July
2003

The year has been flying by. Luckily I have NOT purchased any new pens since by 2002 trip to Italy. Part of that has been "financial restraint" and part because of the limited number of new pens that I would want to add to my collection.

One pen that has caught my eye, and I have enjoyed testing is the Delta Planet. It has a good feel because of its large width. Sits just fine in my hand. The nibs should a good amount of flexibility. Definitly on my list of pens to purchase this yet when I travel to Italy in the fall.

The series comes in four colours. I really like the green. The colour accents are meant to echo the majesty of world's rainforests (green), polar regions (white), oceans (blue), and golden deserts sands (gold).

December 2002

One of the most enjoyable rewards I receive from my pen site is the correspondence from others. Recently Ludwig Tan contacted me and provided a copy of an interesting article on Grinding Pen Nibs Ludwig, thanks for sharing the article and allowing me to include it within the site.

November 2002
Private Reserve Inks has two new colours in their line. These are what are being called their pastel tones. Similar to their existing colours was with a softer look. At the present time I remain addicted to their Midnight Blue.
October 2002
 

My Omas, from the Celluloid Collection that was issued in 1990's has moved to the top of the list of my most used pens. Great nib and it a pen I always seem to receive questions and compliments.

I have some information about Omas on the Companies Page and I have been impressed with the quality of the pen. The Celluloid takes over 300 days to cure -- always a conversation piece during a slow meeting -- the overall making of the pen a slow and careful process. Employees receive more than a year's training on the polishing alone.

  Omas Paragon Fountain Pen
 

So one was just not enough. I had to pick up the Paragon from the Arte Italina Collection. This is a great looking and writing pen. With a double broad nib it seems to be made just for me!

The Paragon is the "signature" pen of Omas. It has been in production since the 1930's. Hopefully Omas won't make the mistake Waterman did by ending the production of the Man 100.

Flip through any issue of Pen World, there are a large number of pens currently being released that have no sense of style and are simply not the kind of pen I would every use in a business meeting. I think it is time to start building up a collection of what I call the classic fountain pen.

Anyway, thanks to the great help I had from the folks at Berliner Pen in New York. It is always reassuring to know there are folks out there to help you when things just don't go as you thought. After I order the wrong pen, they came up with a suggested replacement, and the Paragon is now oneof my favorites.

   

 

July 2002
 
 

Hectic year, work-wise, and not that exciting of a year pen-wise when it comes to great pens to use every day.

I did finally get my Stipula back from Retro after being repaired. I see by commences on discussion boards ( Pentrace Site) that a number of folks raised hell with the length of time to get a pen repaired.

I have also heard from a number of individuals that Chartpak is providing much better service on the repairs of Pelikan pens. So that is a good thing.

Private Reserve inks are dropping the three colours that cause problems when mixed (see Inks Page) and they say they are bringing out some new colours to replace those. Who wanted sludge in a pen anyway!

Also I have had a number of reports of Pelikan ink with mold or sludge in the bottle. Maybe a batch was produced that did not have sufficient chemicals to prevent such things happening in the bottles. Shift the turn-over of ink, that means there is the potential of this bottles in various stock for some time.

I just returned from a trip to France and Italy. I did not see that much new. I did pick up an Omas pen... always wanted one, and the Omas Extra, a model that has been out for a while, sits just fine in my hand, and the nib is very smooth.

This Euro thing may bring an end to pen shopping in Europe. The price advantage that used to be there is definitely gone.

 

 


March 2002
 
 

A busy year at work so it has been hard at times to keep track of various pen developments. Not that much new as been flowing through the pen stores I usually track.

My Stiupula Eutruria 991 had a tragic accident, World Pen referred me back to Retro 1951 in Texas to arrange for repairs. While nothing in their handling of the repair so far has been wrong, these Italian numbers take quite a while to repair.

Sending the pen on the 22nd of February by Fedex and hearing confirmation they have "now received it" on March 11st reflects quite a time delay in handling repairs. Really makes you ask the question why did you pay for all that expensive shipping? I was somewhat concerned when I read a long list of complaints on the Pentrace Site about service from Retro 1951.

Anyway, it is off to Italy to be repaired and I am told I can expect it back sometime at the end of April.

  This was the year for accidents, however, when my Pelikan M800 broke and needed repairs, Vancouver Pen quickly took over, sent the pen back for repairs. In the end, it had a short trip back to Germany to be fixed. It is back and writes like a dream.

 

I know on many trips I find myself being more interested in the asseccories for pens. After a while, there is a limit to the number of pens that can be purchased... I know around my house I will regret saying that... and the accessories that go with writing with a fountain pen become more imortant.

Previously I had a link to the site for Blotters - Louis-Richard Blotter. The web site is not longer active and I am unsure if their products are available.

I have a couple of blotters and I do enjoy using them. If you use broad nib pens, then you will find a roll of the blotter over your signature before you fold the letter, or even let another sheet of paper slide across it, leaves you with the quality document you intened.

 
   

December 2001  

It was 1991. Sitting at the desk in my office, I raised my eyes for a moment to the window and let my gaze run over the surrounding countryside: slopes traversed by interminable rows of vines still weighed down by grapes, the studied geometry of the vineyards interrupted here and there by farmhouses and cypress trees. I experienced a profound sense of admiration and satisfaction with the land, which is also my land. I was struck by the idea of making a fountain pen that would pay homage to Tuscany in all its facets, beginning with the name: Etruria

Renzo Salvadori, President
Stipula

Stipula Eturria 991

My Christmas was exceptionally rewarding this year! My wife bought me the superb Stipula Etruria 991 fountain pen for an Christmas Gift.

The pen is stunning with its brown celluloid, streaked with dark and light tones of brown and mother-of-pearl highlights. Todd was able to arrange for a broad nib so it is just to my liking. The pen is a real smooth-writer. It is one of my Pens of Note.

The Stipula Etruria 991 is made by Stipula, and pen company based in Florence, Italy. The Etruria 991 is a special edition of the Etruria, a fountain pen the company first commenced production in 1991 and still produces. I picked up the Etruria this year when in Rome at Novelli Pens and have made it one of my pens of choice ever since I picked it up.

The Stipula Etruria 991 is inspired from the polychromatic art of the Etruscans. The soft, rounded lines are based on the typical shape of Etruscan amphora. The decorative work of finely tooled silver leaves made using the lost-wax casting process will bring memories of any trip to Tuscany!

The filling mechanism for the fountain pen is interesting. It has converter system that uses either Stipula's classic large-capacity piston filler or an ink cartridge - the small international size.

The pen is limited to 991 fountain pens and I am the proud owner of number 503!

 

   
November 2001  
Pelikan M800 in Red

Pelikan M800 - Red
What a difference a colour makes. As soon as the Pelikan M800 in red arrived I received a convenient call from Vancouver Pen. It was one of those pens that did not take long to think about. The Pelikan nib is one of the best around. Now that there is a new distributor in North American the supply is better. The best news is that the prices have actually dropped. So, while in the past I had ordered my Pelikans directly from Germany, now the prices in North American make that less of a savings.

The reaction to the Red has been very positive. I thought my Blue M800 was a real good looking but judging from the comments received this is an eye catcher. I have tried the M1000 (not available in red yet) but the M800 is big enough allows a good consistency of feel with my other pens.

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October 2001  
 

Paradise Pen
This month I received an update on Paradise Pen (aka previous Colorado Pen). I had the opportunity to visit one of their stores in Boston when I was in the US a few years ago.

About 20 of the previous Colorado Pen Stores are open under the new name of Paradise Pen Company. Peter Paradise is operating the stores. They also have their web site. From my first look, the site has a listing by state of the locations of their stores and a few specials. No other information provided.

Colorado Pen Direct
Colorado Pen Direct is not affiliated with the retail stores and operates via catalogue and their web site - Colorado Pen Direct. The site offers a broad range of pens and includes information about the pen as well as ordering details.

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September 2001  
  Well I have just returned by a month's vacation in Italy. For those that sent e-mails during September, please be patient, I am slowly going through all the correspondence.
Stipula Etruria
While in Rome I visited Marco Parascenzo of Novelli Pens and bought a fabulous pen: The Stipula Etruria. This has been my first pen from this company. The company's name, Stipula, was the name of the small straw ancient Romans used to split in sign of acceptance of a commitment. Made from Stipula's cellulose acetate. Each pen is hand-turned from a solid black of cellulose. The pen has a soft appearance because of the oval shape to the cap. The gold band on the cap reminds you of Tuscany because of the Florentine-look to the gold ring. The pen is piston-filled and holds a reasonable amount of ink. I was able to select a 1.1 oblique nib -- that's a pen made in heaven for me! One of my Pens of Note
  I also had the chance to look at the pro-type of the pen Novelli is to have produced to celebrate their 20th anniversary. The mockup I saw was a good looking fountain pen.
Delta 365 in Yellow

Delta 365D
Another great pen I picked up was the Delta 365D - the name stands for a pen you can use 365 days a year. It has a large body, comes in a variety of colours. The gold nib is a smooth writer. I bought one with a broad nib. A real winner in my books. Converted filled
.

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August 2001  
Waterman Charleston Pen

Waterman Charleston
I tried out the Charleston, the new semi-art-deco pen by Waterman. The pen has a grooved design and curved clip, a look the company was striving to have similar to pens of the 1930's. There are two versions of the fountain pen: one with 23-karat gold-plated trim and a gold nib in colours of ebony and forest green. The other comes with chrome-plated trim, a rhodium-plated nib, and in ebony, navy blue and yellow. The line will have a fountain pen, roller ball, ball-point and pencil. Nibs are supposed to be available in fine and medium; although Waterman indicates they will also be available in extra fine, broad, stub, oblique fine and oblique broad.

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June 2001  
 

Marco Parascenzo of Novelli Pens in Rome sent me a note. They are looking at a 2001 20th Anniversary Pen. You can visit their web site and place your comments on what kind of a pen it should be. To put the pressure on I told Marco I will be there in September and hope to pick it up!

I have taken an oath of "non-purchase"... no more purchases until we are in Italy! But, in looking at the most recent issue of Pen World, I coming to conclusion that the old classics are really the best. I keep my eye out for a Red Edson. Many of the newer limited edition pens are not the kind of pen you would pull out in a business meeting. Makes you ask, what is the purpose of the pen?

For Canadians who don't want the hassle of ordering ink from across the border, next time in Vancouver drop by Vancouver Pen, as they now carry the full line of Private Reserve Inks.

  World Pen revamped their web site. Still includes helpful information about pens under the FAQ section.

Jan 2001

On January 19, 2001 Colorado Pen Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Colorado Pen had built itself up to be a major retailer of pens. There were some 59 stores access the US. I enjoyed my visit to the Company's Boston Store.

The Company realized financial problems and sought out other investors to buy or merge with the company. Montblanc and Paradise Family Limited Partnerships have reached some agreement. Peter Paradise is the present of Paradise Family Limited Partnerships and actually opened the first Colorado Pen Co store in Denver back in 1988. Paradise would operate some 24 stores and Montblanc has proposed to buy up to 15 of the stores at specific locations.

Until the status of the company is resolved, I have removed all the Colorado Pen Store listings from the Stores Directory. A number had already closed. Some will remain. Recently I received numerous e-mails from pen buyers who found stores closed, or with inventories deleted.

Good luck to Peter and the smaller Colorado Pen Co that will emerge.

Jan 2001

Happy New Year to all, and may 2001 be an exciting year in the world of pens! During December I got completely engaged with the Pelikan M800 line. Both the Double Broad (BB) and the Oblique Double Broad (OBB) nibs are great. The M800 has received plenty of great comments on various pen discussions sites so this is nothing new, only my confirmation on a great pen. Pelikan increased its prices, at least in Canada in December but given the current state of the Euro, there are great values to be had in ordering directly from Germany. See my comments for December. Both these firms offered good service.

Pen retailers continue to change. In the US Colorado Pen is closing a number of its stores and reducing the size of its operation. Some stores, it appears, are being less than honest about the state of affairs, only indicating there is a limited time frame for returns.

 

Glenn Marcus • New Westminster, BC (Vancouver)