Bexley Imperial

(There is eventually going to be a Fountain Pens, Part 3. I’ll do it when I’ve filled my 3rd pen wrap, which is about half full now.)

So I’m kind of wishing I’d never heard of Massdrop, because they are enabling my fountain pen addiction like whoa. They organize group buys of items–not just fountain pens, but that’s what I’m into them for–for discounts. Although really, I ignore probably 90% of the drops, because they’re too expensive or just not my thing. Massdrop offers a lot pf pens that are either industrial-looking and kind of drab (IMO), or rather gaudy. However, this could not be ignored:

bexley

The orange and blue pen is the Bexley 701 I bought from Inkpen Vintage at the Little Rock show in February. The green pen is the Bexley Imperial I bought through Massdrop ($60 off MSRP!) and which arrived on Saturday. Bexleys tend to be very large pens and I wanted to see how they compared; the Imperial is a bit larger than the 701.

I haven’t inked it up yet; I’m waiting for the arrival of another Massdrop order, the J. Herbin 1670 ink 3-pack that they put together for the release of the newest color, Emerald of Chivor. There are 4 colors in the line so far, and you had to choose EoC as one of the colors; since I already have a bottle of Stormy Grey (it’s what’s in the 701, as a matter of fact), I chose Rouge Hematite and Bleu Ocean as my other colors. So I’ll have all 4 colors once the order arrives… at least until they release another color in the line. I’m going to ink the Imperial with Bleu Ocean; I bought another Jinhao (at $8–with converter!–probably the best fountain pen for the price you can buy) for EoC.

For the uninitiated, 1670 inks are very special to a certain kind of fountain pen user because, well, glitter:

eoc

They have gold mica flecks in the ink (I’m assuming it’s mica, anyway, it would clog the feed if it was any kind of plastic) and color-shifting properties, EoC especially has a weird red shift to it that’s quite startling. It reminds me of those old outline markers (I think Pentel still makes them), where you’d get a gold or silver line surrounded by a thin line of some non-metallic color, red or blue or purple.

Last week I committed to another drop, the Kaweco Liliput, which I’m getting in brass. I have a Kaweco Skyline Sport that’s one of my favorite small pens. They released the Franklin-Christophe drop this morning, and I’m almost relieved that none of the color options I wanted made the cut. They’re offering it in, get this, either ice with blue-violet accents or blue-violet with ice accents. WTF? I mean okay, I guess that’s what got the most votes, but still. I really only wanted it if I could get it in smoke and ice.

Going to the Dallas Pen Show is starting to seem redundant, but I’m hoping to find two pens that aren’t likely have a Massdrop: A Parker Duofold–pretty much any kind, I’m not picky–and a Pilot Vanishing Point. All the VPs that come up for auction on eBay are special editions and way too expensive.

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Fountain pens, part 1

I kept my collection stopped at a baker’s dozen for a year or so. I told myself that was a respectable but still sane collection, and every time I bought a new pen, I would give one in my collection away. The problem with that is I eventually ran out of pens I could bear to part with, while finding new ones I desired. So I decided fuck it, let’s get crazy–although I know lots of people whose collections are MUCH larger than mine.

I recently discovered Massdrop, which is a terrible enabler. They organize group buys of all kinds of products for discounts. The first one I signed up for was a 3-pack of the J. Herbin 1670 Anniversary inks. One of the bottles had to be the new color coming out next month, Emerald of Chivor. the other 2 could be any of the other 3 existing colors. Since I already have a bottle of Stormy Grey, I chose Rouge Hematite and Bleu Ocean, so when I receive my inks I’ll have a full set (until the next new color is released). I’m also getting a Bexley Imperial for $60 less than the MSRP. Plus, I agreed to take a couple of pens–a Sheaffer Award and an Esterbrook J–off the hands of a fellow pen friend looking to whittle down his collection. And in less than 2 months, the Dallas Pen Show!

fountain pens 1

Left to right:

  • Pilot Vortex: I like the rubberized grip on this one, as I tend to hold my pens tightly.
  • Pilot Metropolitan: From the first release.
  • Sailor Clear Candy: Sailor is a super-duper posh Japanese brand, I only have inexpensive plastic ones.
  • Reform 1745: Has a custom-ground .07 mm stub nib. I have NEVER seen one of these pens in anything other than black and green.
  • Pilot 78G: One of the first pens I bought when I started collecting and still a favorite.
  • Jinhao X750: Jinhao is a ridiculously inexpensive Chinese brand. They’re enamel over metal and really heavy, but great nibs for the price.
  • Sailor Lecoule: This has the same nib as the Clear Candy but I like the body better. I may give away the Clear Candy at some point.
  • Pilot Prera: This is my favorite pen body shape, cylindrical with flat ends (as opposed to torpedo-shaped, like most pens). The cap makes a lovely “snick” sound/feel when you put it back on.
  • Bexley BX701: I saw some complaints in the Massdrop forum that the Imperial wasn’t available in black, which made me laugh. Who buys a black Bexley?