2022: Some of my fountain pen highlights.

As another year end approaches, it is time for a round-up. Against the background of a tumultuous year in national and world events, I had a busy year and took comfort in my fountain pens, whilst trying to curb my temptation to buy more.

In 2022, I had 24 fountain pens incoming. These included five that I bought and gifted, and coincidentally, another five that were given to me. This leaves 14 fountain pens bought for myself over the year. My total spend on these came to around £976.00.

My biggest single purchase was an Aurora Talentum in yellow, with a 14k gold, oblique medium nib. I am delighted with it and consider it one of the best value gold nib pens on the market. Aside from a vintage Parker 17 Lady, a £10.00 impulse buy at a pen show, the Talentum was the only pen that I bought with a gold nib.

Aurora Talentum, with oblique medium 14k gold nib, rhodium plated

I notice that a theme of my 2022 pen purchases, has been in relatively high-end steel nib pens. These included a Tibaldi N.60, an Esterbrook Estie Nouveau bleu, an Onoto Scholar and an Otto Hut Design 06. In each case, the pen was the first and only model that I have of each brand.

Esterbrook Estie, Aurora Talentum, Tibaldi N.60 and Onoto Scholar.

Another theme to note is that I bought myself three Delike New Moon fountain pens, with fude (bent) nibs, in green, blue and finally red acrylic. I am very taken with these. They are inexpensive cartridge-converter fillers, with screw caps and steel nibs, in attractive finishes and with a very versatile smooth nib. This can be used to produce a line from broad to extra fine, depending upon how you hold the pen. I have them filled with matching inks and enjoy them a lot.

Delike New Moon fude nib fountain pens. Great value.

Receiving a surprise parcel in the post with a gift of pens from a friend overseas, is always a thrill. A friend in Australia sent me five fountain pens, namely a Geha 715, Montblanc Carrera, a Montblanc 34, a Lamy 2000 and an old version Waterman Hemisphere in tobacco brown. There were also two Montblanc ballpoint pens (a matching ball pen for the Carrera, plus a Meisterstuck ball pen, both with new refills). It was exciting to try them all out. The Geha 715 was a German, black resin, piston fill pen which had an ink reserve feature, activated by sliding a switch in the feed, under the nib. The Carrera was a steel nib pen, mine being a cartridge converter version. Aside from the Waterman, the others all had oblique nibs, which I have found to be suited to my lefty overwriter hand-writing style.

Some gifts from Australia! Montblanc 34; Montblanc Carrera fountain pen and ballpoint pen; Waterman Hemisphere.

The Lamy 2000 was new and had an oblique broad nib. Unfortunately I found that this one did not suit me. Held at my usual writing angle, it produced too broad a line for me, both in down strokes and cross strokes. Perhaps looking back I needed to adjust my angle of grip for this particular nib to use it properly. However, I asked Lamy whether they would agree to exchange this nib for a Fine. They kindly agreed and I sent the pen to Germany.

I wrote a blog post at the time about sending the Lamy 2000 back for a nib swap. An extraordinary thing then happened and this post received over 14,000 views in the first month. My blog received it’s highest ever numbers of daily and monthly views.

I attended both the London Spring and Autumn Pen Shows, in March and October. These were most enjoyable and it was good to see so many friends particularly as we had not resumed the London pen club meets since Covid restrictions were lifted.

It was at the Spring pen show that I bought my Esterbrook Estie. I had seen a lot of buzz about these online and was a late-comer to the party. Then at the Autumn pen show, I bought my Onoto Scholar, in navy blue with gold plated trim. The bicolour steel, number 7 medium nib is a joy to use and is the same as the standard steel nib that you would receive on an Onoto Magna, a pen costing more than twice the price of a Scholar, although there is an option to upgrade to a gold nib.

My final pen purchase of the year came in November whilst on a short break in Portugal. I found a wonderful, long-established fountain pen shop called Araujo & Sobrinho and enjoyed meeting the proprietor and buying an Otto Hutt Design 06, in black lacquer with silver colour trim. I am thrilled with it. I hope to give it a blog post to itself soon.

Otto Hutt Design 06 fountain pen.

At home, my pen cups typically have around a dozen pens currently inked. At my office, I limit my work fountain pens to two. A Cross Bailey Light, royal blue model has been in constant use with bottled Cross Blue ink all year, which I am using up for my late Godfather Brian. My other work pen is a Moonman S5 eyedropper, with oblique broad nib. This gets only occasional use and as a result has not needed refilling all year.

I have continued to use fountain pens for my daily A5 page-a-day journal. I cherish the ten minutes or so, spent recalling and summarising the previous day. I think my intention was to change pen each month. In the event, I used the Cleo Skribent Classic Gold for both January and February. I then switched to the Visconti Rembrandt from March right through to September inclusive. In October, I used the Esterbrook Estie. Then for November and December it was the Onoto Scholar. When travelling, I take a different notebook for holiday journaling.

With the year almost over, I am very content with my accumulated pens and ink stash. I have ample to last me out! Also, I am equally well stocked for new notebooks, of all shapes and sizes. My resolution for 2023 will be to remember to use the pens, inks and notebooks I have and not keep buying more. I always say that.

One of my resolutions last year was to walk 1,500 miles, an average of 125 miles per month. Mostly, this consists of walking to and from my office. Ultimately, my pedometer app has counted about 1,200 miles, a slightly disappointing 80% of my annual target. Still, as with my stationery hopes, it is good to leave some room for improvement in the future. A Happy New Year to all.

Onoto Scholar. An exquisite steel nib.

15 thoughts on “2022: Some of my fountain pen highlights.

  1. Happy New Year! I enjoy your blog very much and it’s lovely to see your 2022 highlights! As another overhand lefty writer, I’m a bit confused by oblique nibs and the difference between right and left obliques — in which direction do your favoured oblique nibs slant? I’m leery of buying one online without a chance to try it out first!

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    1. Hi Ruth, Thank you for your kind comments and for asking about oblique nibs.
      If you are a lefty overwriter like me, (by which I mean that you write with your left hand above the line of writing and with the nib pointing towards your body) then an oblique nib may suit you.
      Oblique nibs are usually cut away to the left hand of the nib tip. When you look at the nib, with it pointing upwards, the tip slopes down to the left, like a left foot. This is the type favoured by left-handed users and sometimes called a left foot oblique.
      The result is that when you write from above the line, you can grip the pen symmetrically, with finger and thumb in a “ten to two” position relative to the centre of the nib. The slanted tip of the nib will be in contact with the paper evenly. There is no need to rotate the pen to find the sweet spot.
      I bought a pen with an oblique nib by chance, when I ordered a Moonman S5 online. It is an eye dropper, demonstrator pen and came with three nibs, one of which was a broad oblique. It worked brilliantly for me and I have gone on to buy two Auroras, (one with an oblique broad, and one with an oblique medium). I would be keen to try their oblique fine if I bought another one.
      I have also been given several vintage pens with oblique nibs, such as Montblanc and Geha.
      Before discovering oblique nibs, I would have to rotate a pen inwards when overwriting. This was generally fine, but with the Pilot Capless, my left thumb was directly over the clip (that is, the “twelve o’clock position”) and so I could not hold the pen comfortably and securely.
      Ideally, you should try an oblique nib in a pen shop before you buy but if this is not possible, you might buy an inexpensive pen with an oblique nib, to see how you get on. Good luck!

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  2. A lovely round-up of your pens to cap off the year. I recognised your lovely blue Onoto Scholar from the Autumn pen show. I am very tempted by this model myself, though I don’t think I have any intention of making any splurgey purchases in 2023. Still, you never know. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pamela. A Happy New Year to you too.
      Yes, the Onoto Scholar is rather special. I think, for a steel nib, the Onoto and my recent Otto Hutt are among the best out there. The Otto Hutt Design 06’s nib is a bit smaller than the Onoto’s but softer and really felt like a gold nib when I tried it in the shop. It literally made me go “Wow!”
      I don’t mean to tempt you but if you are considering a Scholar, then Onoto might have some discount at a pen show.

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  3. Happy new year. Thanks for a year of interesting pen blogs/reviews. I look forwards to this coming year blogs and reviews (although my bank balance may not)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My intention is to appreciate what I have rather than acquire more pens this year. I say this every year but temptation eventually gets the better of me and a few purchases slip through the net!

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  4. Rupert,
    Happy New Year and thank you for some very interesting and informative posts last year and before!
    Like you I would like to make more use of my acquisitions, I really don’t need any more pens, but your comments about your Otto Hut Design 06 have got me looking around and getting closer to adding the first 2023 acquisition!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Charles. I do not mean to lead anyone into temptation but can only speak for myself when I say that the Otto Hutt Design 06 impressed and surprised me. On paper I would usually avoid shiny metal sections and steps from barrel to section, but when trying this pen in the shop, the nib had the “wow” factor and the pen actually felt comfortable in my hand. I enjoy using it. It is the only lacquered metal pen out of ten pens in my pen cups at present. The section, platinum plated, is not an issue. (Who complains about platinum?) Also it currently remains my last pen purchase!

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