What’s What 10/8-10/14

Inked Right Now

  • Scribo La Dotta with Callifolio Bosphore

  • Parker Sonnet with Iroshizuku Yama-Guri

  • Sailor King of Pen with Teranishi Night Time Soda

  • Teranishi Guitar with Diamine Oxblood

I didn’t truly realize how close the Guitar and Sonnet were to each other in size and profile until setting them side by side in the tray. That closeness helps explain why I’m drawn to the Guitar.

The Sonnet makes an excellent work pen, dependably producing clean lines. Yama-Guri dries quickly enough and stands out as something other than black or blue. A plain black pen and a dark brown ink aren’t the most dazzling pair, but that isn’t what I’m after for work. Give me reliability, legibility, and ease of use every day for that.

Callifolio ink made its way back into the Scribo. This time we have Bosphore. Compared to Gris de Payne from ~2 months ago, Bosphore is less blue and darker grey. If Gris de Payne is a cool colored ink, Bosphore is cold. Flow and wetness are the same as the other Callifolio inks with this pen.

New & Exciting

Aside from the Teranishi pen and ink, I browsed through dip nibs at STL Art Supply. I have a good stash of dip nibs already but found two that piqued my interest. One is an Esterbrook #313 Probate nib and the other is an Osmiroid E.S. Perry MR1.

The Probate nib is a left oblique cut with sharpish corners. With proper rotation it writes smoothly for how it’s shaped. Holds a decent amount of ink per dip. The natural line variation from the oblique cut works with my writing.

The MR1 is something different — a rounded stub tip with an upturn and a reservoir.

I haven’t used a nib with this shape before. It writes a nice wide line but has more feedback than I expected. It’s not scratchy but you feel every move the nib makes on paper. I thought the upturn, along with the amount of ink the reservoir provides, would negate that to a degree, but the feedback is consistent. I only wrote on Tomoe River 52gsm with this nib, so perhaps thicker coated paper like Rhodia would give a different sensation.

I like the change dip nibs offer from using a full-on pen, but I tend not to casually pick them up just for messing around. I find I need to have a deliberately chosen purpose to use them and end up doing it less often. The setup and cleaning take more time too, so that’s a consideration. In any case, dip nibs can be a lot of fun and STL Art Supply has a nice selection if you’re looking for something different.

Thinking About

* Wind whistles across an empty plain. *

Mostly focused on work and all the new things I’m dealing with there. The wave of stationery buying that swelled in the past several weeks seems to have crested and fallen. The only thing on the horizon is a Sailor pen event at a local shop in early November. I attended it last year and had fun. Schedule permitting, I plan to go again this year. I’d like to see the new Cylint model in person if it’s there.


13 October 2023

What’s What 10/1-10/7

I pick up a guitar and later must see something for myself.

Inked Right Now

  • Parker Falcon with Waterman Violet

  • Teranishi Guitar with Diamine Oxblood

  • Pilot Decimo with Pelikan 4001 Konigsblau

  • Sailor King of Pen with Teranishi Night Time Soda

I suppose you can spot the outlier. I suppose you can spot the outlier.

Gone from last week: Kaweco AL-Sport and Karas Fountain K. The Decimo is running low from taking copious notes at work. I have a steel nib Sonnet on deck to replace it for daily duty.

So, you’re wondering about the new kid on the block. Did you even know Teranishi made pens? Neither did I until browsing at St. Louis Art Supply. Check out their site for some cool pen & stationery items, as well as all manner of legit art supplies if that’s your thing. They seem to be one of the only places to get the Guitar pen domestically.

The pen has what I presume is a brass body with a smooth semi-matte finish. It looks and feels like paint that is baked on. The trim is done in shiny dark gray plating, looking sharp against the softer main finish.

I quite like the rounded button finials. I quite like the rounded button finials.

There’s only one nib size available — fine. I can’t quite tell for sure but I think it’s a Schmidt assembly. It writes nicely, producing the line you’d expect for a steel Western fine.

Matched branding on the cap finial and nib is a nice touch. Matched branding on the cap finial and nib is a nice touch.

There are a few bits of glue overrun where parts are mated but the overall fit & finish is solid. The only functional concern I find is the clip. It’s strong and not easy to get over the edge of your pocket. Clipping is two-handed affair which, if you’re accessing the pen frequently, can make for a hassle. I tried the pen at work for a few days and found it too much to deal with for using and replacing it in a pocket dozens of times over a shift. The tight retention does give a sense of security that the pen is unlikely to be accidently dislodged from a pocket or pen loop. Maybe that trade off is worth the effort depending on your use case.

The Teranishi Guitar pen costs $29. There is a certain amount of the brain thinking heft equals quality at play, as we often do with pens and similar things, but the finish and writing experience are good enough to be worth the asking price. If I were to compare the Guitar pen to a Parker Jotter, Cross Bailey, or Platinum Plaisir for $25-30, I feel the Guitar is a nicer object to touch, hold, and use.

New & Exciting

Okay, okay. Enough being coy about what you likely noticed in this week’s pen lineup.

Not shy about identifying itself. Not shy about identifying itself.

This is a Sailor King of Pen Pro Gear. I’d written with a few KoP models at shows/events and knew they were high performers. Many pen people whose judgment I respect have put the KoP nib up as one of the best you can get. Even with those points in mind, $800+ is still a bridge too far for me on any pen.

This particular colorway is Storm Over the Ocean. I do appreciate the subtle nature of what Sailor calls Meta Shine. It adds sparkle without being obnoxious. This particular colorway is Storm Over the Ocean. I do appreciate the subtle nature of what Sailor calls Meta Shine. It adds sparkle without being obnoxious.

When Sailor ran their yearly clearance for discontinued items last month it put the King of Pen models in a place where I would consider buying one. I hemmed and hawed, waiting until the very end of the month before deciding to hit the buy button. The situation was helped by Goldspot’s rewards program which let me redeem earned points for an additional percent off discount, getting the price into a more comfortable range.

Still, there’s the question of why buy it? I’ve acquired a lot of pens this year. Enough that I put myself in time out for a while to stop the onslaught. I have interrogated my choices and motives for the buying, despite that opening the door to introduce a sense of guilt for enjoying the hobby. In the end, at least for this single pen, the decision came down to one thing.

Is this really one of the best nibs you can get? Not just to try it out for a line or two in the shop but to own and live with one. Is the KoP worth the stretch? Perhaps the best answer I can give is to show you the other pens in my collection with comparable quality of writing experience.

From left: Scribo La Dotta (F flex), Sailor King of Pen (B), Parker Duofold Maxima (F), Pilot Custom (M) From left: Scribo La Dotta (F flex), Sailor King of Pen (B), Parker Duofold Maxima (F), Pilot Custom (M)

Yeah, that’s the cream of the crop among the pens I own for best, most satisfying, now-I-can-die-in-peace writing feel. The King of Pen went straight into that group. I don’t mind saying it’s a damn good thing that was the case because were it not the disappointment could have been bitter. That’s a chance we take when reaching for what has been built up to such a degree in our minds. Happily, it’s nothing but smiles when writing with this nib. What they said was, in fact, true.

Thinking About

I want to get back on track with using Callifolio inks in the Scribo to test their flow. Also, installment #2 of the collection chronology has been on the back burner for too long. By the end of this month, I want to present the story of the pen that took an interest in something and launched it much, much farther than I anticipated.

Is there a pen you reached for that met or exceeded all the high expectations?


4 October 2023

What’s What 9/24-9/30

Missing a week, still metal, and a Falcon with no Snowman.

Inked Right Now

  • Kaweco AL-Sport with Sailor Massachusetts

  • Pilot Decimo with Pelikan 4001 Konigsblau

  • Karas Fountain K with Sailor Studio 460

  • Parker 50 Falcon with Waterman Violet

There was no post last week. I posted every week for 3 straight months and last week was the first time I didn’t make the push to publish. I was annoyed with myself because I didn’t want to break the chain I’d built, short as it was. I’m in the initial phase of a new position at work and perhaps the changes there have taken me out of what was an established groove in other areas. In any case, we’re back today.

Gone from two weeks ago: Parker 25 and Pilot Quatro.

Still fielding an all metal-bodied roster. The Decimo came back for work and the Parker Falcon is new from eBay.

New & Exciting

Sleek, smooth, looks fast when it’s standing still. All things I think when I look at the Parker 50 Falcon, especially in Flighter trim.

The Falcon’s most notable feature is the integral nib. You don’t see many pen models with nibs integral to the section.

Parker had the famous T1, an integral nib pen made of titanium, in 1970. T1 fountain pens were very costly to make and fragile, so they were only in the catalog for a year or so before discontinuation. It’s hard to imagine what the average pen user would have thought about something made from titanium 53 years ago. These days, lots of stuff is made from titanium and it still has cachet for use in consumer products – just look at Apple’s marketing of the new iPhone 15 Pro — but back then? Must have seemed otherworldly to have such a thing in your pocket.

At the end of the 1978 Parker came back with the integral nib design on the Falcon. No titanium this time, everything was steel. Falcons were made until 1982. Longer than the T1 but, in the grand scheme of Parker’s history, that’s not much of a run. There were two matte finishes, brown and black, and a gold-filled Signet body offered as well.

What about other integral pens? The Pilot Myu/Murex/M90 family is pretty much it. Loving Pilot as much as I love Parker, I figure I’ll have one of them someday. I think Hero has made pens with integral nibs but I don’t know anything about them.

Imagine that ground to a needle point. It'd be Concorde-esque.Imagine that ground to a needle point. It'd be Concorde-esque.

The cap says made in USA, but inside there is an English made converter. The engraving on the barrel has a European date format.

P.R.F. 23.1.'79P.R.F. 23.1.'79

The surprise to me about the Falcon is its size. Here are some side-by-side shots with other Parkers.

(L-R) Parker VP, 61, 75, Falcon, Rialto, 45, Sonnet, 25(L-R) Parker VP, 61, 75, Falcon, Rialto, 45, Sonnet, 25

The Falcon has a similar profile to the 45 but it’s thinner. The section looks matte but feels quite smooth and slick. Combined with the narrow diameter and tapering shape, that makes for a less assured grip. The 45’s plastic section feels glued in my hand compared to the Falcon at times. I find myself adjusting my finger position back and my writing angle up with the Falcon to better balance the barrel against the side of my hand.

Parker Falcon & 45Parker Falcon & 45

Parker 45 & FalconParker 45 & Falcon

Parker FalconParker Falcon

Parker 45Parker 45

It does not look like a big difference in size but it matters. The Rialto’s grip may be closer to the Falcon in overall size. The lack of taper on its straight cylindrical section makes the Rialto more consistent to hold, though, despite being so thin.

Parker Falcon & RialtoParker Falcon & Rialto

The Falcon’s nib is a medium with generous tipping and it writes well, although I’ve noticed the look and shape of the integral nib against white paper can make it tricky to see exactly how the tip is oriented to the paper for axial rotation. I’m glad to have the Falcon because I love the integral design but there’s more adjustment to using it than I anticipated.

Thinking About

Maybe a post about my daily work carry setup covering writing tools, notebooks, accessories, and all the pouches they get carried in. Anyone want to see that?


26 September 2023

What’s What 9/10-9/16

Very metal days, it’s in the bag, and what does Massachusetts look like?

Inked Right Now

  • Karas Fountain K with Sailor Studio 460

  • Pilot Quatro with Colorverse Delicious Sleep

  • Kaweco AL-Sport with Sailor Massachusetts

  • Parker 25 with Parker Quink Black

All metal bodied pens right now with a useful mix of fine nibs in darker colors for work and bigger nibs in brighter colors for fun. Not much ink left in the 25. Everything else should still be running next week.

Gone from last week: Pilot Decimo and the unidentified Waterman. One of the Decimos will likely be back next week for work.

New & Exciting

Not a pen, not an ink, not a notebook. But it can hold all those things…

This is the Bolt Briefcase from Waterfield Designs. I bought it as an upgrade/reward for myself to mark getting a new position at work. I have no shortage of bags. Lots of Tom Bihn and technical fabrics. This time, I felt a different style and look was worth exploring. I had browsed Waterfield in the past but not seriously considered buying one. Saddleback and Filson have an attractive aesthetic but they lack the more detailed interior design considerations that make Tom Bihn so great. So, I ended up back at Waterfield and the more I looked the more I realized they’re the better combination of traditional materials like canvas and leather with modern components and sophisticated organization options.

Bags having a fully lined, brightly colored interior is an obvious thing to me. More bag makers do it now than used to but a lot still don’t. I consider this is a feature worth paying for because it makes using the bag easier every time.

The sides and bottom of the Bolt are leather. Combined with the waxed canvas on the rest of the exterior it makes for a classic look and feel I haven’t had on a bag in a long time. The Bolt represents the most I’ve ever paid for a single bag and part of that came from the treat yourself to something nice for what you’ve accomplished mindset. That said, when one considers the quality of materials and construction, coming from a workshop in one of America’s most expensive cities to live & work in, the value of what you’re getting for the money feels quite good.

Thinking About

It signifies something when you put together some ink swabs and say to yourself Hmm, I didn’t know I had this many inks in the same neighborhood.” So it was when I went to make comparisons with newly arrived Sailor Massachusetts against other inks in my desk.

I would not have predicted using six other inks against Massachusetts . Guess I'm more fond of this color range than I realized. I would not have predicted using six other inks against Massachusetts . Guess I'm more fond of this color range than I realized.

Large swabs made by dipping a rubber-gloved fingertip into each ink and drawing it across the paper. Ink names written with a Pilot Iro-utsushi dip pen. Paper is Tomoe River 52gsm.Large swabs made by dipping a rubber-gloved fingertip into each ink and drawing it across the paper. Ink names written with a Pilot Iro-utsushi dip pen. Paper is Tomoe River 52gsm.

The lighting for these pictures was overcast and inconsistent. I tried not to make any white balance adjustments unless something seemed distinctly off. I think the representation on most colors is accurate to the environment, although Skrip Red is better shown in the words than it is in the swab.

Callifolio Anahuac looks like the closet match to Massachusetts. I think Anahuac is less saturated and has more natural variation. Massachusetts looks pinker than Anahuac to me in some views.

I tried Massachusetts on a few other papers using the AL-Sport.

Sailor Massachusetts on Clairefontaine 90gsm.Sailor Massachusetts on Clairefontaine 90gsm.

Sailor Massachusetts on Midori MD paper.Sailor Massachusetts on Midori MD paper.

Sailor Massachusetts on Stalogy Editor's Series 1/2 Year notebook.Sailor Massachusetts on Stalogy Editor's Series 1/2 Year notebook.

The AL-Sport’s double broad nib shows off the shading properties of Massachusetts better than the Pilot dip nib. Massachusetts presented consistently on all the papers I used and it behaves nicely, which I would expect from a Sailor ink.

As always, your results may vary. I’m curious to see what Massachusetts will look like in a fine steel nib, if it will hold enough depth to stay readable.

What inks have you tried in the Sailor 50 States series?


15 September 2023