Paradise Pens (Part 1)

Mr. P and I hit up Paradise Pen in Las Vegas last week. I was so sad to see that they are closing this location effective June 1.  Other than Montblanc in Caesar’s Palace, Paradise Pen is the only pen shop that I know in Vegas. It’s too bad – but I definitely get that the high cost of rent in big malls doesn’t make it easy.

Everything was on sale – up to 25% off all items. The employee on duty didn’t seem to have any wiggle room with this. I asked, they are not selling any fixtures or displays.

But they were selling this….

Montblanc 145

I’ve actually been pondering on this very pen for quite some time. Uncle Robert’s 149 is a bit too big and heavy for my wee lady hands.  (My hands are not actually wee, but the 149 is definitely on the bulky side for me.)

I’ve not inked it yet, but will post about it when I do.

I probably won’t use only Montblanc inks in it – I’m just pentulant that way.  I love that the converter has a mixy thing in it. You can see it in the picture above near “ink only.”

Mr. P didn’t come away empty-handed either. Stay tuned!

INK REVIEW: Montblanc Albert Einstein

Seems like gray inks are a love ’em or hate ’em kind of thing. Me? I find that I’m picky about my grays (or greys, if you prefer). I like either true gray – or perhaps a bit blue leaning like J Herbin’s Gris Nuage or Pilot Iroshizuku’s Fuyu syogun (Old Man Winter).

Before we dive into the review of Montblanc’s Albert Einstein ink, you have seen the pen, yes?  It’s the cap that does me in, makes me swoon, gives me heart palpitations. Love, love, love.

But it’s this part that turns me off . . .

The metal. The sharp drop-off between the barrel and the grip. Bleh.

I had the opportunity to hold one of these at the Montblanc Boutique in San Francisco when they were first available. I just didn’t love it. I mean, I’d take one if someone wanted to gift it to me (duh), but I’m not buying one for myself.

Anyway…the ink review..

Clicky here for the biggy big version of the review.

And a closer look . . .

I like it. It’s ok. It’s not amazingly wonderful. I have a couple of full bottles of it, but I’m not hurrying to fill all of my pens with it. I think Mr. P would like this more than I. It’s a little dark with no special characteristics, but it gets the job done. It’s a serious gray from a serious pen company – I imagine Montblanc is quite happy with it.
Bottom Line:  It’s ok.

INK REVIEW: Montblanc Winter Glow

hello gorgeous
Now. There is some red!  That in-yo-face color that I adore!
Highlight test went (surprisingly) well.
The colors in the Compare Squares don’t really compare at all – even for a second try! Even Tiananmen from Noodler’s and not even Florentine Red from Stipula.  No, Winter Glow from Montblanc is in a class by itself.

On very close inspection, it’s has a bit of spread. Spread = not quite perfect, but not really feathering. With the naked eye, though, this just isn’t noticeable on any of the papers I’ve used with this pen/ink combination.

Speaking of the pen/ink combination, you’ll notice that I used a Montblanc Boheme for this test. That’s because the ink is in a cartridge rather than a bottle. I have a bottle, too, just wasn’t ready to open it. 
Wait, let’s be honest here, I wanted to try a MB ink in a MB pen and this is what I went with.

Suggest keeping it dry
The only bit of trouble I had was on the review paper (HP Premium Choice 32 lb.). Just a little hard starting.
The letter to Mr. P below is written on Whitelines Paper and it worked out just fine.

In closing, I’d like you to notice how kind I am to refer to the pen as his. Everyone knows all of the pens in the house (and in the cars, and in the world) belong to me.

The End 🙂



I’d completed the review of Montblanc’s Winter Glow and then went to my stash – grabbed four red inks out of my red inks sample bag – and above is the result.

Dude. Those aren’t red. Maybeeeeeee Rouge Caroubier is close – but even it is more of a pinky color.

Heaven only knows why I didn’t stop after the first – or the second – OR THE THIRD – but I kept right on going.

So..what you have here is a mess. But at least you can see the swab of Winter Glow and a bit of writing. It’s darker than I thought it would be coming out of the pen.

I’ll get a proper review of Winter Glow done soon.

After I try sorting my samples by color one more time 😉

Montblanc Starwalker from Costco

This thread over on Fountain Pen Network concerns me a great deal.

The short version: someone bought a Montblanc Starwalker that is clearly a fake to the people who know about these things.

While this isn’t news in itself (the Starwalker is reportedly the most frequently faked pen in the Montblanc line up), the part that concerns me a great deal is that he purchased the pen from Costco.

A little investigation reveals that Costco is not an Authorized Montblanc Dealer.  But they are a major retailer in the US.  And the public should be able to trust them. I like shopping there, feel like I get good deals, and as someone in the thread pointed out – Costco has been carrying some high-end items lately. (In fact, it sounds like they even had some Montblanc Bohemes awhile back.)

There are two theories about how this could have happened…

1. A customer already in possession of a fake went to Costco, purchased a real pen, slipped the fake into the box, returned that item, and kept the real pen. The FPN person happened to be the unlucky person who ended up with the fake.

2. Costco bought a bunch of fakes.

I think this has me so bothered because how in the world is the average person on the street looking for a nice pen supposed to protect themselves from something like this?

– Buy only from Montblanc Boutiques
– Buy only from Authorized Dealers
– Research, research, research so that you may be better able to spot a fake
– Sounds too good to be true….

The good news is that Costco took the pen in question back (not surprising, my understanding is that they have a great return policy).

But now what happens? Will that pen be put back on the shelves and resold? Will someone take a closer look at the inventory.

It just concerns me.


Jeff and I went to the SF Pen Show over the weekend. We came away with two great pens and a review of the show itself.  Lonnnnnng post.

First, this Pelikan M320 in Ruby…

It was the depth of color (deep red) and somewhat translucent cap and body that called me to this pen. Pretty, yes?
The first vendor who had this pen told me it was never officially in production – that his friend bought all they had, and he bought a few from that friend.
Then I walked around a bit more and spotted the same pen at another vendor, and another. And I know pen people get around, so anything is possible. 
But then I got home, found the pen on eBay, and then on Amazon. I believe it’s a special edition – everyone says it is – but I don’t believe there’s only a few of them out in the world. Annnd, I don’t really care – I buy pens because I love they way they look, they way they feel in my hand, and the way they write.
Click Images to See Larger

It measures just around 4″
14k nib
And..surprise!’s piston fill.

It came with choice of fine or medium nib. I usually like broader nibs, but this pen has such a delicate feel to it, that I went with the fine this time.

I’ve not inked it yet, but I’ll report back when I do.

Paid $225 – seems like a decent deal.

And Jeff…he found this for himself….

Wait, no, that’s just the case that the vendor gave Jeff out of the goodness of his heart. The case is well-made, super-duper-soft, and I’m going to enjoy “borrowing” it from Jeff – on a permanent basis – haha!
Hello, beautiful….
Oh yes, I’m talkin’ to you….

Mont Blanc Boheme Noir. Medium Nib.
(with my reflection in the cap..nice)
This pretty little thing also measures around 4″ long.
Cartridge only.
The rings are platinum-plated.
Nib is rhodium + 14k
We paid $300 for this one – a great deal for a gently used (one tiny scuff mark on the barrel) Mont Blanc that Jeff has been pining after.

We feel really really good about what we came away with, but there were a couple that we were swooning over and didn’t get – isn’t that always the way?

Pelikan Northern Lights

Taccia Nightlife (in NYC Blue, please)

The show itself was good and fun.  We went on Friday and followed my usual routine..

..walk around the entire show to find what I love most and talk with vendors
..take a break, really think about what I want most
..head back to (hopefully) get everything from one vendor and make a fantastic deal

Things were not laid out well. There were multiple rooms – some of which were really really crowded even that early in the show. (Multiple rooms is nice, but things were just crazy-tight in a couple.) One of the largest rooms was around the corner from the others – when we walked in, the people at the first table said, “Thank You for finding us!”

I didn’t see anyone selling ink. And I really looked. We all know how much I love me some ink.

Everyone had used vintage Parkers. In fact, there were a lot more vendors selling used vintage items than there were selling new.

The Stipula dude was there. I always swoon for their designs.

Swann was there with some of their auction pens in a case. Jeff nearly got his hand slapped (not really) for reaching into the case and touching a vintage Mont Blanc.

Jimmy from Atlanta was there. I love him. He never remembers me. Bummer. (He doesn’t have the best prices – if pricing is important to you, research to avoid being charmed by his southern ways.)

The Bittners were there. They tried (unsuccessfully) to sell me the Omas Emotica Fountain Pen last year and tried again this year, too.

I hope the show is near SFO every year, but that’s only because it’s easier for me.

I think the organizers would do better charging a little more for tables and offering admission for much less (or free) to get more buyers into the show. Fifteen dollars isn’t a lot – but it could make the difference for someone thinking about attending, yes? Or maybe I’m wrong and the show would get too crowded and no one would buy?  Or maybe the vendors wouldn’t like higher table fees. What do I know.

Overall, it was good. The LA Pen Show is in February. Going to try to make it down there for that!

Your turn – what did you get? Did you love the show?