Powered by PebbleInfoTech

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Filler Fountain Pen

Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Filler Fountain Pen 

The name Mark Twain means many things to many people – it may conjure images of the Mississippi river; jog memories of mandatory school reading; or just remind us of one of the greatest writers to have put pen to paper.  While it would be very hard to find anyone who did not know who Mark Twain was and what he accomplished, it is likely that most give little to no thought of his most important tool – his writing instrument.  During the later years of his life, it was the Crescent fountain pen manufactured by Conklin Pen Co which became Twain’s instrument of choice.  He enjoyed it so much that he became Conklin’s official spokesman in 1903.  Conklin has continued to manufacture the Crescent fountain pen, now dubbed the Mark Twain Crescent Filler collection in honor of his patronage, to the same specifications as when it was available in the early 1900’s.  The Crescent pens derive their name from the crescent half ring which protrudes from the body – rotate a safety ring so that a gap is lined up directly under the crescent, press on the crescent to deflate the bladder located inside of the body, release the crescent and ink will fill the bladder via suction – the safety ring is then rotated to avoid any spill issues.  Twain’s appreciation of this particular pen was due to the half-moon crescent – it kept the pen from rolling off of his desk when he set it down.

Conklin has created a Limited Edition transparent version to allow users to see the inner workings of the Crescent line.  Available with either Rose Gold or Black Titanium coated metal accents, only 1898 pieces are available.  This quantity was chosen as it was the year in which Conklin was founded.  The limited edition number can be found on the metal ring at the bottom of the cap, right underneath the re-creation of Mark Twain’s signature which is present on all of the Crescent pens.  The body and cap are constructed of a clear acrylic.  The material from which the bladder is made is also transparent, which leads to a very clean appearance when empty.  The nib on either version is stainless steel, with the Rose Gold in Conklin’s usual two tone and the Black Titanium coated to match the other metal pieces.  It is available in Fine, Medium or Stub.  The Medium nib is a smooth writer, with just a hint of wetness displayed with light to medium pressure.  A little more pressure, like what you would find yourself using for a ballpoint, and the nib was wet enough to feather on cheap paper.  The cap is light so it is not bothersome when posted.  The safety ring located between the crescent and the body of the pen is graduated – it is slimmer at the gap and gets thicker as it goes around the body.  This allows you to turn the ring so that it rests squarely between the two pieces and does not allow any movement of the crescent.  My one caveat – if you are even the least bit OCD, you will find yourself continuously threading and unthreading the cap onto the pen until the clip lines up with the crescent, even more so with the transparent edition since you can see the nib!

The Conklin Mark Twain Crescent filler line gives us the ability to experience writing with the same instrument used by one of the most influential and celebrated writers of all time.  The crescent alone is a conversation starter, not even taking into consideration Mark Twain’s use.  The pen itself feels like a quality piece and the nib provided a smooth writing experience.  I like the Limited Edition’s transparency, though any of the Crescent line pens would work just as admirably.  This is definitely a piece to add to your collection whether you’re a history buff, a literary fan or just fond of unique writing instruments.

- Joe

Friday, December 5, 2014

10th Anniversary Special Giveaway Contest - NOW CLOSED

***************************CONTEST CLOSED**********************

Pen Boutique’s 10th Anniversary Special Giveaway Contest is now closed. Hence, we would like to put you all out of your misery and reveal the correct answer. Mount Everest is located in NEPAL.
We would like to take this opportunity to inform you all that the contest received an overwhelming response and Pen Boutique is thankful to all the participants for their unmatched enthusiasm and zeal. We will announce the Lucky Winner of the contest shortly, who will get a Pelikan Mount Everest Fountain Pen, as promised.

If you have submitted the right answer, then you might as well win this fabulous pen. Keep an eye out for a notification from us. Cheers!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Retro51 Tornado - Love, Peace and Happiness Review

Retro51 Tornado Love, Peace and Happiness Rollerball Pen
The Tornado line has been and still is Retro51’s bread and butter.  Offered in many different colors and designs, it is a workhorse pen that blends comfort and reliability.  Each Tornado pen arrives with a capless rollerball, extended by twisting the rear knurled grip, which provides a smooth writing experience.  The body of the pen is brass and is generally covered in lacquer or a design, after which a layer of protective clear lacquer is applied.  The body tapers from back to front, with a clip protruding from beneath the branded ring at the back end of the pen.  Retro51 has released a good selection of numbered Limited Edition Tornado pens and their newest is the Love, Peace & Happiness edition in a run of 500 pieces.  This particular edition boasts an antique brushed look to all of the brass pieces, with the body covered in 25 different languages for the words “love,” “peace” and “happiness.”  The words expose the brass body beneath a matte cream lacquer.

This is a striking piece, helped in no small part by the antique brass accents.  The limited edition number is engraved into the ring above the clip and is finished in the same matte cream color as the body – a nice touch as it can sometimes be hard to locate this number depending on its placement.  The cream and brass complement each other very well.  As with most of the Tornado line this piece has a nice weight to it – not too heavy, not too light – and feels very well balanced when in use.  The diamond pattern grip at the rear makes it easy to extend and retract the refill.  An interesting note is that if you have a favorite Parker style refill which you prefer over the capless rollerball that comes with the pen, the Tornado line allows you to switch between the two.  This opens up the types and colors of refills that can be used in conjunction with these pieces.

The Retro51 Tornado checks all of the right boxes – affordable, attractive, is available in many different colors and designs, has a good weight and feels good in the hand.  Add to the equation that two different types of refills can be used and it makes these hard to resist.  The Limited Edition Retro51s always go fast, especially since they are priced at the same level as the other pieces in the line.  Whether you are a collector or an enthusiast, the Retro51 Tornado Love, Peace & Happiness is a great pen for just about everyone.

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Suite 101, Columbia, MD 21044)

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen
The newest Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen is here and ready for shipment.  The latest choice is now an Ultra Fine, 0.2mm.  It is available in Red, Black and Blue/Black.  This is the perfect pen for sketches and taking notes.  There was minimal scratchiness when writing with this pen.  The price point is very reasonable for a re-fillable fountain pen.  The variety of colors makes them great for drawing and the see-through barrels lets you know the exact ink level.

The Preppy is still available in the Fine, 0.3mm, and Medium, 0.5mm.  There is also the highlighter and marker options.  The pens will work with a Platinum converter or ink cartridges.

The ink cartridges are available in Black, Red, Pink, Purple, Blue/Black, Yellow, Green, Light Blue or Brown.  The highlighter colors are Yellow, Blue, Pink, Orange or Green.
The Preppy makes a great Holiday gift for under $10.00.

- Joy

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio Fountain Pen Review

Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio Fountain Pen 
The Graf von Faber-Castell Tamitio line brings the high quality and craftsmanship of the luxury brand to the affordable price levels of the workhorse Faber-Castell lines.  It is an elegantly designed piece which is constructed of a metal body covered by multiple layers of varnish.  This varnish imparts a matte finish which is non-reflective and smooth to the touch.  The front section, rear section and cap are all polished metal.  The nib is stainless steel and plated with Rhodium.  The body has fluting which not only gives the pen a sleek look but also allows for a solid grip.  The Tamitio is available in Black, Rose or Taupe and all share the same polished metal accents.  It is offered as a fountain pen, rollerball, finewriter, ballpoint or mechanical pencil – the finewriter uses a felt-tip/fineliner type refill.  The fountain pen includes a Graf von Faber-Castell converter, is compatible with short international cartridges and is offered with an Extra Fine, Fine, Medium or Broad nib.

The attention to detail and finish on the Tamitio line really shine through on this piece.  This is a weighty pen, no doubt due to the metal and varnish used extensively throughout the body.  I found the fluting in the body to be both grippy and comfortable.  The pen sans cap is weighted very well, and posting the cap did not throw that balance off too much.  The Rhodium plated nib is very smooth, though the Medium was a little on the wet side for my tastes.  I do like the black shield located at the top of the cap – it draws the eye and sets the logo apart from the silver colored metal.  The nib unscrews from the front section, making cleaning extremely easy.

From sight alone, the Tamitio fountain pen is unmistakably from the expert craftsmen at Graf von Faber-Castell.  The lines of the cap and quality materials utilized are sure signs of this German manufacturer.  The pen is a smooth writer, with a nib that is easy to use and easy to clean.  The Tamitio is an easy and affordable step up from Faber-Castell pieces into the luxury pieces offered by Graf von Faber-Castell.

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Suite 101, Columbia, MD 21044)


Cross Luxury Peerless 125 Review

Cross Peerless 125 Luxury Collection
The newest pen in the Cross Luxury collection is the Peerless 125.  The original Peerless pen was introduced by Cross in 1889.  These pens are beautiful in their finishes of Black Lacquer, Platinum and 23k Gold Plate.  Each pen has an individual serial number, on the cap, that you can register with Cross.  The Navy Blue and White box is a show piece on its own.  The inside is white velour and each pen comes with a clear Cross pen stand for displaying.

The Obsidian Black Lacquer has the Platinum trim, the Platinum is available with either Platinum or 23K Gold plated trim and the 23K Heavy Gold Plate is all gold plated.  The top of each pen has a Swarovski faceted cut crystal.  The pens have the legendary Cross lifetime mechanical warranty.  The combination of classic Cross style with a gorgeous finish, makes these pens desirable as an heirloom to be passed down to future generations.

The Fountain Pens all come with a solid 18K Gold/Rhodium plated nib and are available in a Fine or Medium size.  The cap is threaded and weighs 1.5 oz.  It is 5.7" capped and 6.16" posted.  Price range is $450.00 to $550.00.

The Rollerball cap is threaded and weights 1.8 oz.  It has the same dimensions as the fountain pen.  It comes with the Black Cross Gel Rolling Ball refill.  The refills are available in Black, Blue, Red or Purple.  Price range is $225.00 to $325.00.

The Ballpoint pens arrive with the Black Medium Satnink refill.  Additional refills are available in Black or Blue, Fine or Medium.  It weighs 1.5 oz and it 5.68" long.  Price range is $175.00 to $275.00.

- Joy

Sunday, November 16, 2014

International Day for Tolerance

Jessica Lange once said, “Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons”.  When the UN General Assembly gathered the UN Member States in 1996 to pen 16 November as the International Day for Tolerance, their thoughts might have been similar to that of Lange.

With wars blazing across the planet, especially in the name of faith and violence in all shapes and forms surfacing, the International Day for Tolerance seems even more significant today. Observed every year on 16 November, the day is dedicated to educating people about the negative effects of intolerance. It also tends to encourage tolerance and respect towards rights and beliefs of others, focusing on the negative impacts caused by injustice, oppression, racism and discrimination.

Different activities are carried across the globe in different manners by different groups to celebrate the day. Educators write articles about tolerance while human rights activists organize events and speak on human rights law, focusing on banishment and punishment on hate crimes and discrimination. Secretary General of UN, Ban Ki-moon said about this day, " On this International Day of Tolerace, I call on all people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism with dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. Let us advance against the forces of division and unite for our shared future."

But the actions inspired by this day should not be limited to the day. The day is to advocate and inspire others, while the rest of the 364 days are to work for a tolerant community, city, nation and most importantly a tolerant you. So, let’s join our hands together for a more tolerant society, so that we and the future generation could live in a more harmonious and peaceful society.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point Copper Fountain Pen - Review


Meet Pilot’s newest addition to the Vanishing Point line, the 2014 Limited Edition Copper.   I had been admiring the Vanishing Point pens for a couple of years now, waiting to see if they would come out with a model that I couldn’t resist.

As bright as a shiny new copper penny, this pen really called out to me. It is almost as much fun to just look at as it is to write with.  The 2014 Copper pen comes with rhodium appointments on the barrel and clip and a rhodium-plated medium 18k gold nib, which I found to be a little wetter than I had anticipated and could possibly be too broad for some writers who are used to the finer points of most Japanese pens. Inverting the nib allowed me to write in a finer font than when holding it in its normal position.

This pen is an absolute joy to write with when partnered with a smooth writing paper, such as Clairfontaine or Rhodia. Since I use my fountain pens for both writing and drawing I was elated to find that the 2014 Copper is not too heavy to hold for long periods of time.

This pen would be a great gift for any collector on your Christmas list. Even if that collector is you!

Linda

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Taccia Covenant Fountain Pen Review

Taccia Covenant Fountain pen
Taccia Covenant Fountain Pen
The Taccia brand first came to my attention with their Savanna line of buffalo horn pens.  This is a unique pen, and Taccia has kept that uniqueness with the Covenant series of fountain pens.  The first thing that comes to mind when looking at this pen is a cigar.  The cap, which is more of a sheath than anything else, covers almost the entire length of the pen itself.  When posted, only the front section of the pen is visible; when capped, only the rear section can be seen.  It is a very interesting design, as the elongated cap has now been repurposed – Not only does it protect the nib, but it protects the body and is more like a carrying case than a cap.  The pen can be used separately or in conjunction with the cap.  Taccia offers three colors – Jet Black, Midnight Breeze or Parchment Swirl – with either a Fine, Medium or Broad nib.  The body and cap are made of hand-turned resin and the two tone nib is flexible and made of stainless steel.  A converter is included, or one could use international size cartridges if preferred.  A retractable ballpoint is also available in the same three colors.

The Covenant is an interesting pen – upon first look, the posted cap makes the pen look like it would be too unwieldy to use comfortably.  However, I found that the large cap fit very well between my thumb and knuckle joint, with the leading edge of the cap resting on the meat of my thumb.  That being said, it does feel a bit heavy in the rear when used this way, so I found I preferred using the pen sans posted cap.  The pen itself is weightier than it looks, likely due to what looks like a good amount of metal in the front section as well as some in the body.  While flexible, the nib did not give as much line width variation as a Noodler’s Ink pen would.  This is certainly not a knock on the nib and if you’re not interested in one that is ultra flexible, then this performs very well.  The pen feels well constructed and ready for every day use.  One caveat if you are posting the cap – unscrew the pen by gripping the threads.  If you have screwed the body in too tightly and grip the front section, you will end up unscrewing the front section only and leaving the body in the cap.

While the posted look (or even the capped look) may not be for everyone, the Taccia Covenant should not be ignored if looking for a new fountain pen.  The cap is a value-added feature, since it doubles as a protective casing for the pen itself.  In hand, the pen performs very well – it is comfortable, of a good length and girth, and imparts a feeling of quality while in use.  Style-wise the Covenant is a no frills affair that would be at home next to a Churchill cigar, right down to the clip “band”.  If you want a unique piece that writes well, or even just a weightier resin pen, then take a look at the Taccia Covenant.

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Suite 101, Columbia, MD 21044)



Christmas Gifts for All

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

The fire crackles warm and bright,
The beautiful tree stands astride,
As I open gifts on this glorious night,
I hear Christmas carols, 
And everything is all right.

That time of the year is nigh, when we celebrate not only the miraculous birth of Christ, but also life, love and family. Christmas is just around the corner, and as Christ brought us the gift of life, we are prone to gift others good things, for the sake of giving. And since, giving is better than receiving, we bring you a list of cool items that you will rejoice giving others, this holiday season.

For Him
Getting a gift for men, whether it is your father, brother, friend or a significant someone is very difficult. The search gets even frustrating, with the holiday season breathing warm air on your neck. To rescue you from the heated, messy affair of buying the right gift for a man, we bring you a list of favorable gift options below. Choose wise, choose as you please.

Cufflinks
Cufflinks make for a great gift for any hard working man, who cares about his appearance. And even if the receiver is your brother or a friend, who is yet to tread the white collar world, cufflinks can be a thoughtful and useful gift. Raise the bar and go for something exclusive such as a Visconti Bridges Carbon Graphite Cufflinks and Montblanc Silver Oval Rhodium Plated with Black Obsidian Cuff Links, or you can also get cufflinks that cost less than $100.

Pens
A good fountain pen has always been a trademark of rich legacy and education. Gift a fine pen to a man and he will value it forever. A gorgeous pen from noted brands such as Montblanc, Visconti and Parker is sure to add an added flair to this entire gift affair. If you are aware of something he has been eyeing on for a while than your job is made even easier. If not, try to dig out information of his idol. Pen brands keep releasing pens designed after famous people. With luck, you will find what he would cherish.

Wallet
This is the easiest or the laziest gift to give a guy. I say easiest, because every guy needs it, and laziest because we assume every guy needs it and end up buying the first, cheap wallet in view. But it doesn’t have to be so. Make an effort to know the preference or need of the receiver and shop accordingly. Brands like Bosca, Burberry and Cross might be your saving grace.

Watch
If you have the bucks, then wristwatch is the probably the second most common gift for men. They like it; they use it, and watches make for a smart, stylish and sophisticated gift. Find a stylish one from Montegrappa and Tissot, and surprise the man in question.

For Her
Buying a gift for a girl can prove to be tricky. What you think she wants may not be the thing she really wants, and vice versa. So, the best thing to anyone can do when choosing a gift for a woman, whether mother, sister or the significant other is to really know what she really likes. But in case this is a last minute shopping and you cannot figure out what she likes, then here are some surefire gifts to keep her gleaming with joy.

Cashmere/Pashmina clothing
Ladies love clothes, whether they are shopping for it or receiving it as a gift. Why not make her happy this holiday season with a warm cashmere or pashmina scarf, shawl or gloves. Sweaters aren’t a great idea, here. Show some warm love in the cold winter!

Pens
Pens make for a safe option as gifts for women, but a savvy-safe gift. Depending on who you are giving it to, pick an inexpensive pen or an expensive pen. But we ask you, not to be a penny-pincher. Spend a few extra bucks on a fine pen for the lady and it will be appreciated. If anyone cares, I have dibs on the Caran d Ache Dunas Shiny Red Fountain Pen. Thank you!

Jewelry
What kind of woman doesn’t like jewelry? Occasion or not, a woman loves to be showered with jewelry. Earrings, finger rings, necklaces and what not. Just make it real and she will love it.

Spa Day
A hardworking woman needs a spa day, any day of the year. Whether she is a stay-at-home mom, or a CEO of a multi-national company, she deserves a break for doing everything she does. Buy her a spa day, filled with full-body massage, manicure, pedicure, sauna, Jacuzzi and what not. Trust us she will enjoy every bit of this gift. And on second thought, maybe this gift isn’t so bad for men too. After all, they deserve a relaxed day too.

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

10th Year Anniversary Special Giveaway


Pen Boutique 10th Anniversary Special Giveaway Contest !!

In which country is Mt. Everest located?

Name the country where Mt. Everest is located and win Pelikan Special Edition Mount Everest!

How to Participate

Like our Official Facebook Page to become a fan.
1. Answer the contest question correctly.
2. Answer here
https://www.facebook.com/pensboutique?v=app_1630325090527960

3. Win the contest!

Contest Starts: 11/6/2014
Contest Ends: 11/30/2014

Do you know where the world’s highest summit is located? 
Pen Boutique is 10 years old. To celebrate this joyous occasion, we bring to you yet another chance to win an exotic writing tool. As Pen Boutique strides ahead to reach the top of its game and provide the best service in the world of pen purchase, we want to give our valued customers and well wishers an opportunity to land their hands on a very special pen - Pelikan Special Edition Mount Everest! To win it, all you have to do is tell us the name of the country which houses Mt. Everst - the highest summit of the world. Mt. Everest is 8,848 m high and is located in the country which houses seven other highest peaks of the world; take the hint.

Be a part of our 10 years celebration, answer this simple question and if you win, celebrate with the Pelikan Special Edition. We encourage all our customers, well wishers and followers to take part in the 10th Year Anniversary Special Giveaway Contest.

The participation will be transparent as it will be visible to all on Facebook. The winner of this contest will be announced on our Timeline and Pen Boutique blog (blog.penboutique.com) upon the completion of the contest deadline.

The Prize :  Pelikan Special Edition Mount Everest (take a sneak peek)

It is worth : $600

Total Giveaway Quantity : One

Number of Winners : One

Winner Selection

Out of all the participants with Correct Answers, One Lucky Winner will be chosen randomly by the system. The name of the winner will be declared in the contest spot as well as she/he will be contacted through the Facebook profile used to participate.

Shipping

Free shipping to Winners within USA. International participant shipping will be additional and you can also add it free to your any pending orders.

Eligibility

All USA citizens with valid Facebook ID are encouraged to participate. International customers are welcome to participate but shipping will be additional and you can also add it free to your any pending orders.

 More Legal Stuff
1.) This giveaway/contest is void where prohibited by law. The contestants assume the total responsibility of knowing their local laws in regard to "10th Year Anniversary Special Giveaway" Contest and are subject to any local, state, national or international laws. Friendship Circle accepts no responsibility for making these individual legal determinations.

2.) Winner is solely responsible for any taxes on their respective prizes.

3.) No substitution of prize is offered.

4.) Prizes are non-transferable.

5.) Prizes should be claimed within 30 days of the announcement of winner. Any claims made after 30 days will be considered void. Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, is not responsible for any such claims after that time.

6.) If a prize, or any portion thereof, cannot be awarded for any reason, Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value. That determination will be made by Pen Boutique, Limited, USA.

7.) Winners must verify their email and shipping address when contacted via email address on file.

8.) Winners name may be used on future Pen Boutique, Limited, USA, marketing media, including, but not limited to Facebook, website & blog.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kaweco Ice Sport Ballpoint Pen Review

Kaweco Ice Sport Red Transparent Ballpoint Pen
Kaweco Ice Sport Red Transparent Ballpoint Pen
I went pen shopping with my daughter and she fell in love with the Kaweco Sport pens.  She is 5 and this series of pens are just her size.  She went straight for the Ice Sport Red Transparent Ballpoint pen, since Red is her favorite color.  
The Sport series uses a standard mini ballpoint refill, so I can find the refills easily.  The simple push button on the top is easy and smooth.  The pen is a little over 4" long and about 1/2" wide.  The octagonal shape prevents the pen from rolling off the table or desk.  A clip is available, in gold or silver color.  The Sport is available in a Fountain Pen, Rollerball, Ballpoint or Mechanical Pencil.
Kaweco has been around for over 130 years and is based in Germany with retailers all over the world.  The Sport series was first started in 1912 and is still popular today.  Many of the Kaweco pens are less than $100.00, with the Sport under $30.00.  

- Joy (Pen Boutique LTD, Suite 115, Columbia, MD 21044)

Faber Castell E-Motion Fountain Pen Review

Faber-Castell E-Motion Pure Black Fountain Pen
Faber-Castell E-Motion Pure Black Fountain Pen
The e-motion has long been one of the most popular Faber-Castell lines available.  It has mainly been built with a wood or precious resin body and metal front section, cap and rear section.  Faber-Castell’s latest iteration is a whole metal affair – the Pure Black edition.  This is a modern looking, minimalist designed writing instrument. The body is made of an anodized aluminum with a guilloche pattern engraved on it, which offers a tactile feel and grip without being too rough.  The front section, cap and end piece are chrome plated and then finished in matte black.  The fountain pen’s nib is stainless steel coated in PVD, and is available in Fine, Medium or Broad. Faber-Castell also offers this line in Rollerball, Ballpoint or Mechanical Pencil.  The fountain pen uses international size cartridges and a converter is included.
 While a bit shorter than most other pens, the tapered cylindrical shape allows the e-motion to fill the hand.  The all metal construction leads to a weighty pen – 1.9 oz as measured on our postal scale.  The cap is .7 oz and the body is 1.2 oz.  While somewhat shorter in stature than most pens, the Pure Black does not feel inconsequential. Posted, the length is just right and I found the shorter body and heavy cap to create an overall well balanced writing experience – the combination of the smoothness of the nib and the weight of the pen made writing with the e-motion very enjoyable.  I like the feel of the guilloche pattern on the body, and the front section is of a good diameter as well.  The nib is removable, making cleaning a breeze.  If I had to choose one issue, it would be that the guilloche pattern traps dust and lint very easily, and the black color makes this easy to see.  However, a quick wipe with a cloth and it goes back to looking brand new.  Something that I really like about the finish on this piece is that it will not readily show fingerprints, unlike chrome plated pens.
 The Faber-Castell e-motion Pure Black fountain pen is by far one of my favorites – It is understated, yet catches your eye; it is shorter, yet has a surprisingly nice weight; it is easy to clean, easy to write with, and should be on everyone’s must-try list.
- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sheaffer Taranis Fountain Pen Review

Sheaffer Taranis Fountain Pen
Sheaffer Taranis Fountain Pen
Most recognizable by the signature white dot which adorns the clip, Sheaffer has long been a respected name in the world of pens.  Sheaffer collaborated with famed US architect Charles Debbas to bring us the Taranis line of pens.  Debbas has taken his characteristic feature – minimalism – and melded it into this line.  The overall shape and design of the fountain pen when capped is the definition of minimal, with a rounded middle slowly shifting to squared ends on either side.  The clip is rectangular and fits nicely with the aesthetics of the body.  Uncapped, the user is greeted with a front section adorned with the Sheaffer name (hidden when capped, no doubt to keep in the vein of the minimalist aesthetics) and a hooded nib, which helps keep a tidy and simple appearance.  The fountain pens are compatible with Sheaffer converters and Skrip cartridges, both of which are included with the pen.  The Taranis line is also available in Rollerball or Ballpoint, and in five different colors – Stormy Night (black), Icy Gunmetal (grey) or Sleek Chrome (silver) with chrome trim, and White Lightning (white) or Stormy Wine (burgundy) with gold trim.

The Sheaffer Taranis fountain pen is well balanced, and it felt most comfortable while using it posted.  The nib is smooth – it reminds me of a Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point both in feel and looks.  If I were to nitpick, it does seem to be a little on the wet side with a Medium nib though nothing that would keep me from using it as a daily writer.  The front section where the Sheaffer name is present is flat and I found it to be a good resting place for my pointer finger while in use.  It is nice that a converter is included, as not all fountain pens come with one, especially as it is proprietary to Sheaffer pens.  This is my go-to suggestion when someone is looking for an affordable pen as it blends great writing performance with modern styling.

While it is aesthetically an unassuming pen, the Sheaffer Taranis is one of the smoothest writers I have used.  If you are looking for an understated daily pen with a fantastic nib, the Taranis is hard to beat.

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Lamy Wild Rubin (ruby) Studio Pens

Lamy Wild Rubin Studio Pens
Lamy Wild Rubin Studio Pens
The Lamy Wild Rubin (ruby) Studio pens have finally arrived!  The pictures I first saw of the Wild Rubin reminded me of the Lamy Royal Red color.  Boy, was I wrong.  The true color of the Wild Rubin does not come through in the pictures.  The Ruby color is shimmery and bright, not a matte color at all.
The Wild Rubin has a stainless steel barrel and polished chrome accents.  It has the iconic propeller clip.  The fountain pen and rollerball are the same style as previous colors, but the ballpoint is now tapered and has a longer front section.  The finish is smooth and lacquered, not the usual satin metal finish.
The fountain pen is available with a stainless steel nib or a 14k nib, both pens come with a converter and ink cartridge to start writing right away.  The 14k fountain pen arrives in a gift box with a bottle of blue ink.
All in all - these are beautiful pens and a great addition to any pen lovers collection.

- Joy (Pen Boutique LTD, Suite 115, Columbia, MD 21044)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sailor 1911 Fountain Pen Review

Sailor 1911 Fountain Pen
Sailor 1911L Fountain Pen
In 1981, Sailor introduced their 1911 series as a celebration of the company’s founding in its namesake year.  The line can be had in a number of different sizes, shapes, colors, and nib configurations.  The 1911L, which stands for Large, is a step up in size from the 1911S (Standard) both in diameter and length.  Other than the nib, clip, and decorative rings, the pen is made entirely of resin.  This imparts a light weight that is easy to handle, even in this larger iteration.  The 21k Gold nibs range from Extra Fine all the way up to Music, and includes Sailor’s Medium Fine for those that find the Medium too broad but the Fine too thin.  The 1911 series traditionally uses either cartridges or a converter, though Sailor has recently created the piston filled Realo line.  Both the cartridges and converter are proprietary Sailor designs, and the cartridges are available in Black, Blue, Blue/Black, Red, or Pigmented Black or Blue/Black.  The pigmented inks are waterproof, but extra care should be taken when using these as the tiny particles that cause this characteristic may create issues if the pen is not used or cleaned regularly.
In general, Sailor’s nibs tend to run a size smaller than a Western counterpart – i.e. the Fine writes like an Extra Fine, the Medium writes like a Fine, etc.  In testing a Fine nib, I found this to be true as the pen laid down a very thin line.  Despite the Extra Fine-like width, the nib was smooth, no doubt aided by the 21k Gold construction.  The pen was comfortable to use both posted as well as with the cap left off – another advantage of the light weight.  The larger size compared to the Standard version allowed for a solid grip without much effort, which is something I have come appreciate when having to write for long periods.  I did notice that the nib had a little flex to it, lending a slight variation to line widths if I was so inclined.  This led to a line that was more akin to a Western Fine.
The 1911L looks good and writes well.  Sailor has done a fantastic job in creating a piece that is large enough to use comfortably yet light enough to not fatigue your hand while doing so.  If you are looking for a thicker pen with a smooth nib and classic good looks, the 1911L should definitely be at the top of your list.
- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Porsche Design TecFlex Fountain Pen Review

Porsche Design TechFlex Fountain Pen
Porsche Design TecFlex Fountain Pen

The Porsche Design TecFlex Fountain Pen is a head turner.  One can’t help but notice the basket weave design of woven stainless steel covering the body of the pen.  This design is reminiscent of the protective cabling used for the fuel and brake lines on Porsche automobiles.  The non-weave portions of the pen are Palladium coated.  The nib is rhodium plated 18k white gold and is available in Fine, Medium or Broad.  A converter is included, though the pen is also compatible with international size cartridges.  The TecFlex line includes three different color schemes – stainless steel, stainless steel and gold, and black.  They can be had in Rollerball, Ballpoint or Pencil.  The Ballpoint and Pencil are worth noting as their weave actually compresses when extending the refill or lead – very cool.

The TecFlex Fountain Pen has a good weight to it – not too heavy, but not too light.  It is also a good sized pen and is comfortable in the hand.  The weight does seem to be concentrated to the rear, so I found it more balanced to leave the cap un-posted while writing.  The 18k gold nib is a pleasure to write with, though it does seem to lay down a wet line.  That being said, it is smooth as silk and starts and stops on command.  The rear of the pen has three small protrusions, resembling ball bearings, which keep a sturdy hold on the cap when posted.  This is easily one of the most attractive pens I have had the pleasure of handling and testing.

If you are a car buff, or know someone who is, the Porsche Design TecFlex line is hard to beat.  It looks good, writes well, feels substantial and has design cues taken straight from their vehicles!  Even non-buffs will appreciate the workmanship and style that have gone into this line.  Since the TecFlex is offered in all four writing styles, this line should be able to fulfill the requirements of anyone looking to add a quality piece to their collection.

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Delta Dolcevita Skeleton Limited Edition Fountain Pen Review

Delta Dolcevita Skeleton Limited Edition Fountain Pen
Delta Dolcevita Skeleton Limited Edition Fountain Pen

Are you looking for the perfect October pen?  Take a good look at the Delta Dolcevita Skeleton Limited Edition fountain pen.  The gorgeous orange resin marbling with the black rhodium coated metal cage-style overlay looks like something from Dr. Frankenstein.  There is a clear demonstrator version with the black metal rhodium coating, which is nice to see the ink and piston filler, but I prefer the classic orange and black for looks.

The metal overlay does not interfere with comfort when writing.  The stainless steel nib is fused with 18K gold making for a striking nib design.  It is very smooth and doesn't grab the paper when writing.

The cap is a screw on, both to open/close the pen and to post.  The size of 5 9/16" x 5/8" makes it pleasant to hold and to fit in most pen cases with ease.  It is a heavier pen at 1.8 ounces. The rear top piece unscrews to allow access to the piston filler knob.
It is limited to only 888 pieces and the serial number is on the rear of the cap.

Pair this pen with Diamine Autumn Oak ink and you have a great pen to write your October notes and Halloween greetings with.  This pen is definitely a treat, not a trick.

- Joy (Pen Boutique LTD, Suite 115, Columbia, MD 21044)

Pelikan M101N Tortoise Fountain Pen Review

Pelikan Souverän M101N Tortoisehell Red Fountain Pen
Pelikan Souverän M101N Tortoisehell Red Fountain Pen

For the collectors amongst us, Pelikan began issuing the Special Edition M101N series as a throw-back to a line that was originally introduced in 1937.  Now in its third Special Edition iteration, the Pelikan Souverän M101N Tortoisehell Red is the latest version to come out of Germany.  These Special Edition pens pay homage to the lines and shape of the original piece while utilizing the best in modern technology and materials.  The body itself is made of cellulose acetate and has a somewhat striated design with differing shades of brown inlaid on an almost creamy parchment brown.  The cap, front section and rear section are a red resin and help to set the piece apart from the more subdued colors of the other two Special Editions.  The nib is 14k gold and, like their other pieces, is easily removed for cleaning/swapping/etc.  However, these nibs do have a vintage looking engraving which sets them apart from normal Pelikan nibs.  The pen is piston filled and for a limited time will have a bottle of Pelikan 4001 Blue ink included.  There will be historic font lettering on the bottle and presentation box.

In a collection that spans up to the extra large M1000, the M101 line is Pelikan’s smallest offering.  It is a handy pen, something that could easily be put into a shirt pocket or bag and be available at a moment’s notice.  It is also a light pen, mainly due to the materials from which it is manufactured, so it shouldn’t be a burden when carried.  The large ink reservoir window aids in keeping track of your ink supply and the 14k gold nib ensures a smooth ink-to-paper writing experience.  The removable nib helps to make certain that you have a completely clean pen when changing inks, something which will be of great value to those who like to change or experiment with different colors.  I found that holding the pen was comfortable with the cap either posted or completely off.  While the pen is shorter than most, I did not find its size to be a detriment to its use.

The M101N Special Edition Tortoiseshell Red fountain pen is a good addition to Pelikan’s growing stable of fine writing instruments.  It has taken a proven historic design and updated it for today’s demanding users.  For those that like a vintage look with the added benefit of modern manufacturing or are just looking for a great writing pen, the Pelikan M101N Special Edition Tortoiseshell Red fountain pen should be high on your list of pieces to check out.  Make sure to act fast as the special Blue ink bottle is only available for a limited time!

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

International Day of the Girl Child 2014

What started as a “Because I Am a Girl” project of a non-governmental organization called Plan International, churned enough results to convince Canadian Federal government for support. They in turn proposed “International Day of the Girl Child”, a broader extension of the aforementioned campaign, as a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. The outcome was 11 October, a date dedicated to girl children all over the world. Its purpose is to endorse girl’s human rights, shed light on the inequalities between girls and boys, and address the discrimination and abuses faced by girls.

Sticking to the purpose of the day, the first International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October 2012 was observed around the world with the theme “ending child marriage”. The second year saw the theme “Innovating for Girls’ Education”. This 11 October, it will be the third “International Day of the Girl Child”, and the theme for this year has been announced to be “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the cycle of violence”. This year the day is focused on raising awareness about the importance of empowering adolescent girls and, preventing and eliminating every form of violence they are subject to.

Here are some facts and figures from UN to help you fathom the reality of violence, discrimination and inequality against girl child all over the world:


  • Almost 60 million girls are sexually assaulted at, or on their way to school, annually.
  • The same number of girls is estimated to go ‘missing’, mostly in Asia, as an outcome of infanticide, neglect or sex-selected abortions.
  • Among 800,000 people trafficked annually, 80% are women and girls. The majority among them are trafficked for reasons of sexual exploitation.
  • Up to 5% of women report being physically abused while pregnant. 
  • There are over 60 million child brides all over the world. The definition of married life for many of them is violence and abuse.

If the numbers penned above astounds you in anyway, choose to make a difference: Fight to eliminate inequality and discrimination between boys and girls, strive for girl education, raise voice against female infanticide, work to stop violence against girl child and do everything and anything in your power to ensure that girls are not ill treated in any form.

A day has been set, but do not treat it as any other day. Moreover, let us not forget about this subject during the remaining 364 days of the year. Don’t ridicule the purpose by sidelining it on other days. Let the goal be not only for 11 October but every day. Your voice counts, so let it be heard. All over the world, people gather together, men and women to organize events for awareness. Be a part of it and make a difference. And when it is not 11 October, keep fighting for girl children, their rights and security. It is a year-round responsibility that belongs to all of us. Let’s also keep in mind the HeForShe campaign that has been initiated by UN and call out all boys and men to join forces to support girl child and their rights. It is a movement that needs pushing from all of us to be indefinitely successful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Delta Vintage Stylus Review

Delta Vintage Stylus
Delta Vintage Stylus
Combining classic looks with modern technology, Italian brand Delta introduced the Vintage Stylus to its lineup.  The cap and front section are crafted from a marbleized resin, while the body is constructed from a brushed stainless steel.  At the rear of the pen you find a stylus which can be used with your smart phone, tablet, or anything else that has a capacitive touch screen.  The stylus is becoming more and more prevalent in the marketplace, though it does seem that most luxury brands are slow to integrate the technology.  The Delta Vintage Stylus gives fountain pen users (and rollerball users) the ability to use their beloved writing instrument with their favorite piece of technology.  Delta’s signature roller clip, designed with a wheel to help when placing the pen in a pocket, is an immediate clue to the pen’s lineage.   The fountain pen uses international size cartridges only.  The flexible iridium nib is available in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium or Broad.  The pen can be had in Lava Black, Burnt Orange or Deep Ocean Blue.

At 4 5/8 inches long uncapped, including the stylus, this is a small pen.  Posting brings the total length to a hair over 5 5/8 inches.  This short length explains why a converter is not an available option.  I find that the pen feels more balanced with the cap left off.  The front section allows a good purchase without having to clamp down.  The iridium nib gives a nice, smooth writing experience.  I did notice that just a slight amount of pressure was sometimes needed to get the nib flowing, but writing was effortless once started.  The stylus worked perfectly with my smart phone.  With the lightest touch I was swiping between menus and typing out texts.  It was also very precise – I was able to place the cursor between the exact letters I wanted to 9 out of 10 times (not something that always happens when I use my finger).  One thing I really appreciate about the stylus on this piece is that it is replaceable.  If any damage were to occur, you simply unscrew the stylus from the body and replace it with a new piece.  I would consider this a feature unto itself!

The Delta Vintage Stylus was a pleasant surprise.  It is a little short, a little light and cannot use a converter – but it is a good looking, smooth writing, multi-use fountain pen.  It easily slips into a dress shirt pocket, giving you a sophisticated look without breaking the bank.  With this line, Delta has successfully bridged the gap between old style and new technology.  If you’re in the market for a new pen, give consideration to the Vintage Stylus!

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Faber-Castell Loom Review



I was looking for a nice writing fountain pen for under $50 and I found it.  The Faber-Castell Loom pen is perfect.  It comes in a variety of colors, including metallic.  I picked the newest color - Purple, though the Lime was good looking too.  The box surprised me for an inexpensive pen.  Most of the time the boxes are throw away, but this one is a keeper, due to the heavy construction and clean styling of it.

The pen wrote the first time out of the box with no issues.  The Extra Fine nib is very smooth and doesn't skip at all.  I also purchased a Faber Castell converter, even though it will accept any international converter or short ink cartridge.  It may be just my opinion, but the Faber converter seems to hold more ink.

The grip was a little slippery, but still comfortable.  The shiny barrel does seem to keep fingerprints on it as well.  This is easily fixed with keeping a clean cloth around.

The pen is balanced well and is not top heavy. The cap fits in with a snap so you know it is closed and the cap also posts well.
I am very pleased with my new purchase and plan on using it for years.

- Joy

Monday, September 29, 2014

Visconti Rembrandt Review

Visconti Rembrandt Fountain Pen
Visconti Rembrandt Fountain Pen
The Visconti Rembrandt has become a staple of the Italian pen maker’s line.  It is priced well, attractive and handles beautifully.  The body and cap are constructed of a variegated resin, which gives it a look reminiscent of chiaroscuro (hence the Rembrandt moniker).  This pattern of light and dark varies between each pen, meaning that any single piece will differ from the rest with its own unique look.  Visconti has taken a different approach to the Rembrandt line by utilizing a magnet inside of the cap to keep a secure hold onto the body of the pen while not in use.  This alleviates any chance of damage to the pen through cross-threading.  The cap posts onto the back of the body via friction.  The stainless steel nib resides within a metal front section which provides a nice color contrast as well as some weight to the body of the pen. There is not a dramatic step-down in size between the body of the pen and the front section, which along with the lack of threads provides for a very comfortable experience while writing.  International size cartridges are used and a converter is included.

The Rembrandt is without a doubt a smooth writer.  I do find that it balances better when the cap is posted, as the magnet in the cap adds weight to the rear.  The use of international size cartridges is a huge plus as it opens your ink selection to a wide variety of brands and colors and especially if you do not want to use the converter for any reason (travel, etc.).  The fact that the nib can be easily removed from the front section is a boon to a thorough cleaning and something which I have come to appreciate when cleaning pieces we have demoed for customers.  The size of the Rembrandt is just right – not so large as to be an encumbrance, but not so small as to lead to cramps while writing for long periods.  This is obviously a personal preference, but I have found this series to be a good fit for most.

If you’re looking for a quality piece that doesn't break the bank and yields a great writing experience, give the Visconti Rembrandt a hard look.  I think you’ll be happy with the results!

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pilot E95 Black and Burgundy/Ivory Fountain Pen Review

Pilot E95 Burgundy/Ivory Fountain Pen
Pilot E95 Burgundy/Ivory Fountain Pen
The Pilot E95 is the latest in a long line of 14k gold nib pens.  It comes in two versions, black and burgundy/ivory, both with gold trim.  The standard Black with Gold trim is nice, but the Burgundy/Ivory really caught my eye.

It is a shorter pen, only 4.7" capped and 5.8" posted, but perfect for my hands.  The pen would probably be too small for someone with large hands. It has that vintage look from the 1960s and still is very classy and sleek.  The scripted "E" on the cap and the gold inlaid nib add to this look.  The cap is threadless so I don't have to worry about unscrewing the cap every time.  I can just pop it off, post and go.

The pen accepts the standard Namiki ink cartridges and also comes with the Con-20 converter.  I'm not a big fan of the Con-20 and so tried the Con-50 and Con-70, but both are too large to fit in this pen.

The Extra Fine is very fine and so would be perfect for those who write small and fast.  The Fine is super smooth and the Medium is a nice wet writer.  The nib can be customized into many other options, including oblique.

I used Noodler's Black ink on Lokta paper for my test run and was very pleased with it.  The Extra Fine nib did not grab at the fibers in the paper, as I thought it may.  It did not feather and was smooth and quiet while testing.

I can't wait to continue to use this pen as I feel it may become my every day writer.

- Joe (Pen Boutique Limited, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia, MD 21044)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Delta Horsepower Pen Review

Delta Horsepower Pen

"Have you ever wondered what it's like to go from 0 to 100 m.p.h. and back to 0 in 5 seconds? Look no further than the Horsepower from Delta! Very rarely can I simply look at a pen and get a rush of excitement. Maybe it's due to the already known high performance from Delta. Or maybe it's the stylish beauty of Italian resins and the woven carbon fiber. Either way, the Horsepower laps other pens on the paper race track with ease! Come for a test drive today and get a feel of comfort and great balance. It's wonderful balance of elegance and aggressiveness is exactly why I looked no further. "

- Julio (Pen Boutique Ltd, 7101 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda. MD 20817)