Japanese vs German nibs

One of the first thing I noticed when I got my second fountain pen (A Lamy Safari) was how different Japanese and German nibs were.

On one side you have the very wet and smooth German nibs, and on the other side you’ll find something is a little bit more scratchy. When I say “scratchy” I don’t mean it in a bad way, just in the way where are a little bit more resistance.

I enjoy both.

I’m not going to turn this into a Philosophy discussion. But I’m of the belief that form and substance follows each other. This means that how you write is determined by the kind of the writing instruments and paper that are available to you, and how they develop over time is a result of how you write.

The difference between Western and Eastern writing instruments is huge and obvious. Where western writing instruments like the Lamy 2000 focuses on being smooth and moving across the page with as little friction as possible, does a Pilot Vanishing Point focus on giving you as much control as possible.

My western understanding of languages of the east, like Chinese and Japanese is at best limited. But as I understand it their symbols are more or less the same as a word.

In a western language like Norwegian, French or English, either you write with cursive or not, you move fast, and your letters don’t contain much detail if any at all. This means that you move fast, and moving fast without any friction over the page is more important than a lot of fine grained control.

While in a eastern language on the other hand all the details matter much more, and you don’t need to move that fast over the page, because the lettering is much more detail oriented.

The result is that Western pens like the ones of Lamy is much wetter and broader, while Eastern pens like ones of Pilot is much dryer and finer. Both is a result of the interplay between the writing instruments and the kind of writing they have been used for in the different cultures.

Which is better is a difference of taste. I personally love wet and broad nibs, while others prefer something finer.

Pilot Vanishing Point

I’m not sure what to say about the Pilot Vanishing Point. There is a lot to like about it, but there is just as much to not like about it. The most striking thing about it is the unique look, and it is not a good one; at least not for me. You can either get a regular blackish one or one of the other. My biggest problem with all of the other designs is that they kind of have a Mont Blanc vibe going on or as I usually say “a little bit too grand daddy for my taste”.

The regular black is very utilitarian and that is fine. Not every pen you own need to have be considered a piece of art (the Lamy 2000) to be great.

My two “gripes” with this pen is the clip and ink capacity.

The clip on this pen is placed in the grip section, which means that it is either bothering you or not. My impression is that it is either a little bit or very annoying to fellow lefties. I can see why some people hate it, but I’m not that bothered by it itself. But I do not for the life of me understand why Pilot can’t use the lower profile clip they had in the past or why they can’t make a left handed version that is reversed. For christ sake, you can get a replacement nib section, and you can’t get a left handed version of the outer casing? There should be a large enough section in the market for lefties for this.

Pilot Converters and me is an old problem, and I’m pretty sure it will go on until they make them bigger or I die. I’m betting on the latter. It drives me nuts that they can’t make something large enough to get me through a day of a lot of writing. It usually lasts me 2-3 days if I’m only writing tasks and so on. But that can be cut down to somewhere between a few hours and half a day if I write a lot. For example if I take a lot of notes in a meeting or if I am in charge of taking the minutes.

This is why I always carry more than one pen.

Where this pen shines is in the coating and the utility of it. I love how fast I can go from “not writing” to “writing”. And the coating on the pen makes it very comfortable to write for longer periods without feeling slippery. It is the thing I go for the first if I am not going to sit down to write for longer periods.

It’s the perfect “office pen”.

My first fountain pen is retired

I bought my first fountain pen around three years ago. It was a Pilot Metropolitan, with what we today call the medium nib. There was no choice back then. Today is the last day I’m going to use it or bring as a part of my “everyday carry”.

I have used it a lot, the clip broke off, the nib is kind of bent out of place and the barrel is all scratched up. But I do love it for what it has become.

This does not mean that I’m ditching the Metropolitan, I got a new one to replace this one around six months ago, and will without doubt continue to be a part of my EDC in years to come. And I do love if for being the best al around “cheap” fountain pen out there, either for experienced or beginners.

A review: Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Gaki aka the @imyke ink.

As anyone that have at least browsed around a little bit on this site should know: I love Pilot Iroshizuku. They provide me with exactly what I want from a ink. A consistent great compromise between fantastic colours, lubrication and short dry time across many great choices.

I think all of their colours look great, even though I know that some of them are a little bit too light for my taste. The ink we are talking about today have been on my wish list for a very long time. It have been on my wish list since the time when I went through all the Pilot Iroshizuku colours and made a list of all of the ones I wanted.

But I got some serious cravings when Myke Hurley added a picture of the ink in use to the show notes of a episode of The Pen Addict. And it is amazing. This is one of my two all time favourite inks, together with another Pilot Iroshizuku the Tsuki-yo. I would, without any hesitation order another bottle of either when I run out. Something that isn’t true for my other inks. I might, but it isn’t 100% sure.

As with all Iroshizuku inks (with the exception of the black one) I initially thought it was a little bit light. But I have come around (as always), and it is more or less perfect. This is not a “pure orange”, to me it looks more red-orange. And Iroshizuku inks are not for you if you want a “orange orange” or a “blue blue” and so on. But if you want a really good looking orange or a really awesome blue, then it is for you.

Sorry…

Sorry everyone. I have not had much time to poste lately. The weird thing is that I have had drafts laying around it various notebooks, but I have simply not had the time to transcribe them. I have some posts lined up now. And my hope is that I’ll get the time to publish at least bi weekly moving forward.

– Eivind