Kaweco Sport Cognac Edition

20 09 2016


My first impression of the pen was definitely positive. My first impression of the package – was not (hence the 5/10 score).20160721_153158 It’s simply my opinion, but the honey/amber coloring of this little demonstrator is quite attractive. The use of gold plated hardware is definitely a better choice with this color than the stainless/chrome would have been (a-la the ice sport models).

20160721_153316As previously mentioned, my initial impression upon pulling this little jewel out of my mailbox, was not so good. I bought this pen on Amazon as I couldn’t find it through any of my other sources. It come from a company in Germany called Seitz Global. I’ve ordered from them before, and probably will again. However, this particular shipment came totally without padding or any kind of protection for the pen. Just a flat cardboard sleeve. Everything turned out ok, but it definitely raised a red flag in my mind.



Honey – colored Cognac Sport model

This subject is absolutely subjective (like how I did that?). The Sport line of pens are designed as “pocket pens”. While you can order a removable pocket clip, allowing it to be carried in a shirt or jacket pocket, upright like a traditional pen, it doesn’t come with one. They’re designed to be carried in your pants pocket or a bag. They are again, in my opinion, very attractive pens. One thing I like is that there’s really not anything else on the market that looks like them. They are definitely unique. Capped, they look almost too small to use, especially as I have large hands. However, posted, they are still small, but very usable. Comfortable in fact.


Put simply, this is a true pocket pen. I’m a big guy, with big hands, and normally small pens just don’t work well for me. But posted, this little guy is quite comfortable to use. Capped, it’s 104mm, posted 127mm, and uncapped, 97mm. The body of the pen is round, while the cap (which is slightly longer than the body) is faceted octigonally.

NIB: 9/10
20160721_160105The nib in the Cognac model comes with some type of gold plating over stainless steel. Mine is a fine point and preformed flawlessly out of the box. Very smooth with just a very fine amount of feedback. But certainly not what you would call “toothy”.


These pens are designed as cartridge fillers, specifically, short international size cartridges. They do make a bulb filler type of converter but they don’t come with one. From what I’ve read from other sources, the bulb fillers don’t work all that well. However, one of the coolest things about the all plastic Sport models of the pen (Note – not the AL Sports) is that with just a little dab of silicone grease around the interior threads of the section, and you have a superb eyedropper filler. And it holds a LOT of ink. That’s exactly what I’ve done to my pen.

COST & VALUE: 10/10

Let me just state here that cost is a fact, and value is completely subjective. That said, I purchased this pen on Amazon for $19.90, sold by Seitz Global in Germany. In my opinion, at this price, I think the pen is an exceptional value!

CONCLUSION: 8 out of 10 overall

Let’s just say I really do like these little pens. They’re a great design, and each one I’ve gotten, have been great writers. This one was certainly no exception. And if you can find this model at this price, a GREAT value!

Related Video:


Leather Notebook Cover From Galen Leather

11 06 2016

“This folio cover gets 6 out of 5 stars.”

I’ve discovered some truths. Pen people are just cooler than most other people (Duh). And pen people in general, tend to share a lot of common likes and to a lesser extent , dislikes. One of the things that I think is a commonality among pen folk, is a like/love for leather goods. I love leather in general, always have. I grew up on a farm with horses and cattle. For me it started there. I even loved caring for leather, the feel of bridles and saddles as I cleaned and oiled them. The smell of the leather, the oils, the saddle soap. All of it.

My fountain pen addiction hobby has coincided with leather stuff. Directly related to pens are the cases and sleeves. Closely related are journals and the leather folios to house said journals. For some time now I have been looking for something i could carry a journal of some type and my tablet, all-in-one. Enter Galen Leather.

Galen is a leather company based in Turkey. They approached me about doing a review and offered to send me something that I thought would be useful to me. Big shout out to them for that, but I’m also a little nervous about situations like this. I don’t like to feel like there’s some unspoken thing….we send you something to review, you write a glowing review of our product. But the thing is, I can’t find anything negative about this product.

My credibility aside, keep reading.

Leather is expensive. What peaked my interest with these folks was initially their web site and their pricing. They have a LARGE selection of products, and their prices seemed more than competitive.  Shopping for leather goods on the internet, in my experience, can be kind of dicey. High price does not necessarily equate to high quality. Nor does a low price mean low quality. And anyone can make photos of a product look good. This stuff looked real good. It’s just dicey when you can’t see it, or feel it. Stiff or supple? Thick or thin? It’s tough.

I can only address the folio they sent me (the “Extra Large Moleskin Cover” in dark brown) but one dollar will get you ten – their other products are just as awesome.

Spelled:  A  W  E  S  O  M  E.

Here’s a video of the same folio I got:

The leather is heavy, and thick. Superbly designed and constructed. The edges are beveled and smooth. This is a folio cover that will last my lifetime and get passed on to one of my kids.

If you’ve seen the movie Spinal Tap, you’ll remember the Marshall amp that went to 11. Same thing here. This folio cover gets 6 out of 5 stars. Here’s some pictures of what I received:



Monteverde Artista Crystal

4 04 2016

20160330_140404Following is my review of the Monteverde Artista Crystal demonstrator pen. This is a pen that I haven’t seen a lot on out on the ‘Net. That being said, I’ve included links to some other good reviews on this pen at the end of my own.



Well, pretty simple, it’s just a cool. Really cool in my opinion. The only reason for not giving it a 10 out of 10 would be it’s size. I prefer a larger pen, although I wouldn’t say that it’s too small. I would just prefer it a bit larger. Obviously, this is a completely subjective category.

20160330_140425APPEARANCE   9/10

The entire Artista line are demonstrators. This one is clear; I also have one in green. They also come in light blue, pink and yellow. The section, nib and accents are all stainless steel. The barrel and cap are highly polished both inside and out. One really cool thing is that the feed for the nib is also clear. So it actually changes color with the ink you choose to fill it with.

20160330_140301DESIGN / SIZE / WEIGHT   7/10

The pen is what I call a classic “Pelikan style”. Cigar shaped overall, with a screw off cap that posts well. The pen measures 5 inches capped and 6 1/16 inches posted. The weight was 25 grams.The only reason for the reduction in points is personal (and that’s the way reviews are supposed to be…). I wish it were a little bigger.

20160330_123336NIB   9/10

The nib is small-ish, stainless steel and an absolute pleasure to write with! Very smooth and reasonably wet, I believe these pens come only in a medium nib. There is no flex to speak of, but again, VERY smooth. It features some scroll work and says simply “Iridium Point <M>”.


The pen comes with a clear, twist style international size converter. It will also accept international size long and short cartridges. Though the barrel is clear and solid (no holes or seams), I would not recommend this pen for eyedropper conversion. Reason being that the entire section is metal, and likely could incur corrosion from the ink. It would look beautiful though!

COST & VALUE   9/10

I got my clear one from an eBay seller for $29.50.My green one come from the Goulet Pen Company for $36. I think Anderson Pens has them at the same price. Both have been great companies to deal with in my experience. Using a full retail cost of $36, I would call this pen an exceptional value. For me, the looks of a given pen are what will initially peak my interest.. And with demonstrators, I think you either really like them or you don’t. I’m one of those that really does like the look. However, if a pen isn’t pleasurable to write with, I’m out. This is a pen that excels in both the performance and looks departments.

CONCLUSION   8.7 Overall

So to end this. I’m a pen guy. I have cheap Chinese stuff all the way to expensive German stuff.My collection isn’t huge, but it’s not small either; something over 100 pens in working order and some (???) number for parts. I have new modern pens and vintage ones. For the past year and a half,one of these two Artista’a has stayed in my rotation, non-stop. If you knew me and my pens, you’d know that that was kind of a big deal. In short:


Monteverde Artista Notes – Written with subject pen using Noodler’s Black SwanAustrailian Roses

Accompanying Video

Other Reviews –

SBRE Brown:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwvjwPeePnU

The Pen Addict.com: http://www.penaddict.com/blog/2013/12/13/monteverde-artista-crystal-fountain-pen-review

A True German Classic, the Pelikan 140

24 03 2016

Ok, here’s the back story concerning today’s new acquisition. Back in the late 90’s, I purchased a Pelikan M200. It was my first purchase of a new “premium” pen. I had been given another premium pen, a Mont Blanc 144 as a college graduation gift in 1988. That pen still holds great sentimental value for me, but it was never a great writer, and has had multiple problems through the years. The Pelikan, on the other hand, was a fantastic writer and was obviously a higher quality pen from a construction point of view. Although the Mont Blanc featured a solid gold nib, and the Pelikan’s was steel with gold plate, there was no comparison in the writing experience between the two. Let’s just say the Mont Blanc was, lacking….

Now move forward to a couple of weeks ago. There was a give-away contest for a limited edition yellow Pelikan M200 through the Fountain Pen Network group on Facebook. I entered, and promptly forgot about it. Several days later I was notified that I had won the pen. Wah Hooo!! I received the pen, and (duh) it was fantastic! Like my original, it had a fantastically smooth, medium gold plated steel nib. Absolutely lovely.


Winning this new Pelikan re-ignited a desire I’ve had for a long time, and that was to acquire a vintage bird. So off to eBay and the internet to do some research.


Now cut to today. I won an auction on an early production Pelikan 140. Let me say this right now. I’ve been collecting fountain pens for over 20 years, and I’ve bought a lot of them on eBay. I’ve dealt with good sellers and bad. This was THE BEST EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER HAD with an eBay seller. He shipped quickly, packaged the pen expertly, and included several extra goodies in the package besides my pen. Nice goodies! I don’t want to go into detail about said goodies, as I don’t know whether he does this sort of thing with all the pens he sells. But let’s just say I will be buying from this guy again, sometime in the future. The seller’s eBay identification is sargetalon. He’s actually Joshua Danley with “The Pelikan Perch”, http://thepelikansperch.com .


I’ll be doing a detailed review of the pen soon, But here’s the basics. It’s awesome. Yeah, that just about covers it. It’s just plain friggin awesome. As great as the M200 steel nibs are, this thing eclipses  those. It’s a solid 14c gold medium nib —- with flex. Oooooooh. And the smoothness! It’s juicy and wet. Like writing on a melting ice cube smooth/wet.






The Pelikan Has Landed

16 03 2016

There really are kind people in the world. That may seem like a “duh” statement, but it seems we ju20160316_143955.jpgst don’t run into kindness – real kindness – in today’s society too often. Certainly, not often enough.

A few years ago, the church I go to (shout out Vineyard of Lexington!) did a series on kindness and “paying it forward”. It was a sermon series that really hit home for me, but at the time, I couldn’t do much to act on it. Oh, I could be kind, sure, but at that time, I had just been laid off from my job, facing bankruptcy, and just scrambling to try and hold things together. Now skip forward 6 years, I’m in a new career, and things are much better. I do try to be kind, but alas I’ve failed to do much paying it forward. Thanks to Erin Gooch with the Fountain Pen Network group on Facebook, I had the opportunity to participate in a little pay-it-forward kindness this week.

Early last week, Erin posted pictures of a limited edition yellow (and I mean Y  E  L  L  O  W) M200 fountain pen. Very eye-candy-catching pictures. Turns out it was for a give-away contest she was doing for that pen. Note, I said she was doing, not some company she works for. Just her. All you had to do to enter was comment on the pictures; she would choose the winner at random from among those folks who had commented. The winner would receive the pen. But wait……here’s the REALLY cool part. A second name would also be drawn, and the 1st winner had to agree to send the 2nd winner some kind of pen themed package. So I commented.

You see where this is going, don’t you?

I won.

Here’s what came in the mail today:




20160316_144321.jpg     20160316_144259.jpg


Winner #2 was Xi Lu, from India. After some correspondence, I found out that he hadn’t yet had any experience with vintage pens, so he’s got something coming….. I started to post pictures of his care package, but that would ruin his surprise as it hasn’t had time to reach him yet. Once I hear from him, I’ll post those as well.

So to Erin Gooch over on Facebook / Fountain Pen Network group,


Huashilai 3000 Re-Do —— Bring Out That Brass!

25 07 2015

Huashilai 3000 Re-Do – Bring Out That Brass!

I started noticing a common problem showing up with many, but not all of my Chinese pens. Many of those that feature a black lacquered finish over a brass barrel have begun to blister and flake. So I decided to try to remove what was coming off anyway, and see how it looked. As these are really cheap pens to begin with, I figured there was really nothing to loose.

I have several pens doing this, but for this experiment, I chose my Huashilai 3000 “Tiger Eye” to try stripping. To also be clear, I didn’t do a lot of correct prep work for this project, nor did I take the steps that I would have, if I were doing it again, knowing what it had the potential to turn out like.

 20150725_113150.jpgBasically, I just took the pen apart, put masking tape around the ends, covering the chrome trim, and started sanding with a fairly coarse 600 grit paper. This took care of the paint finish super quick. It also substantially scratched the brass barrel. I followed this up with a medium grade steel wool finally ending up with a super fine steel wool.

20150725_114510.jpgThe end result is…..ugly. Well it is. But, it’s also kind of cool in a sort of black-on chrome-on orange resin-on chrome-on brass-on chrome-on black sort of way. By not utilizing subsequently smaller grades of sandpaper before switching over to the steel wool, it left the pen with an instant sort of worn character.

But yeah, it’s ugly.


My Top Five Pens

22 02 2015

My Top Five Pens…..For Right Now….

Ok, this is just for fun. I’m interested in what your favorite pens are. Please, if you read this, leave a comment below as to what your current (up to 5) favorite pens are. Mine are kind of fluid. If I had made this list 5 or 6 months ago, it would have probably all been different. Here are my five (in no particular order)……for right now:

Kaigelu 316

There were sev20150213_212031.jpgeral Chinese pens I considered for this list, but right now the Kaigelu comes up on top. A copy of the modern Parker Duofold, it features a super smooth #6 size two-tone nib, that is very smooth and wet. One of the higher quality Chinese pens and one of the more expensive ones (for Chinese pens that is). You can find these from $18 to $30. But easilly comparible to $75+ pens.

Pilot Metropolitan

Pilot is a Ja20140827_144914.jpgpanese company and produces a wide range of pens from economy (like the Metropolitan) to high end. Just my humble opinion, but I would label this pen as the finest economy penmoney can buy. It does have it’s faults, but they are mainly opinion based and not materially relevant (i.e. the fact that it takes a proprietary cartridge and converter instead of standard sized ones). I have two of these pens and based on them, I would pit the writing experience with their nibs (fine & medium) against ANY other pen. Easily the best fine point I’ve ever used. VERY high quality pen.  For $15. You can’t beat it.

Blue Esterbroo2014-08-24 17.39.30.jpgk Dollar Pen

My only vintage pen in my top 5. Which, if you knew me, is quite surprising. Esterbrook is probably my favorite of the vintage pen companies (followed closely by Sheaffer) for collecting. Their pens were/are beautiful, durable, and of high quality. This is a “Dollar” pen which preceeded the more common “J” pen. This has a 9668 nib. Smooth, firm writer. Dependable and beautiful.

2014-05-12 14.35.53.jpgNoodlers Konrad in California Tortoise

 I picked up 3 Noodlers pens last year, an Ahab and two Konrads. The Ahab I was so-so about, but this Konrad was a different story. Piston fillers, they hold a lot of ink, and that’s needed. Because as they are flex nibs, these things DRINK the ink. I don’t really utilize the nib’s abilities too often in terms of coaxing a lot of line variation when I write. However, it’s still a superbly smooth writer for everyday work.. And cheap too at about $20.

IMAG0387.jpgPelikan M200

 I only have 2 pens from “high end” companies, a Mont Blanc and a Pelikan. Both are the entry level pens for their companies, the MB 144 and this pen, the Pelikan M200. This is a FANTASTIC pen. The Mont Blanc…is not. My only quibble about this pen is the aesthetics of the nib. It’s a steel nib (and it’s awesome) with gold plate or electroplate. And it looks like electroplate. I have a lot of other far less expensive pens with plating, but they look like gold. Other than that, there is nothing I can say negative about this pen.

Well, that’s my top five for now. Next month may be different. Let me know what yours are!