Sailor Morita Progear Mini


Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

The first Sailor pen that I bought was a clear candy, back in 2014 (if I recall correctly). I got another Sailor, a Sapporo Progear Slim last year, and I’m really happy about how the pens write perfectly out of the box. The nib wasn’t soft, but it wrote really smoothly. So I thought I’d get a Morita as well, because I love the color and I enjoy the Sailor pens that I bought so far.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

I was going to get a progear slim again, but I thought I’d try a progear mini this time, and I’m glad I did. This pen is super cute. It’s a little pocket pen that is just a teeny bit longer than a Kaweco Sport.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

When uncapped and posted, they are almost the same size as well, although the end of Sailor’s barrel has threads on it where you can securely screw the cap on. I’m glad they did it this way because it’s not comfortable to hold unposted, and having a place to thread the cap on means that I don’t need to worry about the cap scratching the barrel when I post it. It’s also pretty secure, your hand won’t push the cap off while you write.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

It is about 1.5 cm shorter than a progear slim, and the girth is the same. When capped, the girth is like that of a medium-sized pen, so it’s easy to hold while writing. The length of the section is a bit short (like the progear slim), but it’s the right proportion to the body. Since I hold my pens near the edge of the section anyway, the threads don’t really bother me a lot.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

I really like the color of this pen. It looks like Tiffany blue for me, but after reading about the pen online, it’s called robin’s egg blue. It was made especially for Mr. Morita, of the Morita Pen Shop in Osaka, Japan. The color is said to be based on the ceiling of a cathedral where Mozart performed. I like the combination of robin’s egg blue and rhodium trims.

Sailor Morita Progear Mini (Broad)

Because of the length of the pen, the proprietary Sailor converter doesn’t fit. It uses cartridges instead. I don’t mind it at all, though this might be a deal breaker for people who don’t have the time to refill empty cartridges using a syringe. Here’s a video of the writing sample:

Like I mentioned earlier, the pen just wrote perfectly out of the box. My Sapporo has a medium nib, though being a Japanese medium, it wrote more like a European fine. I chose a B nib this time because I like thicker lines. The Sailor Morita’s B nib writes like a European medium, which is perfect for me. I love it, it glides on paper and has the slightest feedback. It’s really a pleasure to use.

Here are a few more closeups of the different parts of the pen:  Continue reading

Review: J. Herbin Tempest


The nice people at Everything Calligraphy sent over this pen for me to try out and review. It’s called the J. Herbin Tempête or Tempest. Nice name, don’t you think? You can at least say that you’re writing up a storm with Tempest in your hand. It came in a nice velvety-black box, some literature on how to use it, and a little dropper.

J. Herbin Tempest

I would suggest skipping the dropper completely and just using a syringe because the dropper only holds a bit of ink at a time. It looks kinda pretty, though. My first impression of the whole thing was that I liked the shape of the pen. It reminded me of desk pens because of the pointy end. It’s certainly a looker.

J. Herbin Tempest

It’s not a small pen, by any means. It’s a comfortably-sized pen. Uncapped and unposted, it’s about 5.25 inches more or less. Capped, it’s about six inches. It’s not super long, I can post it comfortably enough.

J. Herbin Tempest

I think it’s a pretty handsome pen, and it’s eyecatching because of the shape and because of that clear barrel with the frosted-looking interiors. It was clearly made to be an eyedropper, but I was initially concerned about inking it up and staining it. I’m a little OC about my clear-barreled pens and one of my biggest regrets is turning my Frankling Christoph into an eyedropper (and filling it with Emerald of Chivor). After that fiasco, I decided to only turn opaque-barreled pens to eyedroppers and spare myself the heartache of seeing all that pristine acrylic horribly stained by ink. Other people certainly don’t mind it, I guess it’s a matter of personal preference.

J. Herbin Tempest

Well, I had to ink up the pen so that I could test it. So I half-filled it up with Diamine Wagner. The end of the section threads has this little o-ring in it that I suppose helps with making sure the ink doesn’t leak out. Just be careful when cleaning out the pen that the o-ring doesn’t slip out. Surprisingly, the interior of the pen had this texture that made it resistant to staining.

J. Herbin Tempest

The ink just slides off the surface, making it really easy to wash off. When I cleaned the pen afterwards, I couldn’t see traces of the ink that I used. I guess it may still stain with frequent use and depending on the ink brand and color, but it’s nice to see that it is stain resistant. In any case, I would think that if you buy a pen designed to be an eyedropper, you shouldn’t mind some stains on the barrel.

J. Herbin Tempest

Overall, I did like the look and feel of the pen. It’s a bit too light for my taste, but some people will actually like that. It’s also shiny in all the right places. 🙂 The section is comfortable, but there’s a small gap where the o-ring is. I guess that can’t be helped. I especially liked the design on the nib.

J. Herbin Tempest

I think that’s just pretty. Here are a few more close up shots of other parts of the pen.

J. Herbin Tempest      J. Herbin Tempest

J. Herbin Tempest      J. Herbin Tempest

The ink that I used is a dry ink, but it looked really nice when I tried to write with the pen. I had primed it properly prior to use so it didn’t have a hard time starting. The pen had a pretty nice flow going, despite the fact that I used a dry ink.

J. Herbin Tempest

Here is a video of my writing sample.


I must say that I enjoyed writing with it. Because it’s really light, I wrote several pages without tiring out my hand. It’s a comfortable pen. The nib was smooth enough but could use a bit more tuning. Not something terribly off-putting, though.

Check out Everything Calligraphy for the Tempest.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Knox Galileo


Knox Galileo

To cap off my series of reviews on Knox pens, I tried out the Galileo from Everything Calligraphy. To be honest, it looked a lot like the Avicenna that I had to see them side by side to see the difference. There were a few. The Galileo is smaller, has a more streamlined design. The trims are thinner and flush against the barrel. The body is also metal, like the Avicenna and the Aristotle, although it’s lighter and smaller than either pens.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the two pens (Galileo on top, Avicenna on the bottom). The form factor is very similar. The clip on the Galileo is pretty nice, it has this shape that makes it easier to clip it through your pocket or pen case. Like the Avicenna and Aristotle, the clip on the Galileo is functional and feels sturdy.

Knox Galileo

After playing with two pen models that have very conservative colors, I’m kinda happy for the pop of colors on the Galileo pens sent to me.

Knox Galileo

That’s pretty refreshing. 🙂 Like the other two models, this pen has a very comfortably-sized section. Why can’t all pens have sections this comfortable and practical? Also…two-toned nibs! ^_^ Yaaas. It makes a difference for me, aesthetically speaking. Here’s another look at that nib.

Knox Galileo

I noticed that the medium nib isn’t two-toned, though. I guess it’s random? I dunno. Anyway, in terms of performance, it’s also basically identical with the Avicenna (click here to watch the writing sample). It’s a basic, iridium-point steel nib. I like that it’s smooth and writes wet out of the box, although it has a small sweet spot and slightly rotating your grip can cause the pen to skip a little.

Overall, at P799, it’s a pretty decent writer. Those who want to get their feet wet with writing with a fountain pen would enjoy this. Affordable, no-frills, and works right out of the box.

The Knox Galileo is available at Everything Calligraphy.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Knox Aristotle


Knox Aristotle

Here’s another pen from Everything Calligraphy, the Knox Aristotle. It’s at the same price point of the Knox Avicenna, another budget-friendly pen. I kinda like the form factor of this pen. The torpedo shape is pretty nice. I’m not sure if there are other colors but the ones sent to me are pretty conservative.

Knox Aristotle

I believe the nib is practically the same across all the three Knox pens. The color, etching, and writing experience are pretty much the same. I hope someday they come up with two-toned nibs so that it fits the aesthetics of the pen better. I like that the trims of the pen are simple and, like the Avicenna, it’s a very conservative-looking pen. It can sit on a desk in an office or in a student’s pen case; it looks nice.

Knox Aristotle

I really love that these Knox pens have comfortably-sized sections. Small sections can be quite bothersome for long writing because you’re practically feeling the threads while you write. This one’s pretty comfortable to hold. The metal body gives it some heft but it’s not uncomfortable or tiring. The cap can be posted, but it’s top-heavy when you do so. Also, I’m uncomfortable with posting it because it might scratch the finish of the barrel.

The clip is squarish and functional. You can actually use it to clip the pen, it’s not too stiff and it feels securely attached to the cap.

Like the Avicenna, I’m glad that this one also wrote well right out of the box. Don’t you love it when affordable pens write without hard-starting, skipping, or scratchiness? I know I do. ^_^ I noticed these steel nibbed pens can be quite unforgiving to my hand rotations, though. Slight rotations can make it skip.

All in all, it’s good value for money. These German iridium point nibs have always performed well for me, and I’m pretty happy with my current pens that use them.

Knox Aristotle is available at Everything Calligraphy.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Knox Avicenna


The wonderful people at Everything Calligraphy sent me a batch of new pens to try out and review. It’s pretty interesting, these new pens that they sent. I have to admit that I’ve never really heard of them before. The brand Knox is completely unfamiliar to me. So I was curious about what they looked like and how they wrote.

This pen I’m going to review today is the Knox Avicenna. My first impression when I opened the small and thin box that it came in was that it kinda felt like one of those Nemosine pens. In fact, the other models of Knox pens look a bit like the other models of Nemosine pens too. This one feels lighter than the Fission, though.

Review: Knox Avicenna

The body of the pen is made of metal, but it’s not too heavy. Perhaps it’s because it’s smaller in size than the Nemosine Fission. It’s a very simple-looking pen with a comfortable plastic section.

Review: Knox Avicenna

I find it very presentable. The pen’s price point puts it as an entry level pen, and as entry level pens go, I like that this pen’s design is not tacky at all. It’s not screaming “Look at me! Look at me!”

Review: Knox Avicenna

The chrome trims are simple and they don’t stand out. The colors are conservative and not too crazy-looking. The nib is steel but gold-colored, and that is a bit of an irritation for me, because it doesn’t match the trim. A two-toned nib would’ve been acceptable, or just a plain chrome-colored nib.

Review: Knox Avicenna

The cap takes a firm tug to pull off. It can be posted but it makes the pen top-heavy when posted. The clip is actually pretty functional. The pen uses a converter (included in the box). Here are a few close up shots of the pen’s details. I like the simple etchings and filigrees on the nib.

Review: Knox Avicenna         Review: Knox Avicenna

Review: Knox Avicenna         Review: Knox Avicenna

I was pleasantly surprised that the nib worked right out of the box. Unlike many steel-nibbed budget pens, this actually has a bit of springiness to it. It reminded me of how my old Ohto Poche used to write. This very slight springiness makes it pleasant to write with. As far as steel nibs go, this one’s pretty good. It’s not hard as a nail, which is a relief. Check out the video of the writing sample below.


Overall, I liked how the pen wrote. It was smooth, sufficiently wet, and a bit springy. It gives you the feeling that you’re writing with something soft, making your pen glide on paper. It’s super friendly on the budget, and is a good pen for daily writing. If you’re on a tight budget and you want something that writes well and looks simple, this pen offers good value for money.

The Knox Avicenna is available at Everything Calligraphy for P799.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid post.

Review: Sailor Sapporo Progear Slim


Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

You really gotta love these Japanese pens and their awesome nibs. I got this pen at a preorder with PensGalorePH which is also where I got my Pilot Custom Heritage 92. Their preorder prices are really good.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I was a little hesitant to order it at first because of the color. I don’t have any white pens, and I would’ve preferred a black Sailor ProGear Slim Sapporo but they only have the white one.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

This was delivered a day after the Parker Premier, and boy, it’s like using pens that are opposites of each other–black and white, metal and acrylic, European nib and Japanese nib. My first impression was wow, this pen is small.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

The first Sailor pen that I used was a clear candy, and I think that even for a steel nib, it was pretty good. The nib was really good for drawing and writing. It’s my first time to buy a Sailor pen with a 14k nib, but I have tried a ProGear Slim before.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I like the simplicity of the design of this pen. The edges are flat, the trims are simple. Rhodium trims fit the white acrylic pretty well, the pen looks clean and beautiful in a classic kind of way. The section is pretty short, I guess it’s proportioned to the length of the barrel, but I imagine that people with large hands will find the length of the section a bit too short for comfortable writing. If you don’t like to hold the pen too close to the nib, you’ll most likely end up gripping the threads of the barrel, not very comfortable.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

It’s a converter-filler, and the converter/cartridges are proprietary. I am not a big fan of proprietary converters/cartridges because I find it a hassle to replace them. It’s easier to replace if the pen uses standard C/C’s. The little details of the pen are quite pretty. I like the little anchor logo on the finial.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White           Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I like the ring around the cap band because it’s probably the only thing that kind of stands out when the pen is capped. I like the font they used to engrave SAILOR Japan Founded 1911. Kinda reminds me of fonts used in printing money. The engraving is crisp and looks really good. The clip’s design is also simple and nondescript, but I don’t like that it’s not so springy. It’s hard to slip anything under it. I certainly won’t be able to clip it on my pen cases.

When you uncap the pen, you’ll be greeted with this pretty little thing. Well, without the ink coating it, of course.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

Isn’t that such a gorgeous nib? It has nice, deep, clean-looking hallmarks, filigrees, and logo. Such a nice detailed nib.

Sailor ProGear Sapporo White          Sailor ProGear Sapporo White

I think the pen is best used posted. Since it’s so light and well-balanced, it’s not uncomfortable when capped. When it’s posted, it’s just a bit longer than a Pilot Vanishing Point. When unposted, it’s a lot shorter than a VP. People with small hands can still find it comfortable to write with unposted, but those with larger hands may find it too short to be comfortable. Personally I can use it either way.

The nib is the usual Japanese medium nib, which is more like a European fine. I loved that this pen’s nib is already an excellent writer right outside the box. No tuning was needed for it. It wrote very smoothly and consistently upon first inking. I even forgot to flush it with water before using, and it still wrote perfectly from the get go. It’s satisfying, to say the least. It’s a firm medium nib, not very springy. But it is really smooth and the flow of ink is moderate. Here’s a video of the writing sample below:

Overall, this is a pretty nice pen. It’s light but comfortable in the hand, especially when used posted. It’s simple but what one can consider a classic beauty. The overall aesthetics of the pen is tastefully simple, and complements the focal point, which is the lovely nib. I love how the nib is already a great writer right out of the box. It’s a pen that you can use to write for hours, it’s simply a joy to use.

Review: Pilot Custom Heritage 92


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I got this pen several weeks back. I was just a little too busy to post a proper review. It’s been in my pen case from the time I got it, though. It’s hard to put this pen down.

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It’s a beautiful pen. I’m not really into demonstrators but I do have a few in my collection. This one is a pretty nice addition. There’s something about demonstrators that look so clean and cool. I also like to look at the ink sloshing around the barrel. It’s a pretty pen, I must admit. The size is comfortable for my hands, but I think that people with larger hands will find it a bit on the small side. I like the size, though. I can grip it comfortably and it’s well balanced whether you post the cap or not.

P4042036

The piston is very smooth. It’s probably the smoothest piston I’ve used right out of the box. The large ink capacity makes it ideal for long writing sessions.

I like the little details of this pen. I like the ring around the cap that says Custom Heritage 92, the simple clip with a slightly beveled look, the way the nib aligns perfectly with the clip when capped, the simple design of the piston. Everything about it is simple and understated.

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I like the design of the nib too. I think it’s pretty intricate, very nicely done. Although I was a little disappointed that I needed to floss it to increase the ink flow. It was a little bit dry, although I already expected that from a Japanese nib. It wrote smoothly, yes, but I wanted it to write wetter, so I flossed it a bit.

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After increasing the ink flow to my preferred level, writing with it was just wonderful. It’s smooth with a tiny hint of feedback. Smooth like butter. The nib is springy and offers a bit of line variation, but I really don’t write cursive so that’s not very important to me.

Here is a video of the writing sample:

I used it with different inks and it writes very well with all of them.

Overall, I love that this pen is such a smooth writer. I love the size and weight too. I wouldn’t recommend it for people with big hands, though. I got this one at a good price through a preorder from PensGalore. It’s a nice mid-level pen with a lovely 14k nib.

Nemosine Review Roundup


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I just finished reviewing Nemosine Neutrino, Fission, and Singularity these past few days. Overall, my experience with Nemosine pens is pretty good. I like that they all have very simple designs, and that they have pretty color options for each model. In terms of look and feel, I think my favorite is the Neutrino. It’s slim, doesn’t post, and the weight is just right. Even if the body is metal, the size makes the weight just right for me.

The nib is pretty standard across all three, even though Neutrino has a #5 nib and the other two have #6 nibs. Here’s another look at the writing sample of different nibs:

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I enjoyed the broad nib most, and the 1.1mm nib next. The broad nibs that I tried wrote pretty well, as far as steel nibs go. They don’t require tuning or fiddling (at least not those that I tried), so these pens could be great for fountain pen newbies who just want something they can use without much fuss. I also noticed that the nibs are more reliable compared with similarly priced pens.

As far as entry level pens go, all these are pretty su-weet. If you’re looking to get a pen that looks good and won’t cost too much, any one of these would be a great option.

Click here to read the review on Nemosine Neutrino
Click here to read the review on Nemosine Fission
Click here to read the review on Nemosine Singularity

All these pens are available at Everything Calligraphy (obviously one of my favorite online shops).

Review: Nemosine Singularity


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The Nemosine Singularity is the first Nemosine pen that I heard about online. It seems to be quite popular  because it’s very affordable and there are choices of demonstrators, solid colors, and the fancier acrylic models. Everything Calligraphy sent these over for review and I must say I can understand the appeal these pens have.

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The body is made of plastic, and it’s really light. It may make the pen feel cheap, since we often equate weight with build quality, which isn’t always the case with fountain pens. Like the Neutrino and Fission, Singularity has a very simple design. It’s quite likable, really. The trims are simple and minimalist, and there aren’t too many details in the design. If the Neutrino and Fission are all about smooth lines, Singularity has some edges to it.

It’s a pretty neat design. The way I see it, it’s much cheaper than a Lamy Safari, and with a more classic look and feel. Since it has no metal parts in the interior of the barrel, I believe one can also use it as an eyedropper.

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I like the selection of their solid colors, especially these two (ivory and walnut). These are probably my favorite solid colors of Singularity.

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It has a nice boxy look to it, I think. The clip is alright, it’s usable. I like the faceted look and the fact that it’s a little wide or chunky. As simple as the pen’s design is, the clip is that one thing that catches the eye and gives it a solid look.

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The section is smooth and comfortable. The size is proportional to the pen’s length, which makes it relatively short because it is a pretty small pen, but the section is okay. It’s sensible.

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The demo colors of this pen are awfully cute. I don’t usually like colored demonstrators but the purple and aqua demos are pretty  nice.

IMG_4052It also comes with extra ink cartridges in the box, as well as a plastic converter.

Like the Fission model, this pen uses a #6 nib. I like the etchings on the nibs of these pens. They’re pretty intricate without being too gaudy. Like the other pens that I tried, the nib on this one worked right out of the box (don’t you just love it when that happens?) and is a smooth and wet writer.

For a budget pen, I noticed that the nib is very reliable. I actually enjoyed writing with it.

Here’s a video of the writing sample for this pen:

I find that the broad nib on this pen is just a bit wider than the medium nib on a Lamy. It’s sufficiently wet and smooth, even without tuning. I suppose it can write better with a bit of adjustments.

Overall, it’s a pretty nice budget pen. It comes in plenty of pretty colors, it has an appealing minimalist design, it’s comfortable to use and the nib is pretty good out of the box. Some people may find it too light, some will like the weight just fine. It’s really a matter of preference. A pretty nice pen, overall.

The Nemosine Singularity is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned before, I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post and I DON’T do paid reviews.

Review: Nemosine Fission


Here’s another Nemosine pen that Everything Calligraphy sent for review–a Nemosine Fission. First impression, this pen is big.

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It doesn’t look like it’s big in photos, and of course it depends on the size of your hand, but when I held it in mine, it’s pretty big for me. The pen has a metallic finish, and both ends are smooth. Like the other two Nemosine pens, this pen looks pretty simple. I like that it’s not over the top or too much of an attention drawer.

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The section of this pen is pretty nice. It’s long and comfortable to hold. It’s metallic which makes it a tad slippery, though. Just to give you an idea how long it is when posted, here’s a size comparison with a Lamy Studio:

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I think that people with larger hands will appreciate this a lot because the pen feels substantially weighty, especially when posted.

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IMG_4057The end of the barrel has a chrome band with threads. You can screw in the cap when you want to post it. Being a non-poster, I found the band a bit of an unwelcome interruption in the simple design of the barrel.

I guess if you post your pen, this is a welcome feature. It secures the cap at the end of the pen while you write. It does also mean that you’ll need to twist it off when you want to unpost the pen and cap it. I guess it’ll all boil down to personal preference. I could certainly do without it.

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It fills with a cartridge/converter and, like the other two Nemosine models, comes with a few extra cartridges of in ink in the box. The clip on this pen is different from the other two (which are plain) because it has an N on it. The clips are okay, they’re functional and sufficiently springy. Here are a few close ups of the pen’s details.

I kinda love the details on the nibs of Nemosine pens. 🙂 They’re pretty intricate. Like the Neutrino, this one writes very well out of the box. These steel-nibbed pens are stiff and smooth. I like the broad nib that I tried. They’re wet without being overly gushing. It’s just a tiny bit wider than Lamy’s Medium. Here is a video of the writing sample:

Overall, I like the simplicity of the design, and the way that it writes. It’s a tad too heavy for me, since I really like my pens lighter. Still, I think it’s a nice pen for its price point.

The Nemosine Fission is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned before, I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post and I DON’T do paid reviews.

Review: Nemosine Neutrino


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I’ve heard a lot about Nemosine pens but I must admit they weren’t in my radar at all. I wasn’t very curious about them. Once in a while they would pop up in the forums and in posts on FPN-P’s Facebook group, but overall I didn’t really take notice of them. Everything Calligraphy sent me a few units to test out for this review, and I finally got to see what these pens look like in person.

My attention was immediately drawn to the Neutrinos. These torpedo-shaped pens are cute and tight in the hand. The form factor kinda reminds me of Pilot Metropolitans. Too bad I don’t have a unit anymore to compare it with, but I think they’re pretty close in size with each other. The pen also has a metallic body, which gives it some weight.

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(Top) Black, (Bottom) Gunmetal

I bought the gunmetal colored pen because it’s the most striking, for me, among the other colors that I saw in person. I like that the color is a bit hard to describe. I wouldn’t really call it gunmetal grey because it’s more brownish in color than greyish.

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The red one looks pretty nice too. I like that the pen is pretty hefty even if it is small. This little torpedo sits very nicely in my hand. Here’s a size comparison with a capped Lamy Studio below.

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It is much shorter when uncapped. People with large hands might find it too small. I find it just the right size for me, though.

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The section is smooth and metallic. Since it’s a small pen, the section is also proportionate to the size, but I like that they maximized the use of space. I think they made the section as long as they could, to make it more pleasant to hold while writing. It uses cartridges/converter, and comes with extra cartridges of ink. I’m glad that despite the size and the tapering ends, it still uses a standard converter. This pen has a simple profile, which is what I really love about it.

Here are a few details and close up shots of the writing sample:

Perhaps if I can change one thing about the design of this pen, I would make the chrome ring around the threads of the section much, much thinner. The design is already beautiful in its simplicity, the wide band kind of ruined it a little for me. Not exactly a deal breaker, though. The pen’s weight makes it comfortable in the hand without being too heavy that it’s tiring to use for long writing. The pen doesn’t post, though. If you’re particular about that, it’s something you might want to note. It doesn’t bother me, though, because I never post my pens.

The nib that I picked is a 1.1mm stub. I didn’t need to tune it, it wrote well right out of the box. I would put the flow at a moderate to wet. The nib of the Neutrino is much smaller than the Singularity and Fission. It’s really super cute. Here’s a video of a writing sample (sorry about the barking in the background, my dog’s an emotional wreck):

Here is a comparison of the different nib widths, and a writing sample of a Lamy medium nib for reference.

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Overall, I really like this pen. I think it’s really cute. I like the color, the comfortable section, the weight, and the nib writes okay (you can make it even better with a little tuning). The price is also very decent. I think that it’s great value for money.

Nemosine Neutrinos can be purchased online at Everything Calligraphy.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Everything Calligraphy. This is NOT a paid blog post. I DON’T do paid reviews. I am, however, a very happy customer. ^_^

Review: Parker Vacumatic Debutante


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Before the crazy Monday shift starts, I decided to write a short review of this pen I acquired last week. It’s a Parker Vacumatic Debutante in azure blue and it’s been on my wishlist for as long as I’ve been collecting pens. I had a bit of hard time determining what kind of vacumatic this is because some parts of the pen don’t match the documentation available for it.

IMG_3830Based on the date code, this was made in the third quarter of 1941. This corresponds with the speedline plunger, double-jewel, and the blue diamond on the clip. However, the cap band was throwing me off. It was a little wider than the usual cap band for debutantes of its era, and it was also smooth, without the usual chevron design of Parker Debutantes. Luckily, there are people in the international FPN group that know way more about vintage Parker pens than I do. There are so many different variations of these pens, it can be so confusing sometimes. Apparently I got a debutante (not a sub-debutante, like I initially thought) that is off-catalog, which is uncommon. Azure blue is the more uncommon color of this small batch of debutantes for that year.

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L-R Parker Vacumatic Major, Junior, Debutante

Here’s a comparison of the clips. Isn’t the clip cute? It’s short and so adorable. I like these old Parker clips and how the arrow shows art deco inspiration. In person, they’re very detailed and elegant. Modern clips just don’t compare with these.

Below is a size comparison with my other Parker pens (debutante is at the rightmost). Considering that none of these are oversized pens, it is really pretty small. It’s even smaller than the Parker 51 special’s pencil, and that’s already small in my hand. I cannot get over the squee-ness of this pen.

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Here are a few close ups of the pen’s details. Look at that gorgeous blue diamond clip. As I mentioned in other Parker-related entries, this is the lifetime guarantee that Parker used to mark its products with until the regulations changed about these guarantees. The speedline filler was eventually replaced with plastic plungers because metals were used for the war effort.

My absolute favorite kind of Parker are the 51’s, but I love the celluloid rings of these vacs too. They are fascinating to look at. This is what I love about these kinds of pen. It’s virtually impossible to find two identical pens because each pen will have unique celluloid rings. I love the nib of Parker pens of this era. They are so sleek and the design really makes you feel like you’re writing with an arrow head. This pen writes so smooth. Like butter! Here’s a video of the writing sample.


The 14k gold nib is an absolute joy to write with. It’s like when I start writing, I don’t want to stop. It just glides on paper, and the ink it lays down is moderately wet. The nib is springy and wonderful.

Overall, I am so happy to add this to my collection. 🙂 Inner peace. For now.

Review: Jinhao 888 Dragon


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Today’s pen for review is the Jinhao 888 Dragon, which I got the chance to try out a few weeks ago thanks to Everything Calligraphy. These are less detailed than the Jinhao 999 Dragon pen, but it’s still pretty detailed. It is a lot less chunky than the larger 999 pen.

It’s still pretty much an eye-catching, attention grabbing pen because it looks decidedly oriental and like something a kung fu master would sign a check with. The dragon clip is pretty hard to miss.

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I like the color options for this pen, but these two are my favorites–black and pewter. The cap is pretty heavy. Again, I would advise against using it posted because it makes the pen top-heavy. The pen’s barrel is pretty thick, and it has some heft to it. Not an uncomfortable weight, in my opinion. Here’s a closer look at the cap.

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I think the finial’s cute. It reminds me of little gongs. The clip is stiff, I would advise against using it often because the cap might crack. I think it’s more decorative than functional.

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The section is made of hard plastic with a matte finish. It’s pretty comfortable to hold. Here are a few close up shots of the dragon details.

The nib is the standard Jinhao steel nib. It’s good enough for daily use, but of course, expect it to be hard as a nail and might need some tuning to write smoother/wetter. The one I tried wrote sufficiently wet, though with a little hint of tooth. Here’s a writing sample:

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This is how a typical medium Jinhao nib writes. It’s a bit on the wide side and quite a wet writer. It’s a pretty nice, fantasy-inspired pen that won’t break the bank.

Jinhao 888 Dragon is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 155


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Here’s another Jinhao pen review thanks to the people at Everything Calligraphy who let me try them out. It’s the Jinhao 155. These are very simple-looking pens, and it appeals to people who can’t really bring cobra pens to work. These are nice, budget-friendly, conservative-looking pens.

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I like the design of the clip. It’s boxy and straight, very industrial-looking. the section is smooth with a matte finish and made of hard plastic. It’s a nice contrast to the textured body of the chrome-finished pen. The metal parts of the pen give this some heft,  but it’s not an uncomfortable pen to use for long writing. It feels solid, but not overly heavy.

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I like the black one best, but the chrome and gold colored pens are also quite pretty in person. They remind me of vintage pens that have this barley corn finish on them. They’re different if you look closer, though. If I would change anything on it, I’d rather the barley corn-like finish be all over the barrel instead of alternating with a smooth finish. Here’s a couple of close up photos of the barrel.

The nib writes okay, virtually the same as the other steel Jinhao nibs. Here’s a writing sample below.

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It’s a pretty simple, understated pen that is great for everyday writing. The Jinhao 155 is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 500


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This is still part of the pens that Everything Calligraphy was so gracious to let me try a few weeks ago. It’s the Jinhao 500. It looks similar to a certain German brand of pen, doesn’t it? Anyway, this pen comes in a lot of designs.

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The size is slightly larger than a Pelikan M200, but the difference in weight is significant. For it’s size, it’s a weighty pen. The body is made of steel and resin. I like the material of the section, it’s like textured rubber. I wish they would use this section more in their future designs. It makes writing more comfortable and helps you grip the pen more securely while you write.

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The clip is a little stiff, but I like that the design is simple. My two favorite designs are above, the black and checkered pens.

It writes okay, like a standard Jinhao pen would write. The pen I tried wrote a bit broad and wet. The nib could use a bit of tuning to make it smoother.

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As far as budget pens go, this is also pretty nice. The design isn’t too juvenile-looking, so you can pick this if you want to use something that looks a bit conservative for work.

The Jinhao 500 and other Jinhao pens are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Baoer 8 Horses


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Of all the pens from Everything Calligraphy that I tried out last week, this model is my favorite. I bought one for my personal use because I liked it so much. This is the Baoer 8 Horses pen. I like how simple the design is, from the clip to the barrel. The cap pulls off the barrel with a soft “snap”. The pen is light and comfortable to hold, whether posted or unposted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI like both colors a lot, it’s hard to pick which one I like better. I like the design of their barrel, I like that their trims are really simple and streamlined. Even the cap design is simple, though the clip is a bit stiff (I think it’s more decorative than functional). The body looks like it will make the pen heavy, but surprisingly enough, it doesn’t. It takes a firm tug to pull out the cap of the pewter-colored pen, but I won’t say that it’s hard to pull open. Overall, I think it looks pretty nice.

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I would prefer the section to be made of smooth plastic rather than have little lines running through it, though. Other than that, I wouldn’t really change anything else with the pen’s design.

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The pair looks pretty neat together. 🙂 Here are a few close up shots of the barrel:

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What I loved most about the pen was when I tried them out and wrote with them. The nib is actually not hard as a nail. It has some spring to it, and the flow is so nice. The gold one wrote perfectly out of the packaging. The pewter one wrote well but the flow could be increased a bit more so it writes better (or it could be the ink that I used with it, which was pretty dry to begin with, and largely unused since last year). Here is a writing sample:

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The flow is pretty generous, I am so happy with it. There really is a difference when the nib has a bit of springiness to it. Personally, it makes writing more pleasurable and comfortable. Here is a video of the writing sample:

Overall, I’d say this is such a good buy. At less than P500, the pen I picked didn’t need any tuning or smoothing, I just inked it and it wrote and I’ve been writing with it ever since I got it. I love the design and the weight is so comfortable in the hand. People like me who have an inner ear issue tend to be sensitive with holding heavy things for longer than a few seconds. It prevents me from using heavy pens for a long writing period, otherwise it would trigger a bad bout of vertigo. So yeah, I love pens that are light, but not so light that I can’t feel them well in my hand while I write. I’d say this pen is really, really comfortable to use for long writing periods. It also lays down ink consistently. I can write several pages and the feed just keeps up and makes the thickness of the ink quite uniform across pages.

Of course, the nib quality may be varied and, as always, I would advise people to learn how to fiddle with your own pen’s nib so that you can increase the flow or smooth it out and make it write how you want it to write.

It’s a great buy, I highly recommend it for people who are looking for a nice-looking budget pen that writes well.

Baoer 8 Horses is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 189


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Another Jinhao pen that I got to try out last week is the Jinhao 189. I must say that these recent Jinhao pens that I tried look pretty. I like the bodies that look like brass or pewter, and all the details that are in it. This reminds me of the Great Wall of China because of the trims on the barrel.

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The pen is medium-sized and with a domed finial. The end of the barrel is smooth and squarish. It’s moderately heavy, not uncomfortable to hold at all. Though again, I would not use this posted. Come to think of it, all the Jinhao pens I tried last week were better used unposted. Not a problem for me, though, because I usually write with the cap unposted. I write with my right hand and hold the cap in my left.

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The section is a little shorter than the last Jinhao pens that I reviewed, and it’s made of textured, hard plastic. Not the most comfortable choice for a section, but it’s not bad. It does give you a better grip on the pen while you write.

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Again, pretty nice color options. I like that the gold one is a more subdued tone of gold. It’s not shiny, shimmery, splendid gold. I paired this with Noodler’s burma road brown and the color matches very well. I think both colors are pretty. Here are a few close ups of the detail of the pens.

I don’t know how to read Chinese, I don’t know what the writing in the barrel says, unfortunately. It might be the numbers 189? I dunno. As far as the design goes, it’s right smack in the middle of being understated and eye-catching. Not as detailed as the last few pens that I posted, but it has its own appeal.

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Here’s a writing sample. The ink really matches the gold barrel, I think. The nib was pretty wet, though it could use a bit of tuning to make it write smoother and more consistently on all strokes. Not bad for its price, though. Not bad at all. 🙂

Jinhao pens are available for sale at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao 8802


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Here’s another Jinhao pen that our friends from Everything Calligraphy sent for me to try out last week. Wood pens are my kryptonite (along with nice paper, green ink, cats, and cheese). So I really enjoyed trying this pen out. It’s slimmer than the last couple of Jinhao pens that I reviewed these past days. I like the design because it’s low-key and pretty to look at.

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I like wood pens because they just feel so organic. This even has a slightly rough texture to the barrel. I like the slim profile, the simple trims, and the long, comfortable section. Here are a few close ups of the details of this pen.

The 8802 has several designs. The wood pens have two colors, one is lighter than the other. I’m kinda leaning more towards the lighter one. The other has a reddish color to it, it looks more polished too.

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There’s also a carbon fiber and stained glass design. The stained glass has abalone shells, which is why some members of the FPN-P group call it the talaba pen, but it’s a lot smaller than the real talaba pen (Jinhao 650).

 

The details are pretty nice. I like it when Jinhao comes up with pens that have simple trims and a more streamlined look. That’s just my design preference. I like pens that look as simple as possible. Here’s a comparison of the 8802’s stained glass pen with the much larger Jinhao 650.

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The size difference is pretty significant. The 8802 sits nicely in the hand, and the weight is pretty comfortable. I still prefer it uncapped because the cap just throws the balance off, making it top heavy.

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The pen that I got had a pretty decent, wet flow, although the nib could use some smoothing out. As I mentioned before, the thing about Jinhao nibs is that you should be prepared to do a bit of tuning on them sometimes. The quality is a bit varied. I haven’t updated this resource for a while, but here’s a guide on how to improve ink flow on fountain pens. There are also tons of guides on the internet about the topic. With the price of Jinhao pens, though, you get a good bargain if you’re not afraid to tinker with it a bit.

Overall, a pretty nice pen. I like the wood ones a lot, looks and feels very natural. 🙂

Jinhao pens are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Jinhao 999 Dragon Pen


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Here is another pen from Everything Calligraphy, the Jinhao 999 Dragon pen. My goodness. This is a very intricately-designed pen. I think I spent a good few minutes just looking at the dragon design. It’s really fun to look at. Here are a few close ups of the details:

I like this design because it is quite imposing. The dragon design wrapped around the pen makes it thick and heavy, but it feels pretty solid and tight. I like the design of the cap because it’s just flat, with a yin-yang symbol on the finial. The flat ends give the pen a more hefty, solid look to it.

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I also like that the section (like the snake pen) is long and smooth. It makes the pen easier to hold. Best to use it unposted, though. This is a pretty eye-catching pen. It’s hard not to notice it. The girth alone is quite imposing.

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It makes me want to learn kung fu, dragon style! It’s a fun pen to use, and i like the overall look and feel of it. Here are the three colors that Everything Calligraphy sent me. The color I like best is the one on the rightmost of the photo below. It looks like pewter too, like the snake pen.

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As for the nib, this one wrote well right out of the box. I would put the flow at medium, it’s pleasantly wet-flowing.

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A pretty nice fantasy-inspired pen, IMHO. Quite substantial in weight, but it’s a good writer and is pretty darn eye-catching to boot.

This pen is available at Everything Calligraphy.

Review: Jinhao Snake Pen


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Last week, our friends from Everything Calligraphy sent over several new models of Jinhao and Baoer pens for me to play with, and play with them I did. My impression on the nibs are all quite the same across the pens. I think they’re all the same kind of nib (medium, steel).

Generally, Jinhao nibs are okay, but you have to be ready to do a bit of work on them to make them write the way you want them to. Sometimes you need to flush them with water to remove the manufacturing oils on them, sometimes you need to tune or smooth them out. Sometimes they work perfectly right out of the box.

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The first pen that I will review is the Snake pen. It’s kinda hard not to notice these pens right away because of the very Slytherin vibe. The two snakes wrapped around the cap and the body, and the snake head on the finial make these pen very conspicuous.

Check out the details of the snakes below:

All the embellishment gives the pen substantial weight. In fact, it would be best to write with this pen unposted. The cap will make it very top-heavy. Without the cap, it’s still quite a weighty pen, but it’s not so uncomfortable to write with.

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I like this color best. I think it looks a bit like pewter. I like the details of the pen, although it’s a tad too heavy for my hand. If Jinhao came up with a slimmer version of this pen, I’d be all over it.

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The section of this pen is comfortably long in size, and it is made of smooth, hard plastic. The cap twists off, and as you can see, there are also threads on the end of the barrel.

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This one writes pretty well. The flow is good and the nib is sufficiently smooth, although hard as a nail. It’s not springy, but it’s a consistent enough writer.

Overall, it’s a very intricately-decorated pen. If you like whimsical designs and don’t mind the weight of the pen’s pretty badass-looking snakes, this is a good buy.

Jinhao Pens are for sale at Everything Calligraphy.