PEN REVIEW: Delta Unica (Limited Edition)

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Delta Unica

Blue with Gold Trim

Limited Edition

Before we get started – I’ll be back this afternoon to announce the winner of the Stateside Notebook giveaway!

The Delta Unica is a gorgeous pen. Deep blue swirls that vary from almost white to almost black, but mostly velvety blue. In a word: chatoyance.

Let’s have a look under the hood . . .

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The trim (or furniture, if you prefer) is gold-plated. The cap screws on and can be posted (placed on the back of the pen) easily.

The clip has one of those rolly things that (in theory) makes it easy to clip to a pocket. I’m generally not a fan of this feature, but that is definitely a matter of personal taste.

The nib has a matte finish (it’s brushed gold-plated steel). It’s an interesting look that may not be for everyone. The nib features a wonderfully scrolly design that I quite like.

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The section of the Unica is sized well and comfortable.

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The pen takes international short cartridges or fills with the included converter. Fittings are deep (a good thing) and appear to be brass (another good thing).

How does it write?

A photo posted by Christine Darling (@pentulant) on

I inked it with J. Herbin’s Ocean Bleu and found them to be a perfect pairing. The pen wrote perfectly out of the box. No skipping, no hard starts. Flow was perfect.

The nib offers some feedback. Some writers prefer and are accustomed to a perfectly buttery smooth writing experience and anything other than that may feel scratchy at first glance. This nib doesn’t catch on the paper nor is it difficult to write – rather, I can feel the paper beneath the pen. I like this, but it may be a deal breaker for some.

This version of the Unica is limited to 100 pens and is available exclusively at Goulet Pens. I wasn’t compensated in any way for this review and spent my own hard-earned $76 on it. The pen is available from other places and in other colors. 

FOUND AROUND FRIDAY – Noodler’s Fountain Pens Edition

The above photo started a discussion about flex pens and that started a discussion about Noodler’s fountain pens and how I don’t have a single Noodler’s fountain pen that works like I’d hoped.

Feeling inspired, I found all of my Noodler’s fountain pens and a container of one of my most reliable inks – Pilot Iroshizuku’s Fuyu-syogun.

Noodler’s Konrad Flex Fountain Pen – Clear

This one accepted the ink easily. I love the blind cap covering the twisty thing for the piston. If you’ve ever accidentally twisted a twisty thing and gotten ink all over the place, you know what I’m talking about here.

How’d it write?

Noodler’s Konrad Flex – Writing Sample

Yeah. No.

I tried. I did a little scribbling, a little shaking. I gave the piston a little twist. I looked at the alignment of the thing to the other thing.  Yeah. No.

Moving right along . . .

Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex Fountain Pen – Yellow and Blue

The Nib Creaper is super-slim and has a great ink window – stylish and functional. I love the way they look.

How do they write?

Yellow first . . .

Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex – Writing Sample

It started out so well, but quickly became inconsistent. In the image above, it’s easy to see that the writing is darker at the top of the page and lighter as I near the end of the top paragraph.  There were also some hard starts. The flow just wasn’t right.

You know what makes me crazy? Inconsistent fountain pens. Work or don’t work, darn you!

Let’s look at the blue version . . .

Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex – Writing Sample

OK! Alrighty! The blue Noodler’s Nib Creaper (why is it named that??) is kind of nice! It writes, it’s fairly smooth a bit of happy feedback. It flexes! And it recovers quickly from railroading – very nice!

I’m going to call this one a win. For those keeping score, that is one win out of three pens.

Let’s keep going . . .

Noodler’s Konrad Flex Fountain Pen

A black version of the Konrad Flex. Love that big ink window and, again, a blind cap protecting the piston’s twisty thing.

How’s it write?

Noodler’s Konrad Flex – Writing Sample

Wait. What?

This pen wouldn’t take up the ink. I tried several times, several different ways. I took the thing out of the other thing, adjusted it a bit, and tried again.  No go.

I don’t know.


What’s next?

Noodler’s Ahab Flex Fountain Pen – Clear Demonstrator

Pretty sure the Ahab is the biggest of the Noodler’s pens. It fills with a plunger mechanism (fancy!) and looks like it could easily be converted to an eyedropper (but don’t quote me on that).

This is a pen I’ve reviewed in the past.

The ink sucked right up into the pen and I was feeling hopeful.

Noodler’s Ahab Flex – Writing Sample

The Ahab wrote decently – until I started flexing the nib.

Does it work as I’d hoped?  No.

What’s the score now? Is anyone keeping track?


Noodler’s Konrad Flex Fountain Pen – Red

This pen is pretttttty. I really really wanted it to write well.

Noodler’s Konrad Flex – Writing Sample

It wrote fine! Passed all but the hardest of the hard flexes. Seems like it recovered well from the over-flex.  I like it! Thank goodness because it really is a looker.  In fact, when Mr. Pentulant saw it, he asked, “Are you sure that’s a Noodler’s?” Ha!

I set all of the pens aside overnight and came back to them the next morning. How’d they do?

You’ll notice that the two pens that didn’t write the night before, didn’t write the next morning. No surprise there (especially since one of them didn’t have ink..ha).

That’s that.  
Here’s the final score:
Win – 2
Lose – 4

To the defense of Noodler’s for a moment . . . These pens are made to be tinkered with. If you’re a fiddler and you want to fiddle, maybe you’ll have more success than I have had.

I watched Brian Goulet’s video. I tried. I freakin’ tried (and then blamed myself? no.).  I have come to the conclusion that I’m willing to tinker a little, but I mostly just want my pens to write when I pick them up. You know?

I’ve also concluded that Noodler’s pens are inconsistent as a whole. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I went out to the living room, picked up the blue one, and it didn’t lay down a single line of ink. Likewise, that plunger-fill pen might just work today.

And it’s that inconsistency that I cannot stand.  Noodler’s pens are not for me.  Noodler’s inks are a different story!

OK, what do you think?  Noodler’s pens – love ’em or hate ’em?

PEN REVIEW: Pilot Parallel 6mm

I’m just going to blurt it out: I love this pen.

Let’s dive in . . .

I have two Pilot Parallel Pens – around ten bucks each, yo. I opened and played with both, but only inked the blue 6mm version.

Above: The pen comes with two Pilot proprietary ink cartridges (one red, one black) and a converter. These inks are mixable. I don’t get into it here, but Rachel Goulet has a terrific video that you should watch.

Converter? For cleaning the pen unit? Huh? What the heck? While I don’t know yet if it will help with cleaning, I am sure that the converter cannot be used for ink. The seal is not nearly sufficient to keep ink in the converter. Strongly suggest not trying it, but please take pictures if you decide to go for it – I love a beautiful mess.

My understanding is that the Pilot CON-50 converter will work with this pen. I plan to find out. Because, really, imagine big fat shaded or sheen line? Oooh…or maybe Diamine Flamingo Pink?

The Pilot Parallel also comes with a handy Nib Cleaner (it’s a piece of film that slips between the plates of the nib) and a somewhat informative instruction sheet.
I love this picture – the reflection of my yard, my fingerprint – what’s not to love. 

The Parallel is available in four different sizes. The different sizes have different colored caps. They are:

  • Blue                        6 mm
  • Green                   3.8 mm
  • Yellow                  2.4 mm
  • Red/Orange          1.5 mm
The size of the nib is clearly marked in a couple of places . . . .
The nib is made up of two plates that are parallel to one another. 
Get it? Parallel.

But how’s it write?

I love it! 
I was worried that the writing would be too wet – it’s not. The flow is terrific and on good paper, there was no bleeding.  After playing with it a bunch initially, I find that I’m using it for a few things:
  • separating topics/sections on a page 
  • crossing items off of my to do list
  • writing short (very short) love notes to Mr. Pentulant
It’s a fun pen. For regular use, I might change the ink to a bright yellow and use it a highlighter. Fun, yes?
Downsides . . . 
  • the pen cannot be posted – come on, pen manufacturers, help a girl out
  • doesn’t come with a converter that can be used for ink – arrrgh.
Highly recommended!  
One of my Pilot Parallel pens came from Goulet Pens. The other came from Jet Pens. Goulet’s price is less. Bought and paid for with my own pennies out of own piggy bank. 

Have you tried one of these? Do you love it?

PEN REVIEW: Edison Nouveau Premiere Autumn Harvest (Fall 2014 Special Edition Fountain Pen)

Edison Nouveau Premiere
Fall 2014 Special Edition Fountain Pen
Hello Fall!!!

Edison Nouveau Premiere 
Fall 2014
Screw Cap

They are calling it Autumn Harvest.

I was thinking the fall edition might be conservative and concerned that could mean that it wouldn’t have been. . . uh . . . as wonderfully special as those two.  CraZy!

Shades of brown mixed with hues of gold – light mixed with dark – flecks and flakes mixed with discreet swirls.

This is a fountain pen that can go anywhere with anyone and fit in comfortably. It can be dressed up with a business suit or go casual with jeans.

Gold-tone trim (fancy people call this the pen’s “furniture”). Two-toned steel nib (mine is a broad and I think you should go broad, too).

Convenient Converter Fill

It has an almost vintage feel to it, yes? Vintage, but not old. The design is so modern.

This isn’t your grandpa’s fountain pen (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

OK, so it’s pretty handsome, but how does the Edison Nouveau Premiere Autumn Harvest (Fall 2014 Special Edition) Fountain Pen write?


Click here to see the full-sized handwritten review.

Things to know . . .

. . . . Goulet Pens graciously sent me this pen in exchange for my honest review. As a special edition, they are predicting that the pen will be available through November 2014. If sales are greater than expected, they could be out of stock sooner. You can get yours for $149 right here.

. . . . I have a giveaway (and more pictures of this beauty) coming up on Wednesday – hoping you’ll come back and check it out.

Your turn . . . love it? hate it? Does it make you look froward to fall?

ALMOST WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Kaweco Stonewashed (Blue) Kaweco AL-Sport

I recently reviewed the Kaweco AL-Sport. Here’s a link to that review. This pen is exactly like that – except the look is way cool. Right?  (Not that the other isn’t, but wow.)
I’ve been calling this the Kaweco Stonewashed AL-Sport and have seen others refer to it as the Kaweco Raw AL-Sport.
On to the wordless portion of this Wordless Wednesday . . . 


PEN REVIEW: Kaweco AL Sport Grey

Kaweco AL Sport Grey Fountain Pen Review

I’m usually not into the weights and measures of my fountain pens, but I can’t help it this time. Capped, this great-looking pen measures right around four inches – the perfect size for pockets or smaller bags. When posted, the Kaweco gains over an inch to just about 5.25 inches.  Perfect.

The AL Sport weighs in at a solid 22g. For comparison, the Kaweco Ice Sport weighs just 10g.

I love the look of this pen – classic Kaweco design, sleek, simple, smart.

The color of is simply called grey. It’s a very warm grey – leaning well into red. Lot of depth of color for what is basically a flat finish. I can’t help but think that if you wanted to match this pen to an ink, you should try Pilot Iroshizuku’s Kiri-same.

Unfortunately, this pen only accepts short international cartridges. Fortunately, some short international converters may work with the pen. Unfortunately, I don’t know which those are – I am hoping someone will post with suggestions.

A great solid pen.

But how does it write?

I loaded up my medium-nibbed AL Sport with a Private Reserve Spearmint cartridge and got to writing . . . .

My early (and only) concern was that the section (grip area) is quite short and my thumb was hitting  (and rubbing against) it oddly. Honestly, I wasn’t sure it was going to work out.

After writing with it for awhile, putting it down for a day or two, and then going back to it, there were no issues with the section/grip. Whew.  Perfectly comfortable, but something to be aware of because that section does seem short.

My bottom line . . . At around $80 (I got mine from Goulet Pens with my own saved pennies), it’s a bit more expensive than some of the other Kaweco fountain pens, but the quality is there. Definitely recommended. In fact, I’m already looking for the Stonewashed version of this same pen – stay tuned!


PEN REVIEW: Edison Nouveau Premiere – Summer 2014

As soon as the mail carrier knocked quietly on the door (she doesn’t want to disturb the dogs…haha), I jumped up because I knew what was going to be on the porch waiting for me.

Days before, I’d seen the preview and knew I was going to own this pen – the Edison Nouveau Premiere – Caribbean Sea (Summer Edition 2014).

I have its Cherry Blossom – Spring 2014 sister. And I practically squealed when I saw the color of the Caribbean Sea.

Anyway . . . what I didn’t know was that within a few days of learning about this pen (a Goulet Pens exclusive from Edison Pen Co.), I’d have a note from Rachel Goulet – yes, the Rachel Goulet!!! – asking if I’d review some items for them from time to time and in exchange I’d get to keep the items. Are you kidding? Of course I will! I love what they’re doing over at Goulet Pens and how they’re doing it. I’m a frequent customer and huge fan. I’m seriously honored that they would ask me (just don’t tell them that I probably would have bought this pen anyway, ok?)

So..that’s the disclaimer, I received this pen at no charge to me and I’m being totally honest about what I think of it.

I love it.

The name of this pen is perfect – Caribbean Sea. The color is a gorgeous blue-green with lots of depth, swirls, and sheens. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it from different angles, in different light, on different surfaces. If you like the way it looks in my (very amateur) pictures, you’ll love the way it looks in person – seriously.

The shape of the Premiere is . . . interesting. It has the pointiest cap ever. In fact, I challenge you to find a pen with a more pointy cap.

I love that the section (the part you grip) is contoured and there is no steep drop-off between it and the body of the pen. It’s very comfortable in the hand.

The cap can be posted, but I’m finding that I like writing with it unposted better. It’s definitely not a weight issue – more that the pen is longer than average when posted and that may take some getting used to.

Of course, looks are only part of the equation when it comes to fountain pens.  How does it write?

I’m going to pat myself on the back for choosing the perfect color to go with this pen: Toucan Bright Blue. (More on Toucan inks coming soon.)

Here are some scanned handwriting samples. Click here to see the full-sized handwritten review.

Someone on Instagram asked me how the nib compared with the nib of a Lamy Safari. My answer is that the Edison Nouveau is more buttery smooth than the Lamy Safari. Some people like a little feedback when writing and others like a super duper smooth experience.

I’d say that the flow is a bit wet – but I like that. This nib is a medium, by the way.

I just checked and the Carribean Sea is sold out.  I’m pretty sure it will be back in stock, though – summer has just begun!

OK, that’s that. What do you think?  Did you order this one as soon as it came out? Will you be waiting for it to come back into stock?  And…do you match your ink to your pen colors?

I’ll be back later this week with an ink review!


Edited to Add:  It’s in stock – get it here!

PEN REVIEW: Montblanc 145 Rose Gold – Meisterstuck 90 Years Anniversary Fountain Pen

It has been busy around here the last couple of weeks!

Mr. Pentulant graduated from his masters program, went on a short vacation, celebrated my birthday while we were away, and Mr. Pentulant started his fancy new job. Busy!

Above is one of my birthday gifts from the mister.  The pen is actually sitting on top of the box in that picture.  Here is the box without the pen . . .

I find it interesting that it’s the 1912 Heritage (or perhaps the original safety pen?) on the sleeve. Also, my understanding from the Montblanc Facebook Page is that the shiny rose gold sleeve is only available for a year.

While I generally am not a huge fan of rose gold, there are so many things to love about this pen – the rose gold is deep and warm, the detailed design of the nib engraving, and (of course) the superb quality and reputation of Montblanc – it was definitely on my wish list.

Mine has a fine nib.  Even the sticker is rose gold . . .

And Mr. Pentulant correctly guessed that I would want a 145 – smaller-sized than the iconic 149 and with a converter rather than piston.

I couldn’t wait to ink it up.

It’s a great pen – the style, the writing. It sounds cliche, but the this pen really is an instant classic.

THIS OR THAT? Montblanc Heritage 1912 or Boheme

A super-quick (ha!) version of This or That – two Montblanc Fountain Pens – the fancy newish Heritage 1912 versus the classic and much-loved retractable nib Boheme.

But first – did you see that I’m giving away the new Lamy Safari in Neon Coral? Enter here.

On to This or That . . .

These are each great pens that write really well. I had the Heritage inked with Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun from this review and inked the Boheme with Montblanc Oyster Grey in anticipation of writing this post. I’m not showing any writing samples today – suffice it say that the writing experience is pretty terrific with both pens.

Other than the great brand, precious resin, and amazing writing, the greatest similarity between the two pens is the retractable nib. 
The biggest differences are . . . 
Fill System The Boheme will only accept cartridges (standard short). The Heritage has a unique piston filling system.  Cartridges are convenient, for sure – just pop one in and go (well, after waiting a few minutes or more for the ink to work its way through the pen’s capillary system). There are approximately a zillion more colors of bottled ink available than cartridges. Also, fill with a piston and you’re ready to start writing immediately.  
Posting the Cap The Boheme is designed to be posted – to advance the nib, simply screw the cap on to the end of the pen – it’s perfect, really. There is no way for the cap to work its way loose with normal use.  The Heritage, on the other hand, is not meant to be posted – annnnnd despite the pictures on the MB website (this kills me, in case you’re wondering), it cannot be properly posted. This could be a deal-breaker for some people.
Size Capped, the Boheme is smaller – practically pocket-sized. Uncapped, the Boheme is still smaller. However, posted, the sizes are comparable. With each pen in the ready-to-write position, the Boheme is around 1/2 inch longer than the Heritage.
Grip The Boheme (shown above) features a very slightly flared grip. I find it very comfortable to hold. The Heritage (below) is quite smooth. I also find it very comfortable. I can see that some people would have an issue with the Heritage. For example, if you have especially (ahem) moist hands, maybe your grip would be too slippery to be an enjoyable writing experience?
Clean-Up The Boheme can be a bit of a pain to clean. Do you want to run water through the pen and over the working parts of the retractable nib? I didn’t think so. Given that, your options are to set up an elaborate cleaning scheme which involves a cleaned-out cartridge (long) and needle/syringe or find some cleaning cartridges (I’m not even sure these are still around?).  (Maybe there’s another option?) 
While I’ve not yet cleaned the Heritage (not even before I inked it because I’m pentulant like that), I imagine it will work like any other piston fill pen.
Let’s talk about money . . . Right now on the MB website, Bohemes range from $690 – $1645. The Heritage is $1,110.  Of course, you can probably find a better deal for each on eBay – and the very good news is that the retractable nib pens are (to my knowledge) not counterfeited.
Right now, I’m a huge fan of the Montblanc Heritage 1912.  I’ve mentioned to more than one person that I think it’s my favorite pen – maybe even my grail pen. I love it that much.  Having said that, I also love my Boheme collection.
As each pen is a terrific writer, it’s really going to come down to personal preference. I’ve outlined the things that I think could make or break a decision. Now, you tell me – This or That? Which would you choose?