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Nearly ten years of The Pen Addict Podcast

Christmas, as well as the New Year, are coming closer. It will be nice to have a few quiet days with less work, and no doubt many Bleistift readers will want to catch up with everyone’s favourite stationery podcast over the holidays.

It’s hard to believe that the Pen Addict podcast will be ten years old in 2022.

I thought I use this opportunity to update the Pen Addict ‘statistics’ I posted in preparation for the 300th episode. In 2018, at the time of that blog post the episodes got around five minutes longer per year and I made a tongue in cheek comment that that episode 1000 they should be more than two hours long. It’s a bit like the (infamous) forecast that in the future everyone will be an Elvis impersonator.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the rate of episode length increase wasn’t sustained over time. Below is the latest version of the diagram showing the episode length over time.

Each dot represents an episode. Early episodes are on the left, recent episodes are on the right. Short episodes are at the bottom, long episodes are at the top.

I marked the outliers on the image below. At the top right, in red, we got the longest ever episode, episode 450, clocking in at 133 minutes. At the bottom left we got episode 33, one of the few episodes with an episode number that is greater than its length in minutes (episode 46 is another one of those).

Please have a look at the Pen Addict Podcast page on stationery.wiki. You can easily sort all episodes, e.g. by length, by clicking on the little arrows in the header row and explore all episodes. We’d also be happy if you contribute to the other stationery knowledge recorded there. It’s a resource available to everyone.

You will have also noticed the more horizontal lines in the diagram. The black line is a straight linear regression line. The blue curve is a LOESS (local regression) curve, which is a bit more ‘flexible’ than the straight line.

In the image below you can see that in the first years (marked as ‘a’), until about 2015, we had a strong increase in episode lengths, mainly caused by the fact that early episodes were rather short. From then on, until about 2018 (marked as ‘b’) we had a very slow increase in episode lengths and since then (marked as ‘c’) we have a slow decrease in episode lengths. In the last few weeks he had an average length of about one hour per episode. The LOESS curve is moving (roughly) from 65 minutes per episode to 60 minutes per episode.

I hope you enjoy the holidays (if there holidays wherever you might be). If you have some time on your hands, please catch up with your favourite podcast and/or contribute to our stationery.wiki.
As usual, the data and the code used for this plot are available on GitHub. This time it is also available on kaggle.


Trimline 3594

Dixon Trimline 3594

Discovered in our Scout group’s hut, this American-made Dixon Trimline not only made it into Europe, it also managed to survive several decades hidden between other pencils and kept in pristine condition.

Notice the slim and elegant font and the blind-stamped U.S.A., left of the writing.

A smidge of the beautiful orange paints seems to have made it’s way into some of the knurling on the ferrule.

The last photo ended up a bit blurry, but if you are using a computer to read this then please have a closer look at this pencil by clicking on the (other) photos to admire this pencil’s details.


Lego, Uni and …Sean

In the last few weeks I came across a few interesting items I want to share with you.

Lego

Lego’s mechanical pencil, the one that looks uncomfortable to hold, has been discontinued. Some shops still stock it, though. If you want one you better hurry. I was able to resist (so far).

Image © Lego

Emott

(you might have seen this one on the Bleistift Twitter feed)

Uni Mitsubishi’s Emott series will see the addition of 0.9 mm Emott pencils on 24 September 2021. Three different ‘colour groups’ (refresh, tropical and nostalgic) will be availble at launch. To me these mechanical pencils feel a bit like a modern day version of Faber-Castell’s Colormatics.

The Fineliner pens from the Emott series have been available in the West for some time now. I hope the mechanical pencils make it here, too.

Sean Malone

Cynic released a tribute song for Sean, our dear pencil friend who passed away far too soon.

You can find out more at Loudwire. Thanks to Stephen for letting me know about this.


The images of the Lego mechanical pencil has been taken from the Lego web site. I believe that the use of these images falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


M 2

Last year one of the UK jewellery chains had a huge discount on some Montblanc items. This included the Montblanc M which could be had for less than 50% of the current recommended retail price. You will understand how difficult it was to resist.

The Montblanc M with the Universalpatrone – good use of the available space

The Montblanc M was designed by Mark Newson and is quite unusual for Montblanc standards. Not everyone is keen on the looks of this pen, but I love it. If you were to classify fountain pens by appearance then the M would be much closer to the Lamy dialog 3 than to your average Montblanc. Its most exotic feature is the cap which is magnetically aligned and held in place.

Unlike many other Montblanc pens which come with a converter the M not only doesn’t come with one, there’s also none available that officially fits. I successfully used the Cross Verve adapter in the past, but my Cross adapter is now back in the Verve.

I am now using what I call a Lamy/Pelikan cartridge. Probably 20 to 25 years ago these no-name cartridges got popular in parts of Europe. You could always get no-name Pelikan/standard cartridges [1]Pelikan has a big share of the market for school fountain pens., but with the popularity of the Lamy Safari being used in schools the ink cartridge manufacturers thought of putting a Pelikan compatible end on a Lamy compatible cartridge. Clever stuff and if you don’t mind refilling your cartridge with a syringe (I don’t mind) then it is just perfect for the Montblanc M’s body with the tapered end.

The Lamy end of the Universalpatrone

The only problem is that these cartridges don’t seem to be popular in either the UK, where I live or the USA, where nearly all the Bleistift Blog readers are based – as I wasn’t able to find these in online shops. I hope online shops in the UK and the USA will stock them in the future. In Germany, you can get them under the name “Universalpatrone” on eBay and Amazon for less than 10 cents per cartridge if you buy a bigger pack.

The standard/Pelikan end of the Universalpatrone

Proper reviews of the Montblanc M:

Pencilcase Blog

Gentleman Stationer

UK Fountain Pens

Gourmet Pens

References

References
1Pelikan has a big share of the market for school fountain pens.

Lamy 2000 brown 3

I noticed that Lamy is releasing a limited brown edition of the Lamy 2000 fountain pen to celebrate the 2000’s 55th anniversary.

It is an absolutely beautiful pen, but unfortunately, it also comes with a price tag to match.

Brown

For everyday items brown can be a very nice colour. It often reminds me of wood or leather. In the past fake or real wood on everyday items used to be more common than they are now. My Atari VCS 2600, for example, had a fake wooden front and the brown colour complemented the console nicely. Later versions without the brown front just didn’t look as impressive.

1977 - atari 2600
The VCS 2600 is much nicer with the brown front. This is an embedded Flickr image. Click to go to this image on Flickr.

With brown colours sometimes appealing to my taste I also bought the Samsung Galaxy S3 in brown. At the time I read a review where the author made fun of the brown colour option. I didn’t quite understand why – to me, it was the best looking option.

Sarasa Grand Vintage

Back to pens: by coincidence, a few days before I found out about the Lamy 2000 in brown, I ordered the Sarasa Grand Vintage in brown. I only found two online shops in the UK selling the Sarasa Grand or Grand Vintage: MiSo Paper and Awesome Pens. In the end, I ordered from Awesome Pens (first time) as they also had the Uni-ball One I saw in a Pen Addict review.

The Sarasa is an unusual pen for me. According to Unsharpen it was released in 2000. I don’t think I saw it in the year 2000 and I first came across it in 2001 when I saw the ones my wife bought. I didn’t like them at all at the time, mainly because I didn’t like the look of the early clip. The newer clips with a metal spring do however look more attractive [1]at least to me, I wonder if some people prefer the old look…. So much so that the whole pen suddenly looks attractive to me. Once I saw the scented, i.e. smelly, version I was sold and bought some Sarasas myself.

The Sarasa Grand Vintage in brown and the uni-ball one in orange.

Unfortunately, neither MiSo Paper, nor Awesome Pens, the shops that had the Sarasa Grand I ordered, had the beautiful Sarasa R I saw in a Pen Addict Giveaway – in fact, I haven’t found any online shop in the UK selling the Sarasa R. The white colour of the Uni-ball One and the Sarasa R gives them a lovely clean look. That clean look reminds me a bit of the Lamy Safari Griso, mentioned previously.

For Sale: Vintage Lamy Safari Griso fountainpen and rollerball set. NOS. selling for 100€ including ww tracked shipping! rare set! Email me at miss.thundercat (at) gmail.com if your're interested. #forsale #pensforsale #selling #fountainpen #fpn #fountain
The Lamy Safari Griso. This is an embedded Flickr image. Click to go to this image on Flickr.

Lamy 2000 brown

Now that the topic has circled back to Lamy it’s time to talk about the Lamy 2000 in brown.

The brown version is the latest special edition (you can find out about other special editions on stationery.wiki) and is being released for the 55th anniversary of the Lamy 200. It comes in a nice presentation box, together with a nice, brown notebook and a biography of Gerd A. Müller, the designer.

Designs by Gerd A. Müller, Hannes Wettstein and related designs

When I checked the price I was rather disappointed. Here in the UK this set will cost nearly £500. In the USA the set will sell for $579. The set is limited to 3,300 pieces which explain the price, but I’d rather prefer an affordable version that can be used than an expensive limited version that will end up being a collector’s piece ending up in someone’s drawer. For comparison: my Lamy 2000 from 2008 was €89 (€105 / $124 in today’s money), my Lamy 200 from 2011 was £92 (£109 / $128 in today’s money). No matter how nice the colour, if I had the brown edition I would probably get the black 2000 out instead, as I would be worried the expensive and irreplaceable brown version would get damaged. Some people collect watches or motorbikes, so I can see that £500 can be cheap, compared to other hobbies, so I hope many of these brown 2000s get used.

Image © Lamy

Luckily you will be able to buy the Gerd A. Müller biography from the anniversary set on its own. It looks really good and is some consolation. I plan to buy it when it is out in the UK.







Price and exchange rates: July 2021

The last two images have been taken from Lamy and the avedition sites. I believe that the use of these images falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

References

References
1at least to me, I wonder if some people prefer the old look…