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View Full Version : Franklin-Christoph Model 19 "1901"



DrChumley
April 20th, 2014, 11:10 PM
You can read the full review, see additional photos, and watch the accompanying video here (http://penhabit.com/2014/04/21/pen-review-franklin-christoph-model-19-1901/).

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Width:
Section – 10.1mm
Barrel – 15.4mm
Cap – 16.7mm

Length:
Uncapped (with nib) – 127mm
Capped – 138mm
Posted – 170mm

Weight (with ink):
16g – Without Cap
26g – Capped/Posted

Filling System: Cartridge/Converter, Possibly Eyedropper

The Franklin-Christoph Model 19 “1901″ is one of the larger pens in the F-C line. The glossy, piano-black body is accented, once in the cap and once in the barrel, with a color band. Current options include Cremé, Cherry Ice, King’s Gold, or Smoke. I opted for the King’s Gold, which came a touch darker in color than the photos on the F-C website, but still quite lovely.

The pen has clean, classic lines. The rounded-edge flat top of the pen is decorated with an engraved gothic letter “F” and four small diamonds (the F-C Logo). The rhodium plated clip has four small diamond shapes engraved on it as well. The clip, while classy, does feel just a touch flimsy for pen of this size and build quality. The end of the barrel tapers slightly toward the end of the pen, with another flat end with rounded edges.

The cap fits onto the barrel by the way of a rather unusual block thread (a single large thread) rather than the more standard set of smaller, parallel threads. These unusual threads work well, but they feel a bit less secure and a little less airtight than the standard threads you are used to seeing on fountain pens. The very comfortable section screws into the body of the barrel using the more tradition threads, which leads me to believe that this pen could potentially be used as an eyedropper pen. (There are no metal parts in the barrel that would prevent it, as far as I am able to tell. The pen comes with a standard international converter.

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Despite the pen’s size (and it is a big pen), it is still rather light, and very comfortable in the hands. The pen’s clean lines swoop gently in all the right places, and the section narrows down to a usable width for my hands (unlike, for instance, a Montblanc 149, whose section is gargantuan by comparison.) I find it to be exceptionally comfortable to hold.

The Nib:

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I ordered the 18K Medium Italic nib on my pen. With the F-C Model 19, I am once again floored by what Mr. Masuyama is able to do with gold and “iridium.” The ink flow in the nib is perfect: wet but not overly so. When coupled with the light springiness of the 18k nib, the ink flow can really be used to show off the shading properties of your ink. The italic grind is sharp, but not so sharp that the pen can’t be used for cursive writing fairly comfortably. It provides a very nice line variation between cross-strokes and down strokes, but can still be used as a “regular” writer.

This pen really doesn’t like textured or laid papers. I attempted to use this pen to write a letter on G. Lalo Verge de France stationery, and had to give up after a paragraph. The texture of the paper made for a rather unpleasant experience. On standard paper, or even better, on smooth, premium paper however? This nib just sings; hand me a sheet of Tomoe River and get out of my way!

The Writing Experience:

Overall, I find the writing experience on this pen to be nothing short of angelic. The pen, despite its size, is exceptionally comfortable to hold. The section and threads are positioned in such a way that I never once noticed the threads getting in the way of my grip. The lighter weight meant that maneuvering the pen around the paper was a delight, and never got tiring.

I will say that, on a couple of occasions, I did find that I had to saturate the feed a bit by twisting the converter down a bit. I mostly noticed this when I first started writing after not using the pen for a couple of days. This is, I am postulating, due to the fact that the larger block thread isn’t as airtight as other thread types may have been. Once the ink got flowing, however, I never really experienced any issues with the pen not being able to keep up with my writing.

I did also find a couple of instances of hard starts or skips when I was writing, but almost every single one of those was due to my not holding the pen and paper in proper alignment. This is my first experience with an italic nib of this width, and it took me just a bit of time to get used to the “sweet spot” on the nib. Once I did, I fell right into the swing of things, and I haven’t looked back.

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Overall:

The Franklin-Christoph Model 19 “1901″ is one hell of pen. It hits all the right buttons for me: well made, comfortable to hold, great aesthetics, and a killer nib from one of the best nibmeisters in the world. To get all of this for $300 is, in my mind, a great value. The only downside I see to this pen is that it may be still a bit too big for folks with smaller hands. But if that’s the case, I’d recommend you check out one of their other models of pens just to get your hands on a Masuyama nib like this.

alc3261
May 5th, 2014, 04:36 AM
OK, I'm sold. I will order a Franklin-Christoph pen!!

Chi Town
June 30th, 2014, 10:26 PM
Nice Review! I have one of these in the Cherry Ice, I believe the color is called? But I made the mistake of not getting the 18kt nib, I could not afford it at the time :-( None the less, the steel nib still is a beautiful "singer" on all the papers that you describe.....Franklin Christoph produces some of the finest pens for the value, in my opinion!

tandaina
June 30th, 2014, 10:35 PM
I have one of their Masuyama 18k italics and it is... utterly underwhelming. I bought it to use in my Edison Mina and find I never user it. The steel nib that Pendleton ground for me is far superior. I keep hearing glowing reviews of these nibs and really want to compare them to mine side by side because it is not my experience. Maybe I got a dud but it is a replacement for a real dud (wouldn't write) that FC specifically tried, vetted, and supposedly used to be sure it was OK.

The pen is lovely, I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the band in the middle of this one (the gold band) actually went all the way through and so the barrel wasn't recommended for eyedropper conversions. But that might have been a different model as my memory is lousy.

DrChumley
July 1st, 2014, 10:19 AM
I have one of their Masuyama 18k italics and it is... utterly underwhelming.

That's too bad. I, obviously, love my 18K Medium Italic. I will admit that, if I get sloppy and let my pen rotate to much, I start having problems with it writing, but for the most part, mine has been wonderful. I also purchased a few of their steel nibs to use in other pens, and each of those has been nearly perfect: Smooth, great flow, wonderful writers. Of course, I feel the same way about most of the Pilot pens I've tried...I for the life of me can't figure out why people love them so much. :)