Franklin-Christoph 31, customised…

Looking through my spreadsheet gives me a rough date of purchase for this pen (mid-2019), though I can’t seem to find a source. It could’ve been Reddit, or a Discord sale. Anyway, I was attracted by the colour and had missed the original Kickstarter, so I put down some money for it:

Spicy!

The material is a Jonathon Brooks custom pour, made specifically for the Pay It Forward Kickstarter campaign, and it was this that made me decide on buying a Franklin-Christoph pen at all. I was aware of the excitement surrounding the small company then: good material choice, interesting house designs, excellent nibs (who can forget the SIG?), and a fair amount of difficulty in getting one across the Atlantic, mostly due to small production numbers.

All of these are still the case today, but the bright colours stood out for me: Franklin-Christoph has a lot of dark greens and browns and blacks, and has a couple of standout demonstrator numbers (like the cola-bottle or Ancient Ice Pocket 66 models), but this was very different from their usual fare, so I jumped in. I was not disappointed at all.

Look at the nice detail on the clip, too.

The swirls have more than surface depth and the not-so-subtle sparkle works really well with how bright whole aesthetic is. The cap shades nicely into the barrel, but the section is made from more of the darker, redder swirls, so it does look a little disjoint.

That brings me nicely to my next sticking point: Franklin-Christoph’s extra-long section designs. Their pens all take JoWo #6 housings, which is nothing unusual, but the designers have chosen to recess the screw threads further down the section and leave a rather large overhanging lip. In this particular model, there is almost 6mm of extra material:

Look at how short the nib looks in comparison to the rest of the pen. I did not like this and I gripe about it every time the pen is mentioned. Apparently it is an imitation of a hooded nib, but I just think it looks silly. So, yesterday, I got the dremel out and went to town on the section.
Much better.

Now that I could look at my choice of nibs in all their glory, I can discuss the rest of the pen. It is, like most other small-maker pens, cartridge/converter with hot-swappable nib.

The section is made of a different cut of material than the barrel.

One very nice detail that I appreciated a lot was the very fine etching of the Franklin-Christoph logo on the finial:

A touch of personality!

Franklin-Christoph do make pens with a lot of distinct character, and I like that a lot about them. They do good designs and have a wide range of nib types available, plus a long list of very famous nibmeisters working for them. So, despite my own reservations about their sections, I recommend everyone at least get around to trying one out. You’ll likely find a pen type to fit your tastes, and a nib to go with it. If not, you can always swap, like I did, and the feature here is a nib from Tokyo Station Pens: a double-layered reversible nib (stub/architect) made from a coarse Platinum nib, set onto an ebonite feed.

Actually incredible.

More custom pen posts to come, as I keep learning more ways to muck with my favourite objects!

3 thoughts on “Franklin-Christoph 31, customised…

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  1. I have 2 of F-C’s model 31 Omnis pens. I tend to fill them through the converter to avoid ink being caught in the recessed nib area. If I get another F-C pen, it will be a model without a recessed nib.

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