
Omas Bologna Resin Collection
Online Highway Of Writing
Cross Townsend Medalist
Montegrappa Eternal Bird
Online Piccolo
Chilton Golden Quill
Montegrappa Espressione (Red / Blue)
 
If you’re beginning with fountain pens, something with a medium nib is a good place to start. Once again I’d definitely recommend the ATX line from Cross, like my Pure Chrome one. From personal experience, it’s real good quality & value. In Australia you can pick one up for about $150, but you can get it for about $65 from overseas. Iíd also recommend looking at Platinumís range as well. Even the cheapo Plaisir ones are pretty good, and the 3776 Century ones are excellent to use as well. Personally, Iíd steer clear of Montegrappa. Their pens are fairly well constructed, but their writing quality is very inconsistent, and the pens can be temperamental at best. If you really want one, go for a medium or broader nib and try it out first.
On some new pens, it can also be a good idea to flush them out first with plain water, especially if you run into trouble with converter ink flow problems. My Aurora Ipsilon & Celestial Blue Cross ATX pens had this problem to begin with, but after some thorough cleaning they worked great.
On pens which use conveters, it’s usually quite easy to completely disassemble the converter and give it a really good clean. At least with the Cross ones. Then it’s just a matter of remembering how all the bits go back together! This normally shouldn’t be necessary though, but if you want things spotless you can generally get right in there.

Choosing a good ink is important. For every day notes you can probably make do with Parker’s Quink from the newsagent, but if you’re after something a little more specific, there are specialised brands. Some offer brilliant colours for fancy uses, and also permanent inks that will not budge!
Private Reserve
Noodler’s Ink
J. Herbin (Or in French)
All 3 of these companies provide pH neutral ink.
Diamine

Noodler’s Ink have types so permanent, they’ll offer a prize if you can remove them from a bank cheque in their security challenge. Water, UV light, solvent, alcohol and bleach resistant. They also promote the lower feathering / bleed level on their inks too, which are great for writing on low quality paper and even cardboard apparently. Although that said, I did find their Polar Black one to be a bit runny in the paper. This and the regular black ink really does stand up to water, since I gave them a bit of a test. So it’s quite suitable for letters in the mail that you think may get wet in the rain.
As for J. Herbin, they also sell sealing wax, for those of you interested in fancying up your letters.

Some pens have various filling methods, but most pens now usually have a piston style converter filler and a compatible cartridge dealie. My Cross Compact pen only takes the cartridges, but the trick to refill it, is to use a syringe, so that you can still use bottled ink. This is far cheaper than buying expensive cartridges all the time. 6 little Cross cartridges cost more than half the price of a bottle of ink, which lasts a LOT longer than 12 refills. (A whole bottle of Noodlerís Ink lasted me 123 refills!) A 3mL syringe should be ideal in most cases to refill your cartridges. You won’t need something that’s used with like horses.
Piston fillers can be found on the upper range of Aurora pens, from Delta, and some earlier Conklin ones too. They also use their own Crescent Filler on some models. Conway Stewart have a few lever filling pens I think, and you may spot the odd plunger system as well.
Not all pen companies make their own nibs either. Those who do include Aurora, Sailor, Pilot, Nakaya, a lot of the Cross lines, Lamy, Sheaffer and Waterman. Other companies such as Conway Stewart, Conklin, Delta, Visconti and Omas have their nibs made by a nib manufacturer such as Bock.
If you intend to store your pen for over a few weeks, it’s a good idea to remove the ink, and clean it out, so that it doesn’t get all clogged up. Clogged pens can be difficult to clean, especially when the ink’s been in there for a long time.
You should only use ink that’s made for fountain pens also. Some inks are too thick, others may leave bits behind and some can be overly acidic. Remember to clean your pen out before changing to another type of ink. Certain inks shouldn’t be mixed together, while others can.

If you’re casually browsing for antique / vintage pens, it’s a good idea to look at the condition they’re still in, especially if you aim to put them to use. It can often be cheaper to buy a new pen than to restore an old one, unless of course it’s highly valuable. There are several places that can repair nibs, replace sacs and professionally clean pens that have been neglected.

If you’re exceptionally serious about your writing, you can even find pen manufacturers who will custom make a pen suited to you alone.

Currently I have 26 new fountain pens, which you can read about down below. Some of the older pens that are lying around here from various family members, include an Esterbrook Desk Pen, which still has its original box and manuals, 2 Conklin Endura pens, an Onoto pen that says No14, and was made in Australia, a Conway (Stewart I presume) 15 and a Parker “17”, I think, but it’s kinda rubbed off, with a matching pencil. I believe the pen has some kind of Aerometric filler. Only the Esterbrook one and one of the Conklin ones work properly. The Parker one leaks from a crack in the plastic and the others all have rotten sacs. Maybe I’ll get them repaired at some stage.

• Here’s a sample of my writing just for the heck of it. It’s not really fancy, just nice and neat. :-) (This will open in a new tab / window.)
ē A list of sites most likely to be selling knock off pens. (The ones to avoid of course!)



Interesting sites:
Father Pat’s Place ó seems to have gone.
Classic Fountain Pens, Inc. — Before & after pictures of repaired pens.
A look at the Aurora Mini Optima atStylophiles Online Magazine
A look @ the Conklin Nozac atStylophiles Online Magazine
Stylophiles Online — Everything Esterbrook
Fountain Pens For Me ó An interesting read by Helen. (Also gone.)
Various pen sites:
Aurora
Conklin
Montegrappa
Sheaffer
Dunhill
Michel Perchin
Waterman*
Parker*
Omas
Pelikan
Pilot
Sailor (British)
Conway Stewart
Online*
Nakaya
Onoto
Platinum
• Pen Shops:
Pens Deluxe* (Link #2) (This is the place at the QVB in Sydney and the Chifley Plaza.)
GBA Pen Company (Nothing to do with the GameBoy Advance either.)
The Pen Place
Colorado Pen Direct
Texas Pen Company
Andyís Pens
Pens In Asia - an amazing line up of pens from Singapore. Great pictures too.
Melbourne Pen Depot ó another Australian site to check out.
(* These sites require a very new version of Macromedia Flash.)


Reviews:

Seeing as there don’t appear to be all that many fountain pen review sites out there, from what I can find, I’ll be putting my comments on my own pens right here. Maybe they’ll be helpful to somebody. I now have approximate prices (— all of which are Oz Dollars —) also from here and overseas. (The older pens are at the top and the newer ones are in the order I got them.)
Pen videos are in either DivX and MP3 encoded AVI files or Sorenson 3 and IMA encoded MOV files to allow for good compatibility. Most of them are compressed in RAR files to decrease your download time. :-) And theyíre all unavailable until I can be bothered to find another free file hosting site.

Conklin (Mottled Green I think) Endura
This is one of two almost identical pens that belonged to my grandparents, and has a long story. It was these pens and a few others that got me interested in fountain pens in the first place. Unfortunately it was stored for a very long time in a desk drawer with a partial amount of ink still in it, causing the sac inside to harden and crumble up. The inside of the lid was rather gunged up with dried ink also, but I managed to get it cleaned out eventually. I had a heck of a job getting this seen to, to have it cleaned up as I wanted, but it’s now finally completed after much expense and a trip down to Victoria and back.
2 crescents feature on the pen in respect to Conklin’s crescent filler system — underneath the clip is a small indent in this shape, and on the nib also.
The celluloid is absolutely wonderful looking, and despite the age, is still nice and glossy in most areas. The best way to appreciate the effect is to hold the pen, and slightly turn it to see the light shining from the inner “layers”.
The nib is a 14 carat solid gold Cushon Point, so called, because apparently some other company was already using Cushion at the time, with the “i.”
The filling method is by the lever on the side. The new sac I had fitted is made of the usual rubber, but apparently there are vinyl sacs too.
Also of note are the mysterious K.B.initials engraved onto the barrel. Who this was I have no idea. Perhaps some relation to my Nanna.
On the side, just up from the lever, is engraved:
“THE Conklin PEN CO.
TOLEDO OHIO, U.S.A.
ENDURA D-83592
REG U.S. PATENT OFF.”

The other one I have was made in Chicago, which suggests that the one I’m reviewing was made before 1938, when Conklin was sold off to the syndicate in Chicago, so it could be about 77 or 78 years old or more now.
Now onto what it writes like! Firstly, it’s quite comfortable to hold, and the feel is just right! It’s nice and wet and produces a line somewhere in the fine to medium sort of range. The nib feels a bit more flexy than some of the ones now which are pretty stiff. It’s quite smooth and wet, although I’ve learnt that when it starts to get low, the ink can suddenly gush through, and almost drip out of the feed. Apparently this may be caused by heat from your hand increasing the air pressure in the sac, and then forcing the ink out. Or something like that.
So all in all, definitely a fave now.
Parker “51”
I actually received 2 Parker 51s, which came very kindly from a chap called John Hall. He said they’d been sitting about not being used, and offered them to me.
As many of you probably know, the Parker 51 was one of Parker’s most impressive achievements and it sold by the boat load. Although most of the versions had a simple look, it was what was underneath in performance that made these so amazing. Many companies copied the design, such as the Chinese company, Hero and even some of the Australian Dasi Pens had a similar resemblance. The hooded nib wasn’t just for streamline looks; it allowed the pen to remain uncapped longer without drying out quite as fast.
These 2 which I have, both feature the aerometric filling system, which uses Parker’s reliable Pli-Glass material, instead of rubber, which probably would’ve worn out by now. So with a bit of cleaning, they were both ready to use. I think they’re both Mark II models, but I’m not sure. One is a burgundy version with a 12 carat rolled gold cap. The other one I received is black with a regular looking metal cap.
As for writing, itís consistent, and has a fine nib size kinda look. I don’t think it’s quite as smooth as my Sailor 1911 pen, but it’s still fairly good. As for the black one, it seemed rather scratchy, and didn’t appear to fill properly.
Esterbrook Desk Pen
This is more of a dip pen than a regular fountain pen, but it’s close enough. Originally it belonged to my grandparents, and it’s not in regular use at the moment, but I gave it a quick dip in my ink bottle tonight, so I could comment on it. It’s been a very long while since it’s been used, but it was cleaned out, so it was just waiting to go. This one has a 2668 (Medium Writing) size nib, and it writes beautifully and smooth! The end seems slightly more stub like, especially compared to my other pens. The ink flow is even and comes out nice and wet. It feels a little bit “soft,” since the part you hold is slightly further back than I’m used to, but other than that, it’s very nice to use. Since it’s a desk pen, it has a stand which it sits in, that’s filled with ink. This one has a sticker on it from a gas company. On the base, it appears to be cork, and says: “Esterbrook DIP-LESS DESK SET No. 447 (No. 448 WITH CHAIN) PAT. 682604 OTHERS PENDING. MADE IN ENGLAND”
This one has no chain, so it must be 447. (And by DIP-LESS, it means you dip it less often. Itís not that you donít dip it at all.)
The pen has a screw on, clear plastic extension holding piece thingo, since it has no barrel. Seeing as the nib can be changed, it also makes it easy to clean more of it out.
Sheaffer NoNonsense (Black)
I picked this up at an antique store for $25 (ó a bit much really ó) and it needed a really good clean out. I didnít know what model or how old it was when I saw it, but when I opened it and saw the cartridge, I knew it couldnítíve been too vintage. After a quick look at Pen Heroís website, it appeared to be a NoNonsense pen. These began in 1969 and were continued up until more recent years. The nib is an italic medium and it writes like a fatter version of my Lamy Safari. Thereís some slight corrosion around the top of the clip, and the cap band is a bit worn also, but at least it writes. As Iím not into calligraphy, this kind of pen isnít really my every day cup of tea.
Cross Amazon Green Radiance
This is my 1st “new” fountain pen, which I got in October 2000 from David Jones in Sydney. Cross don’t make this model any more, but I did see some website that was selling one fairly recently. I originally had a medium nib on it, but at the time I didn’t like it, and was told I could have the nib changed within a month if I wanted. So I decided to go for a broad size. The nib is gold plated, which after so much writing has started to wear off. It uses a converter or cartridges to fill it, and all the bits unscrew. The cap, and the barrel. (The converter is a green push in type.) It’s ultra reliable, always works great and never skips. The green is a nice deep shade, and the metalwork is all 23 carat gold plated. Excellent stuff.
2 of the other colours this came in were Vesuvius Red & Oceania Blue.
Cross Pure Chrome ATX
So far this is my favourite pen of all. I got this one in May of 2007, and it’s absolutely gorgeous! The nib is stainless steel as far as I can tell, and is a medium size that I went for. As usual it uses a cartridge or converter to fill it, although my one tends to lose the vacuum before it reaches the top, so it sometimes won’t fill completely. The lid pulls off on this, and is pressure fitted by 3 little bumps on the pen body. It writes as smooth as a baby’s bottom, and the nib seems to be slightly more fine than some of the other medium ones I’ve tried. Being chrome, the outside of it easily gets covered in finger prints, and holding it can often feel slippery, which can be a problem since there’s nothing to stop your fingers sliding onto the nib. But that doesn’t bother me all that much. I adore using this pen over anything. It writes so nicely, and doesn’t skip or dry up or anything like that. I’d recommend one to anybody. Really good value too. I’ve dropped mine on the floor about 4 times, so it’s quite rugged to have survived. Look out for the really nice Celestial Blue model as well!
(• About $159 in Australia, and about $71 from America depending where you shop.)
Cross Magenta Compact
I just HAD to have one of these. The 1st time I saw one I fell in love with it straight away. The sparkley magenta colour was so unusual to all the other pens I’d seen, and the fact that it was designed to be portable was another attraction. I even liked the little twist in the clip. I went for a medium nib again, although it feels more broad than my ATX pen. The body is chrome and unscrews to which you can only use a cartridge, because of the length. (It will accept an orange screw in converter though if you want to use something to clean it.) I just use a syringe to refill it. The cap clips on, and it’s best to place it on the other end while you’re using it to make up the length. It’s lacquered and Cross even sell matching cufflinks.
I found the pen exceptionally reliable, and it always works like my other Cross pens. It usually gets put into a small pen box in my bag, that gets bumped around a bit, but underneath that sexy exterior it’s all hard working! I like to use it for when I go out. Unfortunately in Australia these cost about $219, but I got mine for $123 from a bag shop (BagExpo) in America, including the postage.
Some time ago though, I got a small leak in mine between the main section and the finger guard thing, but Cross kindly sent be a replacement front end to the pen. This seems to be a design flaw of sorts, so itís kind of turned me off using my new replacement. So, be warned!
Update: This pen seems to have been discontinued!
Aurora Yellow Ipsilon (Resin)
I liked the look of the Aurora pens, and this one is an early birthday present (for 2008), which also came from America, seeing as finding Aurora pens in Australia is like looking for a needle in a you know what. This one’s made in Italy, which instantly makes you think of good quality, and the packaging certainly showed that. It came in a lovely black box, which contained a fake wood looking case, wrapped in red paper. I decided to go for a fine nib this time, so I could write smaller. Initially it worked quite well, but soon developed problems with the converter. After completely dismantling it, and cleaning it with soapy pipe cleaners, it eventually began to work properly. I used Quink on the 1st couple of fills, and now I’m using bulletproof black Noodler’s Ink in it. It seems to have settled in a bit more now and writes very reliably. The lid clips on either end, and unlike the Cross pens seems to take a standard cartridge if you wish. I’m not sure if I’d recommend one to a 1st time fountain pen user though, because of the stuff I had to do to get it to work well. Anyway, I do like it a lot though and itís now my daily writer for my diary. Probably my 2nd best new pen.
(• About $120 from America, and as low as $90 from England.)
Inglebrook blue chrome
This was a replacement I got for an iffy Monteverde Jewelria pen that I had, of the same value. Inglebrook is an Australian company that I know very little about, based in Plumpton NSW. The pen came with a personally signed piece of paper from the general manager, Shaun Wright, although it seems to be for a ballpoint pen instead. Unlike my Cross pens’ lifetime warranty, and my Aurora’s 3 year warranty, this one only has a very short 90 day guarantee. The nib is a generic IPG, as they seem to be called, and skips worse than a little girl at school. I’ve had a lot of converter trouble like my Aurora one, although with that, it seemed to work out okay. This one still seems very oily or something. Very cheap and nasty. The cap screws on either end, but I always prefer to leave caps off while I’m writing. I have no idea what model it is, because it doesn’t say, and I can’t find any website on them either. It looks quite nice, but I wouldn’t pay as much as $85 for another one, especially with the 3rd party nib, very sus short guarantee and dodgy converter. In fact the whole pen appears to be made of generic parts that I’ve seen from other manufacturers. Recently the feed has also cracked underneath, so this pen is definitely not recommended. Save your money for a Cross pen or something else.
Conklin Orange Spice All American (Collection)
Conklin pens used to be available in Australia when they were originally manufacturing them, but the new ones are even harder to get here than Aurora pens seem to be. So if they’re a needle in a haystack, Conklin pens are a needle in the whole field. Anyway, the Conklin All American Collection is one of the few pens in its price range that actually has a solid 14 carat gold nib. Not only that, it features Conklin’s Demo Feed Writing System, which shows you what’s going on with the ink being fed into the nib. Very thoughtful! The pen is converter filled, but it came with a blue cartridge also.
The barrel of the pen is very similar to the Aurora Ipsilon if you ask me, except it’s ever so slightly transparent. Not by much though. The cap is surprisingly heavy with a very rigid clip. This and the various rings are all silver plated.
My one has a fine nib, and it writes really nicely, although more on the medium side. So far I like it a lot.
The boxes these babies come in are enormous, at 23 cm long! Even bigger than the brown ones that Cross seem to be using now. Very elegantly padded though inside. Conklin pens come with a lifetime warranty also.
(• About $112 from America.)
Conklin Dodger Blue Stylograph (Collection)
I love the look of Conklin’s fountain pen designs. To me they stand out so much more than a lot of other brands whose pens all look so similar to each other. The original Conklin Endura for me is the epitome of what a fountain pen should look like. Especially those rounded ends. The Stylograph isn’t really as rounded, apart from the top of the cap, but has a very unique looking barrel with what Conklin describe as an Art Deco block design. I just love Art Deco styling, and this pen, especially with the bright blue, seems to give it a modern twist as well. Well that’s how I see it. It’s also based on the Glider Deluxe from about 1940. At 1st I thought the barrel would be a lot more glossy looking, but it’s more of a plasticy painted look that appears easy to scratch if you’re not careful. I think it would have been nicer as actual shiny segments under a lacquered finish, that reflected light like a mirror ball. The barrel is quite thick, which is good if you have big hands, plus it’s also the longest pen I have.
Even though it’s called the Stylograph, it’s not actually a stylographic pen. (You know, those ones that have the fine wire that pokes through the tube, like a mechanical pencil.) The nib on my one however is a fine one, although it feels a lot more like an extra fine. There’s a medium size also, and they’re all Cushion Point steel. Personally I would have liked a lot more ink flow on this, because at times it looks like you’re writing with a pencil. So one of my least favourite pens really.
As I said with the All American Collection pen above, Conklin pens in Australia are hard to get, but this one seemed quite tricky to find even from overseas. All in all, not really recommended, especially now that Conklin have gone down the plug hole a 3rd time.
Update: After some very unprofessional tweaking with a metal letter opener, I was able to get the nib writing a lot smoother! And now the cap is starting to rust under the paint.
(• About $81 from America.)
Cross Classic Black Century 2
My new Christmas pressie! (For 2008.) I’ve had my eye on one of these for quite some time, ’cos I really like the gold and black together. This particular pen is worth around $230 in Australia, but from overseas it’s quite a bit cheaper, as usual. About $100 less or so. The body is rather thin, but it’s comfortable to hold, and has grooves running down the area you hold.
The body is like a matt black, with 23 carat gold plated metalwork, including the nib, which has some quite fancy engraving. I chose to go with a fine nib this time, which is a 1st for all of my Cross pens, and so far I find it quite delighful to use. Like my ATX one, this pen features a screw in converter, and comes with 2 cartridges in the box also. Stylish and elegant, this is mostly a reliable performer also, although it seems to work best on good quality paper, as it has skipped a little.
(• About $219 in Australia, and about $91 from America.)
Sailor Black 1911 (Larger size and gold trim)
This is my new ultra splurge. I was intending on buying a Sailor pen this year (2009), but I didn’t know it would be 5 days into it.
Sailor’s attention to their nibs is top notch. Apparently every one is tested before distribution, and not only that, they create some of the most unique nibs out there. I decided to go for a regular medium one, which writes more like a fine nib, as is apparently typical of Japanese nibs. This baby is in solid 21 carat gold, which is the highest gold content nib I know of in any brand of pens. It is smoother than I first imagined, and so long as it’s juiced up with the right amount of ink, it glides effortlessly across the paper. The barrel feels a little uncomfortably fat for my hands though.
The glossy black and gold of the barrel isn’t over ornate, but it’s still very elegant and classy, in a more understated way. After all it’s all about the writing quality. The look of the pen to me is very similar to the Montblanc Meisterstück Collection and the Platinum President range of pens. The barrel unscrews as does the cap, which I prefer, because I tend to be concerned about nibs getting clobbered when I yank a lid off.
As usual, this pen fills by either a cartridge or a conveter. Like Cross, Sailor also use their own type of cartridge which is for their pens only. The converter is very well made and allows for superior ink flow.
The box is pretty much identical to the Waterman boxes, even down to the moulding of the plastic for the possibilty of accessories inside, and the gold line around it. So perhaps these are just from some box factory.
At a cost of $390 (when I got it), this pen may not be for everyone, but if you have high expectations from your pens, then you can’t go wrong with a Sailor.
(• July 2013 ó Now about $540 in Australia, $359 from England and about $268 from America.)
Emblema (red)
For me, I never thought I’d actually get to own a Montegrappa pen. They were the ones that just made you go wow! But were too expensive to fall in love with. I’d just drool over them in the very few shops that actually had any. I was originally saving up for an Aurora Optima, which I still intend to get in the future, although when I found out the price that I could get one of these for, I just had to go for it! Especially since I could finally get a really impressive red coloured pen. In Australia these sell for close to $1200, so of course I figured that they’d be pretty close to that from overseas also. Wap wow! More like half price!
The body and most of the cap are made from celluloid, which is what contributes to the cost, and the nib is a medium size in solid 18 carat gold with a heart shaped breather hole. You’ll also spot that Greek key pattern () found on many Montegrappa pens too, and the top of the cap has the logo with 1912 embossed on it. (Montegrappa don’t make their own nibs — they’re made by Bock I think to order.) The feed is made from ebonite and the metal work is sterling silver, each piece with its own little embossed hallmark. The filling system is the usual tried and tested cartridge or converter method. (The converter screws in too which is nice.) The cap clip even has a little roller thingy so that it goes into your pocket smoother. Very snooty tooty. Although it’s very tight. As you may have noticed, the barrel and cap are not rounded — they’re octagonal. You can also screw the cap on the reverse end if you wish.
The ink flow is quite dry, and despite the instructions recommending filling it a couple of times first before optimal writing is achieved, it still didn’t get any better. The feed though gets heavily soaked with ink between the fins. I found this quite disappointing, especially from this company, hence why itís been back to Italy twice now.
For the price, you’re paying mostly for the materials of the pen, so it’s really a personal choice for looks. The box features a drawer beneath the pen, which contains the instruction manual, and you’ll also find 4 cartridges and a silver polishing cloth.
Overall, a magnificently classy pen, but if you’re just after something that writes nicely, you could do better, and probably wouldn’t want to spend quite this much. If you have the chance to test this pen in person, I’d recommend doing so, and then if you like it, buy THAT one! Although as I said, I reckon it’s definitely one of the best looking red pens around.
Update: After returning from a 2nd trip to Italy, it now seems to so far be writing close to properly.
(• About $1150 in Australia, $453 from England and $539 in America.)
Cross Ivory / Python Sauvage
Another gorgeous pen from trusty old Cross. These have a rhodium plated, solid 18 carat gold nib, (hence the price no doubt,) with similar engraving to the Compact one. The lid has engraving like that of a python snake’s head, and the body is ivory coloured. The section area appears to be chrome plated, which means lotsa finger prints, but unlike my ATX pen, it curves up towards the nib direction, so at least your fingers probably don’t go slipping onto the inky parts. :-P
Filling is the usual cartridge or converter deal, and this one came with a cartridge of brown ink too. You also get a complimentary pouch. Like the ATX and Century 2, this pen also has a screw-in converter, which I prefer for 2 reasons: You know how far it has to go in, and it doesn’t run as much risk of coming loose.
This is my 2009 birthday present and Cross have promoted this as a bit of a girly pen, but us fellas should get a look-in also, I reckon.
The writing is smooth and wet with the medium nib I chose, and it’s quite comfy to hold as well. So another recommendation, especially with Cross’ good consistency.
Unfortunately on the 1st of January (2010) the chromium plating had started to come off the section near the join of the bit that stops your fingers sliding further forward. :-( So it had to go back to Cross for repairs. Cross were very generous with the repair though, as I was given several replacement nib units, plus an extra converter. I dealt with Jeanne Shear who was very professional and treated with me with respect as an important customer.
(• About $359 in Australia and $190 in America.)
Cross Celestial Blue ATX
My 1st ATX pen was so good, I just had to get another one, although this is my Chrissy present for 2009. Aurora also have a Talentum pen in Celestial Blue, but the colour’s lighter than this. The body uses Cross’s liquid glaze finish, which is really quite attractive. They recently discontinued this colour, so if you want one, act now! You won’t find it listed on Cross’s website any longer. The ATX is supposed to have a French accent apparently. I wouldn’t have picked it. The form of the pen feels quite minimalistic, which seems unusual that I would be interested it, since I love ornate gothic and Art Deco styling. Perhaps this is elegant simplicity, like those gorgeous Nakaya urushi lacquered pens. Mmm mmm! The section / grip is just straight chrome like my 1st one, although the cap and barrel have the glaze dealie. I believe the Spruce and Eggplant ATX pens also used the liquid glaze finish, but they seem to be no longer available either.
The inside of the cap is different to the Pure Chrome one also — it’s just straight brass looking on this pen.
Cross sold this particular colour without the usual converter thrown into the box, so if you don’t want to use the cartridges you’ll need to buy an orange screw in type converter. I picked one up for $11.95 at Pen Ultimate at the QVB in Sydney.
I’m using Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink, although the pen needed a bit of a clean before it started working properly. I just used some mild, soapy water and filled it about 7 times with that. Now it seems to work well. My 6th Cross pen, and they’re all briliant!
(• About $102 in America. Dunno if any Aussie places stock this colour.)
Aurora Optima — Blue
This is the Italian pen maker’s flagship line of pens along with the 88 and belongs in their Prestige line up. I didn’t think I’d be getting hold of one of these so soon, but due to an excellent bargain at GBA Pen Company in England, I was able to jump in for the last pen they had in stock, which was already at half price.
Made of exquisite blue Auroloide with gold plated metalwork, the overall look is elegantly classy. Around the cap band are fine vertical engraved lines. Removed from these raised lines, the word AURORA is written with a Greek key pattern () on either side. This is all surrounded by 2 sets of black bands. There’s also a different style cap which has a black Greek key design instead of the lines.
On the barrel is written:FABBRICA ITALIANA
DI PENNE A SERBATOIO.

The nib is made from solid 14 carat gold, and the ink is taken up by a pretty smooth piston filler. This thing takes a LOT of ink compared to converter filling pens. Aurora’s also applied a hidden resevoir which allows for another page worth of writing once the ink level’s gone down. This also makes it a pain in the butt to clean out.
One thing that concerned me is all the stuff I’d read on lubricating piston filling pens. I have a few 2nd hand piston filling pens which needed cleaning and had very stiff mechanisms. One of them got a cracked ink “window” and another worked for a while and then sprung a leak. The other fear is getting ink in the back of the plunger. I got some Noodler’s Polar Black ink, which is lubricating and resistant to a bunch of other stuff also. The instructions with the pen only really mention the cleaning of it.
For a medium nib, it writes quite fine and has that typical Aurora feedback, or scratchiness. Some people don’t like this, and I must say that it is more noticeable than my Ipsilon. If possible, I would personally recommened trying one of these before you get one. I think mine needs a bit of work on it to get the ink flowing a bit better. It works much better on glossy paper.
(• $538 from America. I paid $313.75 from England with postage costs. Usually $579-ish though. $995 in Australia.)
Lamy Safari
Walking into a pen shop is dangerous for me — I end up buying things. I’d heard quite a bit of good talk about the Lamy Safari range of pens, so I thought I’d try this new white version, which was advertised at Pens De Luxe in Sydney. I was going to get one with a broad nib, but the chap there suggested I try the italic one it was fitted with. So I did, and decided to stick with that. So it’s my 1st italic nib pen, which reminds me of how a calligraphy sorta pen writes. The construction is quite modernly styled, and these pens are quite durable I believe too. I had to buy a converter to go with it, since it didn’t come with one. Lamy make their own type of cartridges, so no international size ones.
With overseas postage costs, it was pretty much cheaper to buy the pen here.
The nib is made of steel, it writes pretty smoothly and has a decent ink flow. You can see the ink through 2 holes in the sides of the barrel. The clip is pretty stong too.
Even though it’s a rather low price for a fountain pen, this is quality German manufacturing, and I’d recommend one for every day use, especially if you don’t want something overly showy.
(• About $33.10 from America, about $21.20 from England and $55 from Australia. All prices not including the converter.)
Smiggle Mini Fountain Pen (Purple)
I stumbled on this pen when I was looking for something fountain pen related. With a cheap price, it was well worth the risk, especially since I knew I could get to a Smiggle store. This nifty little pen is surprisingly good, and writes very smooth. Better than my Montegrappa pens and my Aurora Optima too. The nib is a steel, fine-ish sorta size, with no writing on it at all. The feed is similar in design to the one on my Cross Radiance I suppose. Well, almost. The ink cartridge appears to be an international size dealie. One of the small ones. The barrel is just long enough to hold. The pen’s intended more for females going by the website. But whatever. It also looks similar to the Pilot Petit 1, but a little different. This doesnít have to be a disposable pen either, as you can get right in there to the cartridge. In fact, you must undo the barrel, to insert it for the 1st use. The lady at the shop said the whole pen was cheaper than buying replacement cartridges. As for me, out comes the syringe again. For the price, you could buy half a dozen, and see which one is the best. Really, you canít go wrong here. This also an ideal pen for testing out various ink mixes, in case youíre not sure what reactions your inks are going to create together.
(• $1.95.)
Fuliwen Fountain Pen (Orange)
An absolute piece of cr*p pen that I got at Dymocks in Sydney when they were supposedly shutting down their entire stationery section. Although it was later re-opened. I got this pen for about half price and had seen these at the shop for a while. Since they were going, I thought I’d grab one, because I hadnít seen them anywhere else before. Anyhoo, it uses an international size cartridge, appears to have a steel nib and started off writing quite smooth and nicely, but got more unreliable after a day. :-( The body is somewhat see through and it’s all quite light weight.
Iím going to try and sell it for $5 if Iím lucky.
(• $35 on sale.)
Sheaffer Balance 2 (Navy Blue)
My birthday pressie for 2010 turned Christmas present. The Sheaffer Balance originally came out in 1929, and this one was released 70 years later in 1999. Although it isn’t second hand. This was new old stock, as they say.
This is my 1st Sheaffer pen as you probably noticed, and this one was made in America.
The barrel and cap are made from acrylic stuff and the nib is solid 14 carat gold with a medium point. It was going to be fine in the Cobalt Blue Glow, but the place I got it from couldnít locate what happened to it. The filling method is the usual cartridge / converter method. The original pen used Sheafferís lever filling system. I really like the shape and look of this pen, and itís quite close to the original models as well. Finding it was quite difficult, since itís no longer made, but there were a few places that still had some.
The cap screws on & off, has a fat gold looking ring around the bottom, and the well known life-time warranty white dot up above the clip.
It writes finely and the nibs feels as though it has a very slight flex to it. A great shape and comfy to hold as well. If you can find the ďglowyĒ versions, go ahead and pick one up!
(• About $143 from America, $395 from Australia [at least for the marble looking ones].)
Visconti Rembrandt (Red)
(This was my birthday pressie for 2010 .)
A beautiful pen from the cunning craftspeople at the relatively young Visconti company. Designed as a tribute to Rembrandt Van Rijn’s Chiaroscuro painting technique, this pen is vibrant and definitely classy. Originally this was going to be for Christmas 2010, but I changed my mind and decided to swap it with the Sheaffer Balance 2. It did however arrive after the Sheaffer one, so it shall retain this position on the table.
The nib is stainless steel with a crescent shaped hole, kinda reminiscent of Conklin. It looked bigger than I 1st visualised too. I chose a medium size as usual. Getting the ink flowing took a few moments — maybe it needed a bit of a clean 1st, but once it did get going: wowee! It sure was smooth!
Like a lot of Cross pens now, this one doesn’t come with a converter, so you need to buy one separately. This only just seems to fit, and rather snugly inside the barrel. The cap is held magnetically, so when you place it back on, youíll feel it pull together and click back into place. Pretty nifty! The clipís good and all. Springy, but not too springy. The resin has an inner shine in some areas, which is quite intriguing, although it doesnít have that thickness and gloss that you get with the celluloid on my Montegrappa Emblema. Although of course, that was a lot more expensive. There were 2 cartridges included. One in the box and one up the pen barrel as well. All in all, I would recommend this pen, due to the wonderful looks, the price and the nib performance.
September 2012 Update: The magnets have started to rust in this now. :-(
(• Around $137.50 [with the converter] from America, $138-ish from England & $250 from Australia.)
Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Collection (Spring Green & Gold Leaf Marble)
I was intending on getting one of these pens in 2009, but I ended up getting the Montegrappa Emblema and Aurora Optima instead, while they were more affordable.
The filling method of course is the Crescent Filler; after all, thatís what this pen is all about! It was invented by Roy Conklin back in around 1901. It was patented in 1901 anyway. He may’ve thought of it sooner. Anyway, I had seen pictures of this pen in a review before I bought it, which showed the barrel open to the sac inside. Although on mine, I canít get it apart. So it may be different. Or stiff. If it does actually come apart, then bur-r-r-rilliant, I say!
The pen is based on the original crescent filling pen that Mark Twain once used and promoted. One of the positive features that he pointed out, was that it wouldn’t roll off your desk, due to the crescent sticking out the side. Probably quite unintentional, but it worked well anyhow.
The nib appears to be the newer version under the Yafa ownership, however there was also a version which used one that was pretty much the same as the one on my Stylograph pen, and made from steel. The new one is supposed to be 14 carat gold, but there are no markings on it to say so. The cap contains Mark Twain’s signature, as well as saying Conklin on the other side. Itís surprisingly thin too, a bit like the cap on my Aurora Optima.
You can also get the pen in yellow & blue marble, Midnight Black, and Red Desert Stone Marble. Personally the green & gold one is the only colour scheme that I liked. The gold parts are actually more transparent than the green, so you can see inside the barrel.
These pens came out under the 3rd instance of Conklin in 2009, so if youíre intending to buy one, you may wish to ask what type of nib youíre getting 1st.
Iím using Noodlerís Gruene Cactus ink in mine at the moment, and it writes fairly well. The nib is smooth, and the ink flow is decent enough, although I like a more wet writing pen personally. I found that since itís a sac based pen, you may also want to consider letting out about 2 - 3 drops of ink after youíve filled it, or the heat from your hand can cause ink to drip out. So Iíd probably recommend this pen, although Iíd suggest a broad nib, because my medium one is quite fine.
ē 9th of June 2020 update: The sac in this has now gone rock hard, and you can no longer fill it.
(• About $146 from America. About $219 from England.)
Platinum Plaisir (purple)
I got this nice pen from Books Kinokuniya in Sydney. It took a bit of an effort to get it writing. The cartridge was quite hard, and I had to squeeze it with pliers to get it happening. After that though it wrote very well. The nib has a good size slit that you can see through, which is one of the good points of Platinum pens for a good ink flow. There’s a nifty, slight feedback too. The cap is quite firm to take on and off, but at least it holds on well. I think I’d recommend this one if you don’t want to pay too much for a good fountain pen. :-) My 1st Platinum pen, and I’m well impressed so far. I believe you can get these boxed, but mine was just in a stand in the store.
Update: By the way, Books Kinokuniya also sell Platinum converters, which I have in this pen now.
(• $27 here in Oz, about $18.85 from England and $20.25-ish from America)
Miya
(Turquoise Blue)
The Montegrappa Miya isn’t quite as expensive as the Emblema, but for me, I see this as a pretty pricey pen all the same. (Although I got it on sale from Fountain Pen Hospital.) You’re paying a lot for the materials of these pens more so than just the writing quality, so that’s something to consider if you’re looking at a dealie like this. The celluloid on these pens is just amazing. The inner shine and colour stands out brilliantly, and the silver is elegant without being over the top. Even though I had a bit of an iffy experience with Montegrappa in the past, Iím willing to give them another go with this beauty. I went for a fine nib this time. The medium is nice on my Emblema, but I wanted something to allow my writing to be a bit more compact on the page.
The nib definitely writes finely, although again it doesnít come out overly wet. Still, itís been more consistent than the initial one on my Emblema pen.
The cap doesnít exactly screw on very well either. It needs to be fastened on firmly and doesnít seem to be held by much before the 2 areas of the celluloid meet. Although it probably is about 1 whole turn.
If you like the looks of this pen and the materials then itís worth considering, but again there are cheaper pens which probably write a lot better. As with just about all Montegrappa pens, the nib is 18 carat gold. I like this pen with Noodlerís Navajo Turquoise ink.
(• $1060 in Australia, about $351 in America (on sale) & around $442 from England.)
Dunhill Sidecar (Red Marble)
This is another one of those pens that I had to jump on before it disappeared, despite putting a dent in my bank account. Dunhill pens arenít just your fancy bit of corporate advertising from whatís seen mainly as a cigarette company ó these are properly made pens in their lines of accessories. I’ve had my eye on this one for quite a while, but never got around to getting it. Mainly because for a while it seemed a bit out of my price range. After scouring the Internet for places that still have this particular colour, I finally found a good deal at Pens In Asia in Singapore. As Dunhill appear to have discontinued quite a lot of the colours in this model, barely any pen sites had it. Getting the prices below was difficult also, because usually Dunhill donít allow online sellers to display the prices. Itís also my 1st modern English fountain pen.
Anyway, onto the description. As you probably noticed, the barrel has an amazingly eye catching catís eye appearance, (which is also slightly transparent) and despite being called red marble, itís really more of a lush pink. Not only is the finish quite stunning, but the shape and retro styling make this one snazzy pen. The nib is solid 18 carat gold, and all metal work is palladium plated. Although the grip section is metal, the bumpy attributes ensure your fingers donít slide off. Surprisingly itís not very rough on your fingers at all.
The end of the cap has the Dunhill ďd,Ē and that, along with access to the innards, all screws together. The nib writes smoothly with a slight feedback and is only available in medium width. These are apparently made by Namiki, which has been a long relationship with Dunhill.
Filling is by the usual cartridge / converter method and Dunhill are generous with 10 ink cartridges included. All in all, if you can get your mitts on one of these, Iíd definitely recommend it. A beautiful piece of craftsmanship. (Thereís also a smaller model too & matching cufflinks.)
(ē About $320 from Singapore (with postage costs), around $293 in America and from what I remember, about $512 from Australia. Possibly about $350 from England.)
Update: For some odd reason the nib has started skipping quite badly, although Iím not sure why. :-(
Another update: I got the skipping problem sorted out. :-) It seemed to have a ďbaby bottomĒ thing going on. (This is where the inner sides of the tip are rounded out and prevent ink from flowing down as easily.) It now writes a lot better.
Pilot / Namiki Custom 74 Demonstrator (Colourless)
This is my birthday pen for 2011. But it isnít my birthday until October, so Iíve only been allowed to give this a quick test to check it was working okay. ;-) Apart from my Smiggle fountain pen, I donít have any other full size demonstrator ones. These use a cartridge or converter, although if you go for the more expensive 823 model, you can use a nifty piston / plunger looking filling system. The nibs are 14 carat gold, and Iím pretty certain that Pilot make their own, like Sailor & Platinum. I went for a broad nib this time, which I havenít done since my Cross Radiance pen.
I couldnít find anywhere selling these in Australia, and Pilotís Aussie website doesnít mention them either. Anyway, as the story goes, demonstrator pens were originally designed to show customers how the innards of a pen worked. Then their popularity grew, and companies started manufacturing them as models that you could actually buy, instead of just as a demonstration sample. If you like to see how much ink you have left and just like to show off your penís guts, then one of these is a good choice. It started out writing pretty well, apart from strokes heading up to the left, but it hasnít really improved.
The converter is interesting, because itís a spring loaded button piston filler. You put the nib in the ink, and pump the converter until itís full. These pens are also available in blue, purple & smoky grey. All in all, a bit of a disappointing pen really in terms of performance. The converter has some flow issues also. So not recommended really.
Update: Iím sending this back to Pilot in America to see what they say about it.
Update 2: I got the pen back, and they put a new nib on it, and itís not a great deal better than the last one. So Iíd have to say, try before you buy!

ē I will probably sell this pen eventually.
(ē About $149 from America & around $124 from Japan.)
Sheaffer Valor (Valour if you want it in proper English. )
(Burgundy & Palladium)
This is my Chrissy present for this year (2011). This is probably one of the most attractive pens toíve come out of Sheaffer in recent years. With a gorgeous glossy catís eye looking body, Iíve always loved its appearance since I 1st saw it in Sydney. Iím pretty certain Sheaffer may have discontinued this one now, (ó someone let me know if they havenít ó) and as such it was on sale when I ordered it. (From Pen Hero. They were also offering free worldwide postage costs!) The nib is 14 carat gold with the famous inlaid form. The clip reminds me of a loosely fitting (neck) tie, where the well known white dot resides just above it. As usual with most modern pens, this one also fills with a cartridge or converter. There are 2 different types of boxes (glossy black or rosewood) that these come in according to Sheafferís website and I scored the black one. This thing even has proper metal hinges. Very upmarket. The nib has quite a wide gap, which allows a nice, generous, wet ink flow. So long as it can keep it up. Iím not sure how wide you can go before the ink stops flowing. Anyway, it didnít seem to have any trouble with the black Quink I tried in it. The nib is lovely and smooth and writes well in all directions.
I found the barrel a little too tight on the threads of the screwy bit. The metal seemed to dig in to the acrylic stuff. My converter was a bit stiff too, but theyíre standard Sheaffer ones, so that isnít a big deal. (You could replace it easily enough.) Now Iíll just have to wait until Christmas to use it all the time! :-) These were also available in blue and brown for the catís eye look. Kinda like the Montegrappa Espressione pens.

After Christmas Update: Due to the wider than usual gap in the nib, it's ďdriedĒ up a few times. So hopefully, that wonít happen too much. I may have to contact Pen Hero about it or Sheaffer. Hopefully it wonít be another one to send back. Otherwise Iíll give up on modern fountain pens I think.
Update 1: Yes it has gone back to America. :-( The 4th pen of mine to do so now.
Update 2: Pen Hero were excellent about this return, and instead of sending it back to Sheaffer, they replaced the nib themselves and even replaced the tightly fitting barrel too! Itís now on the way back home to me. (31 Jan 2012.)
Update 3: I got the pen back, and it seems to be spot on so far.

(ē About $226.60 from America, $193.20 from England and probably about $390 from Australia.)
Espressione 2012
(Amazon Green)
(This is my bíday pressie for 2012.) A very pretty range of lower priced pens from Montegrappa. Fountain Pen Hospital has it listed as the Espressione 2012, while some other shops have it simply as the new Espressione. These are styled like the Nero Uno and Parola pens, but seemingly replace the previous Espressione line. With brilliant cats-eye like resin and rhodium plated metalwork, these pens are a beauty to view. As well as the snazzy green one, there is a very elegant blue, brown and black.
Unlike most of Montegrappaís pens, these are fitted with a stainless steel nib, like the Parola. I donít have any issues with steel nibs though, as my best writing pens have them. I went for the fine size like the Miya one. Initially, the pen seemed to write fairly well, but after a while, it seemed to drop off to not being able to write much at all. I also had a bit of trouble getting it started.
As usual, itís a cartridge / converter filling dealie, and like the previous Espressione model, the barrel end has a threaded fitting for holding the cap. Personally I always keep my caps on the desk. The converter has a little spring inside it, which I initially found peculiar, but it seems to be a dealie to attempt to bring the ink down, if youíve had it up-side-down for a while.
The ends of the screw parts are uncomfortably sharp as well, so it makes it awkward to write with and not catch your fingers.
ē Iím going to sell this pen.
(ē About $225 from America and $279 from England.)
Platinum 3776 Century
(Red & Transparent / Bourgogne)
Thisíll be my birthday pressie for 2013. I saw these at F.P.H.ís web site and thought they looked rather good. Plus Iíve been wanting a higher end Platinum pen for a while. These pens have a Slip & Seal feature which is supposed to keep the ink usable for up to 2 years in the pen. The nib is 14 carat gold and I went for the medium size, which is just a bit finer than non-Japanese pens.
According to Platinumís site, these came out on the 25th of March 2012. So theyíre sorta new. The 3776 range of pens have been named in reference to the height of Mount Fuji in metres, kinda like Mont Blanc did with their pens. It also has this embossed on the nib and barrel. Speaking of the barrel, it seems incredibly light, and maybe a bit fragile.
Anyway, so far, it writes pretty fantastically. Itís very juicy and wet, (which I like,) and the slit in the nib lives up to what Iíve heard about Platinum. (You can see through it easily.) I have a feeling this will become a regularly used pen in my collection.
(ē About $190 from America. [$176 if the exchange rates equal out again.] $164 from England.)
Platinum 3776 Century Nice (Pur) (Demonstrator) ó Limited Edition
I really wanted to get another Platinum pen, and since my last new fountain pen was from almost 2 years ago, I thought I would have a little splurge. I saw this pen at Classic Fountain Pens, the place run by John Mottishaw, the nib expert, and the price was reduced twice! Plus, as itís a limited edition pen, it seemed like a good opportunity, especially with the exchange rate improving a bit again recently. I went for a broad nib this time, because I really felt like having a nice thick, decent ink flow. On initial testing, the pen seems to be very good, like Platinumís other pens.
As you can see in the picture, this is number 732 of 2000 of these. Now the Nice bit, isnít the word ďnice,Ē meaning pleasant, even though it is, itís the place called Nice, in France, which is pronounced differently anyhow.
The nib is rhodium plated 14 carat gold, and is pretty smooth to write with as well. The cap has Platinumís Slip & Seal feature which allows your pen to write for longer, without drying out, when itís in storage.
As itís a demonstrator pen, you can quite easily see where all the ink goes inside it, more so than the less transparent ďBourgogneĒ coloured pen above. The barrel itself is frosted, and has indented lines running down it. The section however, is just nice and plain, which makes gripping the pen more comfy.
(ē About $201 from America on sale. Normally around $316. About $258 from England. About $209.40 from Japan.)