Pen of the Day: Pelikan M400 White Tortoise with Sailor Waka-Uguisu

Sailor Waka-Uguisu with Pelikan M400 White Tortoise

Pelikan M400 White Tortoise with medium nib.  Coincidentally, I bought this pen about the same time I started this blog. I wasn’t sure about buying it. In photos, the White Tortoise had always looked a little blingy, a little too much. I am not a huge tortoise fan. And the white resin?

Well, those reservations lasted until I opened the box. In real life, this pen is fantastic.

Sailor Waka-Uguisu with Pelikan M400 White Tortoise

However, today the pen is an afterthought. This post is really inspired by the ink. I had wanted another springy ink, after enjoying Diamine Apple Glory and Sailor Sakura-Mori. Luckily, Sailor’s Four Seasons line is all about seasonal inks.

This is Waka-Uguisu, a “spring” ink that ranks among my very favorites from last year.

Sailor Waka-Uguisu with Pelikan M400 White Tortoise

I absolutely love this ink.

New Iron Gall Inks From Japan Are Coming Soon: Platinum Classic Inks

Platinum Classic Inks

My friend who’s just become a Platinum dealer texted me this photo last night. Yay. It looks like Platinum is going to be debuting a new line of inks, and although Platinum doesn’t use the words “iron gall,” these must be iron gall inks.

In the official announcement, Platinum says its upcoming Classic Line ink is produced using the traditional method. Also that the Classic Line is an extension of Platinum Blue Black. Platinum says Classic Line ink is bright when you start writing, but gradually darkens. “It is also highly water resistant and suitable for permanent preservation.” All of that, my friends, clearly adds up to “iron gall.”

Yay, again. KWZ inks have shown a wide audience how attractive, and easy to use, modern iron gall inks can be. The more of these in the marketplace, the merrier.

By the way, I am working on a post about how one can confidently use modern iron gall inks in fountain pens. Because in my experience, modern iron gall inks are excellent inks to use, and almost all are as gentle as the gentlest Pelikan or Waterman ink. (Some are higher maintenance or require more caution. But that is true with any brand of ink. Even Waterman has the harder-to-clean purple.)

The Platinum announcement actually says that Classic Inks turn black with time, and as a result the Classic Line puts the word “Black” in each ink’s name. But until I try them, I’m going to assume most of the inks will darken, but not necessarily all the way to what I’d call black. Because, in general, that’s been my experience with modern iron gall inks. Platinum does have ink swabs at that link above.

If the Classic Line inks are available by the first weekend in May, I’ve already twisted my friend’s arm so I’ll have samples for people to try at the ink testing station at the Chicago Pen Show. I’m really hoping I’ll get them sooner, however. Because these look awesome.

Ink Dips: Diamine Apple Glory

Diamine Apple Glory writing samples

Ink Dips is a more casual, and potentially disagreeable, ink evaluation than is normal here at Fountain Pen Follies. Instead of carefully evaluating an ink I’m interested in, the point of Ink Dips is to blindly pick an ink sample from a box of the unwanted or uninteresting. Then I fill that sample into one pen and see what I think. An inky experiment that’s a bit dippy.

Diamine Apple Glory. It’s not that anyone in the world needed another green ink, but this one is charming, and hard to resist. Apple Glory is a happy, cheery green, the perfect match for my Lamy Apple Green Safari. It’s bright enough for editing or fun little notes, but never obnoxious or eye-searing. Never neon. Possibly even office appropriate. Apple Green turned out to be an unexpected pleasure.

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Fountain Pen Favorites for January 2017

calendar image

January is over? How did that happen? Well, swiftly, I guess. In terms of pens and inks, January wasn’t particularly notable for me. But if I dredge, I can dig up some highlights.

1. Ink Dips. I liked the first two, Sailor Something Something and Pelikan Edelstein Onyx. Oh, yes, Sailor Oku-Yama. Details … poof. The mind is the first thing to go. Or maybe vision. Possibly hearing. What was I saying?

2. Yellow Journalism. I wrote in my new journal pretty consistently. Not every day, but almost. So it’s becoming a habit, which is nice. Unfortunately, I have written 96 pages since Christmas, which is going to be financially ruinous; these things are costly. I’m going back to a Rhodia Webnotebook when I fill my Nanami Writer, to see if the type of journal makes a difference or not.

3.  Hmm, a Rant. Yeah, um, well, hard to think of a third highlight, to be honest. I liked the inks I used this month. Pens were pretty calm for me — there is not much happening here in pens. Actually, I dislike something. I am not in favor of the newly announced 2017 Lamy Safari color, which is “Petrol,” which is the German word for “Teal.” I can’t even pretend to care about this Safari. Especially when the 2017 Al-Star is already an aquamarine called Pacific.

It seems I’ve gone off Lamy. After so many years of the neons and the greens and the greenish yellows, now in 2107 we’re getting not one, but two, blue greens. That’s not what I’d call progress.

I’ve lost faith in Lamy, or interest, or both. I don’t know if the string of similar colors is due to lack of imagination, cost-consciousness or trying to profit off an influx of newbie buyers with no apparent discernment (given the prices they’ll pay for counterfeits). But whatever the cause, I don’t care. I’m bored with the result. It seems cheap and cynical, and worst of all dull, by Lamy.

Yes, I am now completely unexcited about Lamy Safaris. And I used to be their biggest fan.


Photo by Dafne Cholet, Flickr, used under Creative Commons license.