TWSBI Vac 700 Clear (modified!)

I picked this up used on a lark for £35: Truth be told, after holding out on TWSBI for a long time and finally succumbing to the 580AL in the last days of 2016, I was surprised I hadn’t sprung for this earlier. It’s easily worth its RRP of £65, with good heft, a surprisingly... Continue Reading →

Pelikan M200 Clear Demonstrator

Impulse purchase alert! How to tell if it's an impulse: it’s the same model as something you already have, in the same nib size, and just a different colour. (It’s probably worse if you have two absolutely identical pens, but why would anyone...? Right?) I thought I’d wanted a fine nib but my penchant for “as... Continue Reading →

Faber-Castell Loom Violet

Returning to the subject of more easily-acquired pens, here’s a modern review! Modern pens don’t always look modern — here’s looking at you Pilot — but this is one which does, and not expensively so! Faber-Castell are often overlooked in the lower range because their top-end Grafs take the spotlight, and for whatever reason, Pilot... Continue Reading →

Pelikan M320 Ruby Red

Uninked and new in box for less than $200 is a ridiculous price for this, and how could I resist? This is a seriously tiny pen by modern standards. The smallest of the five Souverän sizes, this is Pelikan’s pocket-pen offering, though it’ll never inhabit one of my pockets. It’s far too precious for that!... Continue Reading →

Pelikan M100 Stormtrooper

These are not the pens you’re looking for…? It’s a rather small pen, smaller than the M2xx series of Pelikans, though not quite as small as the pocket M3xx Souveräns. It is very light because of its size and the plastic piston, though the ink capacity is relatively huge at 1.18ml. The cap has a... Continue Reading →

Wing Sung 659

Welcome to the land of cheapo fakes and clones! Already name-dropped in my review on the Pilot Metro, the Wing Sung 659 is a Pilot 78G clone. Plenty underpriced, you can get them off eBay in a whole range of colours, and in both silver and gold trims. The important thing (for me) was that... Continue Reading →

Esterbrook SJ (1950s)

If ever there was an entry-level workhorse vintage pen, this would be it. Esterbrook was a hugely-respected company that made so many cheap pens that it’s not hard to find a specimen or two for almost the same kind of money one would spend on a modern entry-level. The J/LJ/SJ models are by far the... Continue Reading →

Pelikan M205 Amethyst

I actually bought this pen before the Stola in the previous article, but reserved it for my birthday before allowing myself the luxury of opening it. It sat in its bubble-wrap envelope in my locker at university for two whole months! The seller had very kindly included a free bottle of 4001 Blue-Black, since I... Continue Reading →

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