Early thoughts on the Delike New Moon bent nib fude pen.

This pen came to my attention through reading a post on Margana’s “An Inkophile’s Blog” on 9 February 2022, entitled 20 Refills Without Cleaning My Pen. I was impressed, also in that she had found a relatively modest fountain pen that she liked using so much that she had used it every day for 6 months and written 200 pages with it.

I tracked down the pen in question on Amazon and ordered one immediately, such was the persuasive force of reading Margana’s blog post. It took a bit of searching on the web site, as the pen seems to be attributed to Majohn, Langxivi and Delike. I have not worked out quite what the connection is between brands. Also the pen is available in a few different colours and with either a “bent” nib or a regular one. I particularly wanted to try the bent nib version and went for the marbled green colour, with silver trim. The seller was JianHang Office and the price, £21.49 plus £3.00 postage from China.

I was delighted when it arrived, considerably earlier than estimated and just as my wife and I were about to depart for a weekend hotel break in Old Windsor.

Delike New Moon bent nib fountain pen.


This is an acrylic pen, in a striking green marbled effect with flakes including blue, brown and purple which come to life in good light. There is an acrylic finial, a silver coloured ring for the sturdy, very stiff, metal pocket clip, a cap band which reads DELIKE New Moon and another silver coloured decorative ring near the end of the tapered barrel.

The cap unscrews, needing just over three full rotations, to reveal a section in the same marbled acrylic pattern and that bent nib and metal ring at each end of the section.

Good fit and finish throughout.

Under the barrel, a cartridge-converter was included. I was impressed that the converter included a metal collar which could be unscrewed to disassemble the converter, should you wish to clean and grease the plunger. It also contained a small metal coil agitator, which avoids the annoying problem of ink starvation, whereby ink clings to the far end of the reservoir. The pen also came with a small soft black velvety pouch. For a pen of this price, the materials and finish all seemed to be of a very pleasing quality.

Converter, disassembled.

Size and Weight.

I measured the pen to be approximately 133mm closed, 120mm open or 157mm posted. The cap can be posted securely (with a little twist to grip the barrel) and I prefer to use it posted, as I then grip it higher up and the pen lays more comfortably in the hand. I would call it a small to medium sized pen.

It weighs around 22g including the converter, comprised as to 15g uncapped and 7g for the cap alone. For comparison, a Esterbrook Estie which is larger, weighs around 26g.

Delike New Moon shown below an Esterbrook Estie standard. (Both need good light to show off the colours).

The nib and writing performance.

I had not used a deliberately bent nib before and was excited to see what it could do. The silver coloured nib has a little decorative scroll work and the text “Dlike” (sic) “SUPER QUALITY, EF”.

The upturned “bent” nib.

The magic is in the up-turned tip of the nib. Angled upwards, and very smooth and rounded, it presents a flat surface to write with. The effect of this on paper depends how you hold your pen. Used in the conventional “underwriter” style, the nib will give you narrow down strokes, and broad cross strokes. This is rather like the effect of an architect-grind nib and is the opposite of a more common stub nib which would give broad down strokes and narrow cross strokes.

Then again, if you are a lefty and an overwriter, (like me most of the time) the effect is different as you get broad ascenders and descenders, and narrower lines when you make strokes such as to cross your T’s.

Whichever way you hold your pen in relation to the paper, you have the options to have the pen lay back in the crook of your hand finding a sweet spot where the bent nib writes smoothly and lays a broad line from side to side, or more vertically, where the line becomes a medium or a fine. There is also a third option, which is to flip the pen over and use “reverse writing”, using the tip of the upturned nib to give an extra fine line. I easily found three distinct line widths available.

Also, by varying the amount of pressure on the nib, I found that a little heavier pressure could be applied (except with reverse writing) to produce a darker line, assuming that you have a nice shading ink. I am using Montblanc toffee brown at the moment which shades well. Looking back over my notebook, I find that I had, after experimenting with different line widths and shading, written “all of this with ONE pen! Easy line variation all from ONE nib! Just experiment – to find out how to get the BEST out of it. Be familiar with your tools. Know how to USE them.” (The capital letters were where I was pushing the nib a bit to get bolder darker lines. I could not put it down. Later I wrote “Just how much fun is it possible to have from one nib?”

Writing samples: experimenting with the variety of line widths.


All in all, the nib is very versatile and is a huge amount of fun. Certainly, more fun than I had any right to expect for the price. The quality too seemed excellent and I could not fault the nib at all.

Occasionally, in this fountain pen hobby, we can lay out a large sum of money for a pen which disappoints. But occasionally the opposite occurs and the resulting joy should rightfully be recognised and celebrated.

A New Moon in the wild.

Early thoughts on the Esterbrook Estie Nouveau Bleu fountain pen.

It was probably a mistake to imagine that I could attend the London Spring Pen Show without succumbing to the temptation to buy at least one fountain pen.  I have been feeling very contented with the pens that I own and in particular, with many of those less expensive models in my accumulation. In a recent count-up, I found that about half of my 16 currently inked fountain pens had cost under £30.00 each.

The pen show took place on 6 March 2022, once again at the spacious Novotel in Hammersmith. I had been looking forward to this, but planned to refrain from spending lots of money on pens that I did not need. However, there is another principle, which is to keep an open mind.

First, it was great to see all the gang again. Within moments of arriving, I met many friends from the London pen club and the online community including John, Philip, Gary, Dave and Anthony. I was to run into many others throughout the day. It was a pleasure to see Jon from Pensharing and to say hi to many of the familiar dealers.

I snagged a few great stationery bargains: a bottle of Waterman Serenity blue (my only ink purchase at the show) and some A4-plus Leuchtturm journals in end-of-the line colours. I also discovered a journal from Semikolon, which I gather is a sister brand to Leuchtturm, with less of the features (no pagination, stickers, or contents pages) but focusing on premium quality watermarked paper, hand-sewn binding and linen covers. I could not say no to one of these, reduced from £30.00 to £10.00. (I spent a happy half hour that evening, paginating it myself: 304 pages, thanks for asking).

My little haul.

But this is turning into a pen show post. I had intended to write about the pen that came home with me. That pen was an Esterbrook Estie, in the Nouveau Bleu edition.

This year for the first time, Esterbrook was represented at the London Pen Show. As well as Esterbrook’s own table, their pens were also being sold by their UK outlets, Cult Pens and Niche Pens.

I hovered at the Esterbrook table: they had a tray of sample Esties to try with different nib options. I asked to try the stub. After trying this and following a conversation with the helpful gentleman (sorry – I do not know his name) about my writing style, he suggested that I try a broad nib. I am a lefty-overwriter, who rotates the paper 90 degrees anti-clockwise and “writes uphill” rather than hooking my wrist.  In the absense of an oblique option, we agreed that the broad nib seemed to work well for me.

I like this slogan.

I have not owned an Esterbrook before. Whilst I did not grow up with the name, I know it to be a much loved American brand, established in 1858 and reborn not long ago after a hiatus and now making pens again in classic vintage designs and with a vast range of attractive acrylic colours.

I had looked at these online and had been tempted by some of  the colours – the cobalt blue, the lilac, the golden honeycombe models in particular but had not handled an Estie in the flesh or the oversize version.

At the show, the colour that particularly stood out to me was called Nouveau Bleu (although I did not know that at the time). I later read that it was inspired by the colour pallette of art nouveau posters by Alphonse Mucha.  The pen looks, to a casual glance in poor light, like a vintagey mottled dark brown colour but on closer inspection features flakes of light blue and light brown, which have a lovely pearlescent quality, seeming to blink on and off as you rotate the pen in your hands. In bright light, particularly sunlight, it is a joy to behold. It is also beautifully smooth and polished and feels lovely too. The standard size is plenty big enough for me and I did not try an oversize.

Trying to do justice to the gorgeous colours

The pen is available with either gold or silver coloured trim (being the pocket clip, two metal rings – one each side of the cap threads and the colour-filled lettering of the name Esterbrook on the cap). I preferred the gold with this finish. Esterbrook did not have one with the Broad nib on their table, but this was no problem as I was taken to Niche Pens’ table (from Newport, South Wales and represented by Ross Adams and his wife Vicky) where a broad nib was swapped into “my” pen.  My Nouveau Bleu pen also included an A5 notebook with an attractive Esterbrook poster cover.

The Estie is a cartridge-converter pen, with a steel Jowo number 6 nib and an acrylic body.  There are plenty of things to like about this successful model, such as:


– The colours and pattern of the acrylic body;

– The sprung inner cap; the push and twist routine of  capping the pen is a special pleasure and the inner cap prevents ink evaporation and hard starts;

– The fact that the cap screws on;

– The metal to metal threads, of barrel and section;

– The rubber O ring on the section threads, to stop the barrel from coming loose by itself and to help protect against leaks;

– An Esterbrook-branded converter included;

– Comfortable and solid in size, shape and weight including length and girth; 127mm long unposted; (150mm closed);

– Cap can be posted securely but the pen becomes very long at 172mm;

– The Jowo nib unit (nib, feed and housing) can be unscrewed and swapped easily;

– Presented in a nice red, cloth-covered gift box.

Note the brass threads in the barrel and O ring on the section.

On the other hand, any dislikes?

Although the cap does post securely,  with a little push and a twist, I worry that there is no protective metal cap band and that the cap might start to crack if “posted” too hard.  Some care is needed to push the cap on just hard enough so that it does not work loose, but not so hard as to stress the acrylic.

The cap. My only slight worry is the absence of a metal cap band.

My broad nib looked to be nicely finished, with a tiny gap between the tines and tines level and symmetrical. It writes smoothly and with good flow (filled with Serenity Blue) although I think it will improve in the coming weeks as the nib wears in.

I have since learned that the pen is available with some special nib grinds, including a needlepoint which Anthony of UKFountainPens chose.

Sometimes after a pen purchase, particularly in my “over £30.00” category, buyer’s remorse can present itself in the following days, leading to a battle with the conscience to find justifications for the purchase. Fortunately here, there are ample plus points to this pen, including buying in to the American heritage brand. But for all the spec, perhaps the greated test comes down simply to this: does remembering that you own the pen, make you happy? I am glad to say that it does.

In good light the colour comes to life.