First of all I hope that you have a Happy New Year! It has been quite a while since I posted anything on here but I suppose – like many of you – I have been somewhat preoccupied with a certain word beginning with ‘C.’
2020 has been interesting to say the least! I remember COVID being very much on the scene just before the Spring London Pen Show last year and not long after that…well you know what happened.
I have bought and sold quite a few pens in 2020 almost distilling my collection into 12 that I love using and could not part with. Never an easy task but I do think I am almost there. I know that my friend Anthony https://ukfountainpens.com is also trying hard to do the same.
For my birthday I was gifted a Caran d’Ache Leman in Saffron with a fine 18k nib. It is quite simply a stunning pen and wonderful writer.
This was joined with the equally gorgeous Leman in Turquoise which I received at Christmas also with a fine 18k nib.
Earlier in the year a couple of pens arrived. One in the form of Symthson Viceroy Grand. This is essentially a Yard-O-Led pen made for a posh shop in Bond Street. It’s a very impressive pen and the 18k medium nib it came with is a joy to use. I also like the idea of occasional maintenance – keeping all that silver pristine.
The other, Onoto – a brilliant pen company – tempted me with their Sequoyah. This version of their Magna is slightly longer and the material is rather special. Needless to say the fine 18k nib is probably the best fine I have ever used – apart from the other Onoto I own with the same.
During lockdown I have enjoyed using my pens greatly. I haven’t really written any more than daily entries in my Hobonichi. However I have kept a separate journal of my thoughts, feelings and observations of what has been going on in London with the ‘C’ word. (I suppose it’s the Samuel Pepys coming out in me).
Late into December having some Christmas present money explicitly meant to be used to buy myself a pen, I bought one that ‘Izods Pens’ here in the UK had brought out – the Paradigm. It has a great deal going for it: great size, piston filler, made from ebonite, 18K nib that is rather good, handsome looking and different to the norm.
The Paradigm retails at £399 and while using it the snob voice in my head was reminding me of all the pens from well known brands – I tend to gravitate towards – I could have bought or put this money towards. The voice would not go away so the pen was sold on. I suspect that this will be an issue for many buyers.
What I ended up buying was a pen that I had heard of several months before the ‘C’ word was in the public consciousness. The rumour mill foretold of an Elvis Presley, Montblanc, Great Characters pen. This pen became a reality and observing from afar I hoped for deals that did not materialise. A chance email conversation with a Montblanc dealer I have bought many pens from, eventually ended up with a loyalty discount and purchase, using that Christmas money I had been instructed to buy a pen – something interesting. Less than 24 hours later it arrived.
Never have I been so instantly smitten by a pen. The Montblanc Elvis Presley is flashy, brash, in your face and hard to ignore. I love its kitschiness and all the references to Presley. I had intended to send the 14k medium off and replace with a fine, using Montblanc’s excellent nib swapping service, however it is so good I’m going to keep it. Certainly as I look at it and realise that it might not have been if I had of kept the Izods Paradigm, I know I did the right thing. Few pens let alone the Paradigm could compete.
My plan is to buy no more pens in 2021 until December of 2021. If at that time something takes my fancy I might just allow myself something.
Until then I will continue to enjoy the pens I have and see what https://youtube.com/c/PenultimateDave is up to along with https://rupertarzeian.com. Anthony’s blog will continue to keep me entertained and up to date with what is going on in the fountain pen world and I will also write the odd blog post about what I am up to.
Wherever you are and whatever pens you have, enjoy them and keep writing. Stay safe!!