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Thread: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

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    Default Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    In some sense I've been very lucky over the past few years to figure out two things about my relationship with these inky things:

    1)I can't actually enjoy owning more than 6 or 7 pens
    and
    2)I derive the greatest enjoyment from vintage (pre-1960) and mostly Italian celluloid pens with flexible nibs, and only need 1 robust pocket-pen

    Before I lost the bolded 3 pens several months ago, I had achieved some form of whole-ness in my pen lineup:
    Aurora Optima (turquoise/blue pearl celluloid, 1940s w/ flexible platridio nib)
    Montblanc 104G (flexible medium stub)
    OMAS Extra Lucens vest pocket greek band in black (EF flex)
    OMAS Extra Lucens, medium size in black visulated (M soft flex)
    Soennecken 111 Superior in tortoise (0.7mm stub semi-flex)
    OMAS Extra, vest pocket in tortoise (wet F flex)
    OMAS Lucens, vest pocket in green pearl (EEF flex)
    [robust pocket pen] Parker "51" aerometric in cocoa (EF/F)

    IMG_3044.jpg

    I got the Parker Vacuum Filler pictured above after the other 3 were lost...I've always loved the early models, but alas, the section isn't superbly ergonomic for me, and the nail EF nib is just not my thing. It feels refined and elegant but just isn't 'me'.
    I've been looking for a 6th pen to replace it, and am not sure which direction to go. I think I'd like something contrasting the others, and possibly a little larger. I'd probably get another Optima if I could find one, but I can't*, and the vacuum filler was always a bit of a downside in my mind anyway. Here's what I've found:
    1. Columbus 132 in blue lapis https://www.tenpen.it/product/columb...apis-celluloid
    -I have no experience with this brand, but the styling on these has long intrigued me would seem to contrast nicely with all the other pens I have. They're also a bit girthier than the Extra Lucens or the 111 Superior.
    2. Williamson vacumatic clone https://www.tenpen.it/index.php/prod...ated-celluloid
    -no experience with these either, but I love the vacumatic celluloid and this is a way to get one with a flexible nib (and a more intriguing clip!)
    3. OMAS 557/s https://www.tenpen.it/index.php/prod...ogiva-oversize
    -I had a 557/F in college, which is basically the size of the old-style paragons. I've missed it dearly. The ogiva (/s) models seem more modern, and those straight sections remind me of a Faber Castell Higgins pen I inherited that has great sentimental value but isn't a great user for me.
    4. Pelikan 100 with green binde (probably F flexible nib, oblique if one pops up)
    -I have somehow only held and tried this a couple of times...the cap/body ratio used to seem unbalanced to me, but it now appears charming. Maybe not the most contrasting.

    Should I seek out the most possible contrast? I want to think this business is sort of like art curation: some pens will fit better together than others, and when they complement each other especially well, there's this special sort of satisfaction, a gestalt effect. How do folks approach this? Any other recommendations, or experiences with these pens, would be so appreciated!




    *on the off chance someone has one they want to sell, please reach out!
    Last edited by fountainpenkid; August 17th, 2021 at 04:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    I would include a Sheaffer Balance (Vac-fill as in plunger, not vacumatic) in your potentials list. The green celluloid would be a nice addition to your colour palette, and they come in large and oversize. They are also a joy to write with, especially if you prefer a firmer nib. Gerry Berg could hook you up with a lovely restored one.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    I would include a Sheaffer Balance (Vac-fill as in plunger, not vacumatic) in your potentials list. The green celluloid would be a nice addition to your colour palette, and they come in large and oversize. They are also a joy to write with, especially if you prefer a firmer nib. Gerry Berg could hook you up with a lovely restored one.
    The Marine green balances are attractive to me and I always forget about them! But I don't know where I'd ever find one with a flexible nib! (I am definitely looking for this to have a flexible (or at least semi-flexible) nib.)
    Will
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Vintage Balances came in two marine green celluloids. There is the earlier marbled pattern and the later striated pattern. Compare them by scrolling to the bottom of Richard Binder's Balance webpage. I cannot recall ever seeing the marine green marbled pattern in a Vac-Fill. Anyone?

    Flexible Sheaffer nibs from the era of Balances are my favorite EF flex nibs, but they are very hard to come by. Experienced dealers of vintage Balances ask top dollar for those nibs when they turn up, especially the oversize ones. Even when described (or marked) as flexible, there is enough variation in flex performance of Sheaffer nibs to risk disappointment, so try before you buy if at all possible.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Sheaffers are great pens, but you have to like your nibs firm and fine to find joy in them.

    Of the possibilities listed, i think the Pelikan gives the most diversity. Alternatively, since an MB has gone missing, another one of those. If a green stripe number is out of the question, then perhaps a colorful Danish model.
    Last edited by guyy; August 17th, 2021 at 10:29 PM.

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Before I lost the bolded 3 pens several months ago...
    That's a tough loss. my condolences!

    As a pen for daily use, I would prefer a Pelikan 100N to a 100. It is slightly larger an more ergonomic.

    Pelikans nibs came in a broad range and can easily be changed, but you will not find really flexible Pelikan nibs. Not in comparison to Waterman's, Swan's, Conklin's etc...
    They exist but are very hard to find (I only found two of them during years.) In contrast, OB nibs are not that difficult to find.

    Pelikan 100:




    Pelikan 100N:



    But why not looking fo a Vacumatic OS? I find them very comfortable to hold and sometimes, nibs of canadian made pens can be springy. For the price of the Williamson, you will find a nice example I think:

    Parker Vacumatic Oversize 1 von -c_m_z-


    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post

    Should I seek out the most possible contrast? I want to think this business is sort of like art curation: some pens will fit better together than others, and when they complement each other especially well, there's this special sort of satisfaction, a gestalt effect. How do folks approach this? Any other recommendations, or experiences with these pens, would be so appreciated!

    PS: In terms of curation, I already see a focus on OMAS. Next to that, two Parkers and an (exotic) Soennecken. If the Vacumatic is replaced, the "51" stands alone and the fact that all other pens are made of celluloid excludes the "51" even more.

    To be quite honest, it is the "51" that fits least with the others. But it is a fantastic fountain pen, I write with one myself every day. That's a good reason to keep it as I think.

    Maybe fortify the Soennecken with a colorful Pelikan? Maybe a 101N tortoise?



    At least, this is a very interesting topic.
    Last edited by christof; August 18th, 2021 at 01:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Of the American pens, Wahl and Waterman had the flexible nibs, and of those two, Wahl had the colorful celluloid.

    So Wahl Decoband or OS Doric.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    Sheaffers are great pens, but you have to like your nibs firm and fine to find joy in them.

    Of the possibilities listed, i think the Pelikan gives the most diversity. Alternatively, since an MB has gone missing, another one of those. If a green stripe number is out of the question, then perhaps a colorful Danish model.
    Yeah, I didn't like spending the sort of money that I had to for the 104...I'm trying to cap my search off around $600. The 104 is a spectacular pen though. It just felt internally scandalous to have it. I buy pens to use them frequently, and at this early 20's stage of my life, having pens for frequent use (including taking them in a good case for note-taking trips in safe places) worth that sort of money just doesn't sit well with me. I understand it's irrational, of course, because when I take 2 of my current pens out in my FC 2-pen case, I've exceeded the limit, but then I have 2 nibs and 2 inks...
    I have handled a couple MB Meisterstuk 20s, one in orange HR. They seemed sort of mundane from pictures, but the craftsmanship, details, and ergonomics are excellent. Those too are out of my budget though, I think. Were these produced in Denmark too?
    I have been loaned and owned 2 '50s 146, both in black...I've decided the visual aspect design just isn't for me, at least in that color. They are such lovely writers though (the best long-session pen I've ever used). Something feels like a black one wouldn't be contrasting.
    Will
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by christof View Post

    That's a tough loss. my condolences!

    As a pen for daily use, I would prefer a Pelikan 100N to a 100. It is slightly larger an more ergonomic.

    Pelikans nibs came in a broad range and can easily be changed, but you will not find really flexible Pelikan nibs. Not in comparison to Waterman's, Swan's, Conklin's etc...
    They exist but are very hard to find (I only found two of them during years.) In contrast, OB nibs are not that difficult to find.

    Pelikan 100:




    Pelikan 100N:



    But why not looking fo a Vacumatic OS? I find them very comfortable to hold and sometimes, nibs of canadian made pens can be springy. For the price of the Williamson, you will find a nice example I think:

    Parker Vacumatic Oversize 1 von -c_m_z-


    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post

    Should I seek out the most possible contrast? I want to think this business is sort of like art curation: some pens will fit better together than others, and when they complement each other especially well, there's this special sort of satisfaction, a gestalt effect. How do folks approach this? Any other recommendations, or experiences with these pens, would be so appreciated!

    PS: In terms of curation, I already see a focus on OMAS. Next to that, two Parkers and an (exotic) Soennecken. If the Vacumatic is replaced, the "51" stands alone and the fact that all other pens are made of celluloid excludes the "51" even more.

    To be quite honest, it is the "51" that fits least with the others. But it is a fantastic fountain pen, I write with one myself every day. That's a good reason to keep it as I think.

    Maybe fortify the Soennecken with a colorful Pelikan? Maybe a 101N tortoise?



    At least, this is a very interesting topic.
    Are the sections actually girthier (i.e in line with the girth of the 400) on the 100ns? It sort of looks that way in your photo and I had never considered that. If I did get a 100n, it'd have to be an earlier model than pictured, as I'd like the section to be celluloid. Those tortoise 100ns are achingly beautiful and I've always wanted one...seems like I could snag a user-grade example in my budget...will consider! My OMAS Extra Lucens is very much user grade but its majesty still shines through. There is a certain fun in having a minty vintage pen though...
    Vacumatic oversizes--I totally forgot about those! Will look out for a canadian one with a springy nib. Maybe a nicer pen than the Williamson? At least in terms of it not being a button filler...
    I am quite aware the "51" doesn't fit at all but I need it and use it differently than all the others. Yet maybe it does belong: these are all handmade pens...every "51" hood is a little different, a product of the individual who shaped it, just as slight differences in length and section shape exist in some of the models I have.
    Will
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post

    Are the sections actually girthier (i.e in line with the girth of the 400) on the 100ns? ...
    The early 100N have narrower sections than the later ones, which have identical sections to the 400.
    But I'm not sure if the early 100N sections are identical to the Pelikan 100's. I'll take some measurements tonight.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    I'll submit 2 ideas, both ebonite pens.

    1. A big woodgrain flattop. A Wahl-Eversharp Decoband if you want to be fancy, or something like a Lincoln (National Pen Co.) if you want something that (in my eyes) just as beautiful but less hit on the wallet. If you get a good body, then you can take your time to find a nice and flexible vintage nib that will fit the size.

    2. Eboya. They are made by the same company who made the Nikko ebonite. Just a few models to consider, and go for the big model. Beautiful pens that will contrast your current set of curated collection.
    - Will
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    Yeah, I didn't like spending the sort of money that I had to for the 104...I'm trying to cap my search off around $600. The 104 is a spectacular pen though. It just felt internally scandalous to have it. I buy pens to use them frequently, and at this early 20's stage of my life, having pens for frequent use (including taking them in a good case for note-taking trips in safe places) worth that sort of money just doesn't sit well with me. I understand it's irrational, of course, because when I take 2 of my current pens out in my FC 2-pen case, I've exceeded the limit, but then I have 2 nibs and 2 inks...
    I have handled a couple MB Meisterstuk 20s, one in orange HR. They seemed sort of mundane from pictures, but the craftsmanship, details, and ergonomics are excellent. Those too are out of my budget though, I think. Were these produced in Denmark too?
    I have been loaned and owned 2 '50s 146, both in black...I've decided the visual aspect design just isn't for me, at least in that color. They are such lovely writers though (the best long-session pen I've ever used). Something feels like a black one wouldn't be contrasting.
    Some 20s were made in Germany but they still have the color.

    Its hard to beat a vintage 146. I prefer black pens, so the color is not an issue for me. I could understand not wanting to use a rare & very expensive green or tiger stripe MB as a go-everywhere pen.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    I'll submit 2 ideas, both ebonite pens.

    1. A big woodgrain flattop. A Wahl-Eversharp Decoband if you want to be fancy, or something like a Lincoln (National Pen Co.) if you want something that (in my eyes) just as beautiful but less hit on the wallet. If you get a good body, then you can take your time to find a nice and flexible vintage nib that will fit the size.

    2. Eboya. They are made by the same company who made the Nikko ebonite. Just a few models to consider, and go for the big model. Beautiful pens that will contrast your current set of curated collection.
    Yes. Those red and black woodgrain hard rubber pens are stunners!

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by christof View Post
    .... I'll take some measurements tonight.
    Here we go:

    Pelikan 100 100N Sections by C.M.Z, auf Flickr

    from left to right:

    Pelikan 1929, section diameter (thinnest part) 9.0mm
    Pelikan 100, section diameter (thinnest part) 8.5mm
    Pelikan 100 (later model), section diameter (thinnest part) 8.5mm
    Pelikan 100N, section diameter (thinnest part) 9.0mm
    Pelikan 100N (later model), section diameter (thinnest part) 9.5mm
    Pelikan 400, section diameter (thinnest part) 9.0mm

    So the differences are minimal. Maybe it's rather my personal preference that makes the 100N more ergonomic to me.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by christof; August 18th, 2021 at 12:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Thank you as always for such wonderful pictures and information, christof! Does the section on the early 100ns feel as straight as it looks? Is that step more bothersome than the threads?
    The section on that rare (and well out of my budget) early 100 looks the best to me, with a subtle hourglass...wish they had kept it.
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    You are welcome.
    As said, i find this topic quite interesting from a collectors point of view.

    The early 100N sections do feel ok. The step isn't a problem, at least not to me. But still, for very personal reasons, I prefer the later 100N's to write with. Maybe they feel less fragile?

    If you prefer the original 1929 section shape, it might be interesting for you to know that Pelikan 100 from 1930 had still the same sections but are less expensive than the bandless first year pens. For example one like this:

    Pelikan 1930 von -C.M.Z-
    Last edited by christof; August 18th, 2021 at 02:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Does anyone have experience with the Columbus 132/134? I'm still leaning towards the idea of a blue pen...

    Are discolored 101n tortoises worth it, or does the discoloration lead to full degradation?
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by christof View Post
    You are welcome.
    As said, i find this topic quite interesting from a collectors point of view.

    The early 100N sections do feel ok. The step isn't a problem, at least not to me. But still, for very personal reasons, I prefer the later 100N's to write with. Maybe they feel less fragile?

    If you prefer the original 1929 section shape, it might be interesting for you to know that Pelikan 100 from 1930 had still the same sections but are less expensive than the bandless first year pens. For example one like this:

    Pelikan 1930 von -C.M.Z-
    I'm not finding any of those around at the moment, but will look out for them!
    Will
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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    I'll submit 2 ideas, both ebonite pens.

    1. A big woodgrain flattop. A Wahl-Eversharp Decoband if you want to be fancy, or something like a Lincoln (National Pen Co.) if you want something that (in my eyes) just as beautiful but less hit on the wallet. If you get a good body, then you can take your time to find a nice and flexible vintage nib that will fit the size.

    2. Eboya. They are made by the same company who made the Nikko ebonite. Just a few models to consider, and go for the big model. Beautiful pens that will contrast your current set of curated collection.
    This is quite attractive to me...
    https://www.peytonstreetpens.com/eve...-restored.html
    Any ideas of how hard it'd be to find a correct flexible nib for it?
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

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    Default Re: Advice on a 6th (final) pen/contrasting pens

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post

    Are discolored 101n tortoises worth it, or does the discoloration lead to full degradation?
    It depends on which parts are discolored.
    Actually, only the transparent barrel is sensitive to degradation.

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