Pen Review: Lamy 2000

There are many new fountain pen models every year. Some of them are just a refresh of colours used, while the others have new designs. There are also designs that had never been significantly changed. These are the classics that often have a large number of followers, and the designs have stood the test of time. The pen to be reviewed this time is one good example of the pens in the classics category. It is the Lamy 2000.

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Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Lamy 2000
Nib: 14K gold fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Regular edition

1. Packaging (7/10):
Just like any Lamy packaging that I have seen so far, the pen box of the Lamy 2000 provides adequate protection to the pen, but it looks underwhelming. The design is towards saving the space, saving the material used, and let the focus stay on the pen.
However as one of Lamy’s most iconic designs, this pen deserves a more delicate packaging, in my opinion. Personally, I can understand the simplicity design. But I still don’t really appreciate what’s provided here. I feel it’s not enough for a fountain pen of this status and price range.

2. Pen Design (9/10):

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The Lamy 2000 speaks both classic and future at the same time. It has a high performance gold nib and an efficient piston filling system. It shifts away from using traditional pen materials, but instead let Makrolon and stainless steel form the streamlined shape of the fountain pen. The overall matte finish and the contrast between the grey and silver tones create a piece of writing instrument that is not only looking elegant, but also comfortable in the hand.
The Lamy 2000 features a snap cap. The capping mechanism provides a solid feedback when the cap is closed/removed. The pen has a good weight balance with or without posting the cap. Without posting, the pen is still long enough. With the matte stainless steel grip section, the Lamy 2000 is comfortable to hold. Since the surface is not polished to a mirror like shine, it is easy to have a firm grip on the pen, and there are no threads to be found. The hooded nib design is not commonly seen on modern fountain pens. This design integrates well aesthetically, as the streamlined shape of the pen extends naturally all the way to the nib.

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On the other end of the pen, here it comes one of my favourite designs on the Lamy 2000. The piston knob is perfectly integrating into the shape of the pen, and it is easy to see how great it is engineered. When the piston knob is screwed in, the gap between the barrel and the piston knob is incredibly thin. It is quite difficult to see where that gap is, making the pen look wonderfully simple and elegant. At the end of the grip section, there is also a narrow gap. The grip section is removable, and can be screwed off to gain access to the nib unit and the ink reservoir.

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My Lamy 2000 is equipped with a 14K gold fine nib, plated with platinum. The nib is quite tiny. With the hooded nib design, the nib cannot be very large. Even though usually I prefer the appearances of pens with large nibs, this design of the Lamy 2000 doesn’t really bother me.

3. Filling System (9/10):
The Lamy 2000 utilizes the piston filling system, and it has a great one. The piston filling mechanism integrated into the pen is not only working well, but also aesthetically pleasing. As mentioned earlier, the piston knob is perfectly fitted as the extension of the barrel. The piston operation is smooth, and the ink reservoir has a good capacity. With the installed fine nib, I think the amount of ink that this pen can hold is quite generous. On the barrel and near the grip section, there are four clear stripes. These are the ink windows. When the pen is filled in full, these ink windows can hardly been seen. However, when the ink level gets lower, the ink windows start to reappear and can show the colour of the ink used. Other than Pelikan’s piston implementation, this is one of the best that I have used.
While this piston filling system works really well, it is not perfect. The grip section is removable, so that the ink reservoir can be accessed. However, the ink reservoir is quite narrow, making is a bit difficult to lubricate the piston seal through the chamber. It seems that it’s not very straightforward to remove the piston mechanism either. Regardless, I really enjoy the piston filling system on the Lamy 2000.

4. Nib Performance (9/10):

Many of the Lamy fountain pen models share the same nib configuration, whether in stainless steel or gold. That is the nib that’s been used in the Lamy Safari, Al-star, Studio, Dialog 3, etc. But the Lamy 2000 doesn’t use this same nib design. This pen uses a small nib that fits only on the Lamy 2000 series. For the one in my collection, I picked the 14K gold fine nib. Other than being very rigid and have no springiness or line variation, I like everything else about this nib. The fine nib writes true to its size designation, and have a fairly wet flow for a fine nib. It’s very smooth right out of the box, and there has been zero issue with skipping or hard start. It is such a perfectly tuned nib, particularly good for daily writings. Thanks to the snap cap, the Lamy 2000 is an excellent choice for taking quick notes as well.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
The Lamy 2000’s pen body is made from mainly Makrolon and stainless steel, and both are very strong and scratch resistant materials. After long period of uses, my pen is still able to mostly keep its original look and feel.
The grip section of the Lamy 2000 can be removed, therefore gaining direct access to the nib unit and the ink reservoir. The piston unit seems to be difficult to remove, but the operation is smooth and effortless. Cleaning the pen is a fairly simple task.

Summary:

Packaging: 7/10
Pen Design: 9/10
Filling System: 9/10
Nib Performance: 9/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10

Total: 44/50

The Lamy 2000 is a classic fountain pen that has been an excellent choice for more than 50 years. Its modern styling and strong performance make it frequently appear on many people’s recommended fountain pens or wish list.
It has a very balanced weight distribution. The snap cap opens easily and can be posted without making the pen too back heavy. The generously flowing 14K gold nib, the smooth piston filling mechanism, and the precision of the manufacturing, all can be found in the Lamy 2000.
Personally, I think the Lamy 2000 is one of the best offerings in its price range. It is a pen to be expected to work well all the time, every time.

Pen Review: Lamy Al-star CopperOrange

For anyone new to fountain pens, one commonly discussed topic is what a good beginner fountain pen is. Several pens are frequently mentioned: Lamy Safari, Pilot Metropolitan, Pilot Prera, etc. In this review, I’m going to go over the details of another popular beginner fountain pen, the Lamy Al-star CopperOrange.

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Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Lamy Al-star CopperOrange
Nib: Stainless steel medium nib
Filling System: Lamy proprietary cartridge/converter
Production: Special edition

1. Packaging (8/10):

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Lamy’s design language is form follows function. And simplicity is the key design element. This is also reflected on Lamy’s packaging design, which is minimal material and space consumption, but still with sufficient protection and interesting features. The pen box is not much bigger than the pen itself, and its is made from lightweight but sturdy hard cardboard paper. On the box, there are multiple cutouts, so that the pen’s colour can be shown without checking the label on the box or even opening it.
Inside the box is just the pen itself. A piece of paper is inserted in the clip. The paper is wide enough, such that with it installed onto the clip, the pen won’t rotate around inside the box. A Lamy cartridge is sitting in the pen barrel. A cardboard ring is placed onto the pen, in front of the barrel piece, so that the cartridge inside won’t be accidentally punched in.
Other than these small accessories used to keep the pen intact, there is no piece in the packaging that doesn’t serve a functional value. The packaging takes minimal space and everything can be recycled. What you paid for is more on the pen rather than a fancy packaging. Lamy Al-star’s special editions use the same packaging as the regular lineup. Personally, I think this is a good decision from Lamy, considering the price of the pen, which is still around the entry level pricing.

2. Pen Design (10/10):
The Lamy Al-star line has a classic design. And there isn’t much that I dislike. The overall length of the pen is decent, which is similar to several other popular pen models, such as the Pelikan Souverän M800/M805, Montblanc Meisterstück Classique, Pilot Vanishing Point, and Lamy’s flagship line, the Lamy 2000.
If you know the Lamy Al-star fountain pen, chances are you may have heard of the Lamy Safari line as well. The shape of the two models are very similar, except that the Al-star has a wider cap and barrel, plus that the grip section is translucent. The Al-star has more of an aluminum construction, which feels great in the hand. The pen is lightweight. The cap can be posted securely onto the end of the barrel. Doing so doesn’t make the pen too back-heavy, but personally I find it too long when posted.
The Lamy Al-star, along with the Lamy Safari, are famous for their triangular grip section design. When I use the pen, I find myself holding the pen exactly like what the triangular section wants me to hold. However, anyone who is interested in this pen should try one in person first, since it may not fit everyone’s preference.

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On the barrel, there are two cutouts that serve as the ink window. This is a welcoming feature, as I don’t find it available on many cartridge/converter filling fountain pens.

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The Lamy Al-star CopperOrange uses the stainless steel Lamy nib that can be found in many other Lamy pen models. The only marking on the nib are the Lamy name and “M” designation for the medium nib. One feature that I like about this pen is that the nib can be easily pulled out, so that a different nib can be installed, if the user wants to replace a broken nib or simply prefers a different nib size. The spare nib can be quite easily sourced.

3. Filling System (8/10):
Considering that I in general prefer the piston filling mechanism, this is a high score for a proprietary cartridge/converter filling system.
The Lamy Al-star CopperOrange accepts the proprietary Lamy ink cartridges. It also can have the Lamy Z24 converter installed. Unlike the Z26 converter that is equipped on the Lamy Studio, the Z24 converter has two “fins” that can be inserted into the slots available on the Lamy Al-star, so that the converter can stay very securely on the pen.
The converter holds a fair amount of ink for its size, and combining with the two ink windows on the barrel, I think this filling mechanism works well and the design around it is well thought of.

4. Nib Performance (7/10):

This pen has a stainless medium nib, which is the same as the perviously reviewed Lamy Studio Wild Rubin. There isn’t any issue with skipping or hard starts, and the nib writes well enough right out of the box. However, there aren’t much special characteristics about this nib. It’s not the smoothest. It doesn’t have the best ink flow. But it writes well enough, with a drier ink flow, and the performance is reliable and consistent. Perhaps that makes it a good daily writer.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
The Lamy Al-star CopperOrange is easy to clean. The cartridge converter flushes the ink out of the pen considerably efficiently. I haven’t found any issue with cleaning this pen so far. The metal construction also makes the pen fairly durable. The coloured surface may get scratches over time, but the body itself is very durable. In addition, the self-serviceable nib is a welcoming feature.

Summary:

Packaging: 8/10
Pen Design: 10/10
Filling System: 8/10
Nib Performance: 7/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10

Total: 43/50

The Lamy Al-star CopperOrange special edition is one of my favourite offerings from Lamy. The colour of the pen is so perfect that I wish more pens are made in this shade of orange.
In my opinion, the best feature of this Lamy Al-star CopperOrange is its beautiful orange colour. This is one of my favourite colour and I couldn’t really say no to it, when I first saw the pen. This shade is not too bright, and has a very warm feel. I really wish more pens can be made with this beautiful shade.
The Lamy Al-star line is a slight step-up from the Safari line, which the pen body is made from plastic instead of aluminum. The metal construction makes the Al-star look more refined. Being lightweight, its length is still very decent and even if it can be a bit back-heavy, posting the cap still makes the pen very usable.
Lamy uses proprietary cartridge converter filling system. However the design here works really well. The converter stays securely on the pen, and maintaining the pen is really easy. Even the nib can be quickly replaced.
The pen uses the standard Lamy stainless steel nib. Personally I feel it lacks character but the performance is consistently well. The ink flow is on the drier side, which many users may find it ideal as a daily writer.
Overall, I like this pen. What I may try is to replace the stainless steel nib with a gold nib, just to see if the writing performance can be better. If so, it will be one of my favourite writers.

2016 Favourites – Part 1

Here it goes for another year. I had a wonderful year of 2016, when it comes to building a better collection of fountain pens and fountain pen inks.

In general, my preference for any pen or ink did not change much. Compared to 2015, I did not aggressively expand my collection by trying a variety of models from different brands. Instead, I was mainly focusing on adding the ones that mostly meet what I prefer already, and exploring whether the other new features are worth the investment.

2016 was also an amazing year for me to get more experiences from the pen shows. The Toronto pen show was as great as usual. But last summer, the DC Supershow was a brand new experience, and a really good one. Being one of the largest pen shows in the world, the DC Supershow opened the door to a whole new world for me. The scale of the pen show and the huge varieties of pens and inks really were outstanding. I had a great time there meeting people across the globe that share the same hobby. Pen shows give the unique environment that all the pen lovers can come together to talk about what the current trend is, express their opinions on certain pens or inks, and have the chance to try out a few pens from other people’s collections.

My top 10 fountain pens for 2016:

  1. Montblanc Meisterstück Solitaire Tribute to the Mont Blanc Classique (18K, F)
  2. Montblanc Bohème Blanche (18K, F)
  3. Pelikan Souverän M805 Vibrant Blue (18K, F)
  4. Pelikan Souverän M1000 Black-Green (18K, F)
  5. Graf von Faber-Castell Intuition Platino Grenadilla (18K, F)
  6. Montblanc Meisterstück 149 (18K, M)
  7. Omas Ogiva Alba Violet (14K, F extra flessibile)
  8. Aurora Optima Mare (18K, M)
  9. Pelikan Souverän M400 Tortoiseshell-White (14K, F)
  10. Lamy 2000 Stainless Steel (14K, M)

From this list, you may be able to tell the certain characteristics of a pen that I enjoy. In general, I love piston filling fountain pens that have springy nibs. In addition, while it’s not absolutely necessary, I do appreciate it when the pen has a decent weight and size. Therefore you can see that these pens have most of the preferences matched. These are the pens that I pick up the most often. I find them not only outstanding when it comes to the writing performance, but also very appealing to the eyes. In most cases, they are quite easy to be cleaned and maintained as well.

Compared to the list from 2015, you may find that most of the pens from that list no longer show up here. It’s not that my preferences had changed significantly; it’s because during the last year, I acquired new pens that are often similar models, compared to what I had already owned, but quite improved in many areas.

The best example is the number one on the list, the Montblanc Meisterstück Solitaire Tribute to the Mont Blanc Classique. The resin version Classique Platinum Line was on the previous list, but this new one is better in almost all aspects. Perhaps the only thing I don’t like about this pen is that it accepts standard international ink cartridges only. But everything else is perfect. The 18K gold fine nib writes super smoothly without lacquered finish and the detailed engravings on the grip section make it a really beautiful pen. The extra weight from the metal construction lets the pen sit extremely comfortably in the hand.

The second place goes to the Montblanc Bohème Blanche. I love this pen pretty much for the same reason as the last one. The smooth and springy 18K gold fine nib, the beautiful white lacquered barrel and cap, and the decent weight all make this pen so wonderful. What’s also interesting is its retractable nib design. It’s not just simply a fountain pen, but also a piece of art.

The Pelikan Souverän M805 fountain pen gets the third place. For any particular pen model, I only allow one entry into the top 10. While I love all my Pelikan Souverän M800/M805 pens, the M805 Vibrant Blue is the favourite for this year. It’s hard to make a pen that will have an even prettier material. The balance between the transparency and the vibrancy is perfect.

Honourable Mentions:

These pens did not reach the top 10 of 2016. However, all of them are frequently included in my pen rotation, and each pen has very unique writing characteristics that I love.

My most favourite fountain pen releases in 2016:

  • Pelikan Souverän M805 Vibrant Blue
  • Pelikan Souverän M800 Grand Place
  • Lamy Safari Dark Lilac

My least favourite fountain pen releases in 2016:

  • Pelikan M120N Green-Black
  • Lamy Al-star Charged Green
  • Pelikan Classic M205 Blue-Marbled

This is going to be a very subjective topic, but the pens above are the ones that I consider as the best or the worst releases of 2016.

The Lamy Safari finally has a special edition in purple. The matte finish makes it even more attractive. I personally think the matte finish makes the Lamy Safari look much more refined and well made.

Both the Pelikan Souverän M805 Vibrant Blue and the M800 Grand Place were released earlier in 2016, with the Grand Place being only available in certain regions. I knew that I had to add them to my collection as soon as they were announced. Both pens do not carry the iconic design of the barrel with stripes. However, the special edition materials are very attractive. Being translucent means that I don’t have to guess how much ink is left in these piston fillers.

On the other hand, there are new release that I personally don’t enjoy too much. Interestingly, these pens also come from the same manufacturers, Lamy and Pelikan. Last year, the special edition for the Lamy Al-star was the Charged Green. It’s certainly a colour that is not commonly seen on pens and is quite special. However in my opinion it’s not an attractive colour. But perhaps for me the most disappointing releases are the Pelikan M120 Green-Black and the Pelikan Classic M205 Blue-Marbled.

The Pelikan Classic M205 Blue-Marbled is a new regular edition introduced last year. In 2016, Pelikan also released two other M205 pens, the Demonstrator Transparent Blue and the Aquamarine. Since there are already two special edition releases, I feel that having this many M205s releases within such a short period of time is a bit strange. And considering this one is only a regular edition pen and is available at any time, it does not offer enough features or specialities to make it more attractive than the other two. The pen itself is quite beautiful and I do like it. It’s only that I think the timing of the release is not right.

In addition to the M205 releases, Pelikan also introduced a special edition M120N Green-Black, which is almost the same size as the M200/M205 model. This pen has more of a vintage look and carries a nib with unique engravings. However, it looks and feels just like a M200 fountain pen, but with a price tag that is significantly higher. I think this pen shouldn’t be put with such a high price, even if it’s a special edition that is likely more attractive to the collectors than to the average users.

What are your favourite fountain pens for the year 2016? In the next post, I will share my favourite inks of the year and what I hope to get this year.

 

Pen Review: Lamy Studio Wild Rubin

Lamy offers fountain pens that range from beginner level pens to high end writing instruments. With a few exceptions, most of its pen offerings actually share the same nib system, with just different pen model designs. While many people choose the Lamy Safari, Vista, or Al-star as their first pen from the Lamy lineup, the Lamy Studio is a common upgrade from these models, and there are quite a few choices available. This review is going to focus on the 2014 special edition, the Lamy Studio Wild Rubin.

Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Lamy Studio Wild Rubin
Nib: Stainless steel medium nib
Filling System: Lamy proprietary cartridge/converter

1. Packaging (9/10):

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Just like most of the Lamy packagings, the Lamy Studio Wild Rubin also uses a standard and simple box to store the pen. The Wild Rubin special edition also offers a gold nib option, which then comes with with a much larger box with the matching colour and a bottle of ink. But for the one with just the stainless steel nib, which is the one that I have, a standard box is offered. The box certainly serves its purpose of protecting the pen. The cardboard used for it is sturdy enough. Overall, the styling of the packaging speaks simplicity and consistency with the pen. For the price of this pen, I think the packaging is very appropriate.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

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The Lamy Studio is a good representation of Lamy’s design. Everything looks modern, clean and simple, with the beautiful “Wild Rubin” finish. For this special edition, the pen body is lacquered in red, with gorgeous sparkles evenly spread out as part of the finish. Personally, I think this is the most beautiful finish that I have seen on a Lamy Studio.
There are two metal pieces on the two ends of the pen. The other metal piece that can be seen when the pen is capped, is the clip. This clip has a very unique design. Unlike other usual clips, this one starts as a wide and flat piece, and gradually narrows down but becomes thicker, so that it looks like the clip is twisting in the middle. The look of the clip integrates well with the rest of the pen, and provides an excellent amount of tension and springiness.

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When capped, the pen has a fairly decent length, similar to the Pelikan Souverän M800 and Montblanc Meisterstück Classique. Uncapped and not posted, it is very close to the Lamy Safari, also uncapped and without posting. When posted, the cap adds a small amount of length and weight, making it a bit too back-heavy for me. But it should still be comfortable to hold for many others.

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What really concerns me is the grip section. Unlike many other pens that use metal grip sections but have them flare out near the end, the grip section of the Lamy Studio does not. The design fits well with the rest of the pen, but reduces practicality. Personally, I find the grip section too slippery for any long writing session. Also it is polished to a mirror shine, so that it becomes quite a fingerprint magnet.
Like many Lamy fountain pens, the Lamy Studio utilizes a snap cap. Both capping and posting make a solid snap sound, so that users will know that the cap is placed securely. I think this is definitely a welcoming feature.
The Lamy Studio uses the nibs shared by most of the other Lamy fountain pen lineup. The nibs can be easily swapped and available in a variety of sizes. This offers good value since users won’t be stuck with just one nib size.

3. Filling System (6/10):

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The Lamy Studio uses the proprietary Lamy Z26 cartridge converter. It also accepts the proprietary Lamy cartridge.
The Lamy Z26 converter looks much nicer than the Lamy Z24 converter, which fits on pens such as the Lamy Safari, Vista, and Al-star. However, unlike the Z24 converter, which has two “fins” that help the converter stay securely, the Z26 converter fits by friction. It falls off easily, and with the heavy nib and grip section of the Lamy Studio, the fit becomes even less secure. Unfortunately the Z24 converter does not fit here securely either. This should probably be noted when cleaning the pen with the converter, just to make sure that the grip section does not fall and get damaged. When the barrel is put back to the pen, the converter does not move around. Therefore there is not much concern for it when using the pen.

4. Nib Performance (7/10):

Lamy Studio shares the same nib as the Lamy Safari, Vista, and Al-star, and also shares the same nib characteristics. The nib writes on the drier side. It is not the best choice if you would like to see a lot of shading or sheen from the ink used. The nib is also not the smoothest, which also seems to be the way Lamy’s stainless steel nibs usually work. These nibs are very rigid and barely have any line variation. On the other hand, they do write reliably and they are widely available and users can easily pick their preferred nib sizes. If someone is looking for a trustworthy daily pen, this pen is certainly a good candidate. It’s just that they don’t really offer anything beyond that.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (10/10):
This pen does not require much extra care. Even though the filling system is proprietary, which is not what I prefer, cleaning the pen doesn’t take a lot of effort. The beautiful lacquered finish is fairly scratch resistant, although it is probably the best to carry it around with a pen pouch.
Personally, my only complaint is still about the grip section. I have to frequently wipe the grip section to not only keep it clean and shiny, but also remove as much hand oil as possible in order to have a firm grip on the metal section. However this may not be an issue for everyone.

Summary:

Packaging: 9/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 7/10
Pen Cleaning and Maintenance: 10/10

Total: 40/50

The Lamy Studio is a beautiful pen with a modern design. The special edition Wild Rubin stands out particularly, because of the wonderful sparkling and lacquered finish. It can be a fitting upgrade from the Lamy Safari, Vista, and Al-star, which carry more of a “student pen” look. Since it also supports nib swapping just like the 3 models mentioned above, such upgrade can allow the users to keep or expand the existing nib size range.
Having the snap cap and the cartridge converter filling system increases its portability. However it should be noted that Lamy uses proprietary cartridges and converters. The pen has a decent and balanced weight. But the slippery metal grip section may discourage many potential buyers (there is one model, the Lamy Studio Brushed Steel, that does not have the polished metal grip).
In conclusion, I think the Lamy Studio, particularly the special edition Wild Rubin, is an appropriately priced, modern, and reliable fountain pen for daily carry. It does not have the most interesting nib or the best ink flow, but certainly serves its purpose being a quality everyday writing pen.

2015 Favourites – Part 1

This is my second year coming back to use fountain pens and starting my small collection of pens and inks. It’s a year that I was able to better understand what I truly love for this hobby.

I had very limited knowledge about fountain pens before I decided to come back to the hobby. I had no idea about the huge varieties of filling systems, pen materials, nib materials, and so on. And I guess these are just the basics of any fountain pen design. At the very beginning, almost any kind of design combinations look attractive to me. As the result, I was adding pens that differ vastly into my collection. As I become more knowledgeable about fountain pens, I was able to slowly figure out what particular design directions work the best for me. Therefore I am now having a better focus on what to collect. Also as different pen companies have different designs and how their pens also do not perform in the same way, this makes my collection of pens and inks lean towards certain brands. But before talking about all those details, I think now would be a good time to start listing what my favourites are. Here are my top 10 fountain pens:

  1. Pelikan Souverän M400 Tortoiseshell-White (14K Gold, F)
  2. Pelikan Souverän M805 Stressmann (18K Gold, EF)
  3. Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Grenadilla (18K Gold, M)
  4. Pelikan Souverän M600 Pink (14K Gold, F)
  5. Delta Dolcevita Oversize (14K Gold, F)
  6. Pelikan Souverän M620 Chicago (18K Gold, F)
  7. Lamy 2000 (14K Gold, F)
  8. Waterman Carène Ombres et Lumières (18K Gold, F)
  9. Pilot Vanishing Point Twilight (18K Gold, M)
  10. Montblanc Meisterstück Classique Platinum Line (14K Gold, F)

By now you can probably see that I really love Pelikan and this brand is certainly the most favourite. My preference for the filling system is the piston filling mechanism, and I think Pelikan does the best job in this area. The pistons are always smooth and the barrels hold a lot of ink. While many other pen companies also offer piston filling pen options, Pelikan makes the basic pen maintenance super convenient by designing the nib units to be easily removable and swappable.

Each other pen has its own advantage. The Graf von Faber-Castell Classic Grenadilla has a very smooth and springy 18K gold nib. Its trip to the nib meister turned it from an average medium nib to a wet nib that writes a bit similar to an architect’s point. The pen looks classic and sits balanced in the hand. It is just so fun to use. All the other pens in the list are also good writers and the ones from Delta, Waterman and Pilot are particularly beautiful pens. Being a smooth and reliable writer, my Lamy 2000 is rarely out of rotation. Last but not least, the Montblanc Meisterstück Classique has always been one of my favourites, since it is my first fountain pen. And of course it writes equally as well as the others, if not even better.

These pens are the ones that I love the most and use the most often. There are some honourable mentions that I want to list below. While they could not make it to the top 10, these pens are either very interesting to use, or offering great values for the money:

As for inks, below is my top 5:

  1. Montblanc Lavender Purple
  2. Sailor Jentle Souten
  3. Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-Matsu
  4. Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin
  5. Montblanc Toffee Brown

I love cool colour inks in general, except for the Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin. These inks all flow well, easy for pen maintenance and offer excellent performances on many types of paper. The best part is, they all have a decent amount of shading combining with most paper types and pens.

Once again there are some honourable mentions in each colour range. Please feel free to check out this page.

That’s it for my top 10 fountain pens and top 5 inks for 2015. In the next blog I will continue to talk about other things that made this hobby wonderful, in my opinion.

Thank you for reading!