Here are the pens I bought in 2018:
Carolina Pen Company (Jonathon Brooks): (2) I bought two awesome pens, one in a starry acrylic, and one in a modern urushi with gold flakes, at the Chicago Pen Show. Huge splurge, but love them both.
Kanilea Pen Co.: (1) I bought a Kanilea Hanauma Bay, another huge splurge, but never regretted. Plus, now I’ve learned how to spell the word “Hanauma.” Education is priceless.
Kaweco: (2) I bought two AL-Sports, one in red and one in black, called the Night Edition. Kaweco also came out in 2018 with an AL-Sport in rose gold, which I probably would have chosen instead of the red, had I seen it in person first. But no worries. The black one is my favorite, anyway: a matte black finish on such a small, metal pen seems very stealth.
Lamy: (2) I bought both 2018 releases, the Vibrant Pink Al-Star and the All Black Safari. I very much like the Vibrant Pink Al-Star, and I’ve used it regularly. It’s fun.
The All Black Safari went straight into the pen drawer. Not that there’s anything wrong with the All Black. It’s just not that exciting. But it was “for the collection” anyway.
Parker: (2) I bought two vintage Parker 45s with gold nibs. Screaming buys, good user pens. Couldn’t find them for the photo.
Platinum: (1) I bought a Plaisir in Bali Citrus, because it was $12, and also to use Platinum Carbon Black ink without worry. For $12, it’s a darn good starter pen. I love the Bali Citrus color.
Sailor: (2) Early in the year I bought the Professional Gear Earth with extra-fine nib. This is the best work pen I’ve ever had, because of that extra-fine nib, and it’s been inked and re-inked since I bought it. The color was my only qualm: I’m no fan of brown. But it’s a warm brown, and a translucent material, and it’s grown on me. Big fan, now.
Then, well, I bought a Professional Gear Shooting Star of Jonuma. It’s possible that “Jonuma” is the Japanese word for “debtor’s prison.” I blame someone else for this, someone who bought an extra by mistake and then showed it to me, like that was a good idea.
When I showed a photo of this pen to my friend Rick, he asked, “Where did you get that?!” and I answered truthfully: “Satan.”
To this day, I call it the Satan Pen. But it was Shakespeare, in Hamlet, who pointed out that the devil has the power to assume a pleasing shape.
The Satan Pen has sparkles, and clear plastic, and a Sailor nib — the Trifecta of Awesome. I could have done without it, but then I saw it. That is how temptation works.
Woodshed Pen Co.: (1) I got a super awesome demonstrator with orange and red ribbons from the awesome Mike Allen, and I am very happy with this one. It’s fun, it’s well-made and it’s nicely priced. It’s also a really good pen to write with, and it takes the same Jowo nibs as my Brooks, Edison and Kanilea pens.
So, the 2018 pen purchase total is 15. Yikes.
I bought a lot of pens this year. And I’m only counting those pens I bought intending to keep.
It was an exciting year in pens for me, I guess. As I’ve done for a while, though, I balanced purchase with sales, by selling pens to pay for what I bought. It’s more like a shuffling of the pen roster, if I look at it that way.
I just wish I hadn’t bought quite so many, that’s all. I’ll slow it down in 2019.
I’ve still got three of the 2018 pens inked up, in use, which is pretty impressive, considering I’ve only got five pens going right now.
My favorite pen purchase? None. I like almost all of them.
My most used? The Sailor Professional Gear Earth, for the amazing extra-fine nib that’s perfect for me.
Were there any pens I almost purchased in 2018, and wish I owned? Yeah, kind of. My favorites not purchased were the two Lamy Studios, in Terracotta and Olive. And Lamy’s gold nib for those pens is very nice. Those were the pens I would have bought if I’d had extra money in the pen fund, and if I had room for two more pens in the pen life. And earlier in the year, I was extremely tempted by the Sailor Professional Gear Ocean, which I didn’t buy for the same reasons.
Are there any pen purchases on the radar in 2019? Well, kind of. I’ll definitely buy the 2019 Lamy Al-Star in bronze, which sounds nice. Other than that, I haven’t heard of anything else that’s tempting. I’m hoping that sticks. I would not, however, bet the house on that.