Heavy Metal (Pens that is)!

Somewhere in an alternate universe, with the music of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica blasting in the background, the rebels of the London Pen & Motorcycle Club gathered at their Williams on Wonderland HQ to binge on coffee and show off their new ink, like this beauty that Doc showed up with (he’s not a real Doctor, that’s just a name he picked up somewhere):

From Fenix Tattoos in Seattle
From Fenix Tattoos in Seattle

Well, that’s not exactly what happened … we did binge on coffee and heavy metal, pens that is …if a pen sticks to a magnet, it meets the test!! Bring your flighters, filigrees, overlays, signets, silver, gold (more likely gold-filled), aluminum, titanium, gunmetal, shiny or matte and all combinations and permutations thereof. Some like their pens with a patina (you might say potana) and others like them looking brand spanking shiny new. They could be factory or farm fresh – maybe have a few scratches and dents or even some brassing, we won’t hold that against them. And don’t forget your pens that are part-metal, i.e., they might have a metal cap with a resin or other body; however, metal trim-only is not enough metal, sorry.

To wit, a great collection, in a large variety of makes, models and finishes – Sheaffer Targas and a significant number of Parker:

whole bunch more

Anyone for a Parker 75 – just pick your finish:

whack of 75s

Some Parkers, at least one Sheaffer (a Targa, I think) and a Pilot Birdie(?):

table shot

A Waterman 452 1/2V sterling silver filigree (pierced work) overlay and a bottle of Herbin Vert Olive:

small waterman w overlayA true classic, the Parker 75 Cisele:

parker 75

Another Parker 75, a Sheaffer Connoisseur and a Pilot Birdie:

P75 connoisseur and birdie

Quite a mixed bag here from L to R – a Montblanc Meisterstuck Sterling Silver Solitaire Le Grand 146, a Dani Trio Phantas aka the “snake pen”, a Sheaffer Imperial and an older model of the Visconti Travelling Inkwell:

MB146 and snake pen

A close-up of the Dani Trio Phantas (snake pen) …

IMG_1639

… and a close-up of the Sheaffer Imperial Brass engraving:

sheaffer imperial brassA couple of one-piece metal pens, i.e., an integrated nib, a titanium Parker 50 aka the “Falcon” and a Namiki-Pilot M90:
integrated nibs M90 and P50 falcon

Not sure this Stipula/Chatterley Pens Carbon Future Oversized Etruria LE qualifies but it is one sweet writer with that 1.1 mm stub nib!

IMG_1636

Remember these Cross pens – graduation presents, wedding gifts, they were ubiquitous:

cross cross cross

Can you say vermeil?  Rotring 600s, Sheaffer Targas and Imperials and a couple of Parkers:

IMG_1632

The old hidden compartment pen … how did that bottle of ink get in the picture?

hidden compartment pen

What – is this a remnant from the alternate universe, a Waterman Harley-Davidson:

Harley

A number of Parker Flighters with a couple of 75s for good measure:

flighters and 75s

We have some Sheaffers, a Lamy Studio and a blue Kaweco off to the side

bns

The pen in focus is an Aurora 80th Anniversary Limited Edition, a brilliant guilloche pattern cut in sterling silver while the pen slightly out of focus is a Conway Stewart “Drake” LE:aurora guilloche untitled

A side shot (above) and head-on shot (below) of the Aurora 80th anniversary LE, a Conway Stewart “Drake” LE (this is a massive pen, made from a solid rod of sterling silver, guilloche engraved in a classic wave pattern), a Conway Stewart J. Rake Demonstrator (based on their classic Duro design), a Parker 51 Special Edition (from 2002), a Parker 51 Flighter, a Visconti Spider, a Visconti Skeleton, a Waterman Carene Deluxe, a Waterman Exception Night and Day Gold, and of course, a Waterman Edson:

MAW2

What about you?  We always love to hear what you think of these Heavy Metal Pens as well as about your own Heavy Metal pens.  Do you have a particular favourite?  Surely you have at least one?

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Vacation Pens & Ink – August 15, 2015

Our theme for Saturday, August 15, 2015 was Vacation Pens and Ink (as shamelessly “borrowed” from our friends in the Vancouver Pen Club – with our sincere thanks!):

Vacation Pens — If you could only take 3 pens on vacation, which 3 would they be, and why? And what 3 bottles of ink would you take on your travels?”


We had another well-attended gathering and we also had the pleasure of welcoming our newest members – Rocklee and Mana, both long-time aficionados of our hobby, so all in all, one more terrific meeting!  Let’s get right to the good photos (taken by unofficial club photographer Rick M. – thanks Rick, you make us all look better than we actually do!).
Rick M’s Pens and Inks (Parker 61 capillary fill that won’t burp ink at altitude, rOtring Tikky 3in1 Ballpoint & Pencil (Editor’s note – the inclusion/use of a ball point and/or pencil is strictly verboten and you will be duly lashed with a cat-of-nine-ballpoints at our next meeting – those photos will be something to behold, so stay tuned!), Kaweco Sport fine nib, Noodler’s Air Corp Blue Black, R&K Scabiosa, Parker Quink Blue Black and a Visconti Travelling Ink Pot for refills (great idea, Rick!):
Rick Mc pens
Kata’s Pens (TWSBI Eco, Pelikan M200 Cafe Creme, Ken Cavers custom pen):
Kata pensForbes’s Pens (Pilot V-Pen, Platinum Preppy):
Forbes pens
David B’s Pens and Ink (Sheaffer No-nonsense, Swan (I think), rOtring Tikky 3in1 (Editor’s note – As in Rick’s case, David B will be duly lashed with a cat-of-nine-ballpoints  at our next meeting – those photos will be something to behold, so stay tuned!), and R&K Scabiosa ink in a Nock Co Hightower case (great idea, David!)):
David Bs pens and inkStan S’s Pens (Monteverde Tool Pen (fountain pen model), Kaweco Sport, Caran d’Ache ballpoint) (Editor’s note – As in Rick and David’s case, Stan S will be duly lashed with a cat-of-nine-ballpoints  at our next meeting – those photos will be something to behold, so stay tuned!):
Stan S pens and ink
Rocklee’s pen (Kaweco Art Sport, Lamy 2000, Pelikan M400):
Rocklees pensRocklee also brought a few neat things like this Waterman ink bottle in a style none of us had ever seen before complete with a $4.00 price sticker:
Rocklee ink bottles
And some Esterbrook pens and nibs that will make John P salivate (John, we missed you at our meeting!):
Estie nibs for John_we miss.him
Finally, Mike W’s vacation pens and ink (photograph not taken by Rick M – as if it wasn’t already obvious!) MB Jules Verne Writer’s Edition LE with classic MB Blue ink, Omas Paragon in Arco Brown with Bung Box Blue-Black (4B) ink and Sailor Pro Gear Naginata Cross Music Emperor nib and Diamine Prussian Blue ink:
Mikes pens and ink
An ink and handwriting sample using Mike’s pens & ink: TO COME
Now that we have shown you our 3 choices for vacation pens and ink, we would love to hear from you about your choices (ballpoints and/or pencils are strictly verboten else a public lashing will be handed out as punishment!).
Until next time, use your fountain pens!!!

“100” Pens – November 5 and 12, 2011

We decided to use a different type of theme for November 5 and 12, 2011 – “Pens associated in some way with the number 100”.  Now there are the obvious choices like those pens with “100” in their model name., e.g., a Conway Stewart 100 or a Parker 100.  Having said that, we challenged our club members to think about this one, confident that that they are all a bit smarter (and creative) to come up with a pen or pens with a model number of 100.  For example, they might consider pens that cost $100 or are a 100 years old or are number 100 of xyxyx or number xx of 100? Maybe they have used a pen 100 times or a pen that is now worth $100.  I think you get the gist of what we are thinking. 
  
One perhaps obvious but still interesting idea was a combination of two pens, in this case, a Parker 25 matched with a Parker 75 in similar finishes – stainless steel and black.  Nice thinking!

 

 
Of course, let’s not forget one of the obvious choices, a Parker 100, in cobalt black.  
 

Now in the tray of pens below, there is a veritable potpourri of “100” pens, mostly modern with a few vintage mixed in for good measure!

From left to right, are the following fountain pens:
  • a blue Waterman Charleston (that is based on the Waterman 100 year pen);
  • a Waterman LeMan 100 Opera Series pen  in black acrylic resin over brass and carved with a unique chased bargello stitch pattern;
  • a limited edition Waterman Liaison “Cobra” fountain pen with black chasing that makes it ‘look’ and ‘feel’ like snake skin (the Liaison replaced the Man 100/200 as Waterman’s “top of the line” pen c. 1994);
  • a black & gold Waterman Exception “Night & Day” fountain pen (I knew that there is a connection to 100, I just cannot remember what it was that I was thinking!!);
  • a special edition Conway Stewart “Garner 100” model in Patriot Stripe, #12 of 100 (Tommy Garner was one of the co-founders of Conway Stewart);
  • another Waterman Liaison except this one is in woodgrain ebonite (As noted above, the Liaison model was one of two flagships of the Waterman line, at least for a time.  Waterman had a practice of offering two models that represented the peak of the pen-maker’s art at the timee – one classic and one avant-garde. The Liaison was a classic model.);
  • a standard 3-band model (vintage) Conway Stewart 100 (the top of the line 100 was launched c. 1955 and was available only in black);
  • a limited edition Levenger/Conway Stewart pen in green whirl, #009 of 100;
  • a vintage Mabie Todd Swan Self-Filler (S.F.) 100 in woodgrain ebonite; and finally,
  • a vintage Pelikan 100 (the Pelikan model 100 pens were launched c. 1928, featuring a revolutionary piston pump ink filling mechanism and  a transparent section that allowed the user to view the amount of ink remaining in the pen. The Pelikan 100 series of fountain pens are cherished by both Pelikan and vintage pen collectors alike.).

Not a bad list, all things considered.  Now it’s your turn – what obvious and not so obvious pen or pen(s) have we missed or can you outthink us?  Do you have an idea for “100” pens that no one else could possibly think of? 

Thanks for reading!

 
 

Iconic Pens

The theme for our Saturday, October 24, 2011 meeting was “Iconic Fountain Pens”.   

What makes an item, such as a pen, iconic?  When most of us hear the word “iconic” we think of people, places or things that are famous, well-known, widely-known, celebrated, renowned, fabled, legendary, notorious, infamous, illustrious,  or perhaps even “the one”.  At least, those are some of the words that come to mind when I think of something that is “iconic”.  

The theme for this week was for our members to share their thoughts on those fountain pens that were icons from their perspective as well as the reason(s) for their selections.  We asked them to think about whether it was a popular or well-known pen?  Was it something to do with the pen’s design or looks?  Maybe it revolutionized the look, function of pens or even how pens write?  Has it developed a bit of a cult following?  Perhaps it is not famous but infamous?  Is it inexpensive or does it cost a small fortune?  Was it made by one of the “iconic” brands or do you have trouble pronouncing or even remembering its brand?  

If you were to build a collection of pens based on an “iconic” theme, what would you consider to be the “must-have” pens?  These hypothetical exercises are great – there are no limits, e.g., you are not restricted to modern or vintage pens, etc.  You don’t have to own the pen, have ever owned the pen or even want to own the pen!  Heck, you don’t even have to have any money!  Although, I don’t want to suggest that a pen’s cost necessarily influences its status as an icon.  I can think of very expensive pens that I would not be surprised if many thought of them as an icon, or conversely, others thinking of one of any number of inexpensive (dare I say, “cheap”?) pens that could easily fit the bill, e.g., Lamy Safari. 

Enough of my dribble, here are several groups of pens (with photos) that different members of the LPC view as being iconic and why:

 

1. Sheaffer Balance. 1930s. The Balance began the tradition of streamlining the shape of pens with tapered caps and barrel ends, along with the use of plastics in colours not seen before. 

2. Parker Vacumatic.  1930s. Striped plastics, ink stored right in the barrel rather than a sac, and an “interesting” filling system – the Vac is still what I think of when I think of vintage pens. 

3.  Parker “51”.  1940’s. A hooded nib. “Writes Dry with Wet Ink” to quote the advertising of the day.  Introduced in 1939 and in production until 1972, the Parker “51” sold in the millions and is of the most successful fountain pens of all time. 

4.  Sheaffer Snorkel.  1950’s. The Sheaffer Triumph nib (also known as the wrap around nib or conical nib) was continued on the Snorkel filler.  One of the coolest and most complicated of the filling systems, the Snorkel was made in a multitude of colours and finishes. 

5.  Sheaffer Imperial/Lifetime.  1960’s. I don’t have a Sheaffer Pen For Men (PFM) so I am including my 1963 Lifetime with the famous inlaid nib.  The PFM introduced the now iconic inlaid nib that Sheaffer continues to use on their pens to this day.  The Imperial, Targa, Intrigue and Valor models all have the inlaid nib. 

6.  Parker 75 in Sterling Silver cisele pattern.  1960’s. A classy looking pen.  I am still waiting to see one on the TV series “Mad Men”. 

7.  Lamy Safari.  1980’s. The Safari was first introduced in 1980 and hasn’t changed in 30 years.  A great starter or school pen that is available in an array of colours and nib sizes.

 Another member’s group of “Iconic Pens”:
 
  1. Aurora 88.  An elegant Italian design that functions perfectly and has a hidden cache of ink, if needed.
  2. Sheaffer Targa.  Simplicity and variety.  One could spend a lifetime collecting these classic fountain pens with the inlaid nib.  Just check out one of the best pen sites on the internet – sheaffertarga.com
  3. Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point.  Many people think this pen has a cult following but I disagree.  How many people do you know that own at least one Vanishing Point?  I would not be surprised if 3 out of 4 pen owners have one – that’s not a cult, that’s a club!
  4. Delta Dolce Vita.  Ah, the sweet life!  The first time I saw this pen I thought it was a bit much, I mean, who has the nerve to use a bright orange pen like this, especially a conservative business man like me.  It did not take too much longer before I owned one.  Actually, I have the double desk set as well!
  5. Conklin Crescent Filler.  Even non-pen people know this pen, it’s the one that Mark Twain uses – because it won’t roll off of a table.
  6. Lamy 2000.  A wonderful example of design and functionality. A simple design, the pen is made of black makrolon and is a piston filler, holding a ton of ink.  The flagship pen of LAMY.
  7. OMAS 360.  The non-conformist’s fountain pen because of its unconventional triangulated form.  It’s the type of pen that you either love or hate.  I happen to love it.  Unfortunately, OMAS screwed up its original design when it redesigned its line of pens.  If you want one of these, get the older “vintage” model.
  8. Pelikan M800 Souverän.   I loved this fountain pen from the very first time I saw its green striped barrel at Sleuth & Statesman in Toronto.  While I actually bought the black-blue model with silver trim first, I just had to have the original black-green model with gold trim.  In my mind, the green striped barrel makes it the quintessential fountain pen!
  9. Parker Duofold.  Not a big surprise that the Duofold is on this list, although most people would probably cite the vintage “Big Red” model.  Most people would put the Big Red as one of a dozen or so pens in a core collection of pens.  I like the blue ones myself, especially this remake of the “True Blue”.
  10. Waterman Edson.  A legendary and elegant pen.
  11. Conway Stewart #28 “Cracked Ice”.  Colourful plastics have been a signature of Conway Stewart.  The names of many of these colours, such as this one in Cracked Ice, have been adopted by collectors over the years. Other personal favourites include Reverse Cracked Ice and Tiger Eye.  Truth be told, my favourite models are #27 and #60 – I just grabbed the first Cracked Ice that I came across so please forgive my oversight!

 One more member’s quartet of Icons:
 
 

From top to bottom:

  1. Parker Vacumatic. Hey, it’s a Vacumatic, what more is there to say?
  2. Sheaffer Autograph.  The Autograph has a much wider cap band than the Sheaffer Signature and used to be one of their most expensive models.  It has the clip and the cap band made out of solid 14K gold. In fact, you could send the pen to Sheaffer along with your signature and they would engrave it on the cap band. This cap band has yet to be engraved.
  3. Esterbrook.  A classic double jewel J (full sized).
  4. Parker 51.  This aerometric filler with gold filled cap is Cocoa in colour, while not as rare as Nassau Green or Plum, is fairly uncommon.

A different view of the same quartet: 

 
And finally, the best part of every pen club meeting – writing with someone else’s iconic pen – in this case, a Parker 65 Flighter! 
 
 
Maybe you agree with these selections, maybe you have your own views.  We would love to hear from you!  Let us know what your iconic pen is and why?
 

Meeting Themes for Winter/Spring 2011

First and third Saturdays of the month (apart from January)

Jan 8 – Pens for Kids – special presentation

Jan 22 – Esterbrook Pens – colors, numbers and value for money

Feb 5 – How to replace a pen sac

Feb 12 – St. Patrick’s Day pens – Irish pens and green ones too!

Mar 5 – Stationery – new, different and old standards

Mar 19 – Vintage pens of the Waterman Pen Company

Apr 2 – Divorceable pens – irredeemably faded shine over time

Apr 16 – Parker’s glorious Vacumatic pens

May 7- Non-Parker English pens – Conway Stewart, etc…

May 21 – Pen storage, portable and fixed – new and old ideas

Jun 4 – Montblanc, Pelikan and the lesser-known German pens

Jun 18 – Demonstrators

Good Times at the 2008 Michigan Pen Show

This post has been authored (for the most part) by Dr. Stan, a longtime member of the London Pen Club, with comments from the blog editor.

The trip to the Michigan Pen Show on September 6, 2008 was fun as always!  Our chauffeur John P. was kind enough to give us a guided tour through the Port Huron Business loop that was particularly interesting (Riding along in Mike’s comfy Honda Pilot – no mention of that I see.).

At the show, we browsed around and picked up a few pens. Around midday, we went to lunch and visited the Paradise Pens store at the nearby Somerset Mall.  We then stopped back at the show once more before returning to London.  It was there that I experienced the highlight of my pen collecting years.

I brought my favourite writer to the show, an old (vintage) Waterman that Mike (the generous editor of this blog) had given to me (Actually, I asked you to hold on to it for safekeeping.  That memory of yours is not quite what it once was!).  I don’t want to belittle his generosity (although you are), but I think the fact that her beautiful blue body was crowned with a rather shabby black cap had something to do with it I.  Nevertheless, her long slender gold nib, shiny and proud, was flexible and smooth and no matter how I leaned on it to achieve the desired effect, always sprung back to its original form.  Occasionally, I sought to find a better cap for her but she always seemed to look better in that old black cap.

Mike insisted on showing the flexible nib on my Waterman to a nib expert.  The expert assured us that the nib could not write properly because its tines were severely misaligned.  He was about to adjust it when I wrestled it (with the greatest of difficulty) from his hands.  After that comment (and near-miss), I just had to demonstrate her talent, which I did by providing a writing sample, to the stunned silence of the expert.

We (Mike and I) drifted over to a gentleman pen dealer with a large Tupperware-type box full of pen parts.  As I still had my precious Waterman in my hand, I casually asked, “Got a cap to match this?”.

“Gee, I could swear I had something like that in my box this morning, but almost everything is gone now.” came the dealer’s reply.

Like a shark smelling a drop of blood in a million drops of water, I began to navigate through the box systematically.  Interrupted once again and just about to turn away, I caught a glimpse of that familiar blue!
“My God, I think I’ve got it!” I yelled incredulously.  Mike looked at me as though I was delusional (The way you were yelling, I thought your sildenafil citrate had kicked in!).  Then he looked again.

“That’s it!” he agreed, then “He’ll take it,” he said to the dealer.
“Ten bucks,” said the dealer, “Eight,” I said, “Ten” he said, “Nine, I said, “Ten,” he said, “Ten”, I said (You made a strategic error in bargaining when you told the dealer that the pen was given to you gratis – mistakenly, see earlier safekeeping reference.).

All the way home to London I admired my beautiful, newly adorned (and now complete) vintage Waterman, and made sure that Mike and John did too (even though John was supposed to be driving.  Good thing you were finished by the time we reached the border crossing or that would have been an adventure.).

Blue Canadian Waterman fountain pen - image from www.vintagewatermanpens.co.uk
Blue Canadian Waterman fountain pen - image from http://www.vintagewatermanpens.co.uk

At last, my ugly duckling had been transformed into a beautiful swan.  Anybody got a black Waterman body to match a beautiful black Waterman cap (Funny how it was a shabby and old black cap a few paragraphs ago.)?

Editor’s (Mike’s) final note:  Most people are familiar with the concept of karma.  Well, I truly believe that Dr. Stan’s good fortune of finding a matching cap for my pen is a direct result of good karma.  As a result, I strongly encouraged him to toss the leftover black cap into the box of pen parts so that someone else might benefit from his good fortune.  But no, he wants to “double-up” and add a black Waterman to my collection!

Matching Ink Colour to Pen Colour – Conclusion

First things first. Here are the names of the ink swatches in the scan:

1. Diamine Tropical Blue
2. Diamine Royal Blue
3. Diamine New Century Sapphire
4. Herbin Eclat de Saphir
5. Herbin Blue Pervenche
6. Noodler’s Ottoman Azure
7. Private Reserve Lake Placid Blue
8. Waterman South Seas Blue

Montegrappa considers my new pen to be turquoise. While turquoise is not included in the actual name of any of these inks, The Writing Desk includes two of these eight inks in its Turquoise Col-o-rama, namely #5 Herbin Blue Pervenche and #8 Waterman South Seas Blue.

Using a picture of the pen as well as a scan of the ink swatches obviously makes it difficult to match the two for a variety of reasons. IMHO, the biggest problem is the 2-dimensional picture cannot possibly show the depth and variation of the colour of the pen.

While I have not made my final decision, I have reduced the possible choices to three, listed below in the order of my likely preference:
1. Diamine Tropical Blue
5. Herbin Blue Pervenche
8. Waterman South Seas Blue

I like the Diamine Tropical Blue because it appears, to me at least, to include a few more darker shades of blue than either of the Blue Pervenche or South Seas Blue. Whether I choose one of these three, the remaining five or one of your other suggestions, I don’t think I could go wrong because they are all wonderful colours of ink, IMHO.  For example, I know that some suggested #6 Noodler’s Ottoman Azure, which has been a long-time favourite of mine.

Thanks again to all of you for your suggestions and comments.