Omas Cristoforo Colombo II

After the previous Omas purchase (the brown Milord) I was so happy with the brand I started looking around for more of them. Thus —  Rare stuff on r/pen_swap usually gets snapped up pretty quickly, so I was lucky to chance upon a post just 40 minutes after it was put up. It arrived less than... Continue Reading →


Caran d’Ache 849

I’ve got a fair amount of thoughts about this pen... but first, here it is: The hexagonal aesthetic of Caran d’Ache as a brand is something I can get behind. I have two bottles of their ink (having sold off a third) and the slanted bottom is something I really appreciate — not just for the... Continue Reading →

Pilot Kakuno demonstrator

A gift from my best friend for Christmas! Whenever she goes to Japan I usually pester to make an Itoya visit for me. I didn’t this time — she went anyway!  The new Kakuno demonstrator is a late-2017 release, and nib sizes for the other series have been expanded to include an option in extra... Continue Reading →

Pelikan Nib Swapping: A Primer

I’ve run out of pens to review (hopefully only for the short term) so I’m turning to writing articles about the things I’ve picked up over these years of being in the hobby. I hope you’ll find these as fun and informative as the reviews have been! And thus, the first of these how-tos: There... Continue Reading →

Parker Vacumatic Golden Pearl

I know this blog is called Flex & Other Follies and I always rattle on about vintage flex, but: I was at the London pen show in October and spent a grand total of £201 on a variety of things: a pen case/box, more pens, more inks, and stuff... and the largest purchase I made... Continue Reading →

Jinhao 992 (modified!)

At 99p each on eBay with free shipping, it’s very hard to say no! It’s always interesting to see what the Chinese companies decide to copy: the Wing Sung 659 I reviewed rips off Pilot and another popular Jinhao, the 599/599A, copies Lamy’s Safari/Al-Star line. This one is a little sneakier, and I don’t actually... Continue Reading →

Pelikan M800 Renaissance Brown

I could say that this was a well-considered purchase, but then I would be lying... No regrets at all! When I first heard the news of yet another brown Pelikan pen, I might have been slightly disappointed, but that all disappeared when I saw the first photos of this. The material perfectly complements the chunky... Continue Reading →

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 →

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