Field Notes Resolution, With the Tenth Anniversary Edition for Subscribers

Field Notes Resolution and Field Notes Tenth Anniversary

Resolution is the title of the Field Notes Winter 2017 quarterly edition, and it consists of one notebook formatted as a Date Book and two formatted as Checklist Journals, with a separate calendar page. The color scheme is bright: red, white and cyan blue. Field Notes quarterly subscribers also get a bonus Tenth Anniversary Edition — on the right, above.

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Pen of the Day: Pelikan M605 White Transparent with Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall

Pelikan M605 White Transparent with Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall

Pelikan M605 White Transparent with medium nib. My new pen and my almost new ink. A winter white pen with a blueish gray ink.

This M605 has palladium trim and a rhodinized nib. The ink has beautiful shading and a quiet, lovely, almost zen-garden, feeling.

Pelikan M605 White Transparent with Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall

The pen barrel is made of transparent clear plastic with translucent white stripes. The stripes are both a fig leaf and a nod to Pelikan traditional design, but except for the stripes, the ink is fully visible in the transparent barrel.

People will have different feelings about that. I’m a demonstrator fan, and I would rush to buy an M605 clear demonstrator pen, should one ever be produced. But many people don’t like Pelikan demonstrators because ink will get trapped in places usually hidden under the section.

This M605 White Transparent is a nice compromise: you only see the ink in the barrel, which will come clean when you flush the pen.

But you do see the ink in the barrel.

And if you really, really love white, that may bother you. If so, a white converter pen is a better idea.

Pelikan M605 White Transparent with Papier Plume Bayou Nightfall

I don’t love white, so I’m good with it.

But you know what I really do love? Look at that photo, at the part of the barrel that’s filled with ink. You can see an oval that looks golden, in the upper part, near the section. That’s the sun, glinting through a tiny bubble where there’s no ink.

Pelikan M605 White Transparent: Winter is Here

Pelikan M605 White Transparent

It took a while, but my new Pelikan M605 White Transparent finally arrived, and it’s gorgeous. If you’ve been hesitating, it’s safe to come out now. Maybe not safe for your wallet, however.

I had been very unsure about ordering this one. Why? Mostly because it was white. But then, even after I took a chance and pre-ordered it, I was nervous: I saw some Instagram posts of the pen that didn’t wow me, honestly.

But, in person, it’s a total “wow.” The transparent part with white stripes looks neat, and the rhodinized trim cools off the warmer white plastic used on the rest of the pen. The combination of warm and cool materials keeps the pen from looking either syrupy or stark. It’s really kind of dazzling.

The cap, section and piston knob are made of the same off-white as on the M605 Pink and the M600 and M400 White Tortoise models, but the effect is different with the different color trim. Here are all three of mine, the two M600-size pens and the M400 White Tortoise.

Pelikan M605 White Transparent, M605 Pink and M405 White Tortoise

I love them all, but I prefer silver-color trim, and so the M605 White Transparent is icily perfect for me. It’s also the only one of the three that looks sleek. Even, perhaps, a little contemporary.

All of the trim is palladium-coated, and the nib is rhodinized, like the M605 Marine Blue.

Pelikan M605 White Transparent

The internals are white, which means, as you can see from these photos, that the piston mechanism is nicely unobtrusive. But because the ink chamber/pen body is transparent, when you ink up the pen, you will see the ink inside. Here’s the obligatory “before” closeup.

Pelikan M605 White Transparent

I inked up the M605 White right afterwards. I’ll post some photos of the pen filled with ink tomorrow.

Wahl-Eversharp Doric Second Generation in Black with Center Barrel Ink View

Wahl-Eversharp Doric black with center barrel ink view

For posterity, and future pen detectives, as well as for your viewing pleasure, here are some photographs of a stunning vintage pen: an oversize Wahl-Eversharp second generation Doric plunger filler in black celluloid, with a central ink view area in clear, black and brown celluloid.

Another shot of the whole pen.

Wahl-Eversharp Doric black with center barrel ink view

Below is a photograph of the barrel: the ink view region is approximately in the center of the pen. You can see where the pen body goes from black celluloid, to the mottled clear part, to black celluloid again.

Wahl-Eversharp Doric black with center barrel ink view

Now, a closeup of the ink view area. That’s the metal plunger rod inside.

Wahl-Eversharp Doric black center barrel ink view closeup

Another closeup, this time from another side. I think of this as a tortoise pattern.

Wahl-Eversharp Doric black center barrel ink view closeup

This Doric is probably about 80 years old, but luckily it has escaped most of the ravages of time, and you can see that the clear celluloid is still remarkably clear.

The Doric design is similar to the original Paragon from the Italian company Omas. And this particular Doric reminded me of my vintage-style Paragon Extra Lucens. Here are both together. They are about the same length, but the Omas is slightly thicker.

Wahl-Eversharp Doric black with center barrel ink view + Omas Vintage Paragon Extra Lucens

Here are the cap ends, showing the facets of both pens.

Omas Vintage Paragon and Wahl-Eversharp Doric caps

This Doric is from an estate that we at Chicago Pen Show are handling. There are more photos of it and some other Wahl-Eversharp fountain pens here. We’re bringing these and more to the Ohio Pen Show in a few weeks. Come visit.

Vintage Wahl-Eversharp Dorics and Stenographer’s Pens

Wahl-Eversharp Dorics and Stenographer's fountain pens

I’ve been surrounded by vintage pens lately, not my own, but from an estate that we at Chicago Pen Show have been working to sort through and sell. It’s been fascinating, and I’m learning a lot, but it leaves me less time to blog. So I’ll share some photos.

First are those five beautiful Wahl-Eversharp fountain pens, dating to the 1930s.

The three on the bottom are Doric fountain pens, two second generation vacuum fillers and one first generation lever filler. Dorics are celluloid pens, made in the US, in a 12-sided faceted design that reminds me of the Omas vintage Paragon. They are gorgeous, and the nibs are supposed to be excellent.

All three of the Dorics have adjustable nibs, with a slider which the user can operate to make the nib more or less flexible. Here’s a closeup of the three Doric nibs, which feature three different nib sizes, and two different slider models.

Wahl-Eversharp Doric adjustable nibs various sizes

The nib on the bottom is the smallest Doric nib, a number three.

Apart from the Dorics, we’ve got two green Stenographer’s pens. The Stenographer’s fountain pen is a long, slim pen, with a long, slim nib. It has a nice, lightweight feel in the hand. And it’s a bulb filler.

Wahl-Eversharp Stenographer's fountain pen bulb filler

I like these, a lot. At every pen show, I ooh and ahh over the Dorics. Now I get to add Stenographer’s pens to my “someday” list.

True Confessions, Ballpoint Edition: Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow

This is my new ballpoint, which is actually old, and kind of dented and scratched, so it was a bit overlooked, thrown in at the bottom of a box that was part of a large collection of fountain pens.

The pen bears the official name of the “Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition ” in Saffron Yellow. Quite a mouthful of nouns.

These were part of an anniversary edition of Jotters from 2004, as set forth in this excellent article by Len Provisor. Coincidentally, Len was in the room when this particular Jotter came out of the big box of pens. But he didn’t find it. It was Rich who found it, then told me about the edition, and then was nice enough to leave it for me to buy. Thanks, Rich.

Thus, my first Jotter.

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow

Mechanically, it’s just a regular Jotter, in regular Jotter size, made in the UK. The pen body is sterling silver with an inlay of saffron yellow. Mine clearly has been used pretty heavily, and it has some discoloration and dents and such, but that’s perfect for me, because that made it affordable, and I want to use it anyway. It came with a Jotter gel refill, which writes a very smooth line, albeit fairly broad.

I actually bought this pen for my younger daughter, who likes ballpoints and Jotters, but by the time I got home, I decided it was so good we should share it. “Look what I got for you! And we can share it!” was how I put it.

So now, I actually have three nice ballpoints. Although they were all bought at different times, I had them all out today, and something became clear. I had a theme.

Parker Jotter Jubilee Premier Edition Saffron Yellow & Caran d'Ache 849 Tropical & Lamy Pico

Or at least a color scheme.

Those are, from the top, the Lamy Pico in Laser Orange, which I carry in my purse, the Jotter and a Caran d’Ache 849 in Tangerine-Pink Tropical.

That Lamy Pico is an outstanding design, and the best purse pen ever; and in real life it’s even brighter than a photo can convey, so it’s impossible to lose. The Caran d’Ache 849 is a classic, and attractively subdued in color, and so is the Jotter. I’m pretty happy to have them all.

Plus, since they are ballpoints, I can stop right here. Right?

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain Fountain Pen and Pencil Set

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain fountain pen and pencil

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain. This Parker 75 set has a fountain pen and mechanical pencil in a finish called “sterling silver plain” on Parker Pens Penography. I hadn’t noticed this finish before, and I couldn’t find photos online, so here we go.

The look is posh, elegant and formal. Mine was manufactured sometime between 1966 and 1970. It’s fun to think that in those same years the Rolling Stones were releasing Aftermath, Between the Buttons, Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed. This pen set is for Mr. and Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, not Benjamin.

And still, I’m totally into it. It’s a beautiful object, sleek and stylish. The un-ornamented sterling silver is simple and feels almost contemporary. Next to this plain sterling silver, the iconic 75 finish, sterling silver ciselé, looks much more traditional.

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain and Cisele

The plain sterling silver looks lighter and brighter. It’s shiny, but in a restrained way, because it’s sterling silver.

And here’s a nice touch: Because the smooth silver finish is liable to show scratches, fingerprints and tarnish, Parker provided two little pouches made of silver cloth.

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain set

My pencil and pen are filled and in use right now, but I love having them in their pouches. I’m sorry, it’s adorable.

The sterling silver ciselé 75 makes a good companion, and a good contrast.

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain and Cisele

The ciselé is crosshatched, which gives it texture. This grid makes the finish easy-care, with no polishing or special precautions needed, whereas I suspect the plain silver may need a light polish every now and then. The plain silver finish may pick up some marks of use over the years, too, just like the Kaweco AL-Sport in raw aluminum.

So even if the plain silver 75 were commonly available, it wouldn’t be for everyone. But it is for me. I wasn’t kidding that I am not interested in buying fountain pens these days. But when I saw this one, boom, interest.

Parker 75s are great user pens if you don’t mind a thinner pen, and the nib is a pleasure to use if you write like I do — quickly and without flex. A Parker 75 isn’t very expensive, either: in fact, the more common ciselé is a veritable bargain, and has always been one of my favorite pens. Now I will enjoy using them both.

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Plain and Cisele detail

It Is a Very Good Thing I’m Off Pens

Okay, I was supposed to be enabling everyone else last week. So what the heck? How is it fair, or right, for people yesterday to start enabling me? That is not how this is supposed to work. I am officially “off pens.”

But if that happened, hypothetically, and those very bad people did that, it’s possible I ended up buying another pen yesterday. But that probably would be okay, right? Because it’s totally their fault.

And then, if you think about it, I actually saved someone else from having to buy it. I mean, looked at a certain way, that’s helping others. Maybe, and I’m just going to say it, maybe I am a hero.

Which means, and again we’re talking hypothetically, if there were two pens, I’d be twice as good, right?

Well (and maybe don’t listen to this part) but what if there was a mechanical pencil, too? That’s a little harder to just glide over, perhaps. Maybe we’re on shaky ground when we come home with three writing instruments, when we are “off pens.” But if the pencil was included, say, in a set, then maybe it shouldn’t even count. I didn’t seek it; I had to take it. Also, looked at a certain way, I kept a family together; I did something good. Really, I’m seeing similarities to Clive Owen in Children of Men. And Pongo and Missis when they escaped with all the puppies, not just their own.

Well, wow. Good for me! Some people would reward themselves with a pen. But I’m not like that.

Music Break: MLK

On this date in 1964, the Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Martin Luther King, Jr.

This beautiful little song was written by M. Ward for Mavis Staples, based on a King speech called “The Drum Major Instinct,” which King delivered on February 4, 1968, exactly two months before he was assassinated. The speech is about following Jesus’s teachings by aiming to serve others, rather than seeking recognition or fame at the head of the parade.

As he winds up his speech, King says that, in that light, he’s been thinking about what he’d want said at his funeral. “Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important…. I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.”

The great Mavis Staples is a Chicagoan who has performed since childhood, now with her own band but in her early years as one of the Staple Singers, a legendary gospel, R&B and soul group. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a friend of her family. Mavis Staples says she had to stop at times while recording this song, because it was as if she could hear and see him.

Today, I want to remember King. For the Nobel Peace Prize, but more as he wanted, as a person who tried to serve others. (As we all can.) That he tried to love not hate. (As we all can.) That he helped somebody as they passed along. (As we all can.) That in the crawl for justice he helped somebody run; that in the walk for the hungry, he fed someone; and that in the march for peace, he played the drum.