What I Bought in 2018: Fountain Pens

assorted fountain pens

I did the “Inks I Bought in 2018” post first, because I was a chicken: I knew inks wouldn’t be as bad. I had a feeling that I may have overindulged in pens this year, just a smidge.

Or perhaps an entire rainbow of overindulgence. Potato, pot-ah-to.

But nothing for it. Time to rip the bandaid off.

(click Page 2 below to continue)

21 thoughts on “What I Bought in 2018: Fountain Pens

  1. Thank you for this detailed listing of your 2018 purchases. It’s reassuring for me to know I’m not the only one who succumbs to fountain pen temptation. I haven’t dared to look closely at how many pens made it into my collection in 2018 — the gauntlet is down now and I shall dutifully examine how many times Satan pushed me.

    The Pro Gear Shooting Star of Jonuma is absolutely gorgeous—if I’d seen it in the Sapporo / Pro Gear Slim (small hands) I think I would have had to have it… or at least visit it obsessively while counting pennies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Does the Bali Citrus Platinum look a lot like that Chartreuse Lamy Al-Star from a few years ago? Colorwise, I mean.

    The Kanilea pen gets my vote for Best of the 2018 Haul! What a beautiful pen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sailor has just been floating on a high tide of excellence for so long now… designs, nibs, colors have all been pretty much faultless, and mostly at a reasonable price point for what you get. That SE Earth is beautiful, and I’ve just discovered their medium-fine nib, which is my new favorite.

    Have another great year! I always look forward to your posts, thank you so much for another year of effort!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think that’s also true of the US

      But, as I just wrote on another post, I actually think Sailor has been overwhelmed with demand over the last two or three years, on many fronts, and they are aware of it — unmet demand for inks, special nibs and probably the larger size pens with fun and unusual materials, like the clear sparkly one I got. Sailor already has fixed the ink situation. They’re probably trying to handle the bespoke nib problem next. I’m going to guess that the voracious demand in Japan for these larger sized special edition pens in clear colors with sparkles, like the Jonuma, has clued them into the fact that they could probably sell many more worldwide. From Sailor’s point of view, they can only manufacture so much, and if they expand too quickly to meet a demand that proves temporary, or was overestimated, that could lead to huge problems. It’s a very small company. It’s obvious that they are conservatively run, when it comes to expansion. I can’t blame them for staying conservative on that, though. It’s a strange time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. That’s a really interesting perspective. I’ve always thought of Sailor as one of the ‘big three’ Japanese manufacturers, without giving any consideration to their actual size. At least in the US you’ve had a series of 1911 limited editions! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been wanting a gold Platinum Plaisir. My preferences in nibs are italic and stub. But there is something about the look of the Plaisir that makes me want it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go for it, then! I think it’s a pretty good value. Even if you decide you don’t love the nib, you can always use it as a carry-around pen, or a pen you can hand to friends and family to show them how to use fountain pens.


  5. I wish Satan would show up and offer me a gorgeous and rare Japanese special edition Pro Gear! Though even without that, I managed to buy 3 Sailors this year, including a BunguBox special edition. (Does this imply that I am my own Satan?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean yeah, you alway think you want that. It’s just that it doesn’t really work out in the long run… Goethe’s Faust, and all. 🙂

      Maybe Sailor is Satan, for all of us?


  6. A great roster of pens for the year and it is so lovely that you have good things to say about them and still find them exciting. I am a big fan of having a story to go with the things I own and it is fun to hear the stories about the pens you have added to your collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think that’s a really great point: Joan Didion famously said that we tell ourselves stories in order to live, and I do think that we have stronger associations with those things that work their ways into the larger story of our lives. I think that’s one reason I like to look back at the end of the year, and see what I bought that year — not just “how many,” but why, and how that worked out. There is, however, another chapter I need to write, to sum up 2018 in pens and inks — I’m working on that.


    1. Thank you! It’s a really nice pen, and the owner Mike Allen is awesome. I met him at San Francisco, and then bought this pen at Ohio. He is coming to the Chicago Pen Show for the first time this year, too. I really like the materials he uses, and how carefully he makes everything. There is so much interesting work by so many small pen-makers these days.

      Liked by 1 person

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