Parker 75 Sterling Silver Ciselé with fine nib. The Parker 75 is a business-like pen with a no-nonsense, no-flair nib. It a fairly slim pen by today’s standards, but it’s comfortable to use and works without fuss. It could easily be the one pen you use every day.
The 75 comes in a number of finishes. In fact, this weekend I just saw a beautiful, new-to-me 75 pattern that a pen friend had purchased. I’ve had a few 75s over the years, but I’m down to just this one: the US-made flat top sterling silver ciselé pattern.
This is probably the most common 75, but it’s also my favorite. I’d say it’s the iconic Parker 75.
Being a total wild child, I threw caution to the wind and filled it with a random ink sample, Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black. I know, settle down, right?
Well, it all worked out because Faber-Castell Carbon Black seems to be my kind of black ink: not dark-as-night, but more interesting to me because it has some shading. This ink also writes very smoothly and resists feathering nicely. It reminds me of all my favorite black inks: Pelikan Brilliant Black and the black inks from Stipula, Montblanc and Seitz-Kreuznach.
Omas Paragon Saffron Blue with medium nib. I’ve been talking about Omas with a few people this week. So I had to ink one up. This is a Paragon, from 1997, in Saffron Blue celluloid. That material isn’t incredibly common, but it is really beautiful.
The Saffron Blue celluloid is primarily dark blue, with ochre, white and gold. It reminds me of Vermeer’s palette. Or maybe Van Gogh — but only the celluloid; not the pen.
I always use a safe blue ink in this one. Today it’s Kaweco Royal Blue, which is an unheralded but excellent standard blue.
Pelikan M205 Transparent Blue with fine nib. It’s full name seems to be the “Classic M205 Demonstrator Transparent Blue Special Edition” which certainly is a mouthful. But that does say it all. The pen is blue, it’s a demonstrator and it has chrome-plated trim.
Despite some internal struggle, I just had to have it. And it really looks great.
As you can see from that photo above, the piston is black, but the spindle and other fittings are a lighter color — beige or gray. That makes the assembly less obtrusive, but still visible. I like Pelikan’s attention to detail there.
The only things I don’t love about this pen, and I knew both going in, are the Pelikan steel nib and the pen’s light weight. There’s nothing to do about the weight, since I don’t like writing with the pen posted. But as for the nib, because it’s a Pelikan I can swap in other nibs. And maybe I’ll have the steel nib stubbed or something. As we say in Chicago, “I know a guy.”
But, the look of the pen, I just love.
Parker Duofold Centennial with medium stub. This is the modern Duofold in Black and Pearl. I saw a few of these at the pen show. Along with a number of vintage Duofolds in the original black and pearl celluloid. So it’s nice to take out mine again.
However, the main thing I’m interested in today is the ink, Rohrer & Klingner Fernambuk.
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Montblanc Agatha Christie with fine nib. The Chicago Pen Show starts in just a few days, so I inked my Christie in hopes it will armor me against any impulse to buy. I’m going with: “What could be better than this one?”
And if that doesn’t work, scary snake eyes might. Except they aren’t so scary, darn it.
With a really nice blue ink in Montblanc Tolstoy.
Venvstas 77 “Chicago” with medium nib. Sadly, this Venvstas isn’t mine. But happily, Venvstas has made this special edition 77 just for next week’s Chicago Pen Show. The Chicago 77 will be available as a demo at the show, and one lucky person will win it.
This 77 has a two-dimensional glossy carbon fiber body and polished stainless steel trim. I’ll put together a review soon, but spoiler alert, I like it. The medium nib is especially nice.
It’s spring here, but unseasonably cold and blustery. Nonetheless, it was the green grass of spring that inspired me to ink the Chicago 77 with J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage. And it’s perfect. It reminds me of Wrigley Field, the most Chicago place of all.
Venvstas Carbon T with fine nib. Yes, I just got this, and yes, I already shared some photos, and yes, I am working on a longer review. But it can also be Pen of the Day. Because today is a day, and the Carbon T is the pen I’m using.
Also, this lets me show J. Herbin Rouge Opera ink.
There are three J. Herbin inks with the first name Rouge — the Rouges Bourgogne, Caroubier and Opera. Each offers something lovely. Bourgogne is the pinkest, Caroubier is the most unusual, and Opera is the reddest. But Rouge Opera is from J. Herbin, so it’s a stylish sort of red.
Lamy Al-Star Ocean Blue with extra-fine nib. Blue is my favorite color for fountain pens and ink. That’s not really a secret. Also not a secret is my love for Lamy pens. But I far prefer the ABS plastic Safari to the sleeker, more sophisticated aluminum Al-Star.
Except … sometimes. And this gorgeous deep blue Al-Star is one of the exceptions. I think the deep blue tone and the reflectivity of the aluminum makes the Ocean Blue Al-Star a stunner.
I am using it to review the ink, KWZ Azure #1. That’s because Lamy’s extra-fine nib is very different from the broad nib Aurora Optima that I’m also using with Azure #1. Here is Azure #1 in an extra-fine.
Aurora Optima Sole with medium nib. This is just fountain pen sunshine, somewhere between yellow and orange in color.
And totally gorgeous.
And this is my favorite orange ink, Caran d’Ache Saffron.
Montblanc Heritage 1912 with broad nib. I just inked this wonderful pen yesterday so I can bring it to a meet-up Sunday with some other Chicago-area fountain pen fans.
One of the other attendees has a Heritage 1912, too. But I think my Heritage 1912 is going to be much more badass. Because mine is filled with Montblanc Pink.
Put on your sunglasses! No, just kidding. It’s actually a really nice ink. I don’t think it was ever popular online, perhaps because photos can make it look unpleasantly eye-searing. But in real life, it’s a lovely, cheerful pink with nice shading.
And totally badass.