Survival of the fittest

My last-but-one post was a for-sale list, including a whopping 12 pens. Since that amounts to just short of half my collection, I had to be pretty ruthless.

I thought it worth explaining why each of the remaining pens had made the cut.

Here’s the list, grouped by manufacturer and region of origin:

The German contingent

  • Lamy 2000, medium
  • Lamy Al-Star, copper orange, medium
  • Pelikan M205 Aquamarine, fine
  • Kaweco Al-Sport, BB (indefinitely loaned to my better half)
2017-05-04 14.49.03

This is as colourful as my collection gets, folks.

No question, the Lamy 2000 was staying. It’s such a reassuring presence in my pen case, and perfectly paired with Kano-Cho Midnight. A real keeper, laying down a wet, thick line with huge capacity.

Much like the M205, then. Although a very different aesthetic from the Lamy, it too is a piston filler with a line much wider than you’d expect. It’s understated, almost to the point of feeling cheap — but it’s so well designed.

The Kaweco Al-Sport is alas not in my regular writing rotation since I “loaned” it to my partner. Since my Sport Classic is up for sale, that means I’m without a Kaweco at all. Sadness.

I keep the Lamy Al-Star as a holder for Dark Lilac cartridges. It’s a gorgeous colour in its bold orange, but in my radical opinion it’s not an exceptional pen and will probably be culled or donated to my daughter in the near future.

Taiwanese demonstrators

  • TWSBI Eco, fine
  • TWSBI Vac Mini, cursive italic

I gifted the Eco to my partner, but she doesn’t like fine nibs, it transpires. So it landed back on me. I’m glad it did. It writes beautifully, it’s a proper clear demonstrator, and there’s something about the length and weighting that makes it a pleasure to use. It really feels different to other pens. Despite being cheap, it feels built like a tank and I couldn’t bear to part with it.

The Vac Mini has that great custom nib from FPnibs, and that alone justifies admission to the keeper’s club.

2017-05-04 14.51.55

Confession: the Eco is downstairs and I’m too lazy to go and get it. Pretend you didn’t notice it was missing.

Japanese triplets

  • Platinum 3776, ultra extra fine
  • Platinum 3776, soft fine
  • Platinum 3776, music
  • Pilot 91, fine medium
  • Pilot Elabo, soft medium
  • Pilot 912, Falcon
2017-05-04 14.51.25

By my count, that makes 11,328…

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to spot that the bulk of my remaining collection is Japanese, with three apiece from Platinum and Pilot (funnily enough, two reds, two blues, two blacks).

To be honest, the Elabo would be first against the wall out of these six: the soft medium isn’t as practical or versatile as the 912 or 91.

2017-05-04 14.47.55

My three beautiful Pilots nestling in their Nock case.

I’m kind of surprised that I ended up with three 3776s, although I’ve already explained what I love about them. 

If I had to be super ruthless and cut six down to three? I’d keep the astounding 912 Falcon, the 91 FM, and the 3776 UEF. Now, move on before I change my mind.

The English-speaking world

  • Esterbrook, 2314 relief
  • Parker 45
  • Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66 Antique Ice, fine
  • Osprey Scholar duofold, Zebra G (incoming)
2017-05-04 14.50.58

Spot the attention-seeking odd one out…

This is where things get a little sentimental, a little vintage for me. Although I’ve parted with my Vacumatic, I’ve still got a Parker — a 45 that was given to me by my mother and was my “daily driver” for quite some years, inked with black Parker Quink.

The Esterbrook was my first vintage pen and I had it refurbished a couple of years back. It’s got an engraved and filled name of VL WITHINGTON and a fat, juicy oblique relief nib on it. Such fun to write with, and my only remaining lever-filler.

I’m selling my Franklin-Christoph 45, but can’t bear to part with the Pocket 66. A candidate for the most practical and comfortable pen I own due to the clever grip and thread design, and also a stunningly distinctive pen due to the “Coke bottle” material.

Last but not least, I’ve just ordered an Osprey Scholar in orange and black Duofold colours from Osprey Pens, which does a wonderful thing by donating pens to educational establishments. Excitingly, it offers modular nib sections including the choice of a Zebra G flex nib. Can’t wait for it to arrive.

Final thoughts

Looking at my collection as a whole, I feel content. I’m settling down, finding my tastes: there’s only one metal pen in my collection, only one that’s clipless, only three slip caps. I’m up to half gold nibs. Nib behaviour is still all over the shop, but that’s called variety. Is there room for more? Sure: I still lust for an Edison Collier, a Karas Kustoms Ink, and many more besides. But for now, this little lot is enough to keep me out of trouble.

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7 thoughts on “Survival of the fittest

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