Pen Review: Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur

For the list of pens currently for sale, please visit here.

I like demonstrator fountain pens. Even though they are not the most practical finish of a pen, because of the risk of seeing ink staining or the difficulty of thorough cleaning, I still love to see the internal mechanism of a fountain pen, and how it operates. Therefore, I started looking for good demonstrators. I purchased the Lamy Vista, but the design doesn’t interest me that much. I also have the Pelikan Classic M200 Demonstrator. I enjoy the fact that it is a piston filling pen, which makes the pen looking much cooler than cartridge/converter demonstrators, in my opinion. However the gold coloured trims are not my favourite. Also, considering that it’s a lower end model that uses a stainless steel nib, and its fairly small size, this is not my perfect demonstrator. The pen to be reviewed this time is another demonstrator that I was very interested in trying out, and it is the Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur.


Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur
Nib: 14K gold medium nib
Filling System: Platinum proprietary cartridge/converter
Production: Limited edition, now regular edition

1. Packaging (9/10):

The packaging that’s provided for the Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur is simple but adequate. The pen box is in white and made of strong cardboard. What’s interesting is that the box is in an oval shape. The top lifts open, then the pen is secured by a ribbon, on the base of the pen box. The whole colour scheme is around silver and white, which matches extremely well with the pen itself. In addition, a Platinum cartridge and a Platinum converter are provided. I don’t like the idea of proprietary cartridge and converter formats, but I appreciate that they are provided in the packaging.

2. Pen Design (8/10):
The Platinum 3776 Century is a classic cigar shaped pen. It offers several different colour versions, from the simple black body with gold coloured trims, to clear body with silver coloured trims. The offerings range from regular production models to limited editions. The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur started as a limited edition of 2000 numbered pieces. After the first 2000 releases, the Nice Pur became part of the regular lineup. There is no functional difference between the two versions. It’s only that the limited edition pens have the number marked on the pen cap.
The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur is a nicely sized pen. It’s about as long as the Pelikan Souverän M800/M805 when closed. When the cap is posted, the Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur is slightly shorter, which I find that easier to handle, compared to the sub-flagship model from Pelikan. Without the cap, it is quite a bit shorter than the Pelikan. The pen is mostly made from resin, therefore it doesn’t really have any problem with the weight distribution.

The reason why I chose the Nice Pur over the others is because of its unique finish. The grip section of the pen is clear, but the cap and barrel are frosted. Therefore, it is easy to see the feed, while the other internal components are visible, but only vaguely. I think it works well aesthetically and functionally. For example, the converter can only be vaguely seen inside the barrel, but when inked, the colour of the ink and the ink level are still easy to tell.
The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur also uses the technology called the “Slip and Seal” mechanism, which is supposed to keep the ink from drying out in the pen, for a long period of the time, when the pen is capped. From what I understand, essentially the inner cap is spring loaded, rather than fixed. When the cap is screwed back on, the edge of the grip section makes contact with the end of the inner cap. Then as the twist action continues, the inner cap is pushed in, and the spring is pressed, making the seal tighter. It’s a fairly simple mechanism that the users may not even notice, but I think it’s definitely great to have.
There are many grooves on the cap and barrel, and they are evenly distributed. The grooves are not as frosted as the surface of the pen, making the alternating stripe pattern very cool looking. Also this gives an interesting texture to the pen, but not uncomfortable to the hand. There are silver coloured rings on the grip section, and near the two ends of the pen, followed by the wide clip and cap band that are in the same tone. Finally, the 14K gold nib is entirely rhodium plated. The shiny silver coloured trims blend in seamlessly with the frosted and white demonstrator pen body. In comparison, the previously reviewed Pilot Falcon Black/Rhodium, which is in the same price range, doesn’t have the same level of design consistency.

The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur is not perfect, of course. While the overall build quality is excellent, there are a few cases where I think platinum can do better. First of all, there are obvious seam lines on the grip section, which I assume are the result of the manufacturing process. It is easy to see and even easier to feel. Personally, I think any manufacturer must pay attention to the details like this and polish the obvious markings. They make the pen look and feel cheap. Secondly, there are markings left inside the grip section, which seem to be scratches. I’m not sure what the cause is, but since the grip section is clear, this kind of imperfections really damages the overall appearance of the pen. Last but not least, the end piece of the barrel appears to be glued on, but the application of the glue was poorly done. I can see so many bubbles at the joint section between the two pieces, and the glue looks to be excessive at a few places. Compared to the first two issues, this one looks even worse.

3. Filling System (7/10):
The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur uses the Platinum proprietary cartridge/converter filling system. As I have mentioned many times before, I do not like proprietary cartridge/converter filling systems, especially when the special design is not absolutely mandatory. Regarding the Platinum converter, it looks and works very similarly to the international standard converters, even though they are not interchangeable at all. The converter holds a decent amount of ink, and fits very securely in the pen. The converter does have a decent build quality.
Platinum actually sells a small adapter, which is able to let the Platinum fountain pens use the international standard converters. Personally, I have not yet tried this adapter. I appreciate that Platinum is willing to to make such a tool. However, I still think that Platinum should provide it by default in any of the pens beyond the entry level prices, or even better, just start to implement the international standard format on all of the offerings.

4. Nib Performance (8/10):

My Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur has a 14K gold medium nib. Right out of the box, the nib has no issue with hard start or skipping. Compared to the 14K gold nib from the other brands, this one has a relatively flat top surface. The nib has a decent amount of springiness, but there is no line variation. As a medium nib, it has a large amount of tipping, but still writes with a lot of feedback, which is more than what I prefer. The ink flow of the nib tends to be on the more conservative side with most of the inks that I have tried, which may contribute to the nib’s feedback. In my opinion, if anyone is looking for a drier flowing pen, and would like to use it for the everyday writing, it’s not a bad choice. Personally though, I would like to use the nibs with a more generous flow.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (8/10):
The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur is a demonstrator pen, and demonstrators generally need more care regarding cleaning and maintenance. I don’t use this pen with any ink that tends to stain, and so far I haven’t encountered any staining issue. It’s a cartridge/converter pen, so that at least the pen barrel won’t make contact with the ink.
There are certain things to be aware of though. After filling the pen in an ink bottle, the ink may get trapped near the end of the grip section. Aesthetically that’s a bit annoying. When capping the pen, the ink may then get transferred to the inner cap. Then because of the “Slip and Seal” mechanism, the ink could get further into the gap between the cap and the inner cap, as the inner cap moves. By that time, it becomes difficult to clean up. Another issue that I have encountered is that, the grooves on the cap and barrel tend to collect quite a lot of dust. It doesn’t impact the pen’s usability, but it’s something to be aware of, since it’s also not very easy to clean.


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

Total: 40/50

The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur is an interesting demonstrator fountain pen. it introduces many refreshing designs, while keeping the overall styling still very classic. The nib writes consistently and it is well performing. Personally, I prefer more ink flows and a smoother nib. Regarding this, the Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur does not meet my expectations.
For its price, the pen has an acceptable build quality. But at the same time it’s not that hard to find manufacturing details that are not paid with full attention.
The Platinum 3776 Century Nice Pur is worth checking out, if you are looking for a decently sized fountain pen that writes reliably, and perhaps best for the occasions when the paper quality isn’t too great, or when it’s ideal to have the written page dry out quickly. The demonstrator body makes it easy to check the ink colour and ink level, and the frosted finish makes the pen even more attractive.


Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Green

For the list of pens currently for sale, please visit here.


I have already reviewed the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet (14K gold fine nib, extra flessibile) and the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange (18K gold fine nib). This third pen of the Omas Ogiva Alba collection needs no further introduction: the Omas Ogiva Alba Green.


Basic Information:

Fountain Pen: Omas Ogiva Alba Green
Nib: 18K gold medium italic nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Limited edition

1. Packaging (10/10):


Omas offers elegant packaging for this limited edition fountain pen. The box uses strong and thick cardboard for good protection and velvety fabric inside. The choices of colours and materials are well thought of. It is exactly what to expect from a limited edition pen like this.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

All three pens (Violet, Orange and Green) in the Omas Ogiva Alba collection are identical in the shape and size. The only differences are the colour of the pen, and potentially the choice of the nib. Just like I previously reviewed, the Omas Ogiva Alba Green has a very decent length, comparable to flagship pens such as the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 and the Pelikan Souverän M1000. But the width of the pen is shorter, making this pen large but still very comfortable to hold. I prefer to use this pen without posting the cap, since the pen would be a bit too long for me. However, because the cotton resin used to make this pen is a lightweight material, the Omas Ogiva Alba Green is actually quite light and even posting doesn’t make it too back heavy.
For this pen, the colour is quite unique. It’s a green with a bit of blue tone, and the translucency is perfect. It shows the internal mechanism well, but not yet a full demonstrator.

I acquired this pen not just because I wanted to complete the limited edition set. This pen has an interesting nib that none of my other pens have, the 18K gold medium italic nib. The engravings on this nib is the same as the one on the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange. The patterns are simple but beautiful.

3. Filling System (6/10):
Just like the other two that I have reviewed, even though this pen has a piston filling system and holds a large amount of ink, I still don’t like it very much. The piston operation is stiff and ink tends to get trapped behind the piston seal and dries up there. Later I was advised how to disassemble the pen to fix all these problems, which really gave this beautiful pen and the other two another chance to shine. But I would like the scores to reflect the pen’s original condition, especially if any fix is difficult, or may potentially void the warranty.

4. Nib Performance (4/10):

I got this pen with the hope that the medium italic nib can be fun to use and occasionally bring some interesting characteristics to my writings. However this nib did not deliver. I know that it wasn’t my fault, because I have used other italic nibs or stubs, and did not have as much issue writing with them. But this nib was difficult to use. It didn’t really put any ink onto the paper for some of the inks that I had tried. For the ones that did have a better ink flow, I still couldn’t let the nib write consistently. Eventually, I had to have the nib adjusted to have a better writing performance. Again, the score here is to reflect the original state of the nib, and it is not what I would expect from any pen of this price.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (7/10):
Without some careful work that will likely void the warranty, this pen is hard to be maintained. The nib unit is not easily removable, causing several maintenance issues. The stiff piston cannot be lubricated, and the trapped ink cannot be reached and cleaned. These issues made the pen more and more difficult to use, especially during filling and cleaning.
The cotton resin used for this pen is a fairly durable material. I have used this pen, and the other two in the same collection for quite a long time. And I haven’t really seen much wear and tear. It of course needs good protection if it is to be carried around, but not much else needs to be taken care of.


Packaging: 10/10
Pen Design: 8/10
Filling System: 6/10
Nib Performance: 4/10
Pen Cleaning: 7/10

Total: 35/50

The Omas Ogiva Alba Green is a beautiful fountain pen with quite a unique colour and pen body material. The decent size and balanced weight make it a pen that’s comfortable to hold. Combined with the Violet and the Orange models, these three limited edition pens really make a wonderful collection. Unfortunately, comparing to the other two, this pen’s 18K gold medium italic nib was quite disappointing. In addition, similar to the other two pens, the piston mechanism in this one was also hard to operate. These issues kept this pen from my pen rotation for a long time. It is possible to disassemble the pen to fix the piston problems and have the nib adjusted. But it is not very easy and certainly not a good experience for any fountain pen beginners. Doing such fixes may cause the warranty to be no longer valid. For a pen in this price range, I expect to see no issue at all.


For the list of pens currently for sale, please visit here.

Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Orange

For the list of pens currently for sale, please visit here.


In 2015, Omas released a set of limited edition pens, in the Ogiva model, to celebrate its then upcoming 90th anniversary. There are three pens, the Violet, Orange, and Green, which are supposed to represent the colours of the Aurora Borealis. Previously I have reviewed the Violet model, which carries a 14K gold fine nib with extra flessibile. This time, I’m going to review the second pen in the set, the Orange.


Basic Information

Fountain Pen: Omas Ogiva Alba Orange
Nib: 18K gold fine nib
Filling System: Piston
Production: Limited edition

1. Packaging (10/10):


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Being a limited edition fountain pen, the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange definitely invested heavily on the packaging. As previously reviewed, the choice of material, the miscellaneous items included, and the construction quality are all outstanding. There is a good balance between not spending too much energy on a box, and how to demonstrate a limited edition appropriately. The packaging is exactly the same as the Violet model, for more details please visit there.

2. Pen Design (8/10):

Other than the difference in colour, the Omas Ogiva Alba Orange is nearly identical to the Violet model. In summary, I enjoy its size, which is fairly similar to other well-known flagship pens, such as the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 and the Pelikan Souverän M1000, but just a bit slimmer. The pen is long enough for me to not use it with the cap posted, plus that the cap does not post very deeply and can make the pen a bit back-heavy. The cotton resin material makes the pen overall very lightweight and with a medium width grip section, it sits comfortably in the hand.

One thing to note is that the 18K gold nib has a different engraving than the 14K gold nib on the Violet model. The engraving here is more complex and I personally prefer this more elegant design.

3. Filling System (6/10):
This pen suffers from the same issues as the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet. The piston doesn’t operate smoothly. There is no easy way to lubricate the piston. And it takes a lot of effort to have the pen cleaned. I think this is a big let down of the pen, especially the trapped ink makes this light coloured demonstrator not as appealing.

4. Nib Performance (10/10):

Unlike the Violet version, this pen features a 18K gold nib, instead of the 14K gold extra flessibile nib. But this nib is equally outstanding. The fine nib writes extremely smoothly and does not have any skipping or hard start issue. The performance is consistent right out of the box. The ebonite feed helps with the ink flow significantly. I often pair the Pelikan Edelstein Mandarin ink with this pen, since that ink tends to run a bit drier. However, the same ink works wonderfully over here.
The 18K gold nib on this pen does not flex. But it has a bit of bounce when it is slightly pressed. The overall writing experience with this nib is simply perfect.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (7/10):
Just like the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet, this pen suffers from the same design choices, such as the not easily removable nib unit and piston mechanism, and the not so powerful piston operation. The Orange model is more translucent than the Violet model, therefore the trapped ink behind the piston seal is even more apparent. Because of this, I only use matching colour inks in this pen. However, the accumulated ink that has dried out behind the piston seal still can be easily seen.


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

Total: 41/50

The Omas Ogiva Alba Orange shares nearly the same characteristics as the previously reviewed Violet version in almost all aspects. The limited edition offering is beautiful and has an excellent nib. However, I still don’t like the certain design directions of the Ogiva model, such as the piston and nib unit that are hard to clean and maintain. Comparing to the 14K gold extra flessibile nib on the Violet model, this 18K gold fine nib makes the pen much more practical for daily writings. Considering its price range, I think this pen is a great option.


For the list of pens currently for sale, please visit here.

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.


DC Pen Show – 2016 – Friday

Compared to the Thursday, the Friday of the show was totally different. Friday was really when this show got started. All the three rooms were full of vendors and every table had its own treasures. When I just entered the room, I was overwhelmed, because the show was already full of people and I did not know where to start browsing. Fortunately, I kept the small notebook with me, so I was pretty sure about my priorities and started to walk the show floor.
The Friday was the day that many of the larger exhibitors started to show up, particularly larger pen shops, fountain pen manufacturers, and distributors. This would be a great opportunity to take a look at the pens and inks interested before purchasing, or find things that are less commonly found locally or even online. One item that I really wanted to get from the pen show was the Akkerman ink. The Akkerman ink bottles have a very interesting but practical design, therefore I had always wanted to have one in my ink collection. However, there are a lot of colours in the lineup and it’s not easy to pick which one to buy. That makes the pen show the perfect place to get it, because I had the chance to take a look at all the ink swabs to help make the decision. In the end I chose to purchase the akkerman #16 Oranje Boven, a vibrant orange ink.
While browsing the tables, I found that the Kobe inks were also available at the show. Similar to the Akkerman inks, the Kobe inks also have a huge lineup of different colours, and these inks sometimes are not the easiest to get. At the show, there were also posters on the table that helped show what each Kobe ink colour should look like. I certainly wouldn’t want to miss the good chance to get my first Kobe ink. I bought the #37 Island Blue.
After those purchases, I felt that I already had a wonderful start on the day. I started to get back to my main priority for the day, finding the Montblanc Meisterstück 149 that suits my preferences.
Pen shows are excellent places to look for pre-owned pens, especially the ones that are fairly popular like the Montblanc Meisterstück 149. There were a lot of Montblanc Meisterstück 149 fountain pens available, with varying prices representing different production times, nib and feed materials, and overall conditions. Having so many options available, it really surprised me. It really took me a long time to decide which one to buy. Eventually I found the one that I really like. This pen is in the near mint condition and has an excellent nib in around the medium width. The pen box was also provided, which is what I always prefer, regardless of whether it’s a brand new pen or a pre-owned one. The old style Montblanc bottled ink was also in the box. Once I saw this pen, I quickly decided to purchase it.
For the other pens on my wish list, I was also trying to see if any of them showed up at the show. There were certainly interesting finds. I always wanted an Aurora Optima in my collection. But I would love to see the pens in person before getting one, because it seems to me that this pen is on the light and short side. I had also heard that Aurora’s nibs tend to write with quite a bit of feedback. I wanted to make sure that it meets my preferences. At the pen show, there were actually quite a variety of discontinued and limited editions of the Aurora Optima. What’s even better was that those pens were quite reasonably priced, compared to the regular edition currently on the market. After spending some time looking at the different options available, I finally bought the Aurora Optima Mare. The pen is also in excellent condition and has a beautiful 18K gold medium nib. The complete packaging, including the matching bottled ink and the matching ballpoint pen, was also provided. This was really a wonderful find.
Friday was a good day to look for the pen offerings from some of the pen manufacturers at the show. For instance, both the Edison Pen Company and Franklin-Christoph were attending the show. For pen companies like these two, what you see during the pen show can be hugely different from what can be usually purchased locally or online. The Edison Pen Company had a long display stand of its Signature Line pens. There were so many different varieties of filling systems, pen materials, and pen shapes. These Signature Line pens are not available through other retailers, which only carry the Production Line pens. Meanwhile at Franklin-Christoph’s tables, there were several trays of the colour prototype pens that may be harder to be seen outside of the pen shows. There were also a plenty of pens from the particularly popular pen models or pen materials. One example at the DC pen show was the Pocket 66 model in the Antique Glass finish. And that’s the third fountain pen that I bought at the show.

What I bought at the DC pen show:

  • Akkerman #16 Oranje Boven
  • Kobe ink #37 Island Blue
  • Montblanc Meisterstück 149
  • Aurora Optima Mare
  • Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66 Antique Glass

What I love about the DC pen show:
Being one of the largest pen shows in the world, the DC pen show is a wonderful event to attend. Whether you are looking for modern pens and inks or vintage ones, or just to meet old and new friends in this community, you can find them at this show. Also, whether you have a limited budget or not, there will be pens that meet your preferences. It’s the perfect opportunity to try so many different pens and inks in one place, see what other people have or look for, and maybe even spend the entire day to talk about just fountain pens. More than often I could hear great suggestions from the other pen show attendees, or get more knowledge about a certain pen model from the exhibitors. The other pen shows surely are great places to be, to enjoy and share the fountain pen hobby, the DC pen show is still one of the best shows to attend, because it’s huge and offers so much varieties to pen enthusiasts with different tastes. It’s an amazing hub for really anything fountain pen related.

What I do not love about the DC pen show:
For anyone who will be attending the show for the first time, it’s always essential to know the basic information, such as the show location and schedule. The website of a pen show certainly is the ideal place to find such information. The web page of the DC pen show certainly shows such basic information, but the organization is just messy. The viewers may have to look around a bit to find the information they are looking for. Also the pages are filled with information and news that are old or obsolete. It can be difficult to figure out what’s still relevant and whether there is any update to the show.
Another improvement that I would love to see is the Thursday of the show. I definitely enjoyed the show on the Thursday, but considering that it is one of the pre-show days and requires a higher admission fee than the regular pen show day price ($45 against $8), I would expect to see either a more complete show on this day or a more reasonable pre-show admission price. Compared to the Friday of the show, Thursday was too quiet and the number of exhibitors simply could not compete.

This is my first time attending the DC pen show, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Regardless of what your focus is within the hobby, this show has something to offer. I had a lot of fun finding the items that I wished for and meeting many great people in the community. It’s a show that I definitely will consider attending again in the future.

Pen Review: Omas Ogiva Alba Violet

For the list of pens currently for sale, please visit here.


Many pen companies release limited edition pens that have each pen numbered. Such pens are often used to celebrate a certain anniversary or represent a particular theme. The Omas Ogiva Alba collection is one example of it. This collection contains fountain pens in three different colours: violet, orange, and green. The collection was to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Omas company, and the colours chosen are the ones found in the Aurora Borealis. There were 327 fountain pens made for each colour. This review is going to cover one of the pens in the collection, the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet.


Basic Information:
Fountain Pen: Omas Ogiva Alba Violet
Nib: 14K gold fine nib, extra flessibile
Filling System: Piston
Production: Limited edition

1. Packaging (10/10):

In terms of packaging, the Omas Ogiva Alba collection has one of the best presentations in my pen collection. The light grey hard cardboard box is inside a dark grey cardboard sleeve. Lifting the top half of the box, the pen is presented and wrapped inside a small plastic bag, which has a sticker that indicates the nib option and the limited edition number. What’s also included is a light grey pen pouch made in the velvety fabric, which is used for the interior of the box as well. Overall, there is great design consistency and excellent build quality. It’s simple but also elegant. It’s luxurious but not overwhelming.

2. Pen Design (8/10):
The Omas Ogiva Alba Violet fountain pen is beautiful. Its length is similar to flagship pens such as the Pelikan Souverän M1000 and the Montblanc Meisterstück 149. But comparing to the Montblanc Meisterstück 149, the Omas Ogiva Alba has a slimmer body. The pen is made from cotton resin, and the lightweight pen sits very well in the hand. The shape of the pen body is commonly seen, but the fluted design on the barrel and cap, combining with the purple material that is slightly translucent, make this pen look very elegant.

The cap can be posted securely onto the back of the pen. Posting the cap makes the pen very long and a bit back heavy. Personally I don’t post the cap for this pen. The grip section is long and have small steps from the barrel to the nib. The length and width of the grip section make it comfortable to be held. However there are threads right in the middle of the section. The threads do not really bother me when I’m holding the pen. But I think it will be more comfortable to hold the pen if the threads can be moved to either the front or the back of the grip section. Also on this part of the pen, the limited edition number is engraved here.

There are two rings on the cap, one being just a thin band and the other carrying the greek key design. A similar set of rings are installed near the edge of the grip section. Together with an additional thin band on the piston knob and the rigid but easy-to-use roller clip, all of the metal trims are rhodium plated. This shows an excellent design consistency that matches really well with the purple coloured barrel.

In comparison to the rich decorations on the pen, the nib engravings seem to be a bit underwhelming. Other than the nib specifications engraved there, there is actually no art decoration on the nib. The engravings indicate that the nib is made of 14K gold and the nib width “F” is marked on the side of the nib. What’s perhaps the most interesting engraving is the “extra flessibiile” on the top. More details about it will be covered in the nib performance review. Even though the nib looks a bit boring, the rhodium plating still ensures that the colour scheme of the pen is consistent.

3. Filling System (6/10):
I really like the piston filling system. However, I have to deduct several points here for the Omas Ogiva Alba Violet. First of all, the piston does not operate smoothly. When I turn the piston knob, there is a fair amount of friction. If the pen is left not inked for a while, it becomes even more difficult to get the piston to move. It feels like the piston is stuck in the barrel. This leads to the second issue. There is no simple way to lubricate the piston, because neither the piston mechanism nor the nib unit is easily removable. Not only the piston cannot be maintained, cleaning the pen also takes a lot of effort. The pen cannot be flushed with direct access to the inner barrel, so that the users are forced to operate the piston repetitively. Unfortunately the piston is not powerful enough and it takes extremely long to fully clean the pen. The third issue related to the piston is the piston seal. It seems that ink constantly gets trapped behind the piston seal or between the two ends of the seal. Then the trapped ink dries out and more or less ruins the beautiful demonstrator appearance. The dried ink may also impact the smoothness of the piston operation. The basic functionalities of any piston filling mechanism are there. However these problems make the pen less enjoyable to use. If these issues can be fixed, together with the large ink capacity that is already offered, it will be an even better fountain pen.

4. Nib Performance (10/10):

This is where this pen really shines. As mentioned earlier, the nib has an engraving that indicates “extra flessibile”. This is my most favourite feature on this pen: the nib offers quite a significant amount of springiness and flexibility. Without much pressure, the nib gives a wet and fine line. When pressed down a bit, the nib tines flex out slightly and provide line variations to the handwriting. Meanwhile, the ebonite feed has no problem catching up with the ink flow, making the writing really enjoyable. It can be considered as around a semi flex nib and it is not commonly seen on modern pens. Of course, using any flex nib should be done with enough care and caution, in order to make sure that the nib is not applied with too much pressure and damaged. once the users can fully understand the capability and limit of the nib, it can bring a lot of characters to the handwriting.
The nib writes right out of the box and doesn’t really require any adjustment. Also there is no issue with hard start or skipping. In general, it writes with a wet ink flow, so that it works the best with better quality paper that handles feathering and bleed through well.

5. Pen Cleaning and Maintenance (7/10):
Being a piston filler, not having an easily removable nib unit impacts the ease of pen cleaning and maintenance. As mentioned earlier, cleaning the pen by operating the piston takes a great amount of effort. Meanwhile, the piston has issues with trapped ink and cannot be easily lubricated. Being a translucent fountain pen, these issues are not only making the pen less convenient to use, but also not ideal for the pen’s appearance.

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

Total: 41/50

The Omas Ogiva Alba Violet is a great limited edition offering. It has an excellent pen design with a packaging that matches the same high standard. The 14K gold fine nib with “extra flessibile” definitely gets the spotlight and its performance is one of the best in my collection. It would be an even more amazing pen if the piston design can improve, in order to bring better cleaning efficiency and maintainability. Having a nib unit that is not easily removable can be inconvenient for a piston filling pen, especially one that has a piston that can benefit from a bit more lubrication.
Overall, I think this pen is a great offering for its price range. It may not be an ideal daily writer, but the amazing nib can provide excellent character to the handwriting.


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