KWZ – Cappuccinno

Diamine Kaweco Montblanc Caran d'Ache Ancient Copper Organic Brown KWZ Cappuccino Caramel Brown Toffee ink review comparison

Before getting into the review of the particular ink, there are a few things I need to iron out. I will first be discussing retailers and then particular pens and how they react with this ink. Rather lengthy, but if this is the first review of the four posts that you’re reading, I recommend reading it. The first part is more ‘for me’, but the second part could save you a pen!

This review is the final KWZ review as part of the United Inkdom meta review. Ink samples have been sent to members of the United Inkdom (myself included). These were supplied by Pure Pens. I have, however, bought KWZ inks in the past from Bureau Direct. I want to include this disclaimer because I do not want to continue with a review if I do not highlight where the source of the ink in the review is from for this series. Grapefruit and Cappuccino (this review) are full bottles from Bureau that I have bought myself, while Honey and Menthol Green are samples I was sent specifically for review purposes courtesy of Pure Pens.

Finally – KWZ inks have an infamous reputation of reacting with TWSBI pens – specifically the Eco. I have encountered this problem personally, with Grapefruit in my Eco. I know that Honey has been known to stain the pen barrel and Menthol Green apparently stains converters (we shall see in my review if this is the case with me). I am not sure if this is the same case with other TWSBI models (540, 580, Vac 700(R) or (Vac)Mini) – I am not brave enough to try as I do love my TWSBI pens. The barrel gets scratched and it’s very difficult to move the piston – it is thought that the ink reacts with the silicone grease but I am not sure if this is 100% the reason. It is my understanding that KWZ have been working on changing this, but again, I am not brave enough to try and you never know how old the bottle of ink is that you’ve bought (i.e. before or after any reformulation). I have a Pilot 823 that was shipped to me after the original owner used KWZ ink and there’s no damage to the piston arm or any scratching/clouding on the barrel. I haven’t tested it myself though. I have also been told by other users that the Pelikan piston became slightly harder to use (only slightly so) and after reapplying grease it was find again. Use at your own risk.

Jump to another KWZ ink review (they will be updated with hyperlinks as the reviews are published and all links open in a new window):

  1. Grapefruit
  2. Honey
  3. Menthol Green
  4. Cappuccino

Brown is an interesting ink colour. I feel that a brown ink will either be loved or hated. They are Marmite inks (rather ironically, as Marmite is kinda brown).

KWZ Cappuccino fountain pen ink review brown

Even though you might not consider it to be a diverse family, I find brown inks can actually be rather varied. Some might be a dried mud/earthy brown like Caran d’Ache Organic Brown or an orange/brick red brown such as the ever beautiful ink, Ancient Copper, by Diamine.

However, browns can also be a dark, almost chocolate brown. The sort of brown you see in the Lindt chocolate adverts where the “master chocolatier” (I wish I was compensated by Lindt to throw that phrase in. I was not) picks the melted chocolate up by the whisk and let’s it crawl back down to the bowl. You know the one. Inks such as Diamine Chocolate Brown, Kaweco Caramel Brown and Montblanc Toffee Brown come to mind. Hungry yet?

Diamine Kaweco Montblanc Caran d'Ache Ancient Copper Organic Brown KWZ Cappuccino Caramel Brown Toffee ink review comparison

Then you may need to wash that food down with a drink. KWZ Cappuccino will hit the spot.

Cappuccino is a brown ink (spoiler) that has the dark and chocolatey look, but with a hint of organic/coil colour (still hungry?)

However, that’s what makes this ink so fun and beautiful. The mix gives to some fantastic shading that could be similar to the colours in a coffee (or think of Pelikan’s Cafe Creme, which I will own one day……..). For that reason, I think that the name Cappuccino is better than Latte because of the chocolate colours and the fantastic blend of coffee and organic browns.

One of the things that I love about the colour brown is how fantastic it looks with blues and this is a brown ink that goes well. It isn’t too dark but not too light and I think that gives a lovely contrast, especially with vibrant blues.

KWZ Cappuccino fountain pen ink Diamine Blue Velvet anniversary ink
To me this is just utterly beautiful. The blue ink is Diamine Blue Velvet. Notice the shading, too.

KWZ Cappuccino is, as expected, well flowing and wet. But the ink has a different smell to the normal vanilla/thyme smell. It smells somewhat medicinal. Cough medicine comes to mind, or Call (which was the absolute greatest thing about being ill as a child).

KWZ Cappuccino fountain pen ink review blogOn cheaper paper the ink becomes flatter and veers away from the ‘chocolate’ brown and focuses more on the organic side of the ink.

Brown inks aren’t everyone’s go to colour, but the variation in lines and how it looks with blues means that this ink will be in my rotation quite often. Maybe even knocking out reds for annotations whenever I’m using a blue.

This particular bottle was purchased with my own funds from Bureau Direct at a price of £12.95. KWZ’s Iron Gall inks can be purchased for £16.95.

Handwritten review:

fullsizeoutput_a2cfullsizeoutput_a2d

KWZ – Menthol Green

KWZ Chemistry

Before getting into the review of the particular ink, there are a few things I need to iron out. I will first be discussing retailers and then particular pens and how they react with this ink. Rather lengthy, but if this is the first review of the four posts that you’re reading, I recommend reading it. The first part is more ‘for me’, but the second part could save you a pen!

This review is 3 of 4(and a half) as part of the United Inkdom meta review. Ink samples have been sent to members of the United Inkdom (myself included). These were supplied by Pure Pens. I have, however, bought KWZ inks in the past from Bureau Direct. I want to include this disclaimer because I do not want to continue with a review if I do not highlight where the source of the ink in the review is from for this series. Grapefruit and Cappuccino are full bottles from Bureau that I have bought myself, while Honey and Menthol Green (this review) are samples I was sent specifically for review purposes courtesy of Pure Pens.

Finally – KWZ inks have an infamous reputation of reacting with TWSBI pens – specifically the Eco. I have encountered this problem personally, with Grapefruit in my Eco. I know that Honey has been known to stain the pen barrel and Menthol Green apparently stains converters (we shall see in my review if this is the case with me). I am not sure if this is the same case with other TWSBI models (540, 580, Vac 700(R) or (Vac)Mini) – I am not brave enough to try as I do love my TWSBI pens. The barrel gets scratched and it’s very difficult to move the piston – it is thought that the ink reacts with the silicone grease but I am not sure if this is 100% the reason. It is my understanding that KWZ have been working on changing this, but again, I am not brave enough to try and you never know how old the bottle of ink is that you’ve bought (i.e. before or after any reformulation). I have a Pilot 823 that was shipped to me after the original owner used KWZ ink and there’s no damage to the piston arm or any scratching/clouding on the barrel. I haven’t tested it myself though. I have also been told by other users that the Pelikan piston became slightly harder to use (only slightly so) and after reapplying grease it was find again. Use at your own risk.

Jump to another KWZ ink review: (they will be updated with hyperlinks as the reviews are published and all links open in a new window).

  1. Grapefruit
  2. Honey
  3. Menthol Green
  4. Cappuccino

So. The review!

KWZ Chemistry
My own wit. Sent as a reply to someone about chemists using inks, which I found very fitting to this review series as the owner of KWZ has a PhD in chemistry! Also managed to get some A level revision in, so two birds with one stone?!

Over at the United Inkdom, our chief Scribble (verb and proper noun), will often save a teal ink for me to review whenever we get samples of inks in.

KWZ Menthol Green fountain pen ink review

Well, Menthol Green is that ink.

KWZ Menthol Green is a teal ink that has a slight leaning towards green. This is most easily observed when you compare it to its look alike, Diamine Marine (below) and especially on cheap paper. Like other KWZ inks, this is a well flowing ink, but I found it to come out of the nib slightly drier. Though, by KWZ standards, that is by no means dry. Despite coming out wet, the inks dry with a very respectable time – which this ink also does. Oh. Vanilla. Yep. Smells of vanilla.

KWZ fountain pen ink review menthol green
One thing you can always count on with KWZ is that the ink will be nice and saturated.

There have been reports of Menthol Green staining converters. I have not had that problem. I haven’t tested the ink in TWSBI pens either, but the issue is usually a tad more complicated because of silicone grease and the such. Either way, unless you have a c/c demonstrator, you won’t notice any staining and converters are cheap if it does become an issue. I was using this with a Montegrappa converter (which I believe is just a branded Schmidt K6) and had no issues. This ink is also very easy to clean out; which is something that I have noticed with other KWZ inks as well.

KWZ fountain pen ink review menthol green
My Montegrappa converter was completely fine after cleaning the pen out.

One thing I noticed about the ink is how similar it is to Diamine Marine. So much so that in the handwritten review I changed pens to one with Marine inked up and I couldn’t notice the difference. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s rebottled, however. What leads me to this conclusion is mainly the vanilla, but when you look deeper, I notice that Menthol Green lies closer towards green. This is most easily visible on the second pass of the swab.

KWZ Menthol Green fountain pen ink review Diamine Marine ink comparison
KWZ on the left and Diamine on the right. Menthol Green is certainly greener and Marine may perhaps be slightly lighter.

One ink that I thought it was going to be similar to, but turned out to be much lighter in comparison, was Roher & Klinger Smaradgrün (which translates to ’emerald green’ thanks to my fluency in German ability to use Google translate).

KWZ Ink Roher and Klinger Smaragdgrun

KWZ Menthol Green is a beautiful colour and of course, I think that every person should own a teal ink. But for the premium price, is it worth getting over a cheaper, and larger in volume, Diamine bottle?

KWZ fountain pen ink United Inkdom review

It certainly flows better and cleans easier, but Diamine are by no means poor performing inks (aside from Sargasso Sea which has a staining reputation). They do, after all, have over 100 inks in their line up so they must be doing something right. Personally, £11.95 compared to £5.95 for 20ml less of ink isn’t worth it. But there are differences that may make this ink appeal to you over Marine. I also want to stress that this is not an ink that has simply been rebottled. Konrad at KWZ has a PhD in chemistry. This achievement requires a lot of hard work and the dedication he has to the manufacturing of his inks is something I respect hugely. This ink is 100% KWZ formulation. Kudos!

fullsizeoutput_9cf
KWZ on the left and Diamine on the right

Cheaper paper displays the differences in a far more obvious way. KWZ is greener while Diamine is definitely lighter and closer towards blue.

fullsizeoutput_9ccOn cheaper paper the ink loses its shading and appears greener.

IMG_7348For those interested, Diamine showed more bleed through.

There are some inks I think you should ‘just get’. While this isn’t one of those inks, I do feel that this colour family is a need. If you think this appeals to you then by all means pull the trigger because I know you will not be disappointed with the colour or performance of this ink.

The sample for the new formulation of this ink was supplied by Pure Pens, (opens in a new window) an online retailer based in Wales, UK. Hop on over to their website and snag yourself a bottle for £11.95.

All views expressed are my own. Pure Pens supplied the sample and I received no other compensation for doing this review.

Handwritten review:

fullsizeoutput_9d0fullsizeoutput_9d1

KWZ – Honey

Before getting into the review of the particular ink, there are a few things I need to iron out. I will first be discussing retailers and then particular pens and how they react with this ink. Rather lengthy, but if this is the first review of the four posts that you’re reading, I recommend reading it. The first part is more ‘for me’, but the second part could save you a pen!

This review is 2(and a half) of 4(and a half) as part of the United Inkdom meta review. Ink samples have been sent to members of the United Inkdom (myself included). These were supplied by Pure Pens. I have, however, bought KWZ inks in the past from Bureau Direct. I want to include this disclaimer because I do not want to continue with a review if I do not highlight where the source of the ink in the review is from for this series. Grapefruit and Cappuccino are full bottles from Bureau that I have bought myself, while Honey and Menthol Green are samples I was sent specifically for review purposes courtesy of Pure Pens.

Finally – KWZ inks have an infamous reputation of reacting with TWSBI pens – specifically the Eco. I have encountered this problem personally, with Grapefruit in my Eco. I know that Honey has been known to stain the pen barrel and Menthol Green apparently stains converters (we shall see in my review if this is the case with me). I am not sure if this is the same case with other TWSBI models (540, 580, Vac 700(R) or (Vac)Mini) – I am not brave enough to try as I do love my TWSBI pens. The barrel gets scratched and it’s very difficult to move the piston – it is thought that the ink reacts with the silicone grease but I am not sure if this is 100% the reason. It is my understanding that KWZ have been working on changing this, but again, I am not brave enough to try and you never know how old the bottle of ink is that you’ve bought (i.e. before or after any reformulation). I have a Pilot 823 that was shipped to me after the original owner used KWZ ink and there’s no damage to the piston arm or any scratching/clouding on the barrel. I haven’t tested it myself though. I have also been told by other users that the Pelikan piston became slightly harder to use (only slightly so) and after reapplying grease it was find again. Use at your own risk.

Jump to another KWZ ink review: (they will be updated with hyperlinks as the reviews are published and all links open in a new window).

  1. Grapefruit
  2. Honey
  3. Menthol Green
  4. Cappuccino

So. Time for the review!

“Oh honey” is what I was saying to myself when I realised what a fool I was for being so late to this party. KWZ Honey was the ink that took KWZ into the mainstream within the pen community (in my observation at least). Why I didn’t get a full bottle of this sooner is beyond me because I rather adore this ink. As with Lamy Dark Lilac, I finally understand the hype.

fullsizeoutput_996

Honey is a thick golden brown substance made by bees and often finds itself mixed into my green tea. This ink only shares one of these characteristics, however.

fullsizeoutput_9a3
If I don’t become a doctor, I know there’s always the chance for me to become an artist. KWZ Honey with honey. And a bee.

KWZ Honey is a saturated golden brown ink that, unlike real honey, is well flowing and will not clog up your pen. I do not own any inks quite like this. I have plenty of browns and the closest in my collection that I could think of was Diamine Autumn Oak, but the comparison was way out as it’s far too orange. Diamine Golden Brown isn’t much of a close match either as it seemed darker and warmer (but I was only going off of comparisons online).

KWZ Ink review wetness
Ink that lubricates the nib and is wet on the page, but has a decent drying time (Clairefontaine Europa paper)
KWZ Honey ink review
Hnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng. The ink looks tasty.

One of the things that attracts people to this ink is how it shades. What I love about the shading is that there’s a lot, but it’s definitely subtle.

KWZ have reformulated Honey (and I am not sure how this affects interaction with TWSBI pens). Konrad, the owner and manufacturer of KWZ ink, says that the colour remains the same, but the scent has gone. I am fortunate to have a very kind friend whom has lent me a sample of the old formulation of Honey. Pure Pens have sent the new formulation to review.

KWZ Honey old formula and new formula comparison

I can certainly tell that the new formulation doesn’t have the KWZ smell. Which is disappointing in my opinion because I really do enjoy the smell

However, while some people have said that they notice differences between the two formulations, I can’t notice any differences.

KWZ Honey old and new ink formulation comparison
Perhaps best represented in this picture – I don’t notice any differences. Old on the left and new on the right.

In my writing sample I did say that the new formula seems lighter, but while reading over it a second time, I can’t even remember where I changed from the pen with the old formula to the pen with the new formula. If you ask me, you won’t lose out on the amazing colour you see online for this ink.

However. I might have to eat my own words when you consider cheaper paper. I do want to point out my hypocrisy – the new formulation does seem to be a little browner/darker when you use it on cheaper paper.

KWZ Honey ink reviewAnd once again, it seems more evident here. The top is the old formula and the bottom is the new formula. Perhaps more red/orange? But rest assured that if you are using the paper that otherwise handles fountain pen ink well, then you’ll see no differences. That’s what I experienced when testing with things such as Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Tomoe River.

I think that KWZ Honey is a truly unique colour and it should feature in everyone’s collection. It isn’t a straight up brown and it isn’t sepia. It is an ink that is easy on the eyes and strays away from characteristics of brown inks which I think is the closest colour family.

The sample for the new formulation of this ink was supplied by Pure Pens, an online retailer based in Wales, UK. Hop on over to their website and snag yourself a bottle for £11.95.

All views expressed are my own. Pure Pens supplied the sample and I received no other compensation for doing this review.

Handwritten review:

fullsizeoutput_994fullsizeoutput_997

KWZ – Grapefruit

KWZ Grapefruit ink review

Before getting into the review of the particular ink, there are a few things I need to iron out. I will first be discussing retailers and then particular pens and how they react with this ink. Rather lengthy, but if this is the first review of the four posts that you’re reading, I recommend reading it. The first part is more ‘for me’, but the second part could save you a pen!

This review is 1 of 4(and a half) as part of the United Inkdom meta review. Ink samples have been sent to members of the United Inkdom (myself included). These were supplied by Pure Pens. I have, however, bought KWZ inks in the past from Bureau Direct. I want to include this disclaimer because I do not want to continue with a review if I do not highlight where the source of the ink in the review is from for this series. Grapefruit and Cappuccino are full bottles from Bureau that I have bought myself, while Honey and Menthol Green are samples I was sent specifically for review purposes courtesy of Pure Pens.

Finally – KWZ inks have an infamous reputation of reacting with TWSBI pens – specifically the Eco. I have encountered this problem personally, oddly enough with this exact ink, Grapefruit. I know that Honey has been known to stain the pen barrel and Menthol Green apparently stains converters (we shall see in my review if this is the case with me). I am not sure if this is the same case with other TWSBI models (540, 580, Vac 700(R) or (Vac)Mini) – I am not brave enough to try as I do love my TWSBI pens. The barrel gets scratched and it’s very difficult to move the piston – it is thought that the ink reacts with the silicone grease but I am not sure if this is 100% the reason. It is my understanding that KWZ have been working on changing this, but again, I am not brave enough to try and you never know how old the bottle of ink is that you’ve bought (i.e. before or after any reformulation). I have a Pilot 823 that was shipped to me after the original owner used KWZ ink and there’s no damage to the piston arm or any scratching/clouding on the barrel. I haven’t tested it myself though.

Jump to another KWZ ink review: (they will be updated with hyperlinks as the reviews are published)

  1. Grapefruit
  2. Honey
  3. Menthol Green
  4. Cappuccino

So. Time for the review!

KWZ is an ink manufacturer that hit the mainstream within our community around mid-2016. The ink that everyone was talking about? Honey. However, when KWZ finally came to the UK in the autumnal months of 2016, I dipped my toes into the KWZ ink pool with Grapefruit. Mainly because at the London Pen Show, where I bought the ink, Honey was already gone.

KWZ Grapefruit ink review

So what made me go for Grapefruit? Looking at the ink sheet showing all the various inks at the pen show, one colour bounced off the page. In that moment I realised that I didn’t have an orange ink in my collection.

I also like grapefruit.

KWZ Grapefruit fountain pen ink review honey dragon's napalm
Ink on Clairefontaine Europa paper. The ink is very very wet and saturated, but it does dry in a reasonable time frame.

When I got home I was quick to ink a pen up with it. However, when I opened the bottle, there was a distinct smell of thyme. I messaged the London pen club group chat and others had the same smell. A quick Internet search told us that this smell, for KWZ, is normal. This isn’t an issue for me as I’m rather fond of the smell. I like it even more when the ink has been in the pen for a few days as it then smells of vanilla. You can even smell it on the page. One issue people may have is that the smell does linger on the nib for a little while. It’s no different to the scented J Herbin inks, if you are familiar with those. Though, I have noticed that the smell remains on the page for longer.

On copy paper, the ink performs well. There’s show through, but the bleed through is minimal and only really seen on the second swab. The drying time is reduced considerably (as you’ve seen in the images above, the ink is super wet) and it becomes very dry on this paper.

KWZ Grapefruit copy paper ink review

fullsizeoutput_98c
Ink Swab
IMG_7232
Some bleed through on copy paper, but only on a second pass.

KWZ Grapefruit is a bold and vibrant orange. I would say that ‘grapefruit’ is a very appropriate name. The colour jumps off the page but is not hard on the eyes. It is darker and more striking than Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm. It’s also more saturated than Diamine Autumn Oak and Noodler’s Apache Sunset. It doesn’t, however, shade as much (then again, what does?!)

KWZ Grapefruit Noodler's Dragon's Napalm ink review comparison

Orange inks may not always have practical applications and they are more ‘fun’ inks than business inks. Perhaps a nice alternative to a red for annotations and such? But if you are looking for an orange ink then I would highly recommend KWZ Grapefruit.

This particular bottle was purchased with my own funds at the London Pen Show, 2016, from Bureau Direct at a price of £12.95. KWZ’s Iron Gall inks can be purchased for £16.95

Handwritten review:

fullsizeoutput_986fullsizeoutput_98f

Wing Sung 235 Fountain Pen Review

Wing Sung fountain pen nib

Sometimes when I am bored and should be doing something useful with my time, I will end up on eBay searching to find a new addition to my collection. This was one of those purchases.

I don’t know a whole lot about the brand Wing Sung. I do know a bit in the sense that they are from China and sell relatively cheap pens. In my opinion, they are a more up-market Jinhao.

The pen writes very well. Initially I did have to flush the pen out because I was getting arg starts if I didn’t write with it for about 30 minutes. I didn’t spend £100+ or anything excessive so I’m not really too annoyed about having to do that. After doing it, the pen wrote very well. It’s nice and wet, has no flow issues and it keeps up with quick writing very well. The nib does make quote a bit of noise, but I wouldn’t say that it’s scratchy. I also like the feedback that it provides, but it still has nothing on what I get from my Pelikan M620.

The nib is, however, quite firm – even when taking into account that it’s a steel nib. When trying to squeeze out any line variation, it’s difficult for the feed to keep up.

The nib has an interesting design – it is very Sheaffer-esque. I think it is beautiful, though, I do not appreciate the huge ‘MADE IN CHINA’ stamp I think that could have been left out, or placed on the cap band.

Wing Sung fountain pen nib
I’m sure Wing Sung were going for a heart shape at the top of the nib, but it looks more like a butt..

fullsizeoutput_82c

fullsizeoutput_82b
I do enjoy how the nib wraps around

The pen is incredibly light. I’ve no idea what this material is, but it reminds me of something like carbon fibre. If this pen cost more and was marketed in such a way then I would be fooled.But it is very sturdy; I have a weird tendency to hold the cap in my right hand while I write and dig my thumb into the ring opening. I haven’t noticed any disfiguration.

The converter is an aerometric type converter and I have discovered with all Wing Sung pens (a grand total of 3) I have used that they are all equipped with this style converter and are impossible to remove. This is no exception. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about losing a converter, but on the other hand, if you need a spare converter to hand and this is your only pen un-inked then you’re out of luck it seems.

As far as I am aware, the 235 only comes in the rose gold finish. In the handwritten review (which you can always find at the bottom of the typed review) I say that it looks more like a typical gold colour. I compared it to another gold pen and I did indeed see a pinky colour to it. The 233 model appears to be a somewhat similar design but in black. These seem to be your only two options.

Of course – I am no stranger to gaudy pens.

Wing Sung 235 Jinhao 1200 fountain pen review

However, unlike the Jinhao 1200, you can actually feel the ridges, while on the 1200 there seems to be some overlay that means you can’t feel them.

All in all, I don’t think that it’s a bad investment for a nib that writes well and looks nice, a pen that is nicely sized and can be something to mess around with because it’s cheap. Certainly, this pen will not be like the others that you have in your collection.

And if it is – we need to get talking!

Diamine Hope Pink on Clairefontaine Europa paper

fullsizeoutput_822fullsizeoutput_823

Pelikan M620 – Piccadilly Circus Special Edition

Pelikan_Piccadilly_Circus_M620_Review

If you want a TL;DR of this pen, I adore it. I will also tell you that I have put another review on hold just so that I have another excuse to write with this pen tonight. Oh. Also, London.

I have lived in London my whole life, and I am so happy that I do. Of the 5 universities I applied to, 4 were in London (I let Mother think this is because I want to stay close to home, but really I just love the city). I really cannot put my love for this city into words. Ykno another thing I really love? Pelikans. Pelicans are pretty cool, also.

Pelikan_Fountain_Pen_Review_Piccadilly_Circus_Special_Edition

So when I discovered that Pelikan did a City Series Edition of London, I NEEDED it. I go to a pen met up every month in London. This is where I met my Chief Enabler (you can read his review here (opens in a new tab)), and you will discover why he has this name. Because not only did he just prompt me to buy a Pilot Custom 823 and not only his Pelikan M100 ‘Stormtrooper’ (I am sure to do a review of these two pens) but also sold me this pen. And I am so thankful because, while I don’t have a grail list, this pen would certainly feature on said list.

Pelikan_London_Fountain_Pen_M620_Special_Edition
I received a few very weird looks when getting these pictures.. More can be found on my Instagram, 7heDaniel

So what makes this a London themed pen, other than by nomenclature? Well, the answer for that lies in the body design, which is difficult to ignore. Pelikan didn’t use this design just because it looks nice (and it does. It so does) but because it mimics the vibrant, neon aesthetic and embodies the out-going nature that Piccadilly represents. This is not a pen that is just sold with a special edition tag with new fancy design and swirls, it means something. To me, that is very important in the pen because if it didn’t have meaning, I think it would completely turn me off.

There is one issue I have with the pen: the furnishings are silver, and I am a gold guy. If I had the choice, then I would have gold furniture on this pen. However, it does not come with that option. But it isn’t something that annoys me as much as I love this pen (I’d say it’s a 3/10 annoyance but I have a 923728463763287/10 love for the pen). That being said, the pen has the Mxx0 nib which is the two-tone gold nib. This might irk some people. It makes it more personal to me so I’m not bothered by it all.

fullsizeoutput_7f5fullsizeoutput_7fa

But talking about the nib, it’s fantastic. It’s a fine, and compared to my M800 fine I think this is a ‘true fine’ while the M800 is a Pelikan fine (for those of you who don’t know, Pelikan nib grades tend to run a tad broader than other Western nibs). It isn’t as smooth, but gosh the feedback is beautiful and it sings! It is also very wet for a fine nib. Reverse writing and line variation can also be had.

The M620 is part of the same size class as the other M6xx pens. I regard 600 as a ‘normal’ size. M8xx as ‘large’ and M1xxx as ‘oversize’. I can still write with this pen without the cap posted — and that is super important as someone whom detests writing with the cap posted. I’ve tested the pens in my hand across the entire range of Pelikans before, so I knew that this size was okay for me. The pen also has the famous Pelikan pelican (ehh) clip which I adore as well as the mama and babba pelicans on the finial.

The pen is also lighter than the M8xx and M1xxx sizes. Not just because it is thinner and smaller, but this pen (along with the 400 & 200 series) doesn’t use a brass piston. So that mitigates a lot of the weight, which is great if you prefer lighter pens. Thankfully I have no preference for every single pen I buy.

fullsizeoutput_7fe
A few more size comparisons. From left to right: TWSBI Eco, TWSBI Vac 700, Pelikan Piccadilly, Sheaffer Legacy Heritage, Montegrappa NeroUno Linea
fullsizeoutput_7ff
A few more size comparisons. From left to right: TWSBI Eco, TWSBI Vac 700, Pelikan Piccadilly, Sheaffer Legacy Heritage & Montegrappa NeroUno Linea

You can buy an M600 for a cheaper price than what I got this for (and if not, you’re looking in the wrong place..!) and it will write exactly the same and feel exactly the same. But the original M60x design will not embody my favourite city in the world and something that has been a big part in my life recently (due to frequent trips into London, particularly with my girlfriend over the past two years). It’s personal to me and I love it. That’s what this hobby is about.

img_6254
I also love tea. Funnily enough, I bought this in a tea shop in Piccadilly long before I got this pen..

Only spend what you think a pen is worth; and to me, this pen is priceless.

fullsizeoutput_800Pelikan_Fountain_Pen_M620_Special_Edition_ReviewPelikan_M620_Special_Edition_Review

Namisu Studio Ebonite – Bock Nibs

As I said in the main review of the pen (which you can find here), I was going to make a separate review looking at the nibs on offer for this pen (excluding the steel medium and the titanium broad nibs). I will look at the extra fine and broad steel nibs and then the medium titanium. Best ’til last? Let’s see.

Bock steel fine nib review

I’m a broad guy but writing with this nib was just pure joy. I mention this in the broad review, but Bock really do nail the grades in my opinion. This is what I would expect from a Western extra fine. However, reverse writing makes it even finer. It’s actually rather impressive handling reverse writing.

Even though it’s an extra fine nib, there’s no scratch but a nice feedback that reminds you that you’re writing. I don’t like glassy smooth nibs. But in comparison to the other two nibs, this one is the hardest and has the least amount of bounce.

 fullsizeoutput_797But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any give to it. You press hard enough and you can get some utterly ridiculous line variation with it. As you can see with the smudge, the nib gives quite a wet line, and I found it did so even without much pressure either.

fullsizeoutput_791.jpegThe broad nib is smoother than the extra fine, which is a sort of given, it’s also a little springier. Again, with the broad nib you can get some really amazing line variation out of it. However, it fails when it comes to reverse writing as it gets very dry and it’s incredibly scratchy. fullsizeoutput_792The broad nib has a really generous ink flow. Using Lamy Dark Lilac and I think it really shows the ink off nicely. However, it isn’t so wet that I can’t use it as a lefty overwriter.

And the one you’ve all (I think?) been waiting for..

fullsizeoutput_793I’ve never used a titanium nib before – it was the first nib I went to when testing this pen out. I learnt three things:

  1. These nibs are SO FUN
  2. They’re not really practical
  3. Reverse writing with a titanium nib is awful

I’m fortunate enough to have control over the paper that I use in my day to day life so I was able to use the nib pretty freely. However, when I had to write on poorer paper.. It wasn’t so friendly and didn’t really play nice because it’s incredibly wet, and you can see how that by how much darker the ink is. This also means that your converter drains quicker than with a steel nib of the same grade.

And to drain the converter even quicker, the nib is very bouncy. As I said in the sample, I gave the pen to my mother and she didn’t enjoy it at all because it was “too bouncy”. I’d go as far as saying semi-flex. This actually backs up both posts – the nib is fun but not really practical in every circumstance. Especially with the reverse writing. Whenever I’m writing out formulas, equations or annotations I sometimes like to use the reverse for a little bit because it gives me more space to write as I can write smaller. Not with this nib. Sends a shiver down my spine just thinking about it.

fullsizeoutput_794But damn. Look at how that ink is laid down..!

img_6071But it can lead to smudging from my hooked handwriting. I did notice that sometimes. Usually when I go down line by line prematurely, which I sometimes experience anyway but not as often as I did with this. Again, an absolute gusher. I have no idea what a broad will be like.

So in conclusion, if I had to get one of the nibs, I think I would go for either the titanium and learn to master it or the extra fine because that really stuck with me. Maybe it’s because I usually go for broads and it’s just something new. If practicality is what you’re after, then go for the extra fine. If you want a bit of fun, go for the titanium.

Or.. You could get the titanium for a reduced price and then order your own Bock nib and have both. Consider yourself enabled. *drops mic*