Fountain pens


Kaweco’s Perkeo 6

Sebastian Gutberlet, image from my blog post about the Kaweco factory tour

Recently I have contacted Sebastian Gutberlet to find out more about the Kaweco Perkeo. All I knew is that there used to be a Kaweco fountain pen with that name in the (early?) 20th century.

Just a reminder, Sebastian is the son of Michael Gutberlet, the man who revived Kaweco. The main intention of asking Sebastian about the Perkeo was to collect some more information for the Stationery Wiki – because I couldn’t find much information on the web, but then I thought: why not turn it into a blog post.

Thanks to Sebastian Gutberlet for this image

It’s been a long time coming

It came as quite a surprise to find out that this new Perkeo has been in the making for a very long time. Sebastian’s grandfather1 actually developed the new Perkeo’s precursor. The prototype was resting in Michael Gurberlet’s desk for ten years before now being finalised and released.

I’ve mentioned more than once that when I went to school you had to use a fountain pen, at least in Bavaria where I’m originally from. I’m not sure about the current pen situation in schools there, but my guess would be that on the continent there are (still) many schools where pupils write with fountain pens. The grip zone is supposed to help the pupil with holding the pen the right way. As a beginner’s fountain pen the Perkeo is probably aimed at these pupils (..but that doesn’t mean we adults can’t have fun with this pen, too).

It will be available in four colour combinations and according to Sebastian Gutberlet the Perkeo will be released in Juni or July the latest.

Thanks to Sebastian Gutberlet for this image

 


I’d like to thank Sebastian Gutberlet for answering my questions and providing pictures for this blog post.

  1. Michael Gutberlet’s father []

Epic fail: Using a Faber-Castell Converter in a Super5 Fountain Pen 2

I’m currently using my Super5 with the 0.7 nib a lot, but I made one mistake: I filled a Faber-Castell converter with the Aurora Blue-Black ink without checking first whether it fits. Well, the converter is too long to fit, but luckily you can remove the end caps of the new Super5 fountain pens1 ..so I have been using the Super5 without the end cap for the last weeks.

The new Super5 without the end cap

Somehow the Super5’s 0.7 nib makes me write quite differently: the writing is a bit bigger with letters being more condensed, not as tall. Well, it makes for an interesting change.

I can’t complain about the paper I’m using either. It’s from one of Rad and Hungry’s old subscription boxes, the Swedish one from maybe five years ago. Excellent paper!

  1. The purpose of this: So that you can create different colour combinations, e.g. a white pen with a red end cap, etc. []

Fountain Pen Calamity 2

This morning, when I went to the lecture theatre to give a class for my second year undergraduate students, I made an unusual discovery.

Someone forgot two vintage gold-nibbed fountain pens on the computer station. Shock!

Well, one of the fountain pens is not in such a good state, but it is still a gold-nibbed fountain pen. The other pen seems to be in great shape for its age.

I took them to my office, have checked the timetabling system and have emailed all staff who used the room in the last week in the hope that these treasures can be reunited iwth their rightful owner.

I had had lost my fountain pens I would be devastated, so I hope the owner can be found soon.


The Lamy Horror Picture Show 4

Think of a random number between 1 and 1000.

No, really. Please do.

Ok, now multiply this number by 3 and remember it.

Well, imagine the shock I got when I recently had a closer look at my Lamy 2000.

Lamy 2000 exploded view

Cleaning my Lamy in expectance of the new ink

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is ‘Not shocked at all’ and ’10’ is censored because of the expletives uttered, the number representing my shock was slightly higher than the number I just asked you to remember.

It all started with me happily going about my daily business and cleaning my Lamy 2000 (with an EF nib) in expectance of a Robert Oster ink from Kirit Dal, one of Robert Oster’s UK resellers.

When an ink ‘stain’ at the front of the Lamy’s grip section didn’t want to disappear I had a closer look and after moving the end of my fingernail over the ‘stain’ I started to have an ominous suspicion. Not much later the aforementioned shock happened1.

You’d think I’m a broken man now, looking back at the excitement and fun I once experienced when using fountain pens, but not able to have any joy anymore going forward from now on. The reality is different. I’ve come to stoically accept that mark on the grip section as something that makes this Lamy 2000 different to all its anonymous siblings that left Lamy’s conveyor belt since 1966. It is something, together with a dent on its body, that makes this Lamy mine. Who knows, maybe deep down, in some illogical part of the brain, I might even be a tiny bit ‘proud’ that I have my own unique Lamy 2000 now…


I am sorry for showing you all these gory details, especially after just showing you horrific pencil mutilations in the previous blog post. I guess you might be more careful form now on, avoiding to look at my blog anymore while eating food.

In case you’ve been sick over your pen collection while looking at these gory photos: I’ve heard that baking soda might eliminate the odour, but I haven’t tried it myself yet.

I thought of combining this blog post with a look at the ink I was expecting, but I didn’t do it because I thought someone who doesn’t read carefully and only looks at the pictures might that the ink I was expecting caused the issue. To avoid this the Oster ink I was expecting (cleaning the pen to be ready for this ink) will be covered in a separate blog post.

I have a suspicion which previously used ink might have caused the issue, but as I am not sure it was really that ink I don’t want to mention the brand in this blog post.

  1. Well, where are the smelling salts and the defibrillator when you need them. []

Lamy dialog 3 and the discontinued wooden case 2

It was about eight years ago when I first came across the Lamy dialog 3.

From dislike to like

Back then I didn’t like it. I thought it is too big and modern ..but somehow, over the years, I warmed up to it, more and more – up to the point when I started to actively want one.

Funnily enough, my wife’s favourite ballpoint pen, the pico, is from the same designer: Franco Clivio. Both, the pico and the dialog 3 have a similar shape, a bit like a test tube, but round on both ends.

Price variations (£99 – £250)

Well, I didn’t think I’d get a new >£100 fountain pen in the next few years, but somehow (actually because of Christmas) it did happen. Well, I say >£100 fountain pen, but WH Smith is regularly selling the palladium version with an M nib for £99 (~$122; €114), but most shops will charge you £200 – £250 for this pen. The one I got for Christmas was also a cheap one, that’s why I got an F nib. I would have preferred an EF nib, but there was no EF version available for a good price. I can always buy an EF nib if I want and it would have still been a very good price compared to the RRP.
The whole price situation of the dialog 3 reminds me of the blue Pelikan M605 – every few years Kaufhof seems to sell it for a good price. I paid €99 (~$105; £85) for mine.

The nib

There have been many blog posts looking at this pen, with the one from Dries being one of the latest ones, so I don’t see a need to write more about the pen itself. Instead, I want to tell you that the nib on my dialog 3 is the smoothest nib I have ever used (and I have used quite a few gold nibs over the years). As I haven’t seen too many raving reviews about this nib I am not sure whether all of Lamy’s Z55 gold nibs or even all Z55 F nibs are that good, but mine is excellent. As described in Ian’s review here this nib can be used in all modern Lamys except the Lamy 2000.

The nib is however not only smooth, it also has a pleasant amount of springiness. I have seen nibs advertised as flexible that offer less line variation than this nib.

The case

The dialog 3 used to come with a wooden case. Lamy stopped supplying the case, but many shops still advertise the pen as coming in this case, so that might be old stock.

According to Lamy, the wooden case is not being offered anymore. I suspect the case was stopped when the dialog 3 was redesigned (there were some complaints about the pen drying out soon in the original version).

If you want to get the wooden case the only way to get it now, as far as I know, is to buy it used or to find old stock. My pen didn’t come with the case so I had to get it separately.

I tried to make a short film showing my dialog 3 (and the case), but I guess I shouldn’t make a car (to pull the camera) from some toys lying around in the living room. The owner of the toys came to get them back during filming…

Well, before I finish the blog post, here’s a picture of the ‘camera car’ that was used for the film, now you know why he wanted it back…

Camers car made out of Duplos

Camera car made out of Duplos

 


Exchange rates: January 2017

You can read more about the dialog 3 at The Pencilcase Blog,  Pentorium, Goulet Pen’s blogThe Clicky Post, The Gold Standard, No Pen Intended, The Well-Appointed Desk,  Writer’s Bloc, The Silent Cartographer, and even Wired.