August 07, 2015

Meet my Fountain Pen Family

Hi, I am Iam. I am a penaholic, and here is my story.

My addiction started late 2014, when an office mate of mine gave me a Daiso fountain pen; a relatively inexpensive model. At first I didn't know how to use it, as it took a certain angle and pressure for the ink to flow. Eventually I was enjoying the pen, and I noticed that the callous I had on my right middle finger was subsiding. When the ink ran out, I made the mistake of refilling it with stamping ink. I inadvertently clogged the feed and the pen died.

Then on Christmas 2014, that same office mate gifted me with my first proper fountain pen: a Sailor Lecoule. Still an entry-level pen, but on the mid-range price range. I was using the pen during my grocery shopping for Christmas dinner when I accidentally dropped the pen, nib down, which bent the nib. I was able to service the pen at Scribe Writing Essentials (SM Aura branch), but it took an excruciating three months before the nib was replaced (albeit free of charge). Because of that accident, I got to research all about fountain pens, how to clean and maintain them, and what are the different types and brands. I also registered on local groups and forums of fountain pen enthusiasts, so I could learn more about the craft.

Needless to say, all these efforts brought me to where I was now: the happy owner of fourteen fountain pens.

I won't bore you with the technicalities of fountain pens, nor will I try to convince you of the superiority of this writing instrument over the regular ball point/ gel/ tech pens. I just wanted to share photos of my current acquisitions, and share some tips to those who are interested in jumping into the rabbit hole with me.

First off, let me introduce to you the pens I have that are currently inked.

L-R: Monteverde Artista Crystal, unbranded Taiwanese Pen from NBS,
TWSBI Classic (Black), Lamy ST, Pilot 78G


The Monteverde Artista Crystal  and TWSBI Classic (Black) are my recent acquisitions. I bought them 2++ weeks ago from Goulet Pens and had it delivered to an office mate currently onsite in the States. She had a friend who visited her, who was the one to brought my purchase back to the Philippines. The two pens were just freshly inked this morning.

This pen is my first true demonstrator. Even the feed is transparent!

I've been hearing raves about the filling mechanism of TWSBI
fountain pens, so I had to get one for myself.

Right now, maaatim ko lang bumili ng fountain pen up to the mid-range price level. Low-range would cost from 100 PhP to 1,000 PhP. Mid-range would cost 1,000 PhP to 5,000 PhP. Anything above that range, I feel that I'd rather waste the money on shoes, bags, or cosmetics instead.

Also, I'm not too particular of the brand (yet), since I'm still in the phase of discovering what type of fountain pen am I most comfortable with. Do I like fine, medium, or broad nibs? Do I want firm nibs or nibs that flex? Cartridge, converters, or a dedicated filling mechanism? Fat or thin body? Demonstrator or not? Ebonite or acrylic? What body color? Oh, the options are endless!

This one I got from National Bookstore for 250 PhP. A decent writer,
takes standard cartridges.

One thing I noticed is that the nib thickness of Japanese fountain pens (i.e. Sailor, Pilot, etc) is different from the nib thickness of other fountain pens. A fine nib German fountain pen like Lamy writes thicker than a fine nib Japanese fountain pen like Pilot. I prefer Japanese Fine over the others, but I still lack the skill to wield such delicate instrument with care.

This one is my EDC (i.e. Everyday Carry) for my KISLAP notebook
as the body is thin enough for quick note-taking.

A decent entry-level pen as well, but this one initially comes with
an aerometric converter (i.e. rubber sac filler).

As you can see from above, my penmanship still sucks even if I use a fountain pen. Still, I'm hoping that I may improve it gradually through practice. The ease of writing with an instrument that gives consistent ink flow with the least of pressure, partnered with the discipline of holding the pen correctly to ensure proper ink flow, will hopefully help me attain this goal.


Now, for my non-inked pens in the sidelines:

L-R: Noodler's Ahab, Noodler's Konrad, a vintage Waterman 58 (I think),
Kaweco Ice Sport, Sailor Lecoule, Schneider Voyager, Jinhao x450,
Pilot (capless) Decimo, a vintage Marlowe pen (probably a company giveaway)

For now, I have no future plans to add to my collection. Sure, fourteen pens may be a small number compared to what other pen enthusiasts have, but I think that I should concentrate more on having some quality time with my current pens before thinking about buying new ones.

But if YOU are interested in starting a collection of your own, I am a willing enabler. :) Here are some tips I can share when searching for fountain pens:
  • In-store pens can be bought in the Philippines. Check out your nearest National Bookstore, Scribe Writing Essentials, Fully Booked, or Power Books for options. Some brands are exclusive to a particular store.
  • Old Manila is also a nice place to check out fountain pens. One of the more popular stores, usually mentioned in local fountain pen groups is Cosmos Bazar, located near Binondo Church. Google Maps details below.
  • Join local fountain pen groups, as there are monthly pen meets and occasional pen sales announced in the forums. Fountain Pen Network Philippines has a very active forum and FB Group.
  • Browse local online crafts stores, usually the sell a few fountain pen models. Here are a few:
  • Ebay.ph has some local listings of fountain pen items. I was able to purchase my Schneider Voyager and vintage Marlowe from here.
  • You may also buy from international online stores (Amazon or Goulet Pens to name a few), and use services such as Johnny Air or LBC Shipping Cart to have your purchases shipped to the Philippines.

Location of Cosmos Bazar.

8 comments:

  1. In fairness, despite what you said, mas umayos ang handwriting mo, hehehe. =P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha compared to what? Mga letters ko sa 'yo na nakasulat sa bathroom paper? 😜

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  2. hey iam! nasubukan mo ba ung jinhao hack napalitan yung nib ng zebra g para flex pen na?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheena! Hindi pa nga eh, natatakot ako baka masira ko 'yung pen hahaha isa pa lang 'yung Jinhao ko eh... siguro kapag nakabili ako ng isa pa tsaka ko susubukan 'yung hack. :D Ikaw ba?

      Delete
    2. napapaisip ako itry sa ahab haha! pero hinihintay ko pa maubos ung ink. pero natatakot din ako hahahahaha!

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  3. What store niyo po nabili yung noodlers, at anong price? ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! You can purchase Noodlers FP at any Scribe Writing Essentials store (their flagship store is at the new wing of Shangri-la Plaza Mall), for less than 2K Pesos. :)

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